Spectrum

Reminiscence of life


I am still thinking for a better headline for the story published last week in my Newspaper. ‘Born human, died as divine’ was an ‘ok’ kind of headline, but it did not completely satisfy me. I wanted something better… something that could explain the story completely. The story deserved a better headline.

It all started when I met this man called Suresh, a teacher at the Government School for specially-abled children at Banashankari, Bangalore. I was there to cover Chief Minister Inaugurating a cultural event. It was raining heavily and needless to say that the CM gave a slip to the event and I had ‘nothing’ to write!

Standing in the corridor I was watching the dying rain. The school front yard had almost one feet high water. The Sun was struggling to make his way out of those Orange colored clouds- a small rainbow, not in seven colors, bowed towards earth.

“I had inhaled the fragrance of soil during a rainy day earlier…. But never had I seen a rainbow like this,” said a man standing next to me. (To be frank that rainbow was not that great). Smile- was my expression to him. “Was rain always like this, sir?” was his next question to me.

“I have seen more violent and heavy rains than this,” was my reply. “Which desert are you from?” was my question to him.

The man with all his modesty replied, “I am a Bangalorean. Born and brought up here, sir.”
“Then how come you have not seen rain? “

“I used to hear rain… only now can I see it. I was born blind… now I can see,” he replied.
I wanted to ask sorry. But it wasn’t my mistake that he was blind. So I did not ask.

“Oh, so you were operated recently” I asked him. And he replied “Yes. God gave me both his eyes, sir.”

I smiled at his answer.

”A human turned into God in my life sir, he is more than God… God does blunder but that ‘Human God’ undid that blunder,” he went on explaining knowing that I was not hearing to his atheist talk. Finally he took his valet out and pressed a passport size photo to both his eyes term by term for 3 times. “Sir God. My God—Vinodh,” he exclaimed and showed me the photo.

A youth in his mid twenties-- an innocent face, a visible scar above his right eye, a dark large mole on his nose, mustaches yet to be born. He looked like a recent college pass-out. “He donated all his organs sir,” He said profoundly.

A kind of respect rose in me for Vinodh-- at such a young age he had the great thought of donating organs.

I gave my visiting card to Suresh and took his number. “I wish to do a story on him later,” I told him.

While explaining the story of Vinodh to our health reporter, she told me that- the person who is receiving the organs and the person who is donating the organs can not know each other unless and until money transaction has taken place. There is every chance of him (Suresh) purchasing the organs, she explained.

She had a point- Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka for Transplantation (ZCCK) set up by the government to promote cadaver organ transplant, chief told me over the phone that the donor and receiver are not known to each other if it is transmitted legally via the organization. “Only the age and sex of the donor are revealed to receiver, nothing else.”

Before he hung the phone he said- illegal organ transplantation is common in rural side. “For money those buggers do anything.”

Anger sprout in me like a volcano against Suresh. I decided to make a story against him and also drag the doctor who did the operation. I wanted to prove that there are many cases of organ purchasing in the city by the rich, which is against the law.

It was just 9 in the morning, never in my profession life had I woke-up at that ‘early hour’, but that day I was there at the Special school waiting for Suresh. He came along with four blind students- one held his hand and rest like in the train-game chained to the next, each had a white and red stick with a dark Karunanidhi specs on eyes.

Namaste sir, he said very politely, but did not receive any response from me.
Unchained himself from the train he came near me. “How are you sir? So you have decided to do a story on my god? ”he asked.

“Who was the doctor who operated you? How much money did you pay the doctor for that illegal operation?” were my angry questions to him.

He was taken aback- stunned. Stood there like an unmoving object. “What are you talking? Sir, mind your words. Your words are hurting someone,” he said with an anger tone. A tone that I had never heard before. Not even by officials whom I have grilled or ‘interrogated’ while getting information.

“Sir you are undermining a gentleman’s generosity,” he said with tears of anger flooding out. For few minutes both stood silent. I felt as if I jumped the gun.

Explaining him the procedure of Organ donation I asked him, then how come you know the donor and even have his photo.

Sir come let us go to his house, we shall talk to his parents; they will explain you the entire story.
It was a mansion; need less to say a corerpati lived there happily. With God’s grace we kept ourselves out of the sharp teeth of the two foreign bred dogs’, while we entered the house. The servant recognized Suresh and asked us to sit on the couches.

A fat lady, dressed in a simple saree came to us, and asked, “Ha, Suresh beta how are you?”
For next two minutes it was: how do you do, what do you do and where do you do kind of questions between Suresh and that lady. Finally the time came and Suresh introduced me to the lady and said she is Vinodh’s mother. And he introduced me to her as a Journalist, writing an article on her son’s organ donation.

Rap came her answer- why on my son beta. Do on the concept that he believed. “What was that?” I asked her.

“To ask the receiver to donate his organs,” she replied

My expression was—WHAT?

“Yes, its simple- my son donated his four organs when he died, we went to the three receivers and asked them to donate their organs when they are gone. All of them agreed. As a next step we asked them to do the same thing as we did- go and talk to the receivers and ask them to donate. Like this we will have enough organs for the sufferers,” she said. “My son was inspired by his favorite actor Chiranjeevi’s movie- Stalin. ‘Chiru’ in that movie asks three people who he helped to help three more people and keep the chain of this help to continue. ”

The concept struck me hard.

Next I asked her, why her son wanted to donate his organs. She smiled and answered. “He loved his father very much. At no point of time he was ready to lose his father. My husband’s both kidneys had failed and he was surviving on dialysis. We tried hard to get a compatible kidney for him, but could not. Every time we went to the Doctor, he told us that if had we a suitable kidney we would have saved your father.”

“With a disappointed heart he used to come home and cry. Three days before he died, he came to me and said, Ma when I die donate all the organs to needy and ask them to donate and let this cycle continue, then there will be no shortage of organs and people like my father may never die like this.”

Were there tears in her eyes? Difficult to say as her voice was stable and the flow of her narration was un-stammered. It was only the edge of her saree that went to her eyes occasionally that made me feel that she was in pain.

I did not want to ask her how her son died, but without that the story would be incomplete. “How did he die? I asked her with a soft voice.

“We have a construction office. While he was at a construction site of a building he slipped and fell on the bricks from fourth floor, he was rushed to the hospital but the blood loss was too much and we could not save him. He was declared brain dead.” (A brain dead patient can donate most of his organs like - heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, lungs and all tissues.)

“Look at the irony of life; we saved his father but at the cost of Vinodh’s death!” then we decided that his LAST DESIRE should come true. We donated his eyes to Suresh, a teacher for specially able children and asked him to spread the message of benefits of organ donation. Similarly we have given his bone marrow to a woman, heart to an aged man. His corpse was given to RV Medical College for study purpose.

Even today I feel that my son is still alive, with us in every step.

She had no tears in her eyes now. Her voice was upbeat and proud… I, who was called materialistic hearted guy by friends’, had moist eyes.

2 comments:

This is not fiction, is it? If it's true, which I believe it is, herein lies a lesson for you to always remember that "innocent till proven guilty". Senti situation indeed!!

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