From A Landlord to Homeless
This is not fiction and my blog is not being posted for sympathy but for genuine help.
I am a member of Inner Wheel Blossoms Trivandrum and today we had a medical camp project at Devaki Memorial Trust, accommodating patients who come for cancer treatment at Regional Cancer Institute, Trivandrum. The medical camp was for the by-standees of the patients.
As the by-standees joined us for the check-up, a frail, quite elderly aunty politely refused a chair to sit. She said they are from Palakkad and are here for her husband's psychiatric treatment and also had a cast to join a hand fracture. The pharmacies are refusing to sell her medicines as the prescription is more than a year old and were here to see if our team of doctors could help with a new prescription.
I ushered her to one of our panel members but was wondering why they are in Trivandrum ... I got talking to Padmini aunty of the shelter who said, they are here not for cancer treatment.
They are here because their son ABANDONED them in Trivandrum a month back.
Here is there story, put together as narrated by 82 year old Mr. R.C Menon (Ramachandran Menon), H/O Leela Menon and S/O Unni Anniyan Raja... they hail from Calicut but for generations have been in Kopam, Palakkad.
Born in 1930, Mr. R. C Menon joined Air Force. After four years of service, his father who was a powerful landlord with endless paddy fields called his son back from service. Menon uncle completed his BSc while helping his dad, got married. Got blessed with a son, Remesh and daughter Rema.
His eyes lit up when he narrates how he encouraged his daughter to study beyond graduation but she wanted to get married. He married her off with all wealth given to an only daughter and today she is settled in Pudhupariyarum, Palakkad after her husband retired from Forest Office as Range Officer, Nilambur.
His son did not proceed beyond Std 10th. He grew up to be his destiny to being a homeless today. According to Menon uncle, he says his son is a loafer (sic). He says his son's careless attitude made him a mental patient and is today under treatment. Leela aunty said they had to sell of their property to treat uncle’s severe depression. Her eyes are grey and dilated as any 72 year old. It moves to see those eyes well up and voice trail as she says we were very well off once.
After selling all their property, they moved from Palakkad to Guruvayoor and stayed there for 10 years. When living got tough, they approached Chemmanur Bobby to ask if they could be accommodated at his poor home in Chennai. They were taken to Chennai and stayed there till Menon uncle fractured his arm two months back. When their son heard they are in a good place, knew they might have money to spare and promised to take care of them. He brought them to Trivandrum Medical College, a month back.
The 82 year old uncle and 73 year old aunty were evicted from their hotel room when their son absconded. The homeless couple had nowhere to go but to Medical College police station. They had only one request: not to separate them when putting them into poor homes.
Padmini aunty of Devaki shelter said they cannot keep Menon uncle and Leela aunty for more time here as its to house cancer treatment patients and bystanders. I asked uncle and aunty where they want to go. Their eyes welled up when pleading NOT to send them to their daughter's place. Their relatives have ignored them. They have relatives all over Calicut, Palakkad region. Uncle's treatment is with Dr. Jyothi K.S of Medical College, Trichur.
Hence, both of them want to go back to where they feel safe… not Palakkad but Trichur.
My soul shook as I heard of this cancer of abandoning aged parents by their children. Aunty's frail frame is determined to support her husband, who still holds his head high and speaks impeccable English.
My quest has begun: to find an old aged home in Trichur. To see their remaining few years are spend with dignity and see a quiet sunset to their life. Even if it takes numerous phone calls or even visits, with a little help from anyone of you with details of such old age homes.
I got their daughter, Rema's phone number but she never answers any call I made. I spoke to uncle’s Dr, who confirmed all the details but asked me to call him again on Monday. Aunty's frail body shook in deep sobs that were held back as we got up to leave. They did not want to let go of my hand.... esp. after we came to know Kozhipuam, Vappala, Pannikode families of mine were closely related to Uncle's family - Kunnath of Calicut and aunty’s who knows many in Ottapalam, my native place.
I am mentioning the family names here not to flaunt them but to see if any reader of this page would know even a nano detail about uncle and aunty.
They will not be send out of Devaki shelter till their desired old aged home is found in Trichur, confirmed Padmini aunty. I will visit them ever week.
Please dislike any of your friends who are not taking care of their aged parents and are living a cushion life. Please distance those who ignore the frail hands that once held theirs while crossing roads or feeding them. This is a new type of cancer – abandoning aged parents. My fight against it begins today….