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Those days were good,
when kids were kids, and mom-dad were big.
Now,
kids are big, and mom-dad are old,
and in-between them are us-simply sad, irritable and unhappy!
Those bending backs of our parents, their fading vision, and
Doctor’s strict instructions that their food be cooked without salt, sugar, and oil.
But what stings most is
Their suddenly thus slowing down,
Their speaking softly, listening hard, walking slow
And their being fearful of any change, of travel.
They were not like this before- these parents of ours.
And Children?
These same kids who till yesterday used to stutter and stammer, erupt in joy upon receiving a candy,
Who listened to our tales and created many of theirs in our company.
Now?
All their moments are consumed by phones, social media, college friends and careers.
So much that happens with them, we neither understand, nor can they make us comprehend.
For,
We are from the last century, for them.
We were not like this before, for them!
It is not easy for us to see
Our superwomen (aging) mothers here ask for help even to come down a flight of stairs
And our teddy bear (growing -up) kids there spread their wings to fly away for college
Because what was easy was
when kids were kids, and mom-dad were big.
Now,
kids are big, and mom-dad are old,
and in-between them are us-simply sad, irritable and unhappy!

Original Hindi Version:

वो दिन भी अच्छे थे
जब बच्चे बच्चे थे
और माँ-बाबा थे बड़े
अब बच्चे बड़े हैं
और माँ बाबा बूढ़े
और हम बीच में अनमने

माँ-बाबा की झुकती हुई कमर,
धुंदली हुई नज़र
और
एक ही बात को दोहराते जाना
डॉक्टर की हिदायत की नमक चीनी तेल हीन बने उनका खाना
पर सबसे ज़्यादा चुभता है,
उनका यूं अचानक धीमा हो जाना,
धीरे बोलना, कम सुन ना , धीरे चलना
परिवर्तन से, किसी भी सफर से डरना
पहले ऐसे नहीं थे वे,
और बच्चे?
कल तक जो तुतलाते थे, टॉफ़ी से खुश हो जाते थे,
हमारी सुनते थे, मिल कर हम संग किस्से बुनते थे
अब
उनके पल फ़ोन, सोशल मीडिया, कॉलेज के दोस्तों और करियर में ही खाप जाते हैं
कितना कुछ उन संग होता है, जो न हमें समझ आता है, न बच्चे समझा पाते हैं
उनके लिए हम पिछली सदी के हैं,
पहले नहीं थे हम ऐसे, उनके लिए!
आसान नहीं है समझ पाना
इधर सुपरवूमन माँ का सीढ़ी उतरने के लिए मदद माँगना
उधर टेडी बेयर बच्चो का कॉलेज के लिए पंख फैला घर की देहलीज़ लांघना
क्योंकि बहुत आसान था सब
जब
बच्चे-बच्चे थे
और माँ-बाबा थे बड़े
अब बच्चे बड़े हैं
और माँ बाबा बूढ़े
और हम बीच में अनमने

This article was written as part of a series – the Desi Golden Years Project – on aging in the South Asian Community, made possible with funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). The views expressed on this website and other materials produced by India Currents do not necessarily reflect the official policies of SVCF.

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Nidhi Thakur

Nidhi Thakur, Ph.D. is a bilingual writer. She writes poetry, fiction, and commentary (in Hindi-Urdu ~Hindustani and in English) on culture, climate, and chaos. Her notable works include, besides others,...