The curious case of Nadia Torrado

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
14 June 2010 21:21 IST

Goa is presently witness to the latest blockbuster running houseful in our little state, "The mysterious suicide of Nadia Torrado". Admit it, but all of us are riveted by all the nuggets of intrigue, deception, histrionics, tears and suspense , flung at us, by all, the participants in this morbid soap opera.

Whatever the conjectures and innuendo doing the rounds, we can be certain of four salient, indisputable facts.

1. Nadia Torrado was desperate enough to commit suicide. The "accidental" ingestion of Rattol paste theory is a no - go. It has no medical basis whatsoever. You can't die so dramatically because you brush your teeth with Rattol Paste.

2.Almost 99% of Goans are relieved ( even secretly chuckling ) to see the back of a nasty work of art who colorfully dominated South Goa politics .  Whether he abetted the suicide or not, investigations will tell, ( or not tell ) but to see the boorish Mickky Pacheco ejected from his " Kodel"  is for many of us "just deserts "

3.The Govt. of Goa, headed by Digambar Kamat, has not let the entire police force crash land on Mickky out of any altruistic sense of justice and fair play. Nailing Mickky and getting him out of the equation makes ample sense to the Congress in South Goa. And Mickky predictably and idiotically enough has consistently allowed his head to be put on the chopping block. Don't for one moment think that the sun is going to rise in the west and that the Govt. will go after all the bad guys in the system. "Our" bad guys will be protected "Not Our" bad guys will be eliminated until the next coalition government .

The last indisputable fact

4. A young girl - desperate, wretched and confused with life's choices she made took away her own life. Suicide is a horrible, horrible tragedy. It isn't and can never be a synonym for a media circus or a character assassination or petty gossip. It is an insurmountable tragedy for the victim and certainly for the family she leaves behind.

So the first three facts will be handled by the courts, the activists, the media that is and the investigating authorities ( if the politicians don't wade in to interfere ). As a society our complete focus must be on the last fact :  Is Nadia's unfortunate  suicide a reflection of what our society in Goa is fast turning into??

Speak to any psychiatrist and he / she will tell you of the alarming rise in cases of near suicide / successful attempts in Goa over the last decade and half.

This should not be a surprising statistics considering the potent cocktails brewed in Goa, that makes it a fertile ground for young people to snuff out their lives prematurely.

A fast life; a quest for the thrills in life not enduring happiness; glum economic prospects; examination pressure; broken families; the omnipresent scourge of drugs and alcohol; our morality and valves plunging lower than lady Gaga's necklines; the python like grip of corruption in our system, the relentless, savage rape of Goa ............ It's a wonder that any of us actually want to remain alive in this environment.

And trust me, it will get worse !!!  With our mindless and seductive embrace of today's cowboy capitalism, the incidence of rape, crime, murder, shootouts, extortion and kidnapping is set to be endemic in our land. With our blind acceptance of American style capitalism on steroids, will also come all the social ills that afflict that continent. Brace yourself.

Most of near suicide / fatal cases, we handle, are of youngsters  out to prove a point. A silly argument with a parent, sibling or friend and pronto the youngster swallows a fistful of tablets, or Dettol or whatever  he / she can lay his/ her hands on and is rushed into emergency.

Most poisons can be reasonably well handled. Modern antidotes and dialysis facilities means we can save most lives, if the patient is brought in early. The big problem is when there is a delay to seek medical attention due to social stigma or worse due to the fear of the bizarre law that can prosecute you if you attempt suicide.

But by far, the deadliest and sure killer poison is Rattol Paste. Once ingested and absorbed the fatality rate  is near  100%  even with the best facilities and a bill of 40 lacs.  It is such a deceptive poison, because the patient is usually well for  the first 24-48 hrs, but once the jaundice sets in, it is sure death within 7 days.

The fear, trauma and agony writ large in the victim's eyes is truly heart wrenching. They may have swallowed the poison to jolt the boyfriend / parent,  but now they DON'T want to die and whatever we do, we can never get them back.

I therefore second the suggestion put forth by the feisty Auda Viegas that there must be ban / restricted sale of Rattol Paste. It's a horrible, horrible killer. Alternatively we parents need to keep Rattol paste under lock and key with no access,  at all times if we don't want our  kids / staff / ourselves to end up victims of its lethal accuracy.

Also as suggested by Ms. Celina Pereira of N.Y. in a touching post on Goa net, we will require to set up hotlines to potential victims on the verge of suicides . Sometimes a simple heart warming talk can break the messy cobwebs in the mind and serve up as a comforting chicken soup for the soul.

In sum, then folks, once the heat, dust and storm of this story fades out, we will all be back to base. The media will go chasing another scoop; we the audience, will go salivating for the next soap opera; The politicians will move on to playing the next "elimination round"; The judiciary / cops will ponder over the case for the next 75 years; the family will live a life of guilt and remorse forever; and Mickky will probably return back to power with a thumping majority and all will be forgiven.

Sadly, for a desolate, forlorn, tragic young lass, all of 27 years , fighting the demons of her own awful choices - a girl they called Nadia Torrado there will be NO COMEBACKS.

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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Dr Rebello ,

Did Nadia want everything which her Goan Family couldnt provide ? Is this the economic reality of many Goan Families ?There are many examples of such false allurements . Mickey and she are both each others nemesis. Mickey a Goan who wanted power but never learnt the meaning of service of humility in serving. Why is the Goan psychology rooted in idolism of public servants? why ? why are public servants voted to serve made demons in all glory ? Nobody corrected Mickey, nobody dared, why ? I am not judging mickey. no way. but the position he abused , In his ministeral tenure he was a reactive minister, not a proactive Goan , a minister reacting, abusing democracy, buying democracy , I dont beleive the Rattol episode a see a strong but foolish woman who was enamoured by power. a victim who might have resented something evil about his deeds , and revolted , so the bruises to silence then the feeding of rattol , then the hospitals to ensure she will not live .. every theory is possible , somebody out there worships this man for his money. can we do away with this mentality of worshiping politicians for good , and stop spoling our fellow goans nobody consoled her. nobody knew what hell Nadia was going through, not even her own family ? No neighbours gossiped ? even that would have helped , yes we lost our sister Nadia her Family lost her but this poor soul didnt know even if her own family were not there to help her we were all there to help her

Moral issues oh its Mickeys life but one Goan killing another Goan ?

we dont want this to ever happen amoung Goans again

- Carol , Calangute | 02 nd July 2010 20:42


Dr. Rebello, the article you have written makes an excellent reading! It brings out the realities of the Goan politics with all the dirt and filth. Everybody will wholeheartedly agree with you that the Govt will not go after all the bad guys with the same purpose as it has shown in this case! Because if it does so, may be no body would remain in the Govt to run it! Your other comment that " the judiciary/cops will ponder over the case for the next 75 years" also depicts the degeneration of the system ! All this leads to a feeling in the common man that the degeneration of the system could be deliberate to harass the selected few and protest the criminal-politicians, and to allow them to complete their tenures in power without getting convicted for numerous crimes they commit! With all this degenerated system with crores of cases pending all over, one wonders for how many more years this could go on without anarchy or break down of the complete system!

I wish people like you actively come forward to stem the rot and save this beautiful land from further devastation!

- Vishwas Prabhudesai, Loliem | 24 th June 2010 09:22


hey oscar, you truly are awesome keep up the good writing and tell me if we can make a difference i know goa is already raped but if something still can be done i dont mind moving my base.

- sofia fernanda pereira, dubai | 23 rd June 2010 03:25


Please log on the Fight for Nadia Torrado fan page on facebook. I completely agree with you.

- Savio Rodrigues, Goa | 22 nd June 2010 06:21


Thanks Dr Oscar your article gives lot of unanswered

clues to the mystery. Court should grant bail for Mickey and he should address press conference with all the questions and clear himself without anything to hide and expose all the people behind this whole unfortunate drama.

- savio , bahrain | 21 st June 2010 14:56


Well summarised Dr Rebello. Excellent article. I have got what the press could not deliver on the story for two weeks.

- Felix, London | 16 th June 2010 16:45


Rattol should be banned and what is the use of having chemical in Goan society? Mechanical Rat traps are better but the RATS are like wise geeks seeking Anticipatory appeals before getting trapped. Electronic pest controller! Vow sound better when the POWER shortage looms and the courts gets the order "Thou shall not kill" but release the RAT.

- Emediavoices, Goa | 16 th June 2010 09:51


Well written Dr. Oscar. This current breed of sick, disgusting, awefull politicians in Goa have raped our Goa and are still continuing to rape Goa. If not for people like you and GBA and other NGOs these shameless species would have finished our little Goa. Carry on with the good work and keep exposing these sick creatures.......they are a disgrace for us..

- savio, Goa | 15 th June 2010 18:46


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