Kashish, along with her 15-year-old daughter, Chitra, walked down the lane looking for all those landmarks that were an integral part of her childhood. If memories could speak!
Chitra tried to figure out why her mother made her walk the long stretch when they could have easily toured the lanes in the A/C car.
“Mom, why can’t we order online? Oh! It’s so boring to walk…”She didn’t hide her annoyance.
Kashish smiled at her impatience.
‘Generation gap! How ineptly we use this phrase to denote a leap in the thoughts, values, and experiences of a new generation; we rarely put ourselves in their times and relate to their way of thinking. Their aspirations are surreal for the older generation just as it might have been with my generation. How sluggish life would be if it were immobile! Maybe the velocity and the volume of change is difficult to catch up with, but eventually the older generation does go along with the new age, sometimes accepting, sometimes compromising. Isn’t that the beauty of life!’
She came out of her musings when Chitra tugged hard at her handbag.
“Mom, we are just walking so purposelessly.”
Just then a car passed by honking continuously.
“How senseless! This is such a narrow road…”Chitra bit her tongue remembering her own whining.
“Chitra life is all about one’s perspective and values. Unintentionally our thoughts become lopsided when the subject is ‘I’; we exhibit double standards. Timely corrective measures can change this attitude.
We often feel that elders are restricting our freedom, instructing and moralising. We even consider it as interference. But as we progress in our lives, what we were averse to once, becomes an inseparable part of our lives; the experiences of our elders are our cherished manuals.”
“Mom, this is an orphanage. Why are we here?” Chitra was irked.
Kashish felt the warmth of the rusted iron gate as she opened it. A nostalgic smile spread across her face imbuing it with a radiance Chitra had never seen earlier.
The rugged path dotted with dried plants on either side of the walkway, bare trees, fallen leaves……. the unappealing premises put her off. But Kashish walked towards the entrance reliving some memorable moments. She was walking down the memory lane.
“Aayi, I am Kashish from New York, visiting India after fifteen years……..”
The supervisor looked at her through the thick glasses and said, “Kashish!….. We knew you would visit us one day.”
“This home is my family. I grew up here, married an inmate of this orphanage. We are indebted to you for all the love showered on us. This home has washed away the misconceptions about orphanages.”
Chitra looked at them, tongue-tied.
“Aayi, this is Chitra my daughter. I wanted her to know the value of a family. Ours was a big, united family Chitra. A family where none knew their parents except the ones who brought us up as their own.”
Tears blurred their vision but not the memories.
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