Sunday, July 27, 2008


Kokil has left for Singapore to do her Masters. Bulbul had left home six years ago – first for her MBA in Lucknow, then for her job. Vickram has been out of the house too, off and on, for the last four years.

So that leaves me alone with Raju and Boot, the dog.

“Oh, poor you,” my friends say, “it must be so sad, being all alone, with the children gone.” They talk about the empty nest syndrome and how it leaves parents so despondent.

I am not sad, I tell them. My daughters have grown up. They have sprouted wings and learnt to fly – finally, finally. Isn’t this what we trained them for? One day they would learn to fly and go forth into the wide world. Why then should I feel sad about it? It should be an occasion for celebration. Didn’t I leave my parents home to set up my own world? And my parents left theirs and so it goes back into history. It is the same story repeated from generation to generation.

This is how it is in a happy state of affairs. But what about the children who do not fly the nest, who cannot leave home? The ones who never sprout wings? Those who are destined to linger on in bed forever? They are the ones who do not leave the nest. They remain babies forever.

Give me the empty nest any day. Let all children be strong enough to discover their wings and fly into the boundless skies. Let them say goodbye to their parents and embark on long journeys to distant lands.

And let the parents thank their lucky stars that the children are capable of leaving home. That they have grown up. That they are healthy and strong and have now learnt to fly.

Let the parents with empty nests not weep over their loneliness. Instead let them count their blessings for they have not suffered the pain of bringing up a child who will never fly.
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