All alone, forsaken by her own children (she was over 85), in an old age home being funded by her brothers (my maternal NRI uncles). When I think of her, the old saying “swarg-naraq sab yahin hai” (heaven and hell is all here) again and again comes to my mind. Nobody ever liked her because she was so selfish — always thinking about how to cause trouble in other people’s lives, how to do as less as possible for someone else — and directly or indirectly she imparted the same values to her only son. In her last years he told her to get lost. She was my mother’s elder sister (and good that my mother doesn’t read my blog).
It may seem crude to write like this about her, now that she’s gone after a painful death, but I’m not writing this to denigrate her. I’m just wondering what made her so ill-tempered and sinister. I never, ever saw her happy. All her life she had to depend on others and still she was never nice to people who tried to help her. She had to flee from her husband (a drunkard and a gambler) who was planning to sell his own daughters to afford a few bottles of liquor. At her mother’s place she would deny food to her brothers’ kids but would give the best food to her own children, while totally depending on her brothers for support. Whenever there was a catastrophe she would just make arrangements for herself and her kids without bothering for the others.
Among three of her kids (two daughters and one son) the eldest daughter and the son turned up just like her and hence, could never keep her with them. The only daughter that took care of her died of severe diabetes in a young age.
If I think her circumstances turned her like that, then my mother says she was always like this, even at a younger age. None of her siblings liked her or respected her, and they took care of her just because in India we have this conditioning of taking care of the elderly no matter how foul their attitude is.
It’s a live example I’ve seen (something that we read in moralizing stories) of a person who always thinks bad of the others lives a miserable life and dies all alone.