Sunday, October 17, 2010

Conversations from yesteryears

A random tweet that showed up in my timeline a few hours ago reminded me of one of those strange and morbid conversations that get ingrained in your memory, that took place between the father and me more than a decade ago.

We were walking on the side of the road, when a car swerved and passed by him a little too close for my comfort. Of course, I gasped dramatically, clutched him and pulled him a bit to the side, scolding him for being so careless. He shrugged and laughed, saying he was fine as long as an accident, should it happen, caused a quick and painless death rather than leaving him a vegetable.

Needless to say, I was not amused. But then he went on: if death has to come to someone, it'll come sooner or later. And his or her family and friends will have to deal with it. But if a person gets stuck in a coma, it makes everything so much more painful for his or her loved ones. He then looked at me and told me that if that decision has to be taken, I should take it.

At age 14, I was forced to admit he had a point. At 25, I still hope and pray almost every day, like I have ever since that conversation happened, that I never have to take that decision.


Absolutely Normal Chaos said...

I've often thought about this--what if something were to happen to my family while I was sitting all the way here, on the other side of the world? It would take me 24 hours to get back? What if, in those 24 hours, their life changes? And I never get to talk to them again, hear them laugh, or even smile, or just "live". It's a scary thought, one that comes to me too frequently for my comfort, egged on by distance. But your father is right. Yet, taking that decision has to be the hardest thing ever. I hope no one ever has to take it.

a traveller said...

Very, very true. I know the brother worries about it (more for our dog, because she's getting old, but it's a valid concern). And it freaks me out that I may be going off next year, and be in a similar situation.
I was in Chandigarh a couple of months back for a wedding, and mum was in the hospital. She went in for surgery and no one told me because they thought I'll get hassled. Just made it worse when I eventually found out.