Conveying death

Here, people have this habit of saying ‘off ho gaye’ (‘off thai gaya’ in Gujarati) when someone passes away, meaning that the person went off, similar to the action of a light being switched off. Like when someone’s grandmother passes away, the person will say, ‘dadima off ho gaye’, that is ‘grandma went off’. I find it a strange way of expression. A light switch flicked off by God, never to be switched on again? I just hope the process of death could be as painless and effortless as the process of a light being switched off…


Filed under Everyday polambals

5 responses to “Conveying death

  1. Nithya

    On the contrary, I would day that this term sounds rude to my ear…The way of ‘conveying death’, according to me, could be a little more subtle…Agreed, that there is a philosophy behind this statement…But somehow this statement seems to generate disregard for the deceased….This term, however mitigates the sobriety that accompanies death…

    “I just hope the process of death could be as painless and effortless as the process of a light being switched off”

    Are you talking from the
    human-being-who-is-switching-the-light-off ‘s point of view or the light’s (or rather the switch)point of view ?? If it is the light, then we clearly do not know as to how the light/switch would feel while turning it off…

  2. Sathej

    To me,it sounds like plain disregard of basic courtesy norms.Do they really do that when they are serious?Switching off a light is an extremely over-simplified comparison.

    And Nithya,wow,what a point!How would a light feel when it is turned off?I too think of such things sometimes but,on this occasion,it definitely didn’t strike my mind.It would be really great if you write some philosophical posts like this.

  3. Ryan.A.Nash

    Lol…but nithya!! off ho gaya you say is rude…what about kick the bucket?? bite the dirt?? very polite eh??…
    they jus say “off ho gaya” because they know death is the cost of life!!…sooner or later you have to pay up!!

  4. Sathej

    Of course, kick the bucket and bite the dirt are also not polite ways of saying at all.

  5. Priya Iyer

    @niths, sathej and sharan,

    ‘off ho gaye’ is a very common usage in gujarat. initially, when i heard it for the first time, i could not get it. sounds strange to me too!

    i was referring to the pain of the light being switched off, that is the pain of the person who is dying. how easy it is to flick a light switch off? effortless, with a simple motion of the hand, it gets done. i said i wish the person who dies can just go as effortlessly as that, with the minimum of pain and suffering…

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