If I made Baghban.

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When I was fifteen I heard my granddad was going to let my mother return some cash that she had borrowed from him. I thought he should refuse.

My mother said she would have never accepted the money if it wasn’t a loan.  He would not even have offered it because he would need it in the coming years.

My logic: Whenever he needs it, you give him. What’s all this loan and return in a family? Aren’t you his daughter?

My mother: And what if I turn out to be selfish or have my own requirements and find I can’t help him when he needs it? Should he depend on my decency or should he ensure I borrow and return responsibly? And hasn’t he given me an education and ensured I am self reliant?

In ‘Baghban’ Raj Malhotra gives away all his savings to his sons, sure of equal reciprocation. He tells his banker his four sons were his ‘bank balance’. He is disappointed.

The movie should have stressed on planning for one’s old age.

The couple had no real life of their own. Happiness is only found when Raj finds an interest and new friends. Pooja (Hema Malini) his devoted wife remains dependent on him, she would be helpless if he died before her.

In his later years my father often spoke of how glad he was that they had planned well for their old age. He knew his wife would be comfortable if he died first. Every financial decision was planned together so nobody can fool my mother. Dad taught us to talk about death as an unpleasant but unavoidable fact of life.

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His treatment was expensive. He laughed about how much cash he swallowed every morning and how much each day cost him. He could afford to joke about it even if it made us cry. Because he they had planned for it.

A friend’s widowed mother signed papers that allowed the eldest son to sell all property to pay back his unexplained debts. Now they will be moving into a rented apartment. Shouldn’t she have been more aware of their financial situation?

Another friends’ father in law divided all property in his lifetime. His educated, once working wife got a small part. Why did they need everything when they were together but she needed only a small part when she was alone? If the dividing was left to the surviving partner, she would have been able to provide better for herself, and then passed to the children whatever was left. Or the hope for inheritance could have bought her some support.

A society that aborts female babies to avoid dowry expenses should know that we can’t depend on goodness of heart in matters of money.

A friend’s diabetic parents have to request their son to buy them Sugar Free. The son has teenage kids and their career related expenses. My friend is hurt that her parents have to often drink their tea ‘pheeki’ (tasteless). Shouldn’t she and her husband share the responsibility? Some husbands don’t like this, but they are legally and morally responsible too.

In ‘Baghban’ Raj Malhotra and his wife could have been shown turning to a daughter.  Legally daughters have same responsibilities (and rights) even if they have brothers. Some girls’ in-laws may not like it, but this should change. When daughters start taking the responsibility of taking care of their parents hopefully they will stop being seen as a burden.

Also parents who have only daughters seem to plan better for their old age, which seems to indicate that sometimes the expectation of living with sons prevents parents from planning. Not everybody can write a super seller like Raj Malhotra, but everybody can make retirement a time to travel, socialise, shop, swim, play cards and visit their children by planning well.

I didn’t include social work, because I see no reason why old age should be associated with service, and not with fun.


125 thoughts on “If I made Baghban.

  1. i like the observation tht somehow those who have only girls plan their future better.. very interesting take.. tht sugar-free bit is sad 😦

    Me – It made me very sad … I asked her why couldn’t she do that much, but she seems to think this might be taken as finger pointing. I feel that would depend on how it is done. With my parents I never make my brother or his wife feel they are their responsibility, so I know no matter what I do for them, it will not be seem as pointing errors. Also I think it helps if parents stay in their own house.


    • I think Baghban was too one-sided…in that it showed how all the sons and DIL’s were evil and not ready to have the in-laws come and live with them permanently. Amitabh’s character was equally at fault here. He thinks just because he has 4 sons, his future is secured and he can go and live with them permanently. Would he have done the same if he had 4 daughters? Amitabh and Hema Malini should have realized that after marriage, their sons have their own families and need their own privacy, They cannot expect to go and live with them permanently, just like they wouldn’t if they had 4 daughters. They should have planned for their retirement wisely and not squandered it on their sons whims and fancy. Actually I think all the 4 sons should have contributed monetarily and Amitabh and Hema Malini should have stayed in the same house they are living instead of going and living with their sons. They cannot blame their sons and DIL’s for not liking that living situation.


      • Well children are responsible legally to take care of their parents!! What if I say parents have no responsibility towards children?


  2. Well said IHM. Brought back memories of a conversation with my father when I was 15. I told him even if I’m married – part salary comes for you both. He said no- it is yours you enjoy and I’ve ensured my wife and I will manage fine. I asked what if I want to spend on you? He said that is fine but no need to give me a fixed amount – if I need I will ask. I could not get the joy of spending on him – but do get it by spending on mom.

    And he meant every word what he said IHM, even after he passed away – my mom and I never had to struggle. He had planned things perfectly well. He used to also tell me that if I’m not there anymore – it is all up to mom to decide. I wish there were more men like him! Even today mom is independent on her own, she never asks – does not need to 🙂 Instead still gifts me and my husband on every occasion, I’m so proud of my parents.

    More so neither do my husband and I question each other when it comes to spending on our respective parents – we share a common sentiment – what they have done for us cannot be repaid. So this is our bit of saying thank you to them! Also the in-laws never question why I choose to spend for my side. Wish more kids thought so!


    • However, it depends on how much money you have whether you can do this. My parents have always spent more on me and my education than other people in their social circle, from the motivation that I would have a better life, job, etc. and I think it is only fair I share my money with them when I grow up. They will still have a house and enough money to sustain themselves, but I would like them to live as they always have even after their retirements, and I know that might not be possible from limited post-retirement funds. This, I think, is not expected by my parents, but I intend to do it. But, in medical emergencies, I think it is both expected on their part and intended on mine. They went out of their way to do a lot for me, and I wouldn’t dream of any other kind of arrangement. I am a daughter, btw, but I feel like even sons with parents in similar conditions would be inclined to feel this way.


  3. excellent post IHM ..though somehow baghban never touched me .. they made everything very artificial .. but i agree with each and every word of your post ..well written and to the point.

    Me – The movie seemed at a glance to deal with old age, but in the end deals only with ungrateful children. I found it disappointing.


    • I agree with my amusing mind too; Baghban was really disappointing. There is a B&W 1953 Japanese film directed by Yasujiro Ozu titled Tokyo Story which deals with old age and busy career minded children and well depicted. He has shown the relationship between parents and their children beautifully.

      Me – Thanks! Any videos or links Sakshi, I will google it too 🙂


      • IHM I searched for the movie on youtube and its there in like a 100 million bits and pieces 😦 I hate watching movies on youtube 😡 We have a good library system here so I end up watching movies on DVD 🙂


  4. IHM, Agree with everything you have written here!

    In fact when I saw the movie, the first thing that went through my mind was , ‘How could a seemingly smart man, be so irresponsible in planning his retirement?’ Surely, he has done his bit by bringing up his children and ensuring that they can stand on their feet? Why sacrifice everything believing in goodness of heart. A few years back my dad and mom made their will and were telling me about it. I told them that I really did not need to know – it was their money and they were free to do what they felt right. But he still told me – just so that I was aware of things. My husband always says that he admires my dad for his clarity of vision in trying to ensure that everything is well planned out.
    ‘Every financial decision was planned together so nobody can fool my mother.’ – This is exactly how my father planned it too. My mother is totally aware of everything.

    As for daughters looking after parents – I just do not understand why people have such an issue with it. Haven’t daughters been brought up by the same parents? Why should it be only the son’s responsibility? My parents know that if they ever need me – I am there for them. As you say, in-laws and husbands will start to understand if the daughters take a strong stance. If we want things to change, we have to take a stance and do our bit.

    ‘I didn’t include social work, because I see no reason why old age should be associated with service, and not with luxury.’ – I so agree! This is the time when they have time for themselves and I think the best time to do what ever they fancy! I know people here who use their savings and travel around the world after retirement and I think it is wonderful that they enjoy life so much.

    Me – Smitha thanks!! Loved your supportive comment.


  5. Exactly…..actually most of Indian parents are so giving and dedicated to the family that they overlook the importance of financial security they might need in future.My dad always stressed on save for the rainy days theory…he died of cancer at the age of 56 -his four long years treatment was expensive but he had planned his financial status in a great way.Though my brother is the best brother and a son one could have i remember my dad telling me just few months before his death…your mom is never going to be uncomfortable financially as long as she lives and he was right ,she is living exactly the way he had planned for her.

    He looked after us ,paid for our education,marriage and so many other things and thank god he looked after their own future too.

    First time here ,came here from Sandhya….Kavita.

    Me – Welcome Kavita!! Hats off to husbands who do not exclude wives from financial planning.


  6. agree to each and every point you said. I hear of these cases every day. I know of someone who will not take help from her daughter and prefers being ill-treated by her son. To the extent for her eye operation which her son dilly dallied on the daughter stepped in and had to fight and force her mother so that she (the daughter) could do the operation. Funny!

    Me – A lot of people believe that accepting help from a married daughter is wrong, because she belongs to her husband’s family 😦 This is one change can make a tremendous difference to how much Indians value baby girls.


  7. IHM, some times when i watched some movie or a serial which showed extreme of ungrateful and uncaring children, I used to remark that “arey asli life main thodey naa yeh sab kuchh hotaa hai” but after coming accross some old parents who actually suffered that kind of fate i started appreciating the makers of such movies and serials which put one wise on these matters.

    Though the ads like “Papa, merey future ke baarey main kya socha hai?” are already putting our children wise :-))

    Me – Mr Balvinder Singh I felt the movie had no solution and was not objective in showing the problems. There was no mention of planning for old age, and no mention of parents having a life of their own…


  8. Excellent observations IHM.
    I agree on the need of joint financial planning right from the start of married life. When both partners share equal responsibilities, they should be rewarded with equality financially as well.

    I liked the way you strengthened the need for daughters to step forward in taking care of their parents. When we advocate for rights for girls in inheritance, we should at the same time not overlook their responsibilities towards their parents.

    Society needs to broaden their outlook and think in an unbiased manner on this sensitive issue.

    Keep up the wonderful work.



  9. Good and thought provoking! I like your points about planning properly.

    Interestingly, between my parents and me, we are very cool about taking loans from each other at various times. It works well because we are in two different cities.

    I don’t know why talking about death and planning for it is a taboo in our society. My husband’s grandfather bought land for his grave long time back. His insight at that time was ridiculed but last year everybody was very relaxed about the arrangements because appachan took care of his grave in the church.

    I like the fact that you said about our society where girl child is looked down upon. One of my close relative was kept out of the will just because she is a girl. When her parents died, all properties, money etc went to the boys who didn’t do anything when their parents were alive. She was the one who contributed her complete salary for the construction of the house but she was not given a single penny because she is a girl!!!

    But my biggest grudge is against people who are okay about taking help from their own daughters but when their daughter-in-laws want to help their parents, they don’t like it.

    I have a lot more to say here but I have to go to now. Will add more when I have time.


    Me – You know I don’t understand these double standards. We seem to be an unethical lot 😦


    • And there is another interesting point here.

      We assume that because we think all these things are not right and we will not do this. We also assume that all these practices will not be done by our generation.

      The shocker here is that even in our generation, around us, in our building/society/office/club etc, you will find girls endorsing these same sick traditions and thoughts!

      I don’t get surprised anymore! 😦

      Me – I agree Chandrika. And it’s saddest when we see someone who should have known better doing this… 😦


  10. IHM..another thought provoking post from you! You are right..as a daughter I think I have equal rights to provide for my parents and my hubby is full support for that..though my parents are still working…I think I will definitely support them when they need my support…Also…I am a mother to a daughter and somehow hubby has already started planning for our future..?? Why..Is it our Indian Mindset!!! I wonder why???


  11. This is such a difficult topic but I agree with all your points. That’s what I appreciate about my dad too. He never wants to be dependent upon his kids after retirement & has planned meticulously for it. I so admire him for that.
    “we can’t depend on goodness of heart in matters of money” Such a true line.


  12. Oh, god, IHM, you have written this post from all angles! My husband is 64 and I am 58 now. We have started planning for our retirement.

    Our family doctor of 21 years, died of a heart attack, last week, at the age of 54. He was quite hale and healthy. His son is in the 3rd year MBBS and daughter is married and abroad. Today morning I saw the deserted hospital (it had some 20 beds) and felt like crying. Now, my husband has started thinking seriously of writing a will. He says everything can go to the sons after both of us die. Till then we have to have everything we have earned. We have given them good education and let them come up in life. Easy money should not change their nature.

    Whether we have a daughter or son, it is the same now. Everybody is busy and running all the time.

    The old people should try to be on their own feet, both male and female. We should never be a burden to our own children or we should never let them think us as a burden.

    My own family has got examples of people with problems you have mentioned here.

    My husband’s close relative, aged 85, has got 3 sons and a daughter. All are married and the grand children also are married and most of them are abroad. The eldest sons stays nearby with his family, but this old man stays alone, cooks for himself and doesn’t want to be a burden to his son. He sensed that all were busy and reluctantly tolerated him. My husband always says that he would be like him in his old age, if he had to be alone.

    You have covered most of the angles, in this subject, very well, IHM! It is going to be useful for us, who are stepping into old age…say, in another 10 years?!!

    Too good a post, IHM!

    Me – Thanks Sandhya 🙂 My husband and I have plans to travel, visit our children, take care of stray animals, take photographs and do all those things we wanted to but never had the time for 🙂 I agree about being independent. I see my mother, 68, and feel I would be like her. She has a busy life, endless (even annoying 😉 ) visitors, her work, enough help and support system … and enough functions to attend 🙂 Love how you have planned yours… will be reading up and refining our plans too 🙂


    • Manasarovar is in my list! My husband wants to take care of animals in a zoo…I doubt if it will happen…strict vegetarians! But we had/have animals like dogs and cats in our lives till now. Because of his business, my husband was not free to visit far off places all these years. Now, we will start roaming, first our own India, then abroad!

      My younger son came back just to be with us, IHM! He said, he missed our food! We can take care of our children till they need us. Then we have to be independent without troubling them in any way. If we are not dependent on them, they will definitely come to our help, when need arises, happily.

      Best of luck to your and our plans!

      Me – I agree Sandhya…
      And yes best of luck to our lovely plans, we also basically want to help stray dogs and cats, or an occasional bird or a squirrel.. 🙂 LOVE the idea of travelling in India first!! and love the thought of taking pictures, and to blog about the travels too 🙂


  13. i think each one of us should plan for old age irrespective sons or daughters. With the empty nest syndrome and kids moving to different geographies the scene is becoming very different. and it becomes difficult in old age to move to another country. Somewhere I feel the old becomes a lot difficult when you completely depend on your kids; where you don’t have thoughts about your life.
    Very well written IHM. A close to heart topic. 🙂

    Me – Yes BlueMist! Infact if we plan well and have our own interests and friends we’d never feel the empty nest syndrome 🙂


  14. IHM my mom being a single parent has planned everything,she planned to get all her 3 kids married before retirement,have a good bank balance and not to touch her kids income.When i was working i used to beg her that i will help her in the finances but never she touched one rupee,infact all my savings were planned by my mom.After marriage she gave me a letter in which she wrote about the savings she did on my behalf with my salary.That day i cried so much why she is differentiating my income with hers,but she said giving education was my responsibility and income from that is yours,only yours.

    My mom distributed all her property us, but she kept her end benefits for herself,she says i don’t want to depend on others.When i buy medicine for her she returns the money inspite of begging her not to.I admire her and wish that i do atleast 10% of what she did.

    Recently i read in one blog where a father gave off all his property and end benefits to his kids after his wife death and now he is repenting why he gave,because his kids refuse to take him glasses.

    Me – Saritha I feel parents should NEVER do what this man did. A comfortable home and a source of income can make old age a time to enjoy. Dependence makes it really sad.
    I have read so much about your mom, I really admire her. I feel we should all do a tag where we write about our mothers 🙂


  15. Super post, IHM! When I saw Baghban I thought it was ridiculous and overdone, but later realized such things do happen. One of our old neighbours has a large house – which is now being torn up to make way for 4 flats – one for each of their 4 kids!! The parents will not have a house of their own but will stay in the flat of one of the kids who is abroad. I thought this is a crazy thing to do esp when I learnt that these kids have pestered their parents to do this. This is the respect they get when they have something to bargain with, imagine what their status will be when they have no property as a bargaining chip!

    Me – Shocking but I have seen similar cases too Apu. I have heard of kids asking the parents what use would be the inheritance when they receive it in their middle age – I don’t see why is inheritance taken as something to plan their lives around. Work hard, earn and live well – I wish the parents had made all four flats in their own name atleast.


  16. “parents who have only daughters seem to plan better for their old age” so true. I think irrespective of age/number of kids etc people should plan financially and otherwise for old age. My parents are barely in their fifties but actively discuss their retirement plans and have invested well. They also talk about what they would want to do once they retire. I think it is important for everyone to plan for themselves rather than depending on others. Parents need to have a life of their own, not think taking care of kids and grand kids is their life.


  17. And it is sad and disgusting that daughters are not allowed to spend on their parents but are expected to spend on inlaws. I and my husband never question each other on what we are spending on our parents, and both our parents expect nothing…they have planned for themselves well. Whatever we want to do for them is never questioned by the other. In fact I think it is the duty of kids to do so if they are financially able.


  18. Because Salman Khan sells. That’s why probably they did not choose a girl for that role. But come to think of it, a girl in place of Salman would make the movie a lot better. And sends out a strong message.

    IHM, where have you been? You should be in the movie making business!!!!!

    Infact, remember the book I was supposed to publish of your 55ers…lets just make a movie out of it. We’ll add a few more to ensure continuity…

    Trust me…it will be a smash hit. Btw, we’ll try and sign SRK..I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows SRK! 😉

    Me – How can we take SRK? We need a female actor, I liked Priyanka Chopra in Kameenay! How would she fit the role?
    And did you like the rest of the post Masood?


      • IHM, I’d asked you last time itself if we were gonna be seeing more stakers for our deal….

        First it was Sols who wanted in. And now Saks. You can’t keep a secret, can you? 😉

        Btw, Shawarma is on !!!! *droool*

        Me – You mentioned SRK and wanted to keep Sol or Saks out?!


    • What rest of the post, IHM? 😉

      hehe…btw, I thought SRK was the ultimate JKG. Maybe we can rope him to play a female character….that will further enhance is repute.

      I liked priyanka in kaminey too. Played her part quite perfectly. Let SRK and Priyanka be sisters in our script……

      err..I can already imagine rotten tomatoes coming my way!! 😀

      Me – Masood do I sense jealousy? 😦 …But I don’t blame you, if I was a man maybe I would have ******* about SRK too 😉
      SRK like Sanjeev Kumar will make a super success of any role, including that of Priyanka’s sister.


  19. This is such an honest observation IHM. I totally agree with you that though we want our kids to support us when we grow old but the foremost responsibility of once care is in once hands.

    As far as returning money is concerned a friend of mine follows a simple principle. She puts the money in an FD in her parents name if they are not ready to take the money back!!!

    I find that a simpler solution, nahin?

    Me – I feel that is a good idea Smita! And I totally agree, the foremost responsibility s one’s own.


  20. Baghban was a very good movie with a strong message.
    I echo your thoughts.It is the moral responsiblity of each and every children to take care of there parents at there older stage(as they taken care of them when they were kids).
    Now a days many insurance companies are providing pension plans and all,i guess everyone should make use of it.So that atleast they will get some financial indipendence.
    Very very relavent post

    P.S My grand father was also one wise fellow.In his will he wrote that(it was almost 20-25 years ago),his children can sell the property only after his death 😀 .


  21. Very true. There was a time when children considered it their duty to take care of their parents. Today neither the parents nor children think this way. So it is as much our duty to ourselves to plan for our old age as it is to educate our children and help them to stand on their own legs.


  22. IHM, I did love Baghban.

    But then the way you’ve turned the concept on its head is simply astounding. I mean, when I first came to your blog – it all seemed so sexist (the other way, I mean) but you do have a logical point in all your arguments which are so compelling that I can’t ignore them.

    But you know, there are a few things that regardless of logic, we (Indians) still do best like caring for parents in their oldage, kids living with their parents for far longer than in the west etc. These customs might have there inherent flaws which can be dissected with logic, but I still like them.

    I understand your justification that at times, this mentality seems to be biased in favour of the boy child and so we have a skewed boy girl ratio and all. But I’d still like to see more kids take care of their parents. Not to suggest that parents shouldn’t plan and depend on their kids but just that regardless of whether parents plan or not, kids ought to be there for them. And now, I mean both kids – sons as well as daughters.

    In that sense, Baghban was probably right. I mean, yes it would’ve been awesome if they turned to a daughter but even the story of parents being ignored by their sons isn’t quite bad.

    I understand your logic but am not convinced of the solution. Again, Maybe I’m still biased (conditioned) to think that way.


    • Rakesh I feel what most of us Indians think about the West regarding this issue needs to go for a makeover 😛 I am surprised by the way old people enjoy their independence here. They still drive around, travel and do most of the things by themselves. They even baby sit their grandchildren. The only thing different is that they don’t stay in their children’s house like we do in India. I am not saying if this is good or bad coz I have seen old people in India live a miserable life with their kids who accommodate them reluctantly for fear of the society etc.

      I cannot argue which custom is better but strongly believe that any custom where both the parents and children are comfortable; and more important the old parents don’t have to wake up every single day wishing it to be their last day can be termed as a Good Custom and something to be proud of 🙂

      Me – !! Well Said Sakshi!! I feel this too.


      • Sakshi, I completely understand your point but if there are a few ill treated parents, there are 100s who are treated really well by their children and grand children. I don’t think we can only be seeing one side – that of the miserable parents with their arrogant kids. There are lovely joint families as well and I’ve seen these where parents, kids and grand kids live together happily. Thats why I’m saying, I understand all your logics but I am reluctant to let go of this happy joint family thing.


        • I fully understand what you are saying Rakesh coz I come from a joint family where 5 generations stay under one roof and had a happy joyful life 😛

          It’s just that when I see the old people in some family back in India whose life is restricted to morning and evening walks, looking after grandchildren and have no say in family matters etc gives me the creeps. If I had my way I would love to spend my old age being more adventurous and do things which I never got to do in my younger days 😉


        • Sakshi you’d love to spend your old age being adventurous and staying by yourself, not necessarily everyone would like to do that.


  23. My mother taught us very early on that human mind can do unimaginable things for money, so don’t ever test a relationship with it. Keep your relationships separate, no matter how nice you feel the other person is or how much love you have in that relationship, never mingle it with a financial arrangement where one party becomes responsible for the other. She is retired, dad is no more and she is doing wonderfully, no one ever has to pay for her medical treatments or her travel to US to meet me. My dad never discussed any finances with her, it was like a black hole but she didn’t just stay action less thinking, it must be all good, my kids will take care. She took charge and made sure she has a comfy old age and in turn her kids are worry free too!
    I am so proud of my mom.

    Me – Sandhya I agree with your mom, she sounds like an amazing person, you are lucky to have such a strong willed mother.


  24. Great points IHM. It is very important that parents save for their retirement. There is no point hoping that children will take care of them, as human minds change any time. Also in this society, parents (or for that matter any individual) seem to get respect mostly when they are self sustained.

    And it is important that woman should be well aware of family finances.

    When my husband and I were discussing making a will to take care of child custody and other financials, my parents were initially like why are you thinking about it at this age. I think there is still hesitance in discussing money matters and legalities in our society. I think being open and practical is very important.


  25. The world has changed so much, that ppl shld save for their retirement life. There is no point in being dependent, spending all the earnings on the off-springs, thinking they’ll take care in later years. Its not happening now-a-days and its always better to stay on their own, during old age.

    But, that doesn’t mean that the kids shld be insensitive to their parents’ needs. While the parents have sacrificed so much to bring up kids, the kids shld naturally think of taking care of parents. This shld not be forced on them.

    Whether its a son or a daughter, the responsibility to take care of the parents, is the same. I remember, at this juncture, my dad’s words – “My eldest daughter (ME), is a son to me, I’ve never felt that I need a son, when she is there.” Those words are surely in praise from a proud father, but I am happy that I’ve been able to support, in whatever way I can.

    Retirement can also be associated with fun and a time to enjoy with the loved ones.


  26. Interesting. Me too when I saw the movie I thought it was stupid what he did, this raj malhotra. I thought that these sons of his have no backbone, they can’t even stand on their own feet. That is another retrograde thing our films show. That a father who gives to his grown up children is something of a hero and a martyr. Thats wrong. His grown up children should be standing on their own feet.

    Me – I totally agree Nita.


  27. Every society keeps changing and evolving… Earlier with only one member of the family earning, there was clear demarcation of responsibilities and hence chances are that others may know what was happening but have never done that themselves. So, they were inter-dependent. So during old age, they needed someone support.

    Today, times are changing. today the division of responsibility is done based on available time than knowledge. So, today people can actually plan for their future and be independent and ENJOY OLD AGE.


  28. nice post, IHM…everyone shud plan their retirement, doesn’t matter if they have son(s) or daughter(s)…not that family wont be there to support them when they need, but just to be on the safe side…

    Me – It’s so simple if we just accept this!


  29. It’s nice to be optimistic about the future and believe that the kids would take care of you when you grow old, but it’s not good to be overly optimistic either. Nobody knows the future and it’s in everybody’s best interests to secure their future. It’s important to be self-sufficient. If the kids take care of you when you’re old, nothing like it. If not, it’s a good thing you don’t have to depend on them.

    It’s true that it’s the children’s moral responsibility to take care of parents, but it’s also true that one is responsible for one’s own future. What is sad and lamentable these days is that children don’t even want to help their parents when in need if not take full responsibility.

    When I watched Baghban I thought the movie exaggerated facts a little too much. Nevertheless it was a great concept and an eye-opener for many.

    Me – Manasa I feel the movie said nothing about the mother becoming self reliant, what would she do if Raj Malhotra died before her? She hasn’t even been shown to have any friends or hobbies!


  30. Ok, if you made Baghban, would that still have Salman ???? Oh but please, no Amitabh ! sick of seeing him on screen these days ! 😀 😀 😀

    Nice thoughts, but as usual, everyone up above has already written enough ! 😀


  31. I’ve found the logic suspect that claims that because parents take care of their children, the children must take care of their parents.

    Such a trade is backward looking and doesn’t reflect the realities of the way things work. The real way to look at it is:

    My parents looked after me, therefore I must look after my own children in the same way that I was cared for as a child.

    This is propagative responsibility and makes better sense. My parents didn’t take care of me out of the goodness of their heart. They made a choice to birth me, and it was their duty to look after me!

    I love my parents but no, I’m not particularly grateful to them for giving me all I needed to function in society. I expected nothing less than that as my rightful due since they chose to bring me here in the first place.


    • Well, I like what Bhagwad says. “My parents looked after me, therefore I must look after my own children in the same way that I was cared for as a child.” Yes that’s the way I see it. Its not like ‘let me have a couple of children so that I can have a care-free old age.’ How selfish that seems. Looking after children is the duty of parents, they are not old-age insurance!


  32. Old age is certainly scary, IHM. I cannot imagine a time would come when I would be unable to help myself!! Truly scary! Thanks for this post. I need to do some homework now.


  33. There have been umpteen movies made on the similar theme before ( parents work hard to educate the kids.. the son goes to the city, marries a rich girl and never comes back)..
    But in the end, the mom-dad forgive and forget kyunki maaph karna toh buzurgoan ka kartavya hain …
    Especially the mom coz koi ma apne bache se kafha reh sakthi hain kya

    Talking about Baghban, I liked the end …
    Coz the way Hema malini ignores her sons in the award ceremony – that itself was big step in bollywood I guess


    • Hey! can you name some of the other movies that have been made on this topic…

      I just want to see how different directors might have illustrated this issue on film, thanks!

      Me – There was an old movie with Dharmendra, Waheeda Rehman, Jaya Bhaduri and Vijay Arora. The movie shows it isn’t good for a mother to be too dependent on the child, the movie also shows the insecurity and discomfort of the spouse when the mother is always there to do everything for the child… It has that song, “Poonam ki yaari pyari raat, aaj tu mat jaana”. The same movie also shows how impossible it is for a man to marry a woman richer than himself. I saw it a long time ago and found it biased, because what they have shown is that a girl’s mother shouldn’t be close to her child, and a rich girl must live in poverty if she loves a poor guy, or else he might be called a joru ka gulam…


  34. Oh yeah! People should keep aside money for their retirement. My parents are still working. Even my in-laws are self reliant. My husband has joint savings with them but they dont touch it! Infact my father-in-law still gives tuitions at 75 and is independant. Its really necessary to plan for the future. I hope we do a good job of it.


  35. Great post, yet again 🙂 No doubt I am in agreement with your point of views. I can never understand how some people are still dependent on their parents at an old age. Independence bhi koi naam ki cheez hai 😀 Why not set a great example for the future generations?


  36. A very nice post, and in fact something we see around us always.

    I believe Old age should be enjoyed, as they have worked their lives, and now you should reap the harvest of all your hard labour. But, its sad to see when wills are made that the surviving partner( usually the wife) is expected to live with one of the children.. and not on their own terms.


  37. The comments before me have said it all, but I still want to say it again.

    Baghban would have been a lot better had they shown the parents to be a little more practical-and a girl supporting them would have been far better.

    Being parents of girls we are planning in a way that we do not need to seek support from them-but why should parents of sons not plan just as well. As you said-we girls have an equal right to support our parents-but have to face so many issues in giving to them, just has they have so many issues taking anything from us. When will our society grow up?

    Me – Hypermom if parents of sons also start planning for their old age, soon we will have no cases of sex selective foeticide. I think those who have daughters must make sure the girl knows that along with all her duties she has some rights too, and one of them is sharing of responsibility in a relationship. I have seen girls who are not feeling guilty or apologetic about their rights become confident and they take sensible decisions.


  38. Such a relevant post, and something that I have to/must ponder on in the near future having reached the 40 mark! I hope and pray for our old age IHM, but that alone is not enough I know! being stuck in the currency of events we tend to forget to plan but ur post has rung an alarm bell! Thank so much!!!!


  39. I wish people would stop assuming that their parents’ money is theirs and parents should stop saving for their children…Haven’t they done enough by feeding, clothing and educating them?

    Parents should live their lives to the fullest and do what they want to with their hard earned money…It’s their after all, not their children’s…

    Me – I am on your blog right now 🙂


  40. The movie showed that the parents knew their responsibilities towards their children, but they didn’t know their responsibilities towards themselves. It showed their lack of planning their own lives. There’s a lot to take from this movie.

    This is a reply to your reply on my comment. I’m on my phone right now, so I guess this is going to appear at the end.


  41. Very relevant and thought provoking post. In today’s world where old and sick parents are thrown out of the house or are dumped into some old age home it is very much necessary that we keep something for ourselves…keeping in mind the attitude of the younger generation.


  42. The necessity to save for one’s old age has been slowly getting acknowledged in our society. Earlier children were expected to take care of parents, but those who are financially well-off want to live without depending even on their children. See what HDFC pension plan ads convey. However, those who can’t save much are still at the mercy of their children. In such cases, sons and daughters have equal responsibility. But our society is keen on cutting off daughters from the family once they are married.
    Nothing is more foolish than transferring all the wealth to children during one’s lifetime.


  43. She lost her own mother at 5. Her father never remarried, out of concerns for subjecting his kids to a step relationship in the 20’s and 30’s, encouraged her to study, even offering to look after his grandson aged 1, when an opportunity arose for her to go to Columbia Univ in 1948, along with her husband.

    He husband’s family had different ideas, and while they enjoyed her capabilities , they never stood up for her. To them , daughters went away, and signed away their share , and that too politely.

    She was often more practical about finances.

    She had 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter. The latter was always treated as a third son . All these children are married and well settled in life. All except the daughter are abroad.

    A few years after she became 70, she asked her daughter’s help in organizing some of the family’s important papers. Her husband was more of a litereray type and left these things to her. That was a sort of training the daughter got . Just observing how additional names were added to holdings, made it clear, that sons and daughters were absolute equals regardless of where they stayed and how much contact was possible. Everyone was responsible in their own way.

    Needless to say, the daughter was the caretaker, healthwise, for her parents in their last days and months , first the mother, and six years later , the father. She did it happily, and thought she was honored to be entrusted this. Life goes on, and if you are where help is required, you put your hand up and help. There were no discussions , acrimony or attitudes amongst the children later. Whenever there was something difficult to determine, the children gave the benefit of doubt to each other.

    A lifetime of observing and insistence on certain principles by parents ,teaches you a lot of things. Planning, a respect for work and money, and hardwork, regardless of sex. There is no quid pro quid here, about x looking after y, because y looked after x. There are no cost benefit anaylses to be done.

    Like the mother often said, money doesnt just have “quantity”; it needs to have quality, else it has no value.

    I have never forgotten that. And hopefully, my children will not, either.


  44. Very relevant post, IHM.

    Financial independence is a must.

    Attitudes are slowly changing. A few years ago, my cousin’s dad got very upset because my cousin suggested that he make his will. It was said with the best intentions, but the father felt otherwise. Today, more people realise the importance of planning for these eventualities.

    I thought Baghban sucked. You should have made it. 🙂


    Quirky Indian


  45. Financial Independence is such an essential these days.

    For both children and their respective kids.

    I loved your take on this and I agree about Bhagbhan… I too did wonder why a person who works in a bank of all places, didn’t have financial security…
    Another thought provoking post! 🙂


  46. My sons saw Baghban without me – came back and told me it was not worth watching. Saw it recently. I agree that the base was weak. No one who works in a bank can have such less financial smarts. But what I loved was the way the father snubs the selfish kids in the end … instead of going weak and soft. Plus I loved the elderly romance between the two main characters.

    Would love to see your version IHM


  47. Loved your post. Especially since I was one of the few who did not find the movie all that great. Imagine, if they had planned for their future, everyone could have lived happily.
    Their children I am sure would have looked forward to their visits.

    I am not saying that children should not look after their parents. Of course, they should. But as children grow up and have their own children, loans to pay off and a million other essential expenses, it is quite hard on them to bear the expenses of parents as well. Imagine having to choose between depriving your child of higher education or your parent of healthcare!

    When my son was born, several of my husbands friends remarked “Now you don’t have to worry about the future, as the one who will take care of you has been born” or words to that effect. We looked at his tiny, frail little form and wondered, if that’s the reason why folks are so desperate to have sons. As retirement plans? The message of the movie should have been -your sons are not your pension plans. You have to make plans of your own.

    Me – I loved this question you asked… – “When my son was born, several of my husbands friends remarked “Now you don’t have to worry about the future, as the one who will take care of you has been born” or words to that effect. We looked at his tiny, frail little form and wondered, if that’s the reason why folks are so desperate to have sons. As retirement plans? “


    • I simply love what Dreamer has written! Sons as ‘retirement plans’ indeed!!

      “The message of the movie should have been -your sons are not your pension plans. You have to make plans of your own.”



  48. Fantastic post as always,IHM!

    The only thing I liked about Baghban is Amitabh Bachan’s acting and his crackling chemistry between Hema Malini. Aside that I just couldnt relate with it. I found it ridiculous that an educated person like Raj Malhotra living in today’s world would choose not to secure his future,instead would deem it fit to spend all his savings on his children. How ironic is that that the person was an employee of ICICI,who leaves no stone unturned to tell people about their insurance schemes and retirement benefits regularly. Strange its own employee doesnt feel the need for such schemes 😀

    you know,my husband and I have such discussions regularly.We feel,just as we want to do everything in our power to make sure our daughter is self-reliant and her future is secure its as important that we have a secure old-age.

    Our funda is simple-we work towards a secure old-age,’cos that makes our child’s future secure too. Tomorrow if something happens to one of us,we dont want to load ourselves on our daughter and make her shell out her savings on us. Not because she is our daughter.If we had had a son,we would have done planned for our future in the same manner.

    Oh yes we want to have fun too,go on a cruise,workout at the gym,indulge in a spa,etc etc. 😀


  49. As usual a thought provoking post IHM . Your child’s gender should have nothing to do with whether you decide to plan for your retirement and old age or not.One should go ahead and plan anyways..financial dependence shouldn’t be there whether its parents on children or vice-versa People view sons as a passport to a secure old age..Surprisingly people I know have always said its their daughters who took better care when they most needed it !!In your old age, money is not all that’ll see you through you also need warmth, patience and a pair of ears, which women are more likely to provide..:)
    Baghbaan could have seriously done with changes in the storyline.The sons were such spineless fellows !!


  50. I have seen granny’s & granpa’s who were not taken care of by sons and left to daughters even though sons were well to do, that after the parents gave everything away… !! So I understand this..

    and by no ways m I doing social work after retirement… I and biwi plan to have a lot more fun … for sure 😛


  51. parents who have only daughters seem to plan better for their old age, which seems to indicate that sometimes the expectation of living with sons prevents parents from planning
    yes… this attitude still rests with so many parents… who think sons are the vehicles to depend on during their old age. and i have seen countless cases where they have been shaken out of their stupor when their daughter(s) end up supporting them more than their sons ever will. when will our society learn?? 😐


  52. As long as sacrifice is such a sweet word and expected of parents such things as happens in the movie will take place. Parents have to be practical and live within their means even when it comes to spending on their children. They have to keep aside for their old age too, not expect the children to take care of them. What is theirs does not belong to the children unless and until after their death and if they have willed it to them. Bringing up the children and helping them to stand on their own feet as best as they can do within their means is only what parenting is about. But then Bollywood and our ‘traditions’ and ‘culture’ demands sacrifice and martyrdom from parents (for that matter even kids, women et al) far beyond their capabilities!
    I did not let such foolish notions enter my head. I have always let my children know what we can and cannot afford. though my husband is more the ‘let’s buy it for them’ kind. When my son wanted to do MS in US, after engineering, I made sure he knew that it was beyond our means to fully finance his education and that he was welcome to go on a scholarship or after working some years and saving a bit. I have never made impractical promises to them, nor expect the same from them.
    The funny part is a friend of mine asking me about how much my son earns now and how he manages his finance. When I told her that it is none of my business, she advised me that I should not ‘leave him so free’ that I should insist that he spend on me or send me money as I have brought him up. Oh yeah, she thinks its barter system!! I have brought him up and now that he is dong well I demand my pound of flesh. How ‘matlabi’ some parents are!! Bollywood films and aam janta repeat about how one can never repay the love of parents, but some parents do try hard to take repayment for that ‘unlimited sea of love’! 😛 Isn’t that why they try to get maximum dowry for their sons??!!!

    As for Baghban, what I liked about the movie as someone has already said was the way the parents ignored the ungrateful children at the end, the mother too, instead of simpering and going all sentimental about maa and her love and blah blah blah.

    Me – Shail I can only agree wholeheartedly!


  53. By the way, in our community parents are not the responsibility of sons alone. And there is no stigma attached if parents stay with daughters or if daughters help them. Unfortunately, this is changing what with the influence of movies and serials!!


  54. Yes IHM, that is a very sensible thing to be shown in movies… and it should be shown…

    But I think they tried to show the reality and the ideal….that is why. The ideal needs to be stressed in Bhagban 2 🙂


  55. A very convincing post on the need to be financially independent … and yes, revisiting Baghban sure did help put things in perspective. I agree with what you have said.

    At the macro level, India has changed from a primarily agricultural economy/ joint family/ many children – to an industrial/ information economy and nuclear families with fewer children only in the last few decades – a generation ago probably, for most of the urban dwellers. What you speak about are the changes that need to accompany this change in our basic style of life and living. In the west this happened in the late 18th/ early 19th century – it is happening now in India because we had missed the industrial revolution (and nuclear families), due to foreign rule. Changing the mindset is a process that has been set in motion only recently and every such process that involves changing mindsets takes three generations – so I anticipate that my kids generation would be different, as I can already see from the comments of the people of that age group. They would be more pragmatic/ practical, in the modern sense.

    We are approaching our retirement and our kids are settled abroad – one daughter and one son – we have told them to look after themselves and we have enough for us – which of course will be inherited by them when we both die. We also plan to start living for ourselves and do things that we always wanted to do but for which we never had the time or the resources when we were younger.


  56. IHM:Every word you said seems so right and sensible. And yet so many parents forget to think about themselves and plan for future. And as for girls taking care of parents, I can see, in so many families, it is still so much a taboo. In some cases, the parents do not want to accept any favors from girls, in some cases the husband and his family don’t take it so positively.
    I have seen both scenario happening. I am concerned about my parents and their future. And so I had to force them to sit and think about it and plan for it appropriately. Not that I doubt my brother, but I would still want my parents to have that financially relaxed state of mind. And because they would not accept any cash or help from me, so I am putting some money aside for them as a FD every month, which they can have access anytime.
    I just hope more and more parents get this message and work on it.


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  58. I think one of the basic reasons behind all these problems is the culture of passing on property to kids in Indian society. Every kid automatically expects his or her share of property and even parents feel they have leave all the stuff to their kids. I say why? It should be that parents make the kids self sufficient by educating them and that should be it. IF they feel they want to leave property for kids, they can. otherwise no need no compulsion.


  59. Excellent post, IHM, excellent! I agree! I keep telling the MIM to plan for our old age and to not expect anything from our sons. He just doesn’t get it, because his dad looked after his parents and noe he and his brother are looking after their parents. The MIM expects our boys to do the same. I tell him things may not be the same…we should be prepared.

    Whatever our boys give us, will be because they want to give it to us, not because they feel obligated to.

    That’s the way I look at it. And yes, daughters also have a responsibility towards their parents. My brother lives in the States. I made my parents move from Bangalore to be near me just so that it could be easier to keep an eye on them.


  60. When I watched Baghban, I actually wished that they could have showed at least a daughter and her taking care of parents. Just to make it a point that a girl taking care of her parents is not wrong or against norms.

    The movie was artificial to the core with designer suits and sarees. I think ‘Avatar’ a movie of 80s was much better. The thing is none of these movies have girls and even if they have then she is shown as a dependent who can’t do a thing for her parents.

    The fact remains that people should save for old age but before that I wish there comes some movies where they show girls sharing equal responsibility and taking care of her parents.


  61. Watched Baghban many years back and I remember feeling sad and angry.. but I never thought that the film was incomplete until you pointed it out..

    but it is not as you very well said… most parents live their lives for their children or live without proper planning and by the time they reach their old age they are forced to depend on the children who may or may not help them..

    Guess it is best to give your children the right education (and as affordable) and then let them build their lives from there.. nd it is prudent for every parent to plan for their retirement…

    Me – In Baghban Ravi Malhotra actually called his four sons his bank balance. 😦


  62. Hey, interesting blog; I just chanced upon it. I would really like to encourage you and all readers to share thoughts on planning for old age – a thought expressed fleetingly in your comments about ‘Baghban’.
    I love the Indian system of family looking out for family, but it was perhaps more practical when life-spans were shorter. Today, I see friends who are 60, and have cancer, having to take care of parents who are 85, and are essentially unable to take care of themselves. Here, I seriously think the govt. needs to step in with some social planning for more retirement homes with nursing care etc. This is a reality as modern medicine reaches us before social security is planned for.
    But the converse part is the older person who is relatively healthy, but does not know what to do with their life; who are hoping to be taken care of, who think life is over before it is over. How can we prevent becoming that way? What should we plan for? What ways to combat loneliness (esp. after spouse passes), boredom, and depression (which probably goes unrecognized)?


  63. I haven’t watched this movie, but I agree with your sentiments that people should plan adequately so that they can spend their “golden” years with respect and dignity.

    Not just financials, but otherwise too. I see so many women giving up everything for their children, even big children (men in their mid-late 20s!). This is particularly seen with boys. Once these children get married, these women have no clue what to do with their lives.

    They end up being too dependent on their sons for everything and it causes issues in the family balance.

    Somewhere, we all need to let go of our children when the time comes!


  64. I agree with you whole-heartedly on the point about girl child taking responsibility. My parents provided me a costly education, so that I can be self-reliant and hence, I am no less than a son.
    I once told my mom that after marriage, I wish to stay with both sets of parents – my husband’s as well as mine. She told me that though she would love it very much (since I am the only child), it might not work out, especially in the Indian social fabric.
    I have a good mind to discuss this point with whoever I end up marrying, but I really really wish that he and his family agree to it.

    Me – Logically speaking there is no reason to disagree… and thankfully this is becoming quite common too. We are moving to another city, and our neighbours who have only one child, a son, have requested us to rent our house to their daughter in law and her parents. Their son is going abroad. I was amazed and impressed. The daughter in law has a brother settled abroad. If they stay in houses right next to each other- they have all the support and still everybody has their personal space. I thought this was a great idea.

    I know many other such families too, I feel this should be non negotiable. If a man cares for his own parents, he must understand that you too care for yours.


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  69. i am one of 4 daughters. and i so agree with you on parents of daughters planning better. my parents (77&70 years of age), don’t depend on us for a pie. they are not rich, but they are well set because my dad planned their finances so well.
    all around i see uncles and aunts, who had a better start, ending up in miserable situations.
    so, so, so important!
    nice post IHM.

    Me – Thank You UmmON, if parents stop seeing daughters as ‘paraya dhan’ and sons as ‘budhape ka sahara’ and plan for old age instead of demanding that their male child’s spouse forgets her own parents and serves his parents …half the problems in our society would be over 😦


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  72. Hoping that IHM will defend to death my right to speak though she may disapprove of what I have to say.

    Just a generic question that begs to be answered and an opinion not targeted at anyone in particular.

    I would like to begin by saying that It’s good to see women who are ready to shoulder their parents responsibities and offer them help in times of need.

    However, I would like to ask a burning question:

    Why do the beautiful emotions that some women may have for their parents disappear when the husband chooses to show love, care and affection for his parents?

    Why do some women who believe in being filial daughters to their own parents (yes, it’s really appreciable) turn into unconcerned daughters-in-law (even if the parents-in-law are genuiny nice) who strongly believe that the husband’s parents are burdening their sons with unreasonable & mean expectations?

    I would also like to add that Baghban (one of the most beautiful Bollywood movies ever made) is not just about shouldering the financial responsibilies of the parents but it’s more to do with reciprocrating the love & respect that the parents bestowed on their children and will continue to do so.

    Why do adult offspring shirk their responsibilies towards their parents (when these adult children know that the time has finally arrived) under the guise of having the right & liberty to live their own dreams & lives as independent adult individuals & going a step further by claiming that the parents’ love is only an one-sided responsibility & commitment?

    A poignant scene from BAGHBAN which refuses to evade my memory even after all these years (partly because I have seen this movie umpteen times with tear filled eyes) deserves a mention in my post:

    The son (played by Aman Kapoor) reaches home from his office seething with fury because of a visit paid by his mother (played by Hema Malini) to his office earlier during the day (however, he doesn’t meet her because he falsely assumes that his mother is there to talk about petty issues).
    The mother is moved to tears (which she smothers) when she is harshly confronted by her own son in the presence of his wife (played by Suman Ranganathan).

    It’s then that the mother offers an expanation and says that she visited him out of motherly love & affection. She states that she had fondly cooked Halwa (an Indian dessert) for her son as she has done all her life without a miss on all his birthdays (a dessert that the son too relishes). She woke up early this morning to cook the dessert for him but since he left for his office; she went to his office, out of her beautiful motherly love, so that he can have a bite as he loved the pudding and always had it on all his birthday mornings.
    The son feels ashamed (only slightly; for a few seconds) but his wife seeing it as event that might evoke sentiments of love & care in her husband’s heart for his mother is quick to respond with a heavy melodramatic act of hers (this is when she is not even being and has never been targeted by the innocent mother-in-law). She wails loudly accusing the mother. She blames her MIL for foiling her plans of throwing up a surprise that she had planned for her husband’s birthday (though the wife never had any such plans; she merely cooked it up as an excuse to cash-in on the the situation as shown in the movie). She screams & shouts at her MIL & humiliates her by saying that his mother wants to show that she is the only one concerned about her son (the mother never had any such intent as it has been clearly depicted in the movie).

    The husband immediately sides with his wife (who actually is the one adding fuel to fire) without showing any regard for the intense love that his mother has for him and retorts:

    Just see what have you done; you made my poor wife cry.

    The mother who’s terribly hurt now asks her son (still softly; her composure is unbelievable taking into account the way she has just been humiliated by her own son & DIL for no fault of hers): ‘

    ‘You can easily see the tears in your wife’s eyes but you can’t see any tears/any pain/ any love in your mother’s eyes?’

    With great pain , she adds ‘You seem to have forgotten that I am your mother but I will always remember that you are my son’

    Having said that, the mother retires to her bedroom and silently sobs behind the closed door.



  73. Bollywood goes out of it’s way to show loving a married child’s could lead to breaking her marriage… only if it is a girl child.

    How would you see this scene from ‘Phagun’ (1973) if Waheeda Rehman was the husband’s mother and not Jaya Bhaduri’s?


  74. i personally never understood baghban. Probably the answer the answer lies the way bollywood movies are dealt with- pure good and pure evil are the essential characters. here the 4 sons are pure evil, dont care about their parents and blah… and then there is this foster son, who is an epitome od goodness, the ideal ‘putra’.
    my question is, the four sons were raised by a ‘fulltime’ mom, and an equally ‘able’ and ‘oh-so-awesome’ father and they turn out to be like this. on the other hand, the kid only supervised and financially supported (assuming paid less attention to than their own children’ turn out to be good. WHOSE FAULT IS THIS EXACTLY?? if we go by the popular and traditional way of ‘ma-baap’ ke sanskar.
    i couldn’t appreciate this movie all the more, because i had already seen a beautiful movie ‘TU TITHE MI’ (marathi) based on similar lines.. but here the focus was, how the children fail to understand the emotional needs of their aging parents. with a similar climax, in the letter written by the parents to their sons, it goes ‘tumhi mule changli ahat, pan tevdha purese nahi, tyanni samjutdarhi asava lagta,.. roughly translated to ‘ you kids are good, but that is not enough, you need to be sensible and sensitive also….’
    here ecveryone is bound by circumstances and fail to understand their parents, thinking only about their convenience, but nowhere it cones across that they are evil…
    baghban gets a total thumbs down here


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  76. I soo agree with you. My parents have, well I won’t say everything sorted, but they are in a position to live the rest of there lives without depending on any of there kids. N they do have a son. But my in-laws seem to have just done one thing, educated there sons. N now the whole drama is in full play. What they don’t realise or never thought about was the fact that we may have our own responsibilities and burdens to bear.


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  78. Pingback: If u r doing good to ur parents-in-law then ur own parents r being treated good by ur brother’s wife.. Its a ‘Chain’. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  80. This is just a brilliant post!!!!!! I hated that movie and how helpless it made them look like….that single line about parents having girls somehow planning better for the future….that just struck a chord. My parents have planned and saved for their future brilliantly while my in-laws keep saying how they will have to extend a hand to us for help….my FIL was in a big position in a private company and my husband is an only son. Yet they say this and look at me dolefully everytime and my MIL has to weep about no money. While her lockers are full of thick gold chains and they have so much property! Its the problem of just never needing to even think about being alone…..


  81. Hi Sakshi,

    Very true, Infact I loved the last part of the post highlighting the fact that old age should not be associated with social service. However, I feel its the mentality of Indian youth that considers that in old age their parents or grandparents should go to temples, make donations, do social service. I sincerely wish that Indian youth should read this post and instead of sending their parents to char dhaam yatra they should send them for a vacation to a cozy place. I blog at thegoldenyearsoflife.wordpress.com. Do visit the posts and share your thoughts, would love to read it.



  82. Pingback: “You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  83. Nice to read this. I have not been able to find out the name of the author.

    Decades back, as a child, I came across a short story in hindi titled RAGHUNATH KA DHAN. It is, I think, the best of the “baghban type” stories. Can any one tell me who wrote it? I have not found anythng cout it in the Internet.


  84. Pingback: “My Mil never likes to cook. They have maid at home who does most of the cooking cleaning stuff.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  85. Pingback: ‘Older people in our society need to learn to have a life of their own. Instead of seeking happiness in their kids’ lives, …’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  86. Pingback: An Open letter from every Indian Mother-in-law? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  87. Pingback: ‘I am attempting to find answers but I will need help from you Indian homemaker and readers alike.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  88. You are wrong on three counts. Till 20 years back economic conditions were not such that a person could take care of the family and still ensure sufficient income for the old-age. This is a recent phenomenon. Also it is fine for parents to not to be dependent on children – an admirable sentiment. But this argument does not absolve the selfishness of children. The movie was about self-centered and selfish children – no doubt on it. My parents were independent but I was always around to take care as and when needed. It was a natural humane gesture. Also why this sense of dignity be taught to parents. Every individual should be dignified and which means he/she should be emotionally and financially independent – be it husband, wife or a child above 18 years. This concept of maintenance that legally prevails in India should also be challenged.



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