Being the eldest in the family, I have watched my parents the longest.
I have seen them as a young, happy couple who had all the energies to conquer the world. My father used to working in an office and my mother is a housewife. She was completely devoted looking after the 3 of us and having her hands full. She used to cook, clean, shop, budget and also teach us. They used to have great relations with all our numerous relatives and friends. On Sundays, the house will be overflowing with guests. I remember mom cooking for 40 people single-handedly with no help.
But now, my father has retired, the 3 of us are married with our own children growing up. Its been some time since we have all flown the nest. My parents now stay in their native place in Kerala. A much slower pace of life. This means, we get to see them only when we visit them or when they come over to our place with a gap of about 6 months. We do speak to them everyday though.
Every time I go to pick them up at the railway station, I feel they have become so much old now. The hands are shaking, the footstep is not so firm. When they board the train from Kerala and travel the 28 hours it takes to reach us, we are worried about how they will manage. My brother and I regularly keep checking the status of the train. We call to check they have taken their meals and medicines properly. Though they have made this trip atleast over 70 times in the lifetime. We check every detail on how they will get to the station and how they will board the train, who will help with the luggage. We also give a lot of advice to them on what they should carry, how they should avoid strangers and how to take care of the luggage, what they should eat and the list goes on, Every time I go through this, I remember the times when we used to travel when we were children. In those days, this same journey was 48 hours. And our parents used to ensure that we are all safe and reach the station on time. They used to take care of every aspect of the journey. The roles are getting reversed now. I look at them and think, this is what we will also become in maybe 20 years of time. There is not much time left of our young days. Better make the most of it now.
Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?