>Ethanasia – To Live, Or, Not To Live?

>I happened to watch a brilliantly crafted movie today (urgh, yesterday now), Guzaarish, directed by one of the finest directors of Bollywood, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. All I had to say even when the movie was just half-way through was, “This is one bloody awesome movie!” And well, it’s the finest movie I have myself ever seen in Bollywood… Stupendous performance from Hrithik Roshan, his best role by far; a simple and sober but momentous role played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as his elegant nurse; a really strong storyline; great supporting roles from Suhel Seth, Shernaz Patel and Aditya Roy Kapoor, among others; brilliantly written dialogues, each conveying something exceptional, each which says something between the lines; mild but joyful chemistry between the leads; all-in-all make this movie a really great one. I even go on to say that I personally think, this movie is better than ‘3 Idiots’ which is considered to be the best as of right now… This is one such movie which makes me believe that there ‘are’ a few Indians who can make such fantabulous movies which can compete with of the best Hollywood flicks… This one’s of that caliber! Undoubtedly.

Won’t scratch the outline of the movie here, as I know many of my regular readers (well, those who I know read my blog) haven’t seen it yet. Don’t want to spoil their fun when they watch it… But yeah, there’s one point of the movie, the part from where its title comes that I want to talk about…

Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) has a desire to let go off his life, after suffering from paralysis and being a quadriplegic for 12 long years, legally, by filing a petition in the court for euthanasia, or in simpler terms, mercy killing. Somehow, suicide, as it is called informally, is one such sensitive topic which has people considering it as a taboo. Probably, in most cases, it is, too. But this isn’t about all those cases… This is about those few special ones…!

Running back into time, I had my first acquaintance with this phrase ‘mercy killing’ way back when I was 13 or 14. I remember one of my history teachers telling me about it and what it meant in one of her lectures. At that very time, and since that very time, I did end up thinking about what relevance it had, about how correct it is as a concept, and stuff… Though, the real catalyst for today’s post was this movie where this ideology, desire is bravely displayed and talked about, I can’t deny that my past score with this cognizant affair…

The first time we hear about it, I can bet anyone of us has this idea, opinion about it as a completely, blankly ridiculous urge occurring out of a moment of insanity. But (there’s always a ‘but’)…

Imagine this for yourself… Facing a deadly painful disease, disorder and being practically unable to do anything… Living everyday on the basis of someone else… Right from the basic daily-care chores to the complex stuff… Everything! And over it, going through massive amounts of pain and sadness… Feeling uneasy, worthless…

The first reaction that comes by if we actually imagine ourselves in such a situation and then return to sanity is ‘Shit!’

There. Just there. It somehow makes sense to me, that death by choice, if the person is mentally stable and sane, should probably be allowed in a few cases. Undoubtedly.

What kind of death would we prefer for our loved ones, passing through such physical or mental trauma? Those for whom we care about?
Option 1: Natural, painful, stretched death. The extrapolated death. Sadness in the eyes of the person who is going to another world, helpless feeling you face, unending distress.
Option 2: Silent death when the person is happy about being around every person who cares about him/her. No pain, no distress.

I know it’s not very difficult to decide here. But, when it comes to pragmatically living it, we all, would surely not agree to the second option. Why would we even agree to it? We would lose someone who matters to us, earlier than we would lose otherwise… We would want to believe that some miracle would take place… Something that would change everything, again to normalcy… Even after knowing that miracles occur once in a million and we want to believe that this case is that one in the million…

Human tendency of hope and belief. No denying it at all… But, for one moment, if we selflessly think about what the other person is going through and how legitemate would we be if we forced them to live, despite their will, going through all the pain they do… Barely justified, that we would be…

I don’t say that there needs a serious amendment in the Constitution Of India, or the basic humanitarian principles. Neither do I say that death by desire is justified… I just say that there have to be those exceptions, exclusions we need to make and let go… Hoping that our dear one, would be free of the immense misery they are going through… Pretty fair, too, I guess.

There’s this one dialogue in the movie which is delivered by Ethan’s on-screen mother (Nafisa Ali) which struck the chord of my heart the most (edited), “Whose life is it anyway? This isn’t my life, or your life, Mr. Prosecutor, or anyone who is sitting here, neither is it yours, Your Honour, that we can feel the pain Ethan feels. It’s his life and no one other than him can feel that pain and thus it’s rather ‘just’ his right to decide.”

Simply tells us how our life that exists is just ours, above and before anyone else. That’s it. Our life. And so, it’s our right to decide, To Live, Or, Not To Live, euthanasia or living, provided, the pre-requisite of the subject being emotionally stable, is satisfied…

Well, that’s just my view…

To Live, Or, Not To Live?


P.S.: The title isn’t a spelling mistake. Those who have watched the movie will know why it isn’t so.


2 responses to “>Ethanasia – To Live, Or, Not To Live?

  • Shobha

    >Hey great son, dialogue of Hritik's mom was my favourite too. Happy to know there is similarity in what strikes our chords of heart.People in general, in first thought says 'No' to kill self but strange but true were those people who were very close to him said 'Yes' to kill self..Yes, the people who are close only can feel and understand pain of a person.I would just share from my recent learning lessons of life that one has POWER to change his thoughts and feelings into positive from negative. One needs to do this consciously and with efforts… Try it and experience for self…

  • Dr Urmila Dhupkar

    >Setu, your language skills and expression is amazing. A rare combination of art and science. My hearty congrats and best wishes to you. And congrats to his both parents too for their contribution.

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