Friday, March 25, 2011

the voice, specially when speaking, is not my cup of tea.. but i adore the lyrics

Queensryche- silent lucidity

Hush now don't you cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You're lying safe in bed

It was all a bad dream spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life

So here it is another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over or has it just begun

There's a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run through in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn't realize and you were scared

It's a place where you will learn
To face your fears retrace the years
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world

Suddenly you hear and see
This magic new dimension

I-will be watching over you

I-I'm gonna help you see it though

I-will protect you in the night

I-I'm smiling next to you in silent lucidity

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you build within come tumbling down
And a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You're safe from pain in the dream domain

A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of Illusion can you realize
Your dream's alive you can be the guide but

(I) will be watching over you

(I) I'm gonna help you see it though

(I) will protect you in the night

(I) I'm smiling next to you

there are so many interpretations to what the song is trying to really say.. about dreams, about someone being there, about taking control of your own life and your own mind.. about the I  that this song is from.. but i adore it just for one verse..

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you build within come tumbling down
And a new world will begin

Thanks sap for introducing me to this song :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Aruna and the right to die with Dignity

The Supreme Court of India today gave a judgment today that is being hailed as a 'landmark'.. The judgment allows for passive Euthanasia i.e withholding medical treatment or food in extreme cases where a patient is in a 'Permanent Vegetative State'. Aruna Shanbaug, the victim in the case, was brutally sodomized and then strangled 37 years ago and has been in a 'vegetative state' since then. She cannot move or express herself or so much as swallow properly, she's been taken care of by the medical staff at a hospital in Bombay for all these years.

This is what the medical experts and the court have said about Aruna : (full text of judgment )

The court has given certain criteria to decide whether passive euthanasia may be allowed. that includes the opinion of the team of doctors tending to the patient as well as the opinion of a panel of doctors created by the high court of the state, the judgment also says that the relatives or next friends of the patient must file a plea for the approval of withdrawal of treatment with the High court before such an act can be undertaken.

the judgment has stirred a hornet's nest of debate, both legal and moral. the crux lies in the question whether anyone has the right to decide whether a person may live, and whether current medical standards can trump hope of future miracles.. also involved is the question whether this decision making power may be misused by unscrouplous relatives and easily bought doctors to deny treatment to people who wouldn't legitimately come within the ambit of 'permanent vegetative state' or a 'coma'.
most importantly, the judgment makes a clear distinction between brain death, coma and Permanent vegetative state.

while i'm in no position to make any kind of informed comment on the judgment itself, there are quite a lot of unnerving things about the entire euthanasia debate, least of all being, what would I do if faced with such a situation.. was talking to a friend who raised this question, and my head has been spinning ever since..
also a question is nagging me, through this whole moralistic posturing thats currently on tv, Pinky Virani, the author who wrote Aruna's biography and filed the plea for euthanasia made this comment "i would like everyone in this country to think about what they would want for themselves if they were in Aruna's situation."

at the end is one last nagging question... i was reading the wikipedia page about the case and what i read was that the man who brutally sodomised and strangled her was actually tried for assault and robbery and not for rape or unnatural sexual offence because the doctors of the hospital, and mind you this is the same hospital where she has been staying for the last 37 years, did not report the sexual assault to 'spare her shame'. i'm wondering if that is the reason the hospital authorities have continued to care for her all these years.. after all, she WAS assaulted while on duty in the hospital and was denied justice coz of the misplaced sense of 'honour' of the doctors..

i can't seem to actually WRITE anything about this case though i've been trying for hours.. there are so many dimensions to it.. i cannot decide whether i'm writing as a law student, or a medical layman, or as a woman or as a person who has watched loved ones waste away with disease and dealt with the aftermath...

i was asked this once.. how would you want to die? waste away in old age/disease or die with dignity /in a blaze of glory while still having all your faculties and strength..
i still don't know the answer i'd choose...

Friday, March 04, 2011

the hypocrisy of the written word

so one would wonder why our petty personal problems seem so huge when the entire world is undergoing such an upheaval.. when ppl in egypt and iran and tunisia and libya are fighting for their right to live as citizens with basic political rights, and politicians in pakistan are getting shot for speaking against enforcement of misinterpreted fundamentalism, and the Indian state is reeling from scandal after scandal... we're stuck in our own petty dramas..
its strange really.. today i gave a chaiwalla a talking to for employing kids to wash glasses and stuff, and told the kids to go to the nearest available govt. school, and yet the discussion initiated among friends wasn't about the child labour, it was about the 'cute' guy i was standing around sipping chai with...

there are hundreds of things happening in the world that we seem to utterly ignore.. like a fly buzzing in teh background, a sound heard but ignored, brushed aside to accomodate the loud fanfare of the 'personal'.

was watching a report by Barkha Dutt on NDTV yesterday.. she's currently in Libya travelling through the country and sending reports about the conditions there.. and the report featured several young people who have taken over the functions of the border police and are guarding their towns and their people from the loyalist forces supporting gaddafi. Egypt was also driven largely by the young educated people protesting against the stagnant economy and oppressive political class. Tunisia saw the same demographic challenging a long entrenched government. its like a wave of rebellions.. and yes i use the word knowing full well that the rest of teh world is using teh term 'Revolution' for what is happening in these countries.. only time will tell if these uprisings will lead to concrete steps towards freedom and democracy or whether they woud lead to the creation of an even more opressive regime... however.. i digress.. my point essentially was that almost everyone i see around me here in Delhi lacks the kind of gut and drive and passion that is visible on the streets in these countries. we seem to be so busy in our own humdrum lives that the rampant corruption and shocking scandals involving every possible entity with power elicits at most a cynical 'This is India". makes me wonder where this country really is going.
ah well.. hopefully... teh world ends in 2012 and we wont need to worry about the 'future'.