Life sometimes hits us blank with some crude realities, proving the futility of, 'life' and its purposes.
It was a chance I happened to visit, ' Esha vasyam' an old age home run by Mrs. Lathika, who was proposed by prof.vijayalaksmi ( colleague) to be the guest.
Esha vasyam, houses thirty members all in their ripe of life.
The home located amidst the serenity of forest area, on neelakani road, some three to four Kms from GFGC, Sirsi.
The onset of summer was scorching. We left to meet Lathika, and invite her to be our guest.
Lathika was busy serving lunch and strictly ordering the members to eat the vegetables in the sambhar.
She greeted us and asked for a few minutes until she served.
Seeing us one after another the residents, started with ' Namasthe', like the kids would greet in kindergarten, and asked us to dine, and few just stared may be wondering why we are there. while a few just kept smiling. Namaste was head over and again, we politely returned the same and asked them to have their lunch. They ate like kids! .one couldn't take his food to his mouth, his hands trembled. Another was not happy with the vegetable!
Esha vasyam has few neatly furnished rooms with an attached bathroom. Each room is named after a flower. Mrs. Lathika an MA, MBA graduate, left behind her lucrative MNC career for ' Eshahome 'and is been managing it since eight years, all by herself.
Lathika's family visits her often, and her daughter expects lathika to handover the whole thing to someone and gets back to the family.
But, Lathika said," there is no going back, I know they miss me, but I cannot leave this, I believe I'm destined to serve". " And I'm happy and enjoy what I'm doing".
As we sat talking an octogenarian, a thin, short, soft-spoken woman mumbled, it's time to go home, had her son come to pick her.
Lathika asked her to rest a while and it is not yet time. The woman would come every few minutes and repeat the same, looking blankly towards the entrance.
It reminded me, the eventful day, I left my two-year girl in a cre'che, crying desperately to take her home.
Another woman stood watching us and as if she remembered something, she walked to her room, saying her legs are swollen, she doesn't want to stand anymore.
I was inquisitive and asked about her.
She was in NIMHANS ( mental illness hospital) Bangalore, for decades. All she remembers is her father's death, and she gets disturbed by the word man and marriage.
She is an MSc with a gold medal, who has lost her prime of life on sedatives. said Latikha.
What would have this woman been, if she was not here?
Each had a story. A saga untold, that would leave anyone disillusioned with 'life and it promises'.
They have none to embrace them in love nor do they have a warm home that awaits.
That is the criteria at 'Esha' they should have no " wealth" nor " family".
I don't want to call them destitute, as they are picked ( like a disposed waste) by someone on the roadsides.
These are "destituted" by those unworthy beings, who once were cowardly or flirtatious lovers or beloveds. selfish and mean children and someone, on whom these had pinned their love, hope, faith, dreams, beyond their own selves. The past is erased from their memory, that is what is believed.but these unfortunate ones are not that blessed. cruelty is, they remain haunted only with that brutal memory, that had consumed them. Their endless gaze towards the door.... don't know 'what' or 'who' it is waiting for...
'Esha vasyam'(the dwelling of God). I don't know if Esha (God) exists for these cursed souls, but for a few Messiah's.
About the Author: Rani Rathna Prabha K. V. is an Assistant Professor of English at Government First Grade College Sirsi, Karnataka. She's an alumnus of Bangalore University.