It has been colder than expected in Delhi this winter. Normally after LOHRI cold starts waning but this time it is rather increasing. And that had FROZEN my thoughts too it seems as I have been absent for more than normal. Today I decided cold or no cold I have to tell you something which I have come across recently.
About 15 days ago an old gentleman, whom I used to see off and on while on morning walk with my dog, spoke to me. He said, “ Keeping a dog makes one go for walks regularly.” And that is how we got to know each other. Let me say he is Mr Nath. He is little more than 10 years elder to me but keeps fit by regular walks. He retired as a senior officer from central government and has been living in this area since it’s inception. Over next couple of meeting we got to know each other well. What I learnt really touched my heart.
He and his wife shifted here when this locality was developed. They have only one child, a son. He was brought up with lot of love but inculcating values also. He did well in studies and became a doctor specializing in medicine. He is in a reputed hospital as Head of Department. He was told that he could choose a girl of his choice for marriage but he left it to them to find his would be wife. They after a lot of search settled for a girl from a family well known to them. She after PhD was teaching in a reputed college. They insisted that boy and girl must meet before any decision was taken. On meeting both, the boy & girl, liked each other and consented. They were married about 12 years ago. They all were living together. It was about 6 months after marriage that girl started telling her husband that they should live separately. Their son did not agree and she went over to her parent’s place for delivery. She had twins, a boy and girl. But she did not return asking him to agree to her demand. When Mr Nath came to know of this he told his son that it would be wise to live separately for overall happiness and their grandchildren living with both parents. His son did not agree. So when this locality was developing he opted for a house here knowing that his son will not be keen to shift due to his job. On getting possession of house he and his wife shifted here. Soon after that their daughter in law joined her husband. Now it is almost 10 years that they are here. Their daughter in law had started asking them to shift back with them within a few months as she was unable to cope with two growing children as well as her job but he was firm that they would not as they started doing something for the society.
They run a teaching center in their house for students from economically weaker section where they help out students of all classes from 1st to 10th for revision of their lessons and doing home work outside school hours. The students are with them from 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening depending on which school shift they are in. They charge each student Rs 25 as he says that if anything is free people think it is not worth it. But the money they get is used to give books or stationary for needy ones or food to students who are with them during that time. They hardly go out on working days and even on week ends students keep coming to them for guidance. Their son & daughter in law visit them couple of times a month with children. Grandchildren stay with them on some week ends. But they visit their house very rarely.
I salute this couple who let themselves be denied of enjoying comfortable life in old age but living a principled life with doing something admirable.