Jatinrder Sethi

Jatinder Sethi was born in Lyallpur, now Faisalabad, in pre-Independence India. He finished his M.A. (English) from Delhi University in 1956, and went off to London to study Advertising in 1958. He passed his Membership Exam of The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (M.I.P.A) in1965, and joined Rallis India in Bombay. Later, for over 20 years, he worked for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Now retired, he helps his son in his ad agency in Delhi.




Now, for me, every new dawn is a blessing for which one is thankful to the Almighty

Jatinder Sethi 

It was a combination effect of coronavirus fear and my fall in the Rose Garden near our Gurgaon home in Sector 15-Part-1 which resulted in my being hospitalized for my brain surgery for removing the blood clots. My son had to come to the park to take me back home. I have no recollection of what happened after that till the operation was done and I came back to my senses days later; how many I don’t know.

I have no memory of that accept what my wife, HERSELF 88 YEARS,, after thanking God, tells me is frightening. She wouldn’t like to see me like that again. Obviously, I had hit my head on a hard surface on the jogging track in the park and lost my memory and control of body functions. About 5 people had to pick me up to get into the car and be taken to the nearby hospital…Medanta. After the three-hour surgery, four days in ICU, and three days in a private room I was declared “OK” and was allowed to go home.

Thank God for the children!

And then being advised to stay home for a month, along with a 24-hour Attendant; and take it easy for another couple of months. Even after that period, I was told to be careful and ensure I don’t fall down any time again or hit my head to anything hard, and I should preferably have someone with me if I start driving again.

 I remember that years back in Bombay our doctor in Bandra

Late. Dr.Mohinder Watsa used to say” Mr.Sethi you are no longer a “Spring Chicken”. That was almost 40 years ago. When I was 50 years old and working in Bombay.

Now at 90, I was still trying to behave like a spring Chicken. Against all the sage and constant advice of my wife. I think it is the open Gurgaon home of ours with a lot of green parks around; unlike the closed Bombay apartment, that one feels lucky to be alive to enjoy such pleasant surroundings with one’s family; as long as one is alive.

Now, I and my wife thank God that I was lucky and had our son, daughter in law and wonderful granddaughter, with whom we were sharing the independent living, who rushed me to the hospital, managed the doctor’s appointment and instant operation as advised by the surgeon; and deposit the amount, in advance, as demanded by the hospital for the treatment. After a few days stay at ICU and later in a private room I was allowed to go home but advised to visit a hospital for Head Scans and “Check-Ups” to watch the progress of recovery.

.According to the doctors, after checkups and head scans for two more months, on every ten days interval, my recovery was pretty fast(thank God for our children!) And I was allowed no restriction except, considering my 90 years of age to “take care and take it easy.”In fact, the Doctor was pretty surprised at the fast recovery.

Imagine this incident happened on my 90th birthday, a couple of days later than the day I went to the Traffic Department to get my Driving License renewed, which was expiring on14th November 2020. AND it got renewed for another five years till November 2025! I was allowed to dive till the age of 95.

BUT the ALMIGHTY had something else planned for me. My fall in the Rose garden. Blood Clot. Head surgery. Advised to take it easy for a few months before driving again.

Apart from the above incident, another example shows the hand of God and of the saying “Man proposes God disposes of, and truth of Shakespeare saying “there is Divinity that shapes our ends”. During my 20 years stay in our Gurgaon home, I had never missed my morning walk in the local Rose Garden; it was my regular routine for year’s.My Morning Park friends had planned to have a cake in the garden to celebrate my 90th birthday with all morning walkers!! But it never happened as it became a victim of Social Distancing and Corona lockdown! No celebration of my 90th birthday!

So along with the Corona restrictions and my hospital dictates I have been home-bound: STRICTLY APPLIED AND OVERSEEN BY MY SON, GRANDDAUGHTER & DAUGHTER IN LAW.

As far as my wife is concerned, ------herself being 88, with knee problems and walking with help of sticks-----is the enforcing force to see that I do not do anything in the home that may create another crisis for children, who, no doubt, have their own worries, problems, and their own life to live.

   ”Wohi Hota Hai Jo Manzoor-e-Khuda Hota Hai”

From Hospital to Home Bound.

I must confess here that it is our son, daughter in law and granddaughter who have been looking after us; apart from daily help, fixing up appointments; taking me to the hospital for head operation; head scans, collecting reports. And a regular visit to the hospital, after the Recovery Period for checkups with the doctors. And cheering us up every day!

That required lot of their time (away from their work-they both run their advertising agency) but they have been willingly doing it because they are really concerned about us, the old parents! And care for us, no matter what cost or time! They spend a lot of valuable time with us in our place to keep us cheerful.

Though they themselves are now Senior Citizens, and perhaps need to be looked after….

…. Which we old parents are incapable of.

Here,I NEED TO EXPLAIN LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR HOME TO MAKE READERS REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR CHILDREN's GREAT EFFORT TO LOOK AFTER US TWO; even though the  Old Parents still cling on to their own way of an independent lifestyle.

GROUND FLOOR: I and my wife live in the 3 bedroom, ground floor home with a green lawn in front and a vegetable patch at the back. We run our own kitchen; and have our independent living like we had been doing up to the age for 70 years. Children did not want to interfere in the lifestyle that we were used to!

And we did not want to interfere in their freedom and their own lifestyle!

OUR SON AND HIS FAMILY LIVE N THE FIRST & SECOND FLOOR with a terrace; and have their own lifestyle since they have been living on their own in Delhi for many years, till we all decided to build our joint home in Gurgaon; and we moved in from Bombay on JAN1 2000 to settle with them.

They had been living, by this time, in Delhi for a few years. So the Bombay wallas old couple got together with the Delhi Walla’s young family. At the beginning of New Millenium! Goodbye Mumbai! Goodbye Delhi.

This was the time while recovering from my operation in the Medanta Hospital I realized how lucky we were for having such caring children around us.

The feeling became more acute when one saw; in the hospital number of old couples, suffering from different ailments, by themselves without any children to help, waiting for their turn to see the doctors. For instance, I cannot delete from my mind an old lady with white hair, frail, short almost dragging herself along with the hospital wheelchair with her aged man holding a bottle of urine, obviously coming for prostrate treatment.

The most important thing that got me thinking about long life and blessings to live for 100years was that this couple, aged about 35/40 leaving their old father suffering from, I don’t know what, and was all tied up in the hospital movable big bed with an older lady, holding on to his hand; and rushed out to meet their friends or some social function.

 .There must be a number of such other cases where the old parents seem to become a problem and hindrance in the life of children..

I have no hesitancy to admit that sometime during my recovery I felt that my own children were also getting a little “fed-up” with my prolonged illness..And become irritated often with silly questions asked by me.

Now-a- days the life span has also increased and, it’s quite common that one comes across people living for over 100 years. I know at least three people who recently celebrated 104 years birthday...a retired diplomat (TSCHAWLA) who got his first posting in Denmark in 1951,   Chawla sahib(104) with  me around November 2021at his daughter's house in Delhi

And My own elder sister, Santosh-Toshi-97now,onTIKKA DAY.with my wife Uma and son Amal. She is in her daughter's home in November 2021

My own sister is 97 now. And the sister of my Bhabi is 102 now.

BUT THEY ALL ARE LEFT TO THE FULL TIME “HELPERS “while the grown-up children look after their own affairs

I also think that it is, rather more often, the old parents also who expect too much from their children thinking that they owe them their life.

So the question?


            Is It a Blessing or Bane both for the giver and receiver?

It also reminds me of a “question” by a man like me and the answer by a Guru:-

Question?”Why is there “Death’ at all?

Answer: - If there is no death, you will then see streets, roads, and houses full of crawling sick people like the ants.

A common sight in any hospital, I assume?YES! But unforgettable.

Whereas I had my children to take care of me. Lucky us!!

That’s the time I wondered how we, my wife 88 with bent, painful knees, and I ,90 also now needing a walking stick to stand and walk, would have managed to look after each other like the couples in the hospital; if we had no children around us to take care!

And the question in my mind remains unanswered?

”Why do we, old people also like to cling on to life, and create suffering& unwanted misery

for our children?

The answer perhaps is that our society does not permit…to end terminal illness.



Let me end

With the often-told story of old times that do not exist anymore; courtesy"APNI SANSKRITI"

Life of Shravan Kumar

A long time ago, there lived a boy called Shravan Kumar. He was very unfortunate as both of his parents were blind. He had to look after his parents and do all types of household chores throughout the day. As his parents were unable to see, so he had to do all the work for them. He was a very responsible son and did all the work of his parents with full of eagerness and responsibility. None of the wishes of his parents remained unfulfilled as he always tried his best to fulfill every wish of his parent


GURGAON 122001

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