All of us have cousins who are like-minded and lend hand when we undertake whatever chores. It can vary beginning household chores, washing cars or going for a new years’ bash to some distant place. People feel safe when one is with kith and kin instead of friends. Even the ‘say-holders’ in a typical Bhutanese family set up will agree to whatever you do if the company you have is either a kith or a kin.
Can this be the official help cousins render? Sometime in life help may come knocking at the doorstep but we are so blinded that we think about our cousins and forget the immediacy of human beings around. I have an all-knowing-saint cousin. She was an academic misery, her first marriage failed, and while lamenting over her misfortune, she met a friend and took her for work to some island nation in south East Asia. After working there for a couple of years, her earnings there translated into a plot of land in P/ling and a small one in Thimphu. A family car for her dad! Now a cottage under construction in the capital city, away from town!
This girl made good money for her people back home and they were at the epitome of their happiness. Her mother with a grin from one ear to the other charged with a sense of pride told me, “Gocho, ja ga zamin ghi, ata nan ghi sho hang away ya?” (Look at my daughter! What did you do brother?) The irony is I was working when her daughter didn’t even get a job. One can ponder on the intent of that lady, and this lady happens to be my closest maternal aunt.
“Gila moh, jang ta to-lop ghi lang pu mala ni” (Oh! Is it, my salary is barely enough to make ends meet). But the tone in which I uttered those words were not impressive, she changed her expression.
I am neither against the bounty my cousin brought back home nor do I intend to claim some shares from her. Let it be and this will remain forever embedded in our hearts that someone could at least make some pretty good money. Appreciation! But let me come back to the question, “What have I done?” She should have asked ‘What have I not done?’
During my initial years in my job, for four consecutive years, I sent mom on pilgrimages to the neighboring country along with her friends, including that lady. I just didn’t send her I sent her good money. I send money to my mother frequently, opened a savings account in her name and taught her how to withdraw cash from ATMs, although I have a working dad. I have dedicated a book in her name in which a chapter is solely written for her. And some day I will build a nice bungalow for her in a serene place and not in a dusty-hustle-bustling town.
Morally, it falls on the children to look after their aging parents but it is ethically wrong to advertise this in a social family set up where most members are after the green note-the world’s most powerful currency. Such comparison or people making such comparisons will make them forget the basic values that god vested in us-love, care and feelings! Love for your own child revitalized and rekindled just for money. I can summarize my write up in the following line, please do ponder;
When an elderly woman talks about money more than anything, she has lost the most beautiful charm of her motherhood, think again!
Thanks for reading!