Sunday, 28 February 2016

A better place.

Some say it's better to die young than suffer the hardships of old age. Others argue that no matter what, a person should be kept alive for as long as possible. Most of us are aware of the debate circling the notion of Euthanasia. While some believe that people should be released from extreme pain and suffering and should be allowed to die, other argue that death should not be brought voluntarily and a person should be kept alive till he dies naturally. However, it is only when one is in that place does one realize that the choice is not so simple. Recently, the death of my grandfather raised these questions in my mind. A part of me keeps telling me that its a good thing that he is at rest and relieved from all the things that were ailing him. But there is another part which tells me that in spite of everything if only he could have lived longer it would not be so bad after all. What he would have chosen had the choice been given to him, well, I don't know. Everyday I see so many people with so many sorts of ailments. Some are poor, some insane, some handicapped or disabled while some just unlucky in every way possible. Today itself, in the morning while climbing down the metro stairs I noticed a man climbing up from the other side. His legs were permanently bent forward from his knees and he was walking on his toes and I have never seen another person put in that much effort to climb stairs. He had a walking stick and another person to give him support, but to balance oneself while climbing up stairs like that is one hell of a task. Yet he was doing it, and he probably does it everyday, more than once. In spite of that he still chooses to live even if he has to put up fight at every stage. While I was walking from the metro station to my office I saw a beggar, a lady who looked like she was a hundred years old. Yet she kept the fight going and she asked every person to give her some money hoping at least one would listen. After seeing these things, I couldn't help but wonder, when we say a person is in a better place once he is dead and free from all the pain, perhaps its completely a built up notion to console ourselves. If there are so many people going through so much just to keep going a little longer maybe this is the better place after all. 


  1. Thomas Nagel, a famous modern-day philosopher, wrote an excellent essay on death. I had to read it slowly because though Nagel uses simple words, the subject matter is complex and the arguments are subtle. But I think it's definitely worth reading.

  2. Besh intense bhabe lekha. I finally found the time to sit and read it in peace. Some of the paragraphs I had to read twice to understand, but once I got what he is trying to say, it definitely makes a lot of sense.
    I was wondering though that this essay talks about death as a permanent state. Have you come across any article which might be able to provide a correct insight on life after death maybe in some other form or whatever. Like Bumbam was saying that The Vedas say that after death the soul goes to heaven while the Gita says that the moment the soul leaves one body it enters another. Does the concept of the existence of a soul have any basis or authority? Have you ever read anything on this?

  3. To be honest, I too think that death is permanent. Of course most religions include a belief in the afterlife, but it's up to you whether you want to treat this as fact, fiction or metaphor. Bertrand Russell has a good essay on this topic. The opening sentence, when I first read it, blew my mind.
    My friend Tommy also wrote an short but interesting blogpost where he makes the same point we were discussing on WhatsApp.

    1. The blogspot is very nice. Simple and meaningful. The essay I will read ASAP :)

    2. The blogspot is very nice. Simple and meaningful. The essay I will read ASAP :)