When Life is Like a Rose...

by Pearl D'Silva

Our childhood is bestowed with time and care from our loved ones though our pockets remain empty. In our middle age we run behind money but have no time for our loved ones and in our old age when we feel it’s time to relax, most of us fail to get love from family and are left deserted in an old age home.

Joint family system has faded today and given rise to old age homes. As we grow up we tend to forget the love our parents showered on us, love that made our lives so beautiful. We forget the sacrifices they made and we send them to an old age home because we are ashamed to keep them at our houses or we do not find time to take care of them. Sad, isn’t it?
As part of my Rashtrapati Puraskar programme, I was fortunate to serve for two months at an old age home when I was 13. Every day we had to spend 90 minutes in the morning with them helping the inmates with their daily chores and the last 30 minutes talking to them. I would sit a little while longer as I liked to listen to the stories they would narrate about their younger days.
During my service, I had the prejudice that they must have been from a poor family and that they were here today because their families did not have enough money to take care of their expenses.

But to my surprise, I learnt that at least 60% of them were from a strong financial background. They were admitted to the old age home because their families did not have time to take care of them. Out of the many people there, I noticed one old lady who was gazing at a rose in the garden. She was staring steadily at the rose when a tear rolled down from her wrinkled eye. When I  asked her why the flowers made her cry she said, “Human life is like this bright rose. Many people will come and glorify the newly-bloomed flower, but after a few days when its colours have faded, its petals withered and it cannot stand firm with its head held high, the same people will walk away without even heeding to its cry."

We then sat on a bench in the garden and she began to tell me her story. Forty years ago she got married and lived with her husband in a small village where they brought up seven wonderful kids. When the kids were going to school and the youngest one was just two years old her husband expired leaving behind his wife and the seven little children. Poverty struck the family as her husband had been the only bread winner. But she never gave up.

She got an opportunity to go to the Gulf and work for a better salary. Everyone told her that this was an opportunity God had given her and she must grab it without a second thought. But then she would have to leave her kids in a boarding school which she didn't want as the children did not have anybody other than her. She therefore chose to be with her kids.

She opened a small shop and managed to feed her kids and provide them with education. Her elder son got well settled abroad and took the other siblings to the Gulf and even got the younger sisters married. The mother stayed back in the village.Years passed by and her health deteriorated. She told her children about it but none of them had time as they were all employed abroad and no one wanted to settle down in the village to take care of the old mother. So they admitted her to an old age home.

As she was narrating her story, I just pondered over what would have happened if she had left her kids in an orphanage and gone abroad. Wouldn’t the kids be deprived of their mother’s love? Today the mother misses her children’s presence. She wants to hear the laughter of her grandchildren and tell them fairy tales but all that she is left  with is utter loneliness.

Loneliness, insecurity and lack of companionship are some of life’s hard-to-swallow problems. Sadly, these have become an everyday reality for these elderly people whose children are far from their home for better career opportunities. It is not riches that old people want from their children. What they need most in the winter of their lives is the loving touch and comfort of the company of their near and dear ones. An individual slogs all through his life for the family with the hope that a day would come when he could just relax in his armchair telling tales of their youthful days to the younger generation. But that day never comes.

Young people with vigour and strength forget that the time is not far when they too may be in the same shoes. If you respect the ones who turned you into a fine being, then just hold their hand and lead them straight into your home. Help them live the last few days of their lives without the feeling of loneliness.
When they have done everything for your happiness, can’t you keep them in your home and show a little love and appreciation for the sacrifices they have made? Give a thought to this and make this world a beautiful one.

Pearl D'Silva  - Archives:


by Pearl D'Silva, Bangalore
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Comment on this article

  • Laveena Pinto, Mangalore / Dubai

    Wed, Aug 10 2011

    My Comment for having parents in Old age homes:
    Hi Pearl, Truly loving your articles. It quite surprising that I read them so lately. This shows life is quite busy. I am happy for the people who are besides their parents, but in the meantime feeling sad for those kids whose parents are not around. But we need to understand each ones situation. For me it’s not possible to be with my parents for a long term. But can be of support to them calling them any time, visiting them, surprising them with what they want. But this does not mean I would want to keep them at old age homes. In fact I do not feel bad for people who are there in such places, but with a good view. I am against the view of abandoning parents. Feel proud who take time and efforts to find a safe place for parents due to certain hindrances. Few things are beyond our thinking’s / imagination. Life teaches us how we have to live and not that we can live the way we want. Parents have done lots for us to be the way we are, however we also have those responsibilities for our kids. So we just would expect the understanding, love so that we can live and let live happily.

    Best Regards,
    Laveena Pinto

  • Christine, manglore

    Sun, Sep 05 2010

    I agree with Clara,true acceptable comment.Some cannot afford.some can but they don’t want.for them old parents are wall,shame,ugly for their and their children hi fi life
    Life is too hard.in this expensive world.it is day by day going in competition,children demands going higher looking unto others,so some time lots sacrifices from perents, Every parents want best for their children,without thinking own feature with hope they try everything,thinking one day they will take care of us in our old age,some invest for their children,and return,that same children take their aged ones and keep like orpen than what pain they feel?.

    No one came this world without parents,our spouses also. So everyone must think and understand,give respect and honor and take back same measure.

    When married u enjoy your life with spouses with children, understanding parents they will never condemn until they can manage and control their self they no need support.but when they weak we must.one day we are also become same like them.we don’t know what ours.
    Instead of after death decorting their funeral,with collers,bands,masses,prayers crowds,give them what they want when they alive if u can,they don’t want what u cannot give.just want love.care,food.think about them fellowship like normal from you.after death they will not see how u done their funeral.Let them be peacefull and bless you before they depart from this world.In this you and your generation will be blessed.God bless you.


    Sat, Sep 04 2010

    Pearl, i really surprised to see so many comments. The way you narrated the real happening story is really heart touching and everybody feel it as if the article pointing finger at them.
    Waiting some more from you. Best of luck to your writings.

  • Francis Rodrigues, Ujire

    Thu, Sep 02 2010

    Thanks a lot Pearl ur all thoughts in this artical are like diamonda because really we need to take care for our parents if we failed to do so then when we becomes older we get the same reception from our kids.with the gods grace i am taking care of my mother even i work in abroad by helping financially and contact through phone if the situation comes where i should stay at home surely i will do that also good artical keep it up.

  • Pearl D'sliva, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    All I have to say is Thanks! Your encouraging comments give me motivation to write. Thanks to Daijiworld and all the readers.Will keep writing.

  • Reena Mendonca, Mangalore, Kuwait

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    I am so Proud of you Pearl.. Just love reading your articles.. how about writing a book... try your hand at it once... my best wishes are always with you. love you

  • Joyson, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    What a nice thought Pearl. I know a few cases where in son wanted to take care of his old mother but his wife acted like villian and caused distress. Such wives should think that they too have a mother. It is very bad. They should know that same will be done to them by their children.

  • Nishan, mangalore

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    Hey pearl Another nice article from you. Great going. Keep writing.

  • Alwyn Nazareth, Bajpe Jubail/K.S.A

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    Hey Pearl,nice article yaar, thanks.This article knocking our heart door....Pearl, I hope that apart from the regular work(writing) you're able to achieve something .... !!! please write more & more article like this.God bless you.

  • Alban D Souza, Udyavara\Mumbai\Doha Qatar

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Nice Article Pearl. Money is not everything in life but the love and care are formost important. Our parents gave us love and service so in turn one has the foremost duty to look after their old parents. Please note that everyone becomes old today or tommorow. one may not realise this mistake now by not looking after their old parents but surely when they become old. So be cautious and take good care of the Parents now only before one becomes old. and they are our treasures of life. Everyone has the foremost duty to look after their parents.

  • Prakash Lobo, Mangalore/Bengalooru

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Nice thoughts be Pearl D'Silva.Felt really good reading it.I agree with Christine,Mangalore that God is wakening people through these writers.Old people are our treasure and we need to give them love and respect in their old age.
    Keep it up Pearl

  • Shilpa, Mangalore/ Bangalore

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Hey Pearl,
    Another nice article from you. Great going. Keep writing. Love to read your articles :)

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Life is full of sacrifices, some have happy life in childhood, some in young age and some in old age. These days all most every couple both are working and domestic help is difficult to afford for many, also some countries don't provide visa to old age people, some countries have many many formalities & very expensive to sponsor old age people which is too difficult to afford for many, even though many people wish to have their paretns with them they cannot do so because of many reasons. Nowadays most of the younger generation live in foriegn countries, if one parent in abroad and other at home country then the family will be separated and the children of these couple will affected the most, these children never get the opportunity to experience and learn about family life and experience the love and affection from both the parents which children need the most in their growing years. These and many more reasons made old parents to live in oldage homes, which developed countries adopted long ago. We should learn to accept the fact, prepare ouselves in advance to accept the life ahead of us and learn to live happily wherever we are. The world is changed so much in front of us, this is also one more change to accept and live with it.

    In fact this is an eye opener to all of us to give a brief thought about our own old age life awaiting for us.

  • Francis Sequeira, Urwa / Angola

    Tue, Aug 31 2010


    I have seen many comments and appreciation from the readers. This is a good article. Keep up the excellent job. Congratulations.

  • christine sequeira, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    hi pearl, a good eye opener article, keep it up, yes ,it is difficult to look after when both work and parents above 80 or when when they need 24 hours care,taking care of parents does not mean children always be we them but they must be concerned about them and look after to their needs .Parents should feel that the children love them, give first place to them after God dont put them down because they are use less or less educated

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    You have written on a important issue which is plagueing the world. The rich and poor nations included.Care of the elderly in the golden years is "devine" work. And in todays selfish nuclear and materialistic world people have forgotten the very basic of life and having children is the "Support" system the nature has provided to people. Love and care is a MUST to the elderly.There is ample evidence that parents are either dupmped in ophanages or senior care centers so that the support is bought for a price but the LOVE is priceless.
    The love must come from the children and grand children.
    Money, paid care, cannot replace the love that should come from the children,

    The very fact people have children is natures support system, The modern and educated have all lost senses of living and supporting the parents.
    Government involvement including supprt systems but these cannot and will not replace the Natures support system- the children

  • Agnello, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    Life more often than not is unfair. There are so many questions that cannot be answered fully nor have a right or wrong answer.Are we doing the right thing is circumstantial. Noble thoughts like that of Pearl can be applied in generalisations which don’t make the whole story.Most of the respondents who sympathise with the story are in the 'Gulf' like myself. Most of them go through similar dilemmas but then rationalise 'mine is a different circumstance'.
    For my part I am very clear that my first duty is to my children because it was I who got them into being. Seeing them stand on their own feet and take care of their families will be the priority. My parents are old and back home alone , I will always love them, salute them, feel for them and provide for them but my no.1 priority will be my children and that’s why I am in Gulf. Many may not agree but that’s my truth. When I am old I may shed a tear for my plight but the rose will not.

  • Christine, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    good article an eye opener to many.

  • Christine, manglore

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    Thank you Daiji.giving opportunity to share our comments
    Thank you very much Edmond Fernandes and Pearl D'Silva.I don’t know how old are you,and I want more like these from you.wonderful articles.God is wakening his people through you.
    When Life is Like a Rose...and Man's Eternal Quest For me its look little connection,came together.And its Gods warning through our younger generations.About the command of God.This is my personal tought
    we are in the world and we follow worldly tradition and forget God. What we may be careless about God reminding us from our youngsters and telling who have ears let them hear.
    If God asks in the judgment Eternal Question about his commandment about taking care of parents,what my answer I don’t know.
    And may judgement day also coming near.all over things are happening what not exepted only God know when?
    In foreign country have panssion of expenssion and old age homes are good and ok.mostly with all facilities well taking care,but here not at all.may rare have somewhere but for all not affordable also.Mostly so many weeping in the old aged home but have no choice.if we was in their place will understand what pain sorrow they going through. we have to stand in that place and think,one day I have to come in this same place which I prepared for my parents. when age growing they becoming like children they need love fellowship like small chidren if they get that in aged home than nice.after 80 if no option may ok
    Thank you and god bless you

  • Donald, Udupi/Bangalore

    Mon, Aug 30 2010


  • John Tauro, Mangalore / Kuwait

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    An advice that shouldn't be ignored by the younger generation.

  • Sunil Kumar, Karkala / Dubai

    Mon, Aug 30 2010

    nice article....this article gave us emotional feeling.
    This is real happening in life.
    Because of money, people are loosing their love...

  • J Sequeira, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    I like the patience and research in writing the article. Thorougly the truth. There is no greater truth than Pearl's demonstration about the nature of a human being. How he has changed from being a simpleton to must know all. The change is that,man is ridgiting into his animalness,that is he is becoming more and more selfish, for himself, Indiviualistic. Now everyone wants money, and wealth, wealth that you can display, spend , enjoy and frankly live ,live like a king. There is a saying"In life for everything you have a second chance ,but life does not have a second chance."But for living a fuller life, you have to devout time and energy, This is the energy and time that otherwise you would have spend on your loved ones.
    The point i am making is there should be a rational approach to this .True emotially parents are attached to their loins,they have sacrificied a lot for them and if you are pushing them aside then it is wrong,karma would pay you back.But the other side of the picture is a human being at the age after 80 needs a full time person taking care of him ,which cannot be done since both spouses are working now and hence this can be only done ,like everything is now done,in Mass(Quantity).The Organizational standard would come to something like an Age old home. There is 24 hrs Nurse at duty,24 hrs help on duty,these services cannot be provided at home. and frankly i believe people of the same age group enjoy being together,look at yourself? Again excellent article.

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    One more fine article by Pearl DSilva on this important issue of taking care of our parents in their evening years. While there is Government pension and medical benefits in the developed ountries, in the absence of such facilities in India, it is important, as Pearl expresses that the children take care of their old parents to their best ability, even though in the modern days it is always not possible to do so for various reasons, as also commented by Jimmy Noronha of Lucknow nevertheless, the parents have toiled and worked hard and devoted their entire life to nourish, educate and bring up their children, sometimes making so many sacrifices themselves, and as such they deserve better care and treatment during their twilight times. In this regard, the Government also has a vital role to play which is unfortunately lacking badly at the present moment. In this context it was disheartening to read a few weeks ago in the Straits Times of Singapore an article (on the study of end-of-life care services in 40 developed and developing countries), which stated that India ranked last at the 40th, when it came to providing aged care services. Just as a matter of interest, the top spot on the Global Quality of Death Index was taken by UK, followed by Australia and NZ, Germany at 8th and US 9th, and at bottom of the table was China 37th, Brazil 38th and Uganda at 39th. The Government should heavily subsidise the Pallative Care Services and Nursing Homes, means tested of course.

  • cleevan lozil, Dubai,Pernal

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Miss pearl..
    By ur article i remeberd many things which had happened in front of me in past years. This article has very meaningful advice to all those who dont care abt thier parents.. well written and summerized.

  • Antony T. D' Souza, Karkala / Qatar

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Pearl, you have done it at the age of 13 therefore this article has come up with much depth in it.

    It is a fact that while reading, readers easily tend to become emotional, while some appreciate others providing glimpse hypotheical suggestions. However, in reality it is all beg to differ. Without going deep in this space, irrespective of poor or rich, family is preserving blessings for their children in the future if they themselves takes care of his parents in their old age lest it will bounce back in their old age. Allowing parents to grieve in their old age and thereby tendering all excuses is an offence from any point of view. I would rather say that husband and wives has a major role to play, influencing each other about ‘home care’ of their old parents. But will they ? Therefore orphanages are flourishing…. responsibility is left behind in the orphanages.

  • Jerry Rasquinha, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    A great article by Miss Pearl D'Silva. The predicaments of old parents are getting worse day by day. I congratulate Miss D'Silva for focusing on this particular issue.

    One thing is sure tears shed by parents for negligence by their children are deemed as a curse in our society. India is the motherland of family values. We do need to pay back.

    Sensibly covered and concluded very well.

  • Deepak Dsilva, Paladka, PALADKA/DUBAI

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Great article Pearl. Keep writing. I am really proud of you.

  • Raj, Udupi

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Thanks for give such wonderful article.........it was eye's opening .......Dont forget your parents love and struggle for your your betterment...........Just think we are also get old oneday.....Parents is our god.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    It is an interesting article, and
    a true reality of life.

    Joint family system was the norm
    in the olden days, now the culture
    has changed dramatically, and
    the way of life has to be changed.

    It was a shock for me to visit the
    nursing homes for the first time
    forty years back, and I bluntly
    blamed the irresponsible and
    less caring children. Later on,
    I had to
    to rectify my wrong judgment.

    Many marriages of the Indian couples in the U.S. were destroyed
    by the co-habitation of the old
    parents. Majority of the older people, as a they get mentally and
    physically weak, also disoriented
    they will be highly irritated and
    demanding. To the children's family, it will create extra
    strain and problems.

    The older parents must be taken
    care in their old age, and as we
    are getting old, we will face that
    sore reality of life.

    If they are put into a nursing home, the world will judge us
    if they stay at home and creating
    problems, the world will laugh at

    What Mr. Jovin Rodrigues has
    written is the most practical way
    of solving the problem without
    hurting both parties.

    Even today, I regret that I could't
    spend many days with my parents in
    their old age in India. We may not
    provide them with all the desires of their
    last days wishes, however, if we
    try to do the most we can especially creating a feeling in them that they are loved, that will be a great blessing for us.

  • Gladys Mudarth, Mangalore/Canada

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Thank you Pearl for the article. If you are a thorn in your old age... it is going to be tough. If you remain a rose right through your life, you can be happy even in the old age home. Keep active, and make others life happy.

  • Reshma, Dubai

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Really liked this article.. thanks pearl.

  • Jimmy Noronha, Bellore, Lucknow

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    I liked the article but I am afraid that it would not be easy to put into practice what the writer intends to convey no matter how noble the thought is. There are every chances of disturbing the peace and tranquility of the married son or daughter if they venture to bring their aged parents home. No matter how much the son/daughter loves the parents, it is simply not possible to make the partner of the considerate son/daughter to welcome the aged parents of the spouse. So, better the parents suffer than destroy the peace of the young married busy couple and their children.
    There are of course other avenues to solve such problems without sending the aged to the old age home if only the children loosen up their purse strings a bit and things will automatically work out in favour of the aged parents. After all who does not love money, daughters in law notwithstanding??

  • Christine, manglore

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    nice article thanks Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother,that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.This is Gods command for all of us.So our duty is to take care of our parents.
    Whatever we sow we will reap.Today we are shamed tomarow our children will be shamed for us too.And who take care of parents,God will bless their generations.We think no one sees us,but God is watching over us,and his judgment coming on everyone of us.
    We are growing our children may easy way our parents went through hard way they need our love and fellowship with them too.May have many childrens and all wanted good feature so all going to work or abroad,may one of them have pity of parents and sacrifice life to take care of parents avoiding everything,what that person get? nothing.Later all who well settled other children will come and stand only for parents property not thinking the sacrifice of who remained taking care of olds,this is the tradition of our society.and some time parents will give more respect,who are far away once a while come or just call 4 check. And chase who stayed with them to take care.this is pain full also.who bare the pain of like this kind that person only understand,and specially that person children will ask what you gain spending your life to taking care of your parents? After that with wounded heart that person has to spend whole life.If anyone hurt from my comments than please forgive me.

    Thank you & God bless you

  • Arun S, Mlore/Karama dubai

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    hey pearl.. nice one dear.. waiting for many more articles from you.. god bless u..take care..

  • Nirmala, Bahrain

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Hey Pearl.. very nice article,keep it up..keep writing...God Bless you...

  • Francea, Valencia

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Nice one pearly.. Keep writing really proud of you...Great Article....

  • Shashidara, Udupi

    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    The first paragraph really puts a lot of meaning.Money time and leisure everyone cannot get at the same time.But old age when spent in old age home is very heart breaking.Good eye opener for all of us.Old people are our treasure and we should take them as God's blessing on us.Keep writing Pearl D'silva.Really good.


    Sun, Aug 29 2010

    Generally aging parents become far more demanding. They need love , affection , care to keep on going. Its understandable that people who worked hard for entire life have right to demand little care from their offsprings.
    1)Give atleast one hour a day for parents.
    2) Medicine- Take care of their health.
    3)Surprise gift - Learn to surprise them with gifts very often.
    4)take them for outings everytime you get time.
    5)5) Take their inputs and seek permissions :Take their inputs while taking any major decisions.
    During old age the most thing a person needs is love and care , the more one gets it , the longer one lives.
    Pearl, really a eye opener for us all.It brings tears when we really feel the pain of many aged parents suffering in old age homes. Your articles surely help many to think about it deeply and to decide to take care of their parents, especially in their old age.
    Best of luck to your writings Pearl.Shine and shine. Make us all proud.

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