Circle of life

My colleague and I were making what can only be qualified as polite conversation on our way home in the train. I saw him glance behind my back a couple of times and then, I heard an old voice from behind.

“Oh, the rents are much higher now!” it interjected. Turning around I saw an old Indian gentleman of around 70 (well exactly 70 as I later found out.) smiling at us. With much interest in his voice he continued to tell us about the high living cost of Singapore and how it has driven his only son away from him. He then proceeded to enlighten us about his great investment skills, his old job and current pension, the medical facilities of Singapore, the CEO of DBS bank, the landlords of India, the IT culture, the accents of Indians and that of Chinese, the great facilities of Citibank 20 years ago and so on. In less than twenty minutes he had shown us his loose trousers and the whole wheat bread he was carrying in the bag.

I am not a kind of person who usually picks up conversations with strangers; my colleague does not even make conversation with us unless we poke him into talking. Nevertheless, neither of us minded this strange old guy hijacking our conversation. And I think you can guess why.

It is scary, this old age that comes hand in hand with loneliness. Usually, it is no one’s fault. How can I blame the old guy’s son for abandoning him for a better life in the UK when I myself live in Singapore leaving my mom and parents in another country?

One Response to “Circle of life”

  1. Old age is very lonely. I knew one such old man living in Mumbai in his apartment all alone at a ripe old age of 85, and a broken back. His son lives in the gulf, and daughter in the US. It was very sad and his only companions were we young kids in the society.

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