Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To Kill or Not to Kill

Euthanasia (from the Greek: εὐθανασία meaning "good death": εὖ, eu (well or good) + θάνατος, thanatos (death)) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.

Whose pain and suffering? The patient's or his kin's who unfortunately considers him to be a burden?
Who has vested in man the power to take a life away? Every heartbeat,every breath and every cell's action is known and planned by god. How can man intervene and decide for himself or others?

Being a member of a charity organisation I have often visited govt oldage homes and home for the destitudes. I would like to share 2 of my experiences which made me question the essence of man"kind".

It was during Vishu(Festival in Kerala) that I visited the govt home for the destitudes in Poojapure,TVM. It housed the women discharged from the mental hospital but were never welcomed back home.Since it was a festive time we thought of gifting them with our old garments and other necessary things.During my previous visits I learned that they love to see colorful things and they loved bangles. So I decided to give them my old bangles.The colorful bangles that goes with not just a color but a particular pattern in your attire bought for a particular occasion.We,girls,know that we use it rarely after that occasion either because its not matching with our new dress or the trend is gone.If you have bangles untouched for days please be kind enough to donate them. These women love it.
The ladies have a dormitory with around 20 beds. So far I have only seen the beds and nothing else. I believe that is because there is nothing else there. Not a table or couch or tv or radio or books or music or...Life! We sat in the dormitory and decided to make them sing so as to cheer them up. Everybody took their turn. They sang the first 2 or 3 lines and we joined in after that.Then it happened.It was the turn of a lady whose youthfulness made me weak at the knees.I couldnt gulp down my throat the fact that she must be only around 30 or 35. She sang with a clear voice.She sang the 2nd line and there was a mistake in it.When we corrected her she said apologetically "You see,its hard to remember things when they give u so many medicines".

Another lady who was in her 60's sang a cruel line beautifully " We struggle and bring up our children with all love and care.And now they compete with us uncompassionately for money" .I wonder whether she finished the song because I found her crying when we joined her to sing.

These women have been thrown away liked used toys.When the battery starts to weaken and when one realizes that there is no good coming from it they are thrown to oldage home dustbins. If you ask these women whether they seek a good death they might probably say yes. Because they are not living,they are dying.As every moment passes they are glad they are closing on to the end. They are nothing but pale faced breathing corpses. Euthanasia is a light at the end of a tunnel for them. They are glad to put an end to their meaningless existence. Death is good. It is always good. Bad is pain,suffering and unbearable is neglect. The women know that no love or care shall peep through the foggy clouds of their life ever again.But these women still hope for a future.That is the most sickening fact of all. Some of the women know that the barred gates(of the building) have caged them forever.Yet some of them hope that the gates and arms of their loved ones shall open for them one day.

The underlying fact is not complex.It is as simple as ever. Nobody wants to share your sufferings or ill fortune.You will live a happy life only till you are capable of doing so. When the time comes and you cant help to ask for help it becomes differently sad.

Euthanasia is not the voice of the sufferers.It is the sigh of relief of their kin. Nobody prefers death over life.They shall prefer death only when they feel they have already been considered dead by their loved ones.

Love has the power to make the most excruciating suffering meaningful.It has the power to heal and it has the power to succeed. The world's renowned doctors consider love as the most powerful medicine. It gives the sufferer hope and energy to beat it off and come back. Love is good life and good death.

Well I guess I ought to change the caption "To Love or not to Love"
Just think ...Would you prefer Euthanasia if your dear ones hold your hand and whisper in your ear that they love you and need you back when you are going through pain?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lively songs from LOTR

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many path and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Fellowship of the Ring Chapter 'A Long-Expected Party'.

Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away ere break of day
Far over wood and mountain tall.

To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
In glades beneath the misty fell,
Through moor and waste we ride in haste,
And whither then we cannot tell.

With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.

We must away! We must away!
We ride before the break of day!
The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 'A Conspiracy Unmasked'.

O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
despair not! For though dark they stand,
all woods there be must end at last,
and see the open sun go past:
the setting sun, the rising sun,
the day's end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail...
The Lord of the Rings

 The Fellowship of the Ring , Chapter 'The Old Forest'.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
The Lord of the Rings

 The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 'Strider'.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jane Eyre

True Love Liberates

“He is not to them what he is to me,” I thought: “he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine;—I am sure he is—I feel akin to him—I understand the language of his countenance and movements: though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him … I must, then, repeat continually that we are for ever sundered:—and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.” Jane Eyre ,Chap 17

"I am strangely glad to get back again to you: and wherever you are is my home—my only home." Jane to Rochester,Chap 22

"I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame" — Rochester to Jane,Chap 23

 "My bride is here... because my equal is here, and my likeness" -Mr. Rochester to Jane,Chap 23

"He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for His creature: of whom I had made an idol." Jane Eyre,Chap 24

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magic Mumbai...

The placid ocean that runs away from you just to come back
The busy city that steals the sleep away from you but still makes you dream
The huge malls that awe you...the narrow streets that yell at you
The magic Mumbai that casts a spell over you...

The Mumbai that made me fall in love...

Mumbai....Of course!!! One has seen chunks of it in movies, songs and yes in zoom's zoomed shots of celebrities' houses and hangouts. And the picture I was having in my mind was clear....The busy city, the city of dreams, the city where all those celebrities grew up like me and you.
But Mumbai has its own magic. At times a magician turns one shape to another...Flowers to rabbits ..or a rabbit to a hat ....and other tricks that surprise us.
Mumbai too, is one such magician!!

The cute airhostess announced that it was time to land. Peeping through the small window I could see the gigantic city. Sky scrapers which dared to touch the sky, the roads which seemed like endless caterpillars, the slums which formed big black blots here and there.
The Chatrapati Sivaji International aiport was an expanse of wonder. From micromini aircrafts which were cute and stylish, huge majestic aircrafts took off and landed every now and then. Trivandrum airport seemed negligibly small...like a star near the moon.

The city had many stories to tell...the stories of natives who were struggling to claim their space...the stories of migrants who had either flourished or perished...
One part of the city was so different from the other. There was HeeraNandani which seemed carved out from New York and unfortunately so were there places that stubbornly stagnated and refused progress. And all of it together lay entwined with the calm ocean.

The house that sheltered me was carved out of a hill. A complex of huge flats took the place of tall trees that should have populated a hill. But that explains the cool wind i guess. The complex belonged to the white collar working class.Named after flowers(frangipani,zinnia,voilaalba) it was a great place to have a morning walk. Thats the only time I stayed in that place.
Each day's adventure start at around 10.30 am when the malls come alive,the streets stir and the traffic roars. The malls are inexplicable. All the super brands clutch and tear your purse. You come out with light bags and a much much lighter wallet. Well some of best times did come from them.. especially the multiplex theatre that housed hilarious housefull2.The streets were excellent competitors. The heartbreaking fact that you bought the same thing from a mall for 10 x price kills you and brings tears to your eyes. At those times you wonder how in the world the streets still do make a profit.
The temples in Mumbai are like a splash of colors. Never have I seen deities so vibrant,colorful and ofcourse beautiful. Siddhi Vinayak temple(yummy ladoos),Mahalaxmi temple and Iskon temple are some of them where I could go.

The bright Mumbai has its dark sides too. The Gateway of India has a sad story to tell. The Taj has even a sadder one. The gateway of India whose gates were open and which welcomed its people with love is now shut and angry.It is guarded by army and police.Eyes full of suspicions follow you everywhere you go...A beauty marred with agony and sorrow.

Mumbai can never be described to its full extent. One ought to feel it.Cos its Mumbai...The magician who never rests!!

Thanks a ton to my family who took so much pain to keep me smiling......Without them Mumbai will always be incomplete to me.