Free for all

Every day when I call up my father in the morning and ask what is he up to??
I get the same old reply “Nothing”. Guess he has mastered the art of doing nothing or at least he pretends to do so.  
My six year old often teases her Nanu( Maternal Grand father) by saying that Nanu knows nothing!!! Which he of course takes very sportingly.
He retired almost a decade back, and since then he has been constantly nagged and haunted by questions such as , ‘How does he pass his time?, what does he do the whole day? Must be having a very relaxed life?? etc. etc.
Though my mother is spared of such questionnaire sessions, as she is a home-maker and for the first time in her life, her work has been noticed and appreciated in comparison to her dear husband.
But talking about my father on the other hand, I really pity him at times. The word retirement has not gone well with him despite of the fact, that he now helps my mother in house-hold chores, pays monthly bills himself instead of any helper, gets up early morning to take his dog out for walks, maintaining his lawn and kitchen garden all by himself , putting clothes in the washing machine and many such other things, which he himself was not aware till his retirement.
But sitting free is different from being idle, ‘idle mind and body is devil’s workshop’ but a free mind and body are at peace, but nothing comes for free as everything comes with a price-tag. As now being free for him, according to his family, relatives, neighbours and friends means that he is available 24 hours of the day.
Yes very much like the phrase that ” Man is born free but he is in chains every where”, well who except from a retired official would understand it better, as being free now is more like in invisible chains for them.
The plight of a retiree can be understood by the fact that, soon people give them names such as “Vella” (free man doing nothing) or for that matter “Bechare” (poor man) as some even pity them , as they have retired.
The sympathy and concern of people at times goes over board and they associate your retirement with being ill, sick or not keeping well. They are surprised seeing you hale and hearty, more of a shock for them seeing a retired man healthy without any health issues.
Many times he is expected to attend meets and election rallies on the pretext of being a Vella, as he would be available at short notice and to swell crowds at public meetings. 
Why is retirement termed as ‘the end of road’ for the ones retiring . It is a beginning of new chapter in ones life, to see and feel new beginnings and experience something different. Retirement is a journey, not a destination. 
The retirement comes as a shock to many. Yes, it is the end of ones Service-years, but not the end of life and its’ responsibilities.
Then why does it comes as a shock to many, they consider it as a ‘doomsday’, some even start feeling depressed or sulk at the idea of impending retirement.
Though at very many places people enjoy and even celebrate the day of their retirement, but calling someone free or idle is not acceptable at all.
Those suggestions of taking up a part time job or feeling sorry or for that matter wasting your time over that extra cups of tea only because you have retired are unbearable. I fail to comprehend!! Do such kind of people derive sadistic pleasures by constantly reminding you of your retirement, as if it is a curse on you.
I have even seen people dreading their retirement to an extent that they never liked to disclose their retirement, as people would now put them in category of Vellas’, good for nothing ,free or sitting idle.
But is is very crucial to understand that those who have retired, have retired from work and not life, so please let us age with grace and panache , not regrets or others influence us in that way.
So, true are these lines : ” I promise to keep on living as though i expected to live forever. Nobody grows old merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.”
                                      -Douglas MacArthur.



learn and live :) I like to keep things simple and easy and that is what my writings reflect. A gypsy at heart my six year old keeps me leashed. I'm a blogger @mycityforkids, @womensweb,@yourstoryclub, @unboxedwriters,@polkasocial, @blogadda