Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Lost Yard of Bluegrass Leaves

I could still see it in the map of my mind
There were big and great watermelons growing in the clouds
And when it rains, it seems like blood rain
Excepting the presence of seeds
I dug the ground and rescued the scarlet pink pixie
And found a world of mulberries 'neath
And then me and nephew John sat by the pier fishing for angry sharks
And popping them mulberries by the orange sunset
And then John gasped in horror
For we did not catch a shark
But a big and great green sea dragon
He was 85 feet wide
And 65 feet tall
And he looked at us and grinned
Flashing, surprisingly pearly white teeth
John approached and touched the dragon's tail
And POOF, the dragon disappeared into the maroon rain
Then we headed to the field of stones
And no longer did we see any bluegrass leaves
The blueness was dyed into the redness of the rain
And no longer the yard of blue leaves did remain
Heartbroken, nephew John and I went to our yellow cottage near the brook
I didn't prepare dinner so we restauranted it
Later Mike told me about the movie I wanted to see, "just torrent it!"
The disappointment I felt when the laptop wouldn't start up, was acute
The disappointment I felt was anything but obtuse

Everyone has a right to live. Should there also be a right to die?

The question cannot be answered directly with a yes or no as it is subjective to different cases. However, we can proceed to discuss it. To begin with, let us understand the concept of mercy killing or euthanasia. Derived from the Greek word "euthanatos", it stands for "good death"; which refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. The term can be further classified into voluntary or involuntary euthanasia based on the consent of the person. Further, active euthanasia refers to death with legal injection and passive which means withdrawal of life support systems.

Let's now look at the history of mercy killing. In 1997, the state of Oregon (US), passed the "Death with Dignity" Act allowing patients to inject lethal injections themselves. And, in 2002 the Dutch Parliament became the first country to legalize euthanasia. However, euthanasia is still practised in countries depending on the circumstances leading to the request. In Columbia, doctors are not held responsible if, on request, they allow or practise euthanasia. In 2003, a 43 year old paralytic woman in the UK was granted "the right to die."

Here in India, euthanasia is illegal. Worse still, there is no debate about it nor is there any judicial exemption practised. However the new euthanasia case of Aruna Ramchandra, a rape victim, who has been in a vegetative state for the past 36 years, has been brought to the apex court for hearing. It is now time for India to open up euthanasia as a logical and reasonable solution in certain rare cases.

As far as ethics go, when life support systems used to lengthen the life span even in a hopeless case, isn't considered unethical, how does pulling the plug, when requested, become unethical and illegal?

24 year old Aruna Ramchandra used to work as a nurse in Mumbai's KEM hospital when she was strangulated with a dog chain and sodomized by a ward boy, leaving her dumb, blind and paralysed. While the rapist was let off with ONLY 7 years of imprisonment, the victim continues to live her life as a helpless vegetable.

Recently. Bollywood director Bhansali came out with the movie "Guzaarish" dealing with the sensitive subject of mercy killing. The film has paraplegic Ethan (played by Hrithik Roshan) who is rendered paralysed after an accident. While many who saw Guzaarish argued on the what and why of euthanasia, Ahmedabad based Ekta Raval, 20, knows exactly what the magician Ethan of Guzaarish feels about death. She has death staring in her face but nonetheless choose to live and live loud and live happy. Although she has had no control over her body below her neck for over the past 15 years thanks to the Guillain Barre Syndrome, she firmly believes that there's no point in meddling with God's pattern or his choice of a life for you.

Aruna's lawyer makes a strong point when he says, "Is not keeping a woman in persistent vegetative state by force feeding her for 36 years, violate her right to live with dignity, guaranteed by Article 21 - Right to Life of the Constitution?"

Summing up, while there are differing opinions about euthanasia, there are patients like Ekta, in contrast to Aruna who wishes to live her last days with full enthusiasm. Aruna on the other hand, happens to be an extreme case wherein euthanasia seems like the most feasible option. Although, legalizing euthanasia may not be the best idea as inheritance thirsty cold-blooded relatives can misuse the law as a weapon to conveniently cover-up murder. Finally, cases of euthanasia must be thoroughly investigated before being executed, even if the legalization were to take place.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The really mango mango!

Today I ate a mango. An everyday thing to do when you are a mango addict living in Mumbai and the season for mangoes is fast fading. You'd think this would be a mindless activity, something you do while watching a stupid serial about perfect bahus. (well, atleast in my case) (I was bored.)

But, it wasn't. On the other hand, as dramatic as it may sound, this mundane act of eating a simple mango (actually it was pretty awesome) was a great philosophical epiphany for me.

When I was done with the fars(you won't understand these terms unless you are Sindhi), I moved on the the core. I got so into it I realised there was no mango left to eat. Scraped clean I got the idea to break it open. Something I vaguely remember doing when I was younger. Breaking it open was easy, as unlike alphonso mangoes the core of this mango variety was more open-able.

Opening it, I was presented with this huge, ugly, weird coloured seed. It was a dicot seed and when I saw it I felt like I already knew it was a dicot. But that wasn't the philosophical epiphany. That doesn't even make sense if it was. That would have been more like a past life mango grower's spiritual revelation.

Okay moving on, the SEED! I examined it, undressed it, opened it up and felt the smoothness of the individual cots and sat in awe at the beauty of it. The beauty in the ugliness. That was the first philosophical epiphany; there is a hidden beauty in all that comes off as ugly. Ugly rubber shoes that help you survive the floods on a rainy day, that's beauty. Ugliness of a storm is washed away by the cleanliness it brings.

The second philosophical epiphany (I love saying that even though an epiphany can't possibly be anything but philosophical), was that no matter how ugly the creator, the creation is always beautiful. The seed, man it looked ugly as hell, and not only that, it tasted bitter as hell too. (Yes I did take a bite, don't judge me.) That's when I pondered the irony of such an ugly-ass seed creating such an unbelievably sweet and fantastic fruit. Without seed there's no creation. And that's why no matter how great the creation, the creator is a 1000 times more abundantly great. Undoubtedly, you must have respect and admiration for the creator.

Yeah.

I love Phil from Modern Family. :D

Friday, June 03, 2011

"Gone With The Wind" inspired poem-ish thing.

The sound of the rain is so overwhelming
I feel like I could drown myself in the sound
Unseen, unheard, unspoken, and unknown
Tears and rain joining in a divine union
More rain, more tears, more heart
More soul with every drop falling to the Earth
Heart breaking with every heartbeat
Miles reducing with every heavy step of my feet
The world is drenched in water, water everywhere
Nothing but the sound, the beauty
The smell of the downpour
Nothing but the cold, the so very cold cold
97 days gone by without a single word
97 and more shall continue to pass still
They say silence speaks louder than words
I guess my silence wasn't loud enough
I am; what I am and nobody else
            who I am made out to be in your eyes
            who I am made out to be in my eyes
            whatever I want to be
            what I am in being what I can
            who I see, I am who I know, I am who I feel
            what I used to be, and what I never was
            who you knew, who you know,
            whom you never knew, whom you'll never know
I am this being, made up of my past, present, future.
I am also what I want to be, what I can be,
And what I am sure I will be
And the world is an unexplored, untouched place,
Ready to be learned, ready to be discovered,
A new place every single day
The learning, the growing will never stop
Nothing ever stops
This rain will stop and it will rain again
After all, tomorrow is another day
For now, I am going with the wind.