Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meeting my Dadaji and thoughts on death

My Dadaji is 90. A few days back doctors amputated his left leg, from slightly above the knee. His leg below the knee had no sensation. The arteries were blocked, doctors said.

I didn't quite feel like meeting once before - on the day of his operation.

He doesn't know yet about the amputation. The decision was taken by his sons. He has seen the heavy bandage but people around say he doesn't yet know (or perhaps believe) that his left leg isn't there.

When I met him and stood beside him for about 20 odd minutes, I could see him struggling to change his posture every few minutes. Bed-ridden for many days now, the body would've felt really stiff. I saw he's got great physical constitution. Has the strength to move rather vigorously.

I am not sure what's gonna happen from here. But prolonging life doesn't necessarily feel so comforting. Now I don't mean to say that there's nothing to life after 90. Fauja Singh ran marathons after turning 90. And a curiosity to see more can just give any person the strength to live at any age.

Here's a little thought. There must've been a time, a couple of centuries back when medicine didn't evolve as much, when people would pray for a 'good' death, if they saw a dear one in a fragile state. Now that medical facilities are available, people would be held as 'criminals' for thinking of death, leave aside praying. Medical facilities sort of mean 'any kind of life' at 'any cost'. Decision-making just gets difficult and ethical questions abound.