This weekend has really been a special one. Yesterday I was on a nice nightclub with some new Norwegian (not kidding) neighbor’s and Indian friends. It was really a nice evening and a lot of fun. But it was today that has been the really nice day.
For some time now, I have known that I will very soon move into another flat. As my current flat was all empty when I moved in, I had to buy some furniture’s at that time. The new flat is fully furnished. Then the big question has been what I should do with the furniture’s that I bought just last year. Some of them I have sold, but I also decided that I wanted to just give away some of them to people who might need it. Though one of my friends I have came across a foundation that runs a home for older, destitute people.
The Paramshantidham Vriddharshram Trust was started back in 1988. At that time it was four elders they took care of and they had one hut. Today they have build a new house, and can now have as many as 100people there at the time. Right now there are about 75 people living there, and over the years they have had 712 inmates. This old people are all people without any family who can take care of them and also without any income. At this home they got food and the service needed. Even funerals are done free of charges at this place.
After having given away this furniture’s I just sat down and tried to reflect a bit. Yesterday I could see the upper side of Mumbai. Today I could at least feel the darker side. After having been in India for quite some time now, I do feel that I understand quite a bit about how much the family mean to people here. I mean, I have seen quite a few of my colleagues having to take days of to take care of their mothers and fathers. Some of them have even had the elders moved in to them for a considerable time. How does it feel to not have anyone taking care for them? Do the people feel some kind of shame, or are they just happy to be taken care of? According to the Hindu religion, and some of the other dominating religions here, life goes in cycles. You got reborn after death. How does the fact that you are not able to take care of yourself on your elder days affect your karma? Will your next life be better or worse?
When I was in Varanasi, I was told that in other to have a proper pyre, you need about 300 kilos of wood. And each kilo costs about 360 rupees. At least in Varanasi. How can these people who are not able to take care of themselves in life take care of them when they are dead?
A lot of questions I have asked my selves today. Surely I cannot answer all of them. But at least one question I can answer. When they were here, they invited me to come over and see the place. Will I go there? The answer is a surely YES!
Talk to you soon!