Dying With Dignity : Why Euthanasia should be legalized?

I am sure some of you might have read about Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old woman who was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and subsequently decided that she wanted to die on her own terms and time. She called it “Dying WIth DIgnity”. Euthanasia is quite a sensitive topic in itself and her act just added to the furor especially in the religious circle.

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I have read comments ranging from ‘she has no right to decide when to die when God has given her the life’ to ‘is taking ones own life really a death by dignity?’. The former argument seems completely void and illogical to me. Yes I am a thiest but No I don’t think anyone is doing a crime by taking their own lives and No they wont face consequences in their afterlife if there is one. The latter argument though caught my eye. I first came across this point of view in the following  blog : http://ehyde.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/dying-with-dignity-thoughts-on-brittany-maynards-resignation-from-cancer/

The writer points out the view whether taking one’s own life really a dignified death. Does fighting till the end makes the death undignified? I can see where he coming from stating the examples of people who in-spite of knowing that they have a limited time fight or at least be with their loved ones till the end. He proceeds to say that fighting till the end really shows what human worth is giving the example of Nelson Mandela and holocaust survivors in the process.

I on the other hand still differ. Yes people fight till the end even when they know there is no hope left for them. I have read stories about holocaust survivors who didn’t have a single ray of hope but still fought on. These are stories which fill you with hope and make you realize what willpower is all about. But I still don’t think euthanasia disrespects the deaths of those who battled till the end.

Brittany’s mother describes her as having a ‘larger than life’ attitude and it is safe to say she was true to herself till the end. She wanted to die in her own terms and not go through the pain the remaining days would have given her. She didn’t want her loved ones to go through the pain either. And the fact that she did it doesn’t make her a coward according to me. If I was in her shoes I too might have done the same. If the doctor gave me 1 year to live I would very well not want to spend the last six months hanging on due to meds and surgeries. I would like to go out when I am still able to have remember the memories of my loved ones and talk to them. Yes it is scary but its still dignified. I too would want to die on my own terms when faced with such a situation.

Everyone should have the right to choose their deaths when faced with a terminal disease. No it doesn’t make them a coward for not facing up to their problems. It makes them humans, for being scared of what they and their loved ones have to go through. And no God doesn’t judge you based on that. Having the power to decide one’s own death and acting upon that should be a right of every human in this world. It is as much a dignified death as fighting till the end.

I can only imagine how difficult the last night would have been for her and her loved ones. RIP Brittany Maynard.

“I hope for the sake of my fellow American citizens, that I’ll never meet, that this option is available to you. If you ever find yourself walking a mile in my shoes I hope that you would at least be given the same choice and that no one tries to take it from you.”   –  Brittany Maynard

I Love My Country But…..

I love my country. I really do. I love its diversity. I love its crowded (read overcrowded) streets and buses. I love how we use ‘jugaad’ in our daily lives. Yes its not the most ideal place to live. Yes its frustrating to live under corrupt governance. But I still am proud of it. I still want to belong here. BUT I am running out of patience. Not because I don’t see change and neither because I stopped believing in it. I am running out of patience because I am seeing it with my eyes that people don’t wanna change. It makes me sad and angry and host of emotions I cant even really explain. These are only few of the many incidents.

We pride ourselves on our culture. The famous saying ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. We pronounce it with our chin up. But the recent Delhi Metro incident just shows how shallow and plain stupid we can be.

This is what we mean by Atithi Devo Bhava!

                                                       This is what we mean by Atithi Devo Bhava!

What do we pride ourselves on? How educated are we really? Doesn’t our conscience even prick us a little bit before acting so inhuman-like or have we become so numb and devilish that such a act seems to be fine in our eyes.

I believe in our current Prime Minister. I believe he can bring about a change. I can see his vision. But do we really want to see it along with him? The very morning he set about launching the ‘Clean India’ campaign the same night I could see people littering up a cricket stadium as if it was perfectly normal to do so. And when questioned the answer we get is ‘maza aa raha hai’. And to make matters worse a police official was sitting in front of us and he didnt even utter a word. Yes there are cleaners in the stadium but when we ourselves can avoid messing up a place then why mess it up at all? The stadium has got toilets but just to save time people pee on the walls of the stadium in some dark corners. Again the question is – ‘Are we really educated?’ Why does it seem okay to us to commit such acts?

In the same match, I was again embarrassed at being an Indian looking and listening to the crowds behavior whenever an girl came to stands to sit in her seat. The hooting and the comments passing just shows why we are unable to stop rapes happening so frequently. Even if you were there in my place you could feel the heinous behavior of the crowd. The only thing one can do is go up to the girl and say sorry for what she has to go through even though you weren’t a part of it because above all we are Indians first. Why is the re a need for us to objectify women? Are we such a sex obsessed nation? And again the question is – ‘Are we really educated?’

Even with the noblest of intentions and vision Mr Narendra Modi can’t change India if we as individuals don’t change our mentality.I am sorry to say this but one man can’t bring about the change. The thing is we are just taught to be literate BUT we are never really educated.

Lastly, I love my country BUT……..

Thank You Sachin!!!

As Deonarine bowled a rather simplistic delivery outside off and we saw Sachin going on his backfoot all of us just expected him to cut it for a four like he did twice or thrice that morning. But the ball bounced a bit more than expected and Sachin managed to nick it and Sammy took a smart catch. At that very moment the stomachs of a billion people churned. If there was a Guiness record for the maximum number of people experiencing instant sadness this would be it. There was dead silence for a few moments at the ground having the capacity of 30000 odd people. Even the opposition didnt celebrate much. I feel the opposing team too felt sad at having to see the great mans back. As Sachin made his way back to the Pavilion the crowd forgot their sadness and thanked him for all the moments of joy he provided. There was a raptuous applause for a man who meant so much for them. For me personally i was left teary eyed and a smile on my face. I was left reminiscing about the times he made me cry. Not because he got didnt play well but because the umpire got out. I remember crying everytime he got out and asking my mom to bring him back to bat easily blaming my mom for his dismissal. He was the reason I was passionate about the game. As he reached the dressing room my heart yearned to say one final time .”Mom please bring him back to bat once again…”

It was fitting for him to possibly end his batting career on the day he made his debut 24 years ago. And from a billion of us… Thank You Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar..!!!  :’) It will never be the same again…..

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Cricket will miss you!!!

 

Thank You Peta India!!!

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To the sometimes ‘seemingly long’ morning meetings,

To the fuss towards the lunch food,

To Jalaj’s awesome slangs,

To Trapi’s obsession with diet coke,

To the addiction towards candy crush,

To getting the daily dosage of the Big Boss house,

To the Timely updates of Pankhudi,

To the love of classy food of masterchef,

To Neha’s proudly flaunting her new watch only to damage it a week later,

To the irritation towards mehboob and love towards chingu,

To the 18 cats and 1 dog,

To my two greatest nemesis (they know i am referring to them),

To a less shy me from a very shy me,

It has been a rather wonderful 1 month

It did went by fast but I learnt a lot

And at the end of it I only have to say

Thank You PeTA India…….

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7:27 am ki CST local!!

“Har train ki kahani hoti hai

Kyu ki har train kuch kehta hai..”

Don’t be too flabbergasted. These are my own words and I and I alone am solemnly responsible for the outcome of the words. Its a known fact that local trains are a lifeline for the mumbaites. And who so ever is a regular traveler gets settled into a fixed time table of catching the same train each day. That particular train becomes our comfort zone. One fun thing about the trains is that you get acquainted to the fellow travelers who have the same train in their comfort zone. And you come across some beautiful stories not necessarily personal. You just be there and you get familiarized with a pattern. For me it is the 7:27 slow local to CST from Thane.

I am pretty sure there are peculiar stories in each of the 12 coaches. Get on the first coach and you will come across a bunch of working people who seem long lost friends though they have know each other through train acquaintance only. You will hear them converse like boys in their teens. Its actually nice to see them enjoying themselves given how lonelier we get as we grow up. Get on the second coach and your ears will be treated to bhajans. Word of advice : If you want a quiet peaceful ride then avoid this coach else you are most invited to board this one. The fourth coach is a perfectly normal coach barring an old man sitting by the window and working wonders on a small 4×4 drawing paper that too with his nails. He goes on with his works as the train trudges along with impeccable creativity. If it was for me I would call him a genius. He makes you wonder how many more such geniuses are hiding in such train compartments. The old man looks so happy while doing it and who wouldnt when one is doing what he is passionate about.

I am sure there are many more such stories for me to discover on that train. I hope I can cover all the 12 coaches someday… :)

Have Less Regrets, Go the Economist Way!!!

Economics is a game of choices and so is life in a bigger sense. So it isn’t mad science that we can co-relate the two. And there is this basic terminology in Economics known as ‘Opportunity Cost’ which basically sums up basics of economics. Opportunity Cost is nothing but the alternative forgone for the choice you end up making. In simpler words, you can’t have it all as they say. You can’t look right and left at the same time while crossing a road. Its either the right or the left. So while you are looking at the left your opportunity cost at that time would be looking at the right (which might be matter of life and death :P ).

So to get back onto a serious note, we are bound to have regrets don’t we ? We regret not eating that pizza and having to end up eating that bland salad. We regret not going out with friends and having to end up at home during the weekends. One way to have less regrets can be looking at the opportunity cost of the decision you are about to make. I believe its will remove a lot of your regrets.  You won’t completely remove all your regrets but it surely will give you a lesser number of them. But if you end up not studying for the test just because you thought the opportunity cost of playing on your console was higher then obviously you didn’t think it through an economist way or there is some problem with comprehending logic.

So to have a rather enjoyable and regret-less life think like an economists and always be on the look-out for the opportunity cost… :D :P

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P.S : Don’t end up like this!!! XD

Why you are seeing more photos of your friends in USA if you are of my age right now!!!

Whew… that was a lengthy topic. What i tried there was to include a bit of sarcasm regarding the Indian education system or the lack of it. If you have just graduated, that is you are roughly in my age area then you would have been perfectly acquainted with viewing some friends/acquaintances posting pics of their Universities in US on your Facebook wall till now. Why is it so? Why cant we take a ‘selfie’ with an IIT or IIM in the background? The problem is quite simple actually – We are just not  up to the mark!!! Be it IIT’s or IIM’s the level is just not good enough. Our education system is flawed in its roots. And no tree can actually flourish with weak roots. The schools are the trees and its fruits and flowers are the children.

Pablo Picasso once said and I quote,”Every Child is an artist . The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”  Creativity is something which all of us are born with. We are all born with the capability of raking up our brains to produce something out of the box, something original. But the education at the school level is so flawed that schools spell the death of creativity in India. Once we step into the school we have chosen our destiny.  Children are not allowed to go wrong at any step. You are taught how to be right rather than how to learn to be right by going wrong which I believe is very important. I will point out my education background which is I guess the same for many of us. i passed out of a school which gave very less importance to extra curricular activities. The only thing that was fed to us was to be top of the class. If you were weak in academics you were looked down upon and thought of as good for nothing. To make matters even worse we never learned to question anything. It was like we were digesting anything that was being fed to us with no regards as to what it was or why it was so. Music was looked as a class to have fun rather than actually generate any interest in it. Sports class was barely a period to showcase our gully cricketing skills to our classmates rather than actually thinking about it as a profession and Dance was non-existent. Maths, Science and Languages were always the top priority. Our education to actually pass out from high school with top marks starts 10 years in advance to that point that is when we are in mere first seven or eight. Let alone teachers even parents just want their child to be a corporates. One argument is that parents are quite adamant with the fact that India has less or no scope for music, dance or a matter of fact Sports as a career choice. Now there is no scope because they are not encouraged at school or they are not encouraged because there is no scope is up to you to decide.

College is no better. We boast about IIT’s and IIM’s but they are no better.  We just think of them highly because we have been told to. Almost half the students in their junior college spend all their time to get into IIT’s. But what are they taught there. No more than how to land a top job or how to get into an Ivy League. There are only a handful who actually go there with an aim to learn and innovate. They are not spared from the rat race. I will point out a regret I have having passed out from an engineering college. The thing I learned the most from my four years were to work under pressure, to multitask. I was never really made to fall in love with the specialization I chose. I was definitely interested in it when I opted for it but they were taught in a manner which just scrubbed off all interest from within me. And to add to it we were never taught subjects which are really important like economics, finance. Even a subject on management was kept only for the name of it.

Now comes the part of your friends going to foreign Universities. The thing is they had to. There are two major reasons for it – firstly, they guarantee fatter paychecks. I personally don’t believe all of them go there because their education is better. And secondly, the level of competition is higher in India owing to the reservation system which i wont divulge into. It all comes down to the colleges and universities not being efficient in our country. And to add to it We Don’t Care!! The other problem that I find which may not be directly related to the education system are the lack of role models. For many of us our role models are mostly our parents. We want to grow up to be like them. I believe they become our role model out of lack of choices. Teachers are meant to be role models for children but they are not. We actually end up with nobody to look up to as we mature. There is no one who has done something out of the ordinary to really catch our eyes. hence by default we fall back on our parents. Indian society needs role models to actually guide children towards the future they want to see rather than the future we want them to see. 

I would like to conclude with a statement that really had me thinking.

‘We are never really educated. We are taught to be literate.’

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Shinji Kagawa: A Commercial Prospect or An Addition to the Squad?

 Shinji Kagawa – the Japanese magician. Having already shown his technical ability for Borussia Dortmund for two seasons, it didn’t need second thoughts when Manchester United decided to bring this little Japanese magician to Old Trafford. His exploits in the Bundesliga earned him a £17m to the Theatre Of Dreams during the 2012-13 season. It was thought of as an amazing addition to the United squad already brimming with top talents. The pairing of Rooney, Van Persie and Kagawa seemed mouth-watering. The attacking midfielder was touted to provide plenty more chances for the forwards. Though it seemed a well done business done by Ferguson but there was another notion that was doing the rounds in the media at the time. Kagawa was seen as a hot commercial prospect, Manchester United has easily the biggest fan base in the Far East. The revenue they generate in Asia helped them towards attaining the top spot in the Forbes list of Most Valuable Sports Team (though they have been over taken by Real Madrid since). Kagawa was branded as a fan base expansion project much like Park Ji Sung. And with the transfer of Ji Sung it gathered pace that Kagawa was bought with a commercial point of view.

I, at that time, was against this notion and believed that Sir Alex had thought it through. Though Kagawa would increase the commercial prospects in Japan but I believed he was bought for footballing reasons. But with half the season gone I started to believe that Sir Alex hadn’t thought it through as to how Kagawa would fit into the existing system. He was clearly having a hard time to fit in Kagawa. If he opted to play with a 4-5-1formation it would mean leaving out Van Persie or Rooney (which turned out to be the latter). And if he chose to go with a 4-4-2 it left the midfield weak during opposition attacks. He tried to play him on the left of midfield but it was clear that it was not going to be a success. Kagawa started spending more time on the bench and with Van Persie continuing his goal scoring attics it meant Kagawa found playing time harder to come by. Subsequently the notion of him being a commercial prospect began to look more favourable. Kagawa is most suited for a 4-5-1 strategy as was shown during his stint in Dortmund. It was pretty evident in a leagues match against Norwich in which he was able to notch up a Hat-Trick, in the process becoming the first Japanese to do so in the Premier League. It was clear for everyone to see that Kagawa thrived with a lone striker.  But no manager would be courageous enough to leave out one of two proven winners in Rooney/ Van Persie in favour of a talented yet unproven Japanese.  

I personally started believing that Kagawa was more of a commercial project during the pre-season. All the talks for the need of a Mid Fielder just proves that even the current Manager David Moyes doesn’t see Kagawa as a regular first team player, According to me Kagawa is no less talented than Thiago Alcantara in terms of an attacking midfielder. With Rooney seeming evidently unhappy and looking for a transfer I believe its high time Moyes showed some faith in Kagawa. There is no evident reason why it won’t work out with a 4-5-1 formation.

 

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               A Formation That Might Work

Kagawa as of now is a classic case of talent being wasted. No wonder it pained his former manager, Jurgen Klopp, so much to see him like this and even tried to bring him back. According to me Kagawa can fit in only in a 4-5-1 formation and nothing else. The only addition I think United need is a midfielder that can support Carrick if United are to play with Kagawa. Its left to see given Rooney stays is Moyes has the courage to leave out Rooney (given the current form of RVP) and give Kagawa a fair chance to prove himself.

 

How do you get out of the labyrinth of Suffering??

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Recently I finished John Green’s novel “Looking For Alaska”. I loved it would be an understatement. It left me wondering a lot of things. One of them was a question quite prominent throughout the book…… How to get out the Labyrinth of Suffering??

Suffering is kind of our weakness. Suffering is a great maze in which we find ourselves stuck at most times. We find ourselves in such a place where none of the four directions seem viable. Most times we ride through the suffering thinking we have over come it. But the reality is we just train our mind to feel that we have overcome it. So how do we really get out of this labyrinth that is suffering? Some believe in afterlife. That the suffering that they are undergoing now will result in an beautiful afterlife (like Karma). Some try to end it with their lives. So as not to go through all of it again. All of us choose their own ways of getting out of it. I dont agree with the views that people who end their lives are cowards. Its their way of getting out of the maze.

So what will be my way of getting out of the labyrinth?? Its a tough one and I must say I still have a lot to figure out about it. For one I agree with one notion presented by John Green that forgiveness can be one way out. We can learn to forgive people so that they wouldn’t have to live with the guilt. Someone hurts you.. you should learn to forgive them. They ought not to live with the guilt of hurting someone in their lives. My way would be to accept the suffering. to accept it as my weakness. It not wrong to be vulnerable at times. Yes i am suffering.There are no two ways about it. When we learn to accept our weakness then we can stand up against it. There is still time before I finally master it. Till them i am as stuck in the labyrinth as the rest of us.

How would You Get Out Of The Labyrinth??

E=mc2

One of the most fascinating equations present in the scientific world is the one presented by Einstein, E=mc2. I am not nerdy so i would be honest and say that I havent got a single clue about the whole idea behind the equation. I am not even sure what the terms stand for to tell the truth. But what fascinates me is the statement made by him along with this equation – ‘Everything is relative!!’ And to make the statement at that time just shows the sheer genius of the man. The very statement holds true for every aspect of life. and Einstein didnt mean to say it in scientific terms only. If we look at life closely we will see that every aspect, every emotion, every small bits and pieces of life proves the theory of relativity to be true. For example, take any emotion. Be it happy or sad every feeling is relative. You cant be happy unless you have experienced grief. We need to measure something against something in order to provide meaning to that something. Take the case of ourselves as individuals. We define ourselves based on an experience, a incident or with respect to another individual. We alone cannot define ourselves. Its like we as individuals dont exist unless there is a relative entity through which we can identify ourselves. It has to be relative. There has to be a ying for a yang, there cant exist only a ying or only a yang. It has to be this and that, there cant be an either separating them. You, me, he, she… EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE!!!

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