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.
[If you are not reading this at (https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/), then you are reading stolen content. The owner of the site you are on has stolen this article and is making money by you reading it. If this article interests you, please go to (https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/) to read it on its original site and do not return to this one. Thank you.]
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.