Monday, December 26, 2011


Last Saturday recorded the demise of a dynamic socialist and freedom fighter, Shamrao Madkaikar, at the age of 101 years. While much can be written about his immense contribution to his various causes, this Monday Muse chooses to focus the primary reason for his longevity... nurturing by his son, daughter-in-law and family members.

Shamrao showed immense passion for life, but it was the round-the-clock care and attention that helped him live well. He was confined to a wheel chair in his final years. Yet he was surrounded by support that only true love can bring. His son, Narayan seemed to be repaying the debt of parenting by playing the father to his own father.

The Hindi film, Baghban had posed the pertinent query, “If a man helps you to walk your first steps in life, why can't you help him walk his last steps?” Though Narayan had no hesitation in parenting his parent, our society has too many elders without care-giving assistance. Not just physiological needs, emotional needs too are short-changed.

To be better at parenting parents, we must revisit the things we did while parenting our children... overt depiction of love, encouragement, patience, tolerance and unwavering support. Surely that is the least we can do to those who helped walk our first steps in life... by helping them walk their last steps with dignity, love and caring... like Narayan did with his father, Shamrao Madkaikar.

Now it our turn to BE BETTER at parenting
by helping walk the last steps of the aging!

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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