Your Parents showed you the World…. And in return you showed them the old age home…A Story by Kritika Sharma, HWCT Volunteer
During one of the many days of acting as a volunteer at HWCT, we visited an old age home at Khapoli, Maharashtra and nothing can ever make up for the smiles that greeted us. One of the brightest amongst them was of Pervez Mistry, Aged 68, a Parsi by caste, she could give the current generation a lesson on how to live everyday like there’s no tomorrow. She had the zeal for life that is seldom seen and, even at this age, wanted to do better for those around her. When one of us sat with her to listen to the story of how she ended up at an old age home, the smile with which she greeted us vanished and her eyes became watery. We knew what she was about to tell us could move a statue to tears.
Pervez and her husband were well recognized members of their society. They had a son and a daughter whom they had happily married off abroad. While her son went to his office, Pervez handled the household chores. The most important part of her day was when she ventured out with a lunchbox full of food to feed the stray dogs. It was the highlight of her day and she never missed it. Her love for animals outweighed her health, time or day, rain or storm. She loved spending time with the dogs and they loved her as much in return.
As and when she got old, her body couldn’t keep up with the spirit of her heart. She still managed, but barely. During this time, her husband passed away. With her son at office and husband gone, she turned to the dogs for company now and spent most of her time with them. But there was something else in store for her. In no time, did her son start complaining about the strays in his house and the ration that she was wasting in feeding all of them. He reprimanded her for it but she was not the one to listen. She continued doing it and never gave up. The verbal abuse increased with each passing day, till the fateful day when her own son, in the name of taking her to a dog shelter left her at the doors of this old age home and never came back. She says that she still remembers that day vividly but tries to keep that memory shut.
“She continues feeding the dogs here too and hasn’t missed a day”, tell the others.
It is to light up lives like these, making a difference but being spent in isolation, that HWCT makes it a point to visit them during festivals, on their birthdays and other occasions. With every smile that we give them, they give us innumerable lessons to take with us.