Essay No. 8:
“The superannuated man” is the man who has gone on retirement after completing certain part of the age. In Pakistan, the retirement age is 60 years. Men who attain the age of sixty years are retired from government / semi-government services. They enjoy a certain amount of pension to pass the remaining days of their life. Retirement means cessation of official duties.
“The superannuated man” is taken off the routine pattern of doing things. During the service, he gets ready in the morning to go to his office to do the duty entrusted to him. Irrespective of the inclemency of whether he has to be in office in time to dispose of files if he is in an administrative cadre.
A chaprasi (peon) to has to wheel his cycle to reach office in time to remove dust from the furniture and set everything in order before the arrival of his boss. Every government official – high or low, has to observe punctuality of time. Life thus revolves around a set pattern. Retirement brings dislocation in that pattern. The retiring official feels about it but is soon acclimatized to a new pattern of life.
“The superannuated man” does not find suitable avenues for utilizing his spare time. Time, as a matter of fact, hangs on him. It is a problem for him to while away time. If he possesses some technical skill then he can utilize it to his advantage in different ways. If he possesses the managerial skill, he can find out some suitable job in some private organization.
If he has some aptitude for business, then he can start some business of his own to keep himself engaged. A reputed teacher can start private tuition work to pass his time. Apart from passing the time, it would yield to him some monetary benefit. Some channels for the utilization of spare time are to be found out otherwise the retired men would fall prey to boredom/frustration.
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Educated retired persons are given to reading the newspapers of their choice. In the morning they keenly await the arrival of newspaper. The reading of newspaper satisfies their intellectual curiosity. Those who can ill-afford to get a newspaper, often are seen sitting in a library, if it is located within a reasonable distance from their residences.
The idea is to while away the time. A better way to give a push to him is to read some newspapers. It keeps them abreast of the national, international issues. Some superannuated persons visit parks to have a walk and enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers. They like to spend time in the company of nature. They listen to the holy songs sung by the blithe birds in the morning. That refreshes them and exercises a salubrious influence on their minds.
The superannuated persons often have financial encumbrances as their income dries up. In our society, which is subject to the growing influence of urbanization and the western way of living, the joint family system is in a state of disarray. Now one witnesses nucleus families, which are given to the pursuit of individualism.
The offspring often desert their parents, who have to lick the wounds of loneliness and helplessness. Retirement thus exposes many a superannuated person to economic difficulties. Retired persons are found in the thick of worries. Most of them find it difficult to find out suitable hands for their sons/daughters.
Particularly parents of girls are put under an embarrassing position as they are made to comply with the demands of the bridegroom’s parents. Demand runs in terms of cars, fridges, deep freezers, which retired persons with paltry pensions cannot meet. Present times of materialism have created formidable difficulties for the poor superannuated persons.