Grandma knows best what is best for grandpa. After years, nay decades of togetherness, marked by mutual caring, the duo recollects with mixed feelings, the ups and downs faced in their long journey of life. Their dismay is at being not included in the family fold, particularly in urban spaces witnessing predominance of nuclear families, yet craving for care as its ingredients of factors that compel drastic changes in their outlook to life. They have their beliefs, clinging to customs, tied by traditions, sticking to simplicity in matters of food and attire, which is irksome to give up. They have faced family feuds, dared diseases, remained stoic in times of loss of kith and kin during epidemics, played mentor role only when sought, and finally taking in their strides the hardships that come with age, including loss of vision, teeth, digestion, sleep, physical strength and many of their lifelong friends and well-wishers.
Generation gap on many well-marked counts, a global feature of society, the less it is accepted as inevitable, the more is the agony bugging the grannies. Fortunate are the grandpa-grandma couple, who are bestowed respect and love in word and deed by all in the family, raising their happiness and mitigating their miseries. The younger lot will do well to remember that their time lies ahead.
All will be well in the enlarged family if it has spared cash crunch and scarce space to live in comfort. Yet, the factor of broad-mindedness in accepting the needs of life can make or mar congenial ambience in the family. Given the delicate nature of relationships between the young and the aged, the former lot must be vigilant not to make the latter to feel as second-class members of the family that they have raised. The first charge of the young housewife, unarguably, is to provide the elderly lot with diet that suits their taste and relishing without the least compromise. In this context, observation made by Mysuru-based, globe-trotting food technologist Dr. V. Prakash at a conference on food and health organised by Mysuru Chapter of CSIR Pensioners Welfare Association in CFTRI campus that health of senior citizens in India is deteriorating as there is lack of quality food products hints at stressing on research aimed at ensuring good health of senior citizens.
The grannies must be granted the wisdom of following the game of living a healthy life in body and mind. Their craving for caring is plainly just and the gen next owes it to themselves to respond positively to that craving.