A Visit to an Old Age Home

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A visit to an old age home,
Will leave you in gloom,
Wondering what is wrong with society?
Why do we leave our elderly
In the hands of strangers?

Old and unsteady on their feet
With pain in their knees,
Barely can they stand.
With a walker, they trot a bit
And slumber the day away.

Some can’t remember what day it is
And have flashes of memories
From the old good days.
They see you with eyes unseeing
The hollowness of their gaze pricking your empty soul.
They call you with the names of their loved ones.

Oh! Where are they?
Where are their loved ones
Who leave their elders in an institution,
Consign them to the care of strangers,
As they lack time or space for them?

You say you have not the room in your house
But all that you need is space in your heart.
Give not the luxury of your money for their care
But give the luxury of your time rare.
A little love, a little respect, a little regard…

It is the circle of life to be cared for.
Today, we are on our feet standing fair
For they cared for us in our childhood days.
Has not the time come to repay the debt for good?
For what are they, if not aged babies?

We need not follow ideas from foreign lands
As though everything they did was best.
Our culture is rich in many ways
We learnt that divinity rests in every form
Come! It is time to pay gratitude for what they did.

Raise your hands in sewa
For rare is such a chance.
What is the use of ringing bells
And blowing of conch shells
When the real Gods and Goddesses
Of our lives lay languishing.

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Avantika Vijay Singh
Avantika Vijay Singh

Avantika Vijay Singh is a writer, editor, poet, researcher, and photographer. She is the author of two solo poetry books, 'Flowing… in the river of life' and 'Dancing Motes of Starlight' (her debut eBook). She is the winner of the Nissim International Award Runner Up 2023.
She enjoys a good laugh over herself, as attested by her blog "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives” in The Times of India.

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