Monday, October 10, 2016

A fate worse than death: a painful reality that can pierce your heart

Parental Love. Image courtesy:

I am really shocked to hear that what could be possible only in the movies and fictions has become a reality in Sibsoo today. A couple of hours ago, an old man from my wife’s village sadly passed away in Sibsoo hospital, but what was more painful than the death itself for him was the betrayal from his own son. According to my wife who is currently in her village, his story goes like this:

The man's only daughter is married and has moved out with her husband. Till now he had been living with his one and the only son on his own property. His wife passed away when his son was a child and he brought him up all by himself, trying whatever he could to ensure the wellbeing of the family. But no matter what he did, it seems his son could never appreciate him right from the beginning. Their father-son relationship never seemed to work. There used to be frequent arguments between the two and his son never showed any concern and love for his aging father.

Their relationship got even worse after his son got married a couple of years ago. He began to behave more wildly before his father and he could not tolerate his father’s presence in the house. The climax of the story has reached about five days ago when the man was chased out of his house by his son. The grief-stricken father was found sleeping in a cow-shed by a villager about three days later. It was that villager who broke the news and another old man volunteered to come to see him. When the old man reached the shed, he found the poor man wrapped in an old blanket and was asleep on the side of a cow. When the old man tried to wake him up, he was not even able to move and talk properly. He had no energy even to get up and walk. He had not eaten anything for days. The old man somehow managed to help him get up and he escorted him to his house. But the moment they reached his house, his son jumped out and slammed his old father against the wall with his both hands knotted tight around his neck. It seems the ruthless son had earlier warned him never to come back home and he was mad when he saw him again. The old man who had escorted him apparently tried to negotiate but found nothing he could do to convince his heartless son. The old man then took him to his own house. On the night of the same day, the news rang across the village that he was seriously ill. It was at this time that my brother-in-law (my wife’s younger brother) and a few other young men from the village went to see the man. Some of the men went to call his son and when the son arrived, they asked him to take his father to Sibsoo hospital. But instead of comforting his ailing father, he kept cursing him and yelling at him. One of the men could no longer hold his patience at this point and instinctively slapped the son and lashed him twice. Only then he agreed to take his father to hospital and went back to his house to change his dress, but he never returned that night. So the ailing man was taken to hospital by my brother-in-law and few other boys that night. In the morning, my brother-in-law and his cousin brother went to the man’s house but the son refused to open the door for them. Finally he had to open it after being threatened that they would forcefully break it open if he did not open it. They asked him to prepare porridge and take it to hospital for his father immediately, but he never appeared in the hospital.

The man stayed in the hospital for about five days but his son never visited him even once. All those who came to see him were his two daughters and his fellow-villagers. Today, one of his daughters who works in Thimphu had to take leave due to some other emergencies here in Thimphu and his another daughter had a special guest at home and she had to go home. So my brother-in-law volunteered to stay with him in the hospital for the day. He forced the man’s son also to join him and two of them had gone to the hospital but no sooner did they arrive at the hospital than the man’s conditions became critical. At last, he had to breathe his last in front of the son who had wanted him to die long time ago. In fact, he had already died so many deaths before at the hands of the very son for whom he had invested his entire life to make him what he is today.

As a parent, this incident has really touched my heart. In our culture, we believe that what our parents have done for us right from our birth till what we are today can never be compensated. But despite all the sacrifices we have made and the challenges we have endured in our entire life just to make our children so-called respectable members of the society, I feel nothing can be more painful than to be betrayed like this by our own flesh and blood. Not very long ago, there was another story on BBS about a mother being stabbed by her 26-year-old son which is equally painful to think of in a society where we talk so much about human values. I know something is going wrong somewhere. Sometimes I am wondering why people can’t appreciate the true value of their parents when they are alive. I think it is an irony of life that those who have loving parents with them can't understand their love and appreciate them while those who can understand and appreciate their parents' love do not have parents. So those of you who still have your parents, please let them know that you love them and always make them feel special. Once they are gone, you can’t wind back the clock to tell them that you love them. Parents are equivalent to God. Take their blessings when they are alive and always keep them happy. That would be the greatest gift you could ever give to your parents and the greatest satisfaction you could ever take with you to your grave.


  1. It is sad to know the story of an old man who left this world due to lack of care. What does the law of your country say about caring parents?

  2. This story is so sad. You wrote so well and made my heart cry. There are many cases like this happening all over the world including the first world countries. Now Singapore government has imposed a law that if children abandoned their old parents, they would be arrested and hauled up to court for fines & other punishment! I wish all countries would do the same.

    On my own beliefs, sometimes the karmic cycles are the cause for such incidents. The human beings are always using their own karma to trade with each other in this life.

  3. When I was growing up, I witnessed a similar incident. The man, a friend to my father had his aging father at home. The old man was suffering from diabetes and had epilepsy perhaps. After a couple of years I saw the old man loitering around seeking for alms and clothed only with an old school uniform-naked from the inside. The neighbors of my place later did everything for the funeral of this old man. The son, who was a fatherly figure to me became an outcast in our neighborhood. Now he has three sons and these sons are now doing what he did to his dad. he is still our neighbor. What goes around comes around Amrith. This son in your update will reap his sowing in this lifetime......let time be testimony to these kind of acts. When I hear of such stories and witness it, my heart aches and I already have two daughters. I dont know what future holds for my children...

  4. U r absolutely right. I also believe in the viscious cycle of karma. Thanks for the comment la