I received my organ donor card today

I duly informed the spouse of the same, because it mandated that immediate family needed to be informed.. “In case I die, you need to show this to the hospital.”  He nodded grimly and continued staring at the screen of his computer where he was busy trying to decode NIFTY five year patterns. I didn’t know whether he had heard and assimilated what I had just said. I showed him the card. He cast a perfunctory glance at it and his eyes flickered back to the screen. I put the card carefully into my wallet and told him, something that had been running in my head for a while, but which I had never articulated so far,  “You can let them take whatever is needed from my body, and whatever is left please just cremate it in the electric crematorium, no wood please, and scatter the ashes in the sea. And I don’t want any puja, havan or feeding of Brahmins or anything for my soul.” There was no response. He is a taciturn man. I took myself to my computer and began typing this out.

It did scare me, for a moment, this sudden reminder of my mortality. I have a young child who isn’t as grown up as I’d like him to be, books yet to be written, songs to be sung, places to be visited, friends to be met, a bucket list that keeps growing rather than getting ticked off. Contemplating what happens to my body after I die felt threatening, but just for a moment. Would it really matter, I thought, what happens to my remains when I go? Whether they send me intact into the after world, or they take out what could be used to help another person who needs it, and then dispose of my body? I would just be, I realised, a piece of dead flesh. It wouldn’t matter to me what they did to me.

When I filled out the online form to apply for an organ donor card, it didn’t really hit me as it did this morning. I could die any day, I realised. Anytime. While crossing the street. While going down in the lift if the cable snapped. While eating something, if I choked on it. This just made it more immediate.

It also makes me more responsible. What use this organ donor card if my organs aren’t healthy enough to be of use to anyone. I need to eat healthy, paradoxically, to live a fitter life, to keep body parts in perfect working condition so another person who needs it can benefit from it.

Would you like to be a posthumous organ donor too? Sign up here: http://www.shatayu.org.in. It is, perhaps, I think, the ultimate way to give back to humanity.


About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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5 Responses to I received my organ donor card today

  1. thandapani says:

    A bit scary, yes, the thought is, but it is better for our parts to be used than just interred or burnt.

    I agree about the electric crematorium and no-pooja thing. These things are more for the benefit of the living and, I am afraid, those Padosis who need to be shown that you are the kind of a person who does everything right.

    Good for you! I will be signing up as well.


  2. Sri says:

    Great that you decided to be an organ donor…ya, we are all mortal…it is difficult to accept but it is the bitter truth..


  3. harshula says:

    I too received my card a fortnight ago. had mixed feelings. age and death has no relation. u have done a great thing by donating your body. spread the word and let more people be aware of this.


  4. Sue says:

    I got mine a while ago and notified the husband too. He hmmed and went back to his work. I spent a lot of time thinking about mortality.

    Do you think you’re me but different? Sometimes I think so.


  5. Maith says:

    Picked that option on my license. (That’s how it’s done here) – and yes, told all the family, including kids, to donate anything usable the hospital folks think they can use.

    I wish so much that more people would do this – why take perfectly usable organs to the grave or crematorium 😐


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