Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's my life ............ (by Cecil Pinto)

Transcript of one side of a phone conversation between Cecil Pinto from
Panjim and his lawyer friend Noel D'Cruz from Margao.

"Hello Noel. Good morning!
How's married life treating you?
Any good news for us?"

Not even on weekends?
Throughout Lent? How boring.
I'm sure the Good Lord said 'celebrate' and not 'celibate'!
Anyway here's why I called.
You heard about the Terri Schiavo case? You have?
Good! She died you know. Pity indeed. Yes. I agree.
A personal family decision should not be made a political tool and a media circus.
Not just that. Now we have the Pope's Living Will for all to read in the papers.
It says that he should be kept alive under any circumstances.
Yes Noel. Praise the Lord. Whatever. Sure!
Sure! Whatever. But can I make a Living Will? Just in case..."

"I can? Wow! What? Say that again, slowly.
A Living Will allows a person to explain in writing which medical treatment
he or she does or does not want during a terminal illness?
Ok! That part I understand And whaaaat? Slowly man.
It will take effect only when I am incapacitated and can no longer express my wishes?
Exactly! That's what I want. You got a pen?

"I, Cecil Pinto, being of relatively sound mind and sparingly used body,
hereinafter... What? Sure you're the lawyer. I know that.
But can't I also use some legal terms while giving you my instructions?
That's your job? Ok!
But keep in mind that I know a lot of legal language. Everybody thinks they
do? Really?
Do they watch Ally McBeal and The Practice and... No! No!
I don't think I know more than you. Cool it man. Ok.
No more of me trying to sound legal. That's what you're being paid to do!"

"Well basically I want that if I'm terminally ill my case be given a lot of
publicity. Contact all the TV stations and make sure they get close-ups of
me in a coma. Make sure I become a household name.
No! Not like a detergent you smartass.
You lawyers should read stuff other than just your fat legal tomes.
It's just a phrase. Once my name is on everyone's lips my wife can
make crores selling the book and movie rights to the story of my life, once
they pull out the plug. This sounds really cool.
People are going to sit in air-conditioned theatres and watch the details
of my totally mediocre existence? Ha! Can I insist that Shah Rukh Khan plays me?
No? Salman Khan?
No? John Abraham? No? What you mean? I've been exercising these days you
know. No way Johnny Lever is going to play me!

"Sure I'm digressing. It's my life we're talking about. You want me to live
like a vegetable? Watching some monitor flickering, liquids going inside
me, being waited on hand and foot. What? How dare you say that.
My average late night is not always like that! Some days I shut off the TV
and surf the Net."

"Would you rather I remained a vegetable? Me? The guy who has beef even on
Friday's during Lent season. The original pure non-veg man. That reminds
me. If they're going to be feeding me through tubes I want non-veg meals.
I really want to pig out in my last days. Tasty fatty stuff. High calories.
High cholesterol. Sorpatel, Beef Roast, the works! Try O'Coqueiro.
Pay? Me?
Sure they will deliver free. Look at the publicity they'll get! By the way
do you know if they have separate tubes for liquids? Can I have some Caju
Fe... No?
Beer at least? No? C'mon beer is not alcohol. Don't give me that
crap. Let me die at peace with myself and a smile on my face. Speaking of
which can I insist on only sexy young female nurses attending on me in my
comatose condition?
Just think of it Noel. All my life I fantasized about sexy women clustered
round my bed giving me their undivided attention. So what if I can't enjoy it?
My friends will be watching on TV and going crazy with envy.
You included. Never? Ha! All freshly married men say that.
Just you wait a few years."

"If my Medical Insurance doesn't cover private hospitalisation, and I have
to put up at Goa Medical College, can I just add that even if I'm not so
incapacitated I still want tubes to take things out of my body. Why?
You just try entering the toilets at GMC and not throwing up immediately."

"Noel, what I want to get clear is I don't want to be a boring burden on
other people. What? Cut the sarcasm. I behaved like that at your party last
November? Well what do you expect.
You don't serve alcohol at your birthday and expect me to be the life of the party?
Get real pal, I need lubricants.
And that Aunty sitting next to me was much more closer to being a vegetable
than me. What do I care if she owns her own room at that retreat place in
Did she get a maidservant finally? No wonder. Who wants to listen
to a stuck record all....Anyway where were we?"

"Proxy. You mean the person who pulls out the plug?
The person who executes my Living Will? Isn't that the same?
Did you have to say that word - executes? My wife of course.
Unless she needs me around to help with the e-mailing. Yes.
Come to think of it that's pretty much all I do. Can a brain dead person send e-mail?
Huh? Verrrry funny Noel. You're so sarcastic today you might die of acidity before me.
You should have a TV comedy show of you own. Let's get back to the serious stuff."

"Since the plug is going to be pulled anyway can't I take out a large Life
Insurance Policy just before that?
I know an agent who will do anything. He even pays the first two premiums.
Unethical? A lawyer talking about ethics?
You almost had me fooled Noel. You're serious? This Lent abstinence has
screwed up your brains!"

"What you mean Indian Penal Code. They have something about euthanasia?
How very interesting.
Five years back Laloo was asked by a BBC correspondent on his views on
euthanasia and he spoke a whole fifteen minutes about the Youth in Asia
before they could change the topic."

"You can't pull out the plug? Against your religion?
Well actually with the frequent power failures here in Goa maybe that too
will not need an executor."

"How will you know I'm really permanently incapable of deciding for myself?
If I don't react to important things of course. What's important? Well try
this. Tell me Sex and the City is on in five minutes and see if my hand
reaches for the remote control button.
Or just mention there's an India-Pakistan cricket match being shown live.
Or better still Noel, get that sexy Mallika Sherewat female to run in slow
motion in front of my hospital bed.
If I don't react to that then not only my brain, but all my other organs
must be dead. What's the point in living like that?"

The article above by Cecil Pinto appeared in the 9th April issue of Gomantak Times

The Death of the Holy Father

Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter

The Goan Forum

“Maie mogan nomoskar, mozo noman. Maka khuxalkai bogta tumche sangata missachi bhett somorombunk.” (I offer you my greetings of love. I am happy to partake in this eucharistic celebration with you) - Pope John Paul's introductory speech in Konkani during his visit to Goa in February 1986.

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