The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, August 12, 2001

Reorient after retirement

THE article, "Reorient after retirement" (July 22) by V.K. Kapoor, was highly educative. A retired person in India, has, on an average, 20 years more to live a period when most of them are made to realise that they have become ‘useless’ for the society. The loss of status in family and community becomes a source of utter frustration and maladjustment. Consequently, in such circumstances, "waiting for death" becomes quite common for a majority of these people.

All retired persons have just one complaint: dissatisfaction from life due to utter boredom which they have to face. This results in "withdrawal symptoms" for some, while others face severe psychiatric problem. Thus much of the psychological and physical stress of the elderly is related to retirement blues. With the life expectancy having gone up, it had been recommended some time back by the National Federation for Senior Citizens that the retirement age should be raised from 58 to 60.

A problem of the retired people is how to keep themselves busy. Gereontologists have advised the elderly that they should minimise interference in the affairs of the younger members of the family and their expectation level from the young should also decrease. They have also suggested that the elderly should cultivate hobbies so that their mind is better occupied. Walking reading, listening to music, watching TV, gardening or some cooking can be quite helpful for such persons.

Retired life is viewed by some as the best period of their life when they can do things they always wanted to do, but for which that did not find time.




A person attaining superannuation these days is far healthier than those attaining this stage in the yesteryears. Immediately after retirement, a person is considered to be an idler and still has to wait for seven long years to become a senior citizen. This set of experienced and educated persons is a vast manpower resource which, if channelised properly,can contribute substantially to the development of the nation and inculcate moral and spiritual values in a rapidly degenerating society.

PARTAP DHIR, Chandigarh

Controlling others

This refers to Taru Bahl’s 'Turning into a controloholic’ (July 29). Despite one’s good intentions of being responsible, loving and useful to the family, a ‘controloholic’ may indirectly encourage dishonesty and manipulation amongst the members of his family.

Such a person not only grows into an imbalanced and lopsided personality, but he also vitiates the otherwise cordial atmosphere. A respectful regard for others’ likings and opinions not only builds mutual confidence and a desire to share whatever is personal, but it also develops a healthy, congenial and democratic outlook in one’s approach to life.

No doubt the elders, particularly the male members in a family, are protective and take care of the emotional and physical needs of other members, yet they may not be loved and adored unless they learn to appreciate the feelings and ambitions of others, howsoever opposed to their own viewpoint these may appear to be.



The dominating figure might feel that he or she is the best judge of the well being, but in the process snatches away of the other members of the family these right of making choices, and decisions. The little joys that make up life, are all ruthlessly denied to them. They must all fall in line unquestioningly, otherwise they are subjugated in innumerable ways that break their spirit. Any one who begs to differ in opinion or wishes to have one’s own identity is unceremoniously "taught a lesson" by being subjected to undue ridicule, isolation and demoralising condemnation.

The atmosphere in the house becomes repressive and tinged with fear. Moreover, though it might not have been the intention to begin with, but still, it does inevitably become instrumental in blocking communication in many directions, and communication is of vital importance in a family. It slowly amounts to a crippling interference in every affair of every member of the family and they can’t even reach their natural equations by mutual adjustments and free communication for even this sphere is absolutely under that authoritarian thumb.

But the sad fact is that the controloholic does not usually realise what he or she has done. Won’t it be a better proof of that person’s concern if that person looked after the family with understanding and love ,instead of wielding the whip. An individual should let the brigade under him or her flutter their wings a little and breathe freely, so that they can feel the thrill of "living" as human beings, not "existing" as the statues that can move only when the command comes?



The article ‘What this man carrying on his head? Excessorexia"(July 22) by Aruti Nayar was thought-provoking. The writer has rightly pointed that nobody has died of excessorexia but it takes life out of living.

The journey of an average Indian begins with ‘I’ and ends at ‘me’. The burden he carries, feeling of insecurity, and dissatisfaction with life. The more he has, the more he wants, modern man’s obsession to acquire more goods and commodities has deformed homes into houses, relationships into business transactions, and warm welcoming smiles into cold appraising looks. This material pursuit is taking its toll in the form of broken relationships, wrecked health, and the nagging feeling of what ever life has to offer to be never enough.

The real challenge in life is not accumulation of wealth but enjoying the little joys as you tread the path of life. It does not matter how much you possess, who you are or what you have accomplished? It is of paramount importance that you feel good about who you are, what you have done, and what you have.

Harinder Mohan Singh, Chandigarh.

Home Top