27 February, 2021

Make A New Family In Autumn

Aging parents of NRIs form support groups to make friends and influence people

Make A New Family In Autumn
When doctors advised Pune-based Usha Rairikar a major surgery in 2004, the retired Class-I officer, living alone and on the wrong side of 80, firmly told both her US-settled children to stay put there. "Don't worry," she reiterated on the phone, hours before being wheeled into the operating theatre. "I'm in safe hands." During the ten days she spent in hospital, a caring presence by her bedside, a daily supply of home-cooked food and fresh flowers helped hasten the healing process. On the day she was discharged, a couple waited to take her home—not to her own home but theirs, where she convalesced for the next fortnight. Around the same time, 83-year-old Dr J.D. Parikh in Baroda, one of the last living students of Albert Einstein, was diagnosed with an incipient vocal chord cancer that left him temporarily speechless. The absence of his two sons, both of whom live in the United States, together with the prospect of entirely losing his voice, did initially fill him with anxiety. That was until he came upon a battery of helping hands to see them through this crisis. Over the next...

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