[Short Story with Moral Lesson – KARUNA AND MOHAN]
Tara’s happiness knew no bounds. She was overwhelmed with joy. Reason — she can call herself now by her original name – Nayantara as it used to be once upon a time. Thanks to Karuna who made it possible. Nayantara lost her eyesight in her childhood due to a minor accident. Now after about fourteen years, she got her vision back. Her parents wanted that once she could see after the successful operation she must open her eyes first upon the image of Lord MURUGA, their family deity. That should be her first sight. But Nayan flatly refused. Instead she insisted she would see Karuna only. She argued that Gods and Goddesses – Shiva Vishnu Ganeshaa Murugaa Durga Parvati Lakshmi… the whole lot of them, existed even during her dark days. They had turned a blind eye to her problem and did not come to her rescue nor helped in her overcoming it. It was only Karuna and Karuna alone who brought sight and light into her otherwise blind eyes. So Karuna was all the more powerful than any God or Goddess known to her. In fact she would worship Karuna all throughout her – as long as she had eyesight.
She could see now and the whole world is open to her so enchanting and so beautiful. The world filled with so many colours, objects so beautiful – birds, butterflies, flowers, trees, fruits, open sky, the clouds ever changing their forms, her pet dog, her dresses, why herself, her friends, her parents …. anything everything — all that she learnt through her Braille and audio cassettes she could see in reality. Great, really great. Thanks to Karuna again. This life should be dedicated to her – she thought.
Mr. Kannan too felt exactly the same. His fate also was nothing different from that of Nayantara. He too lost his vision years ago and got it restored now by the courtesy of the angel called Karuna. From childhood he had been groping in darkness. Now he could touch feel and SEE everything. He touched the feet of Karuna’s parents and expressed his gratitude. He ran short of words and tears came rolling down. Though the doctors had warned him against shedding tears, he had no control over them. He never dreamt of this day in his life. He had long back resigned to his fate and learnt to live with darkness. But Lady Luck smiled on him and he is totally a different person now. He was ready to do anything for the people who brought in this change.
Satnam Singh was another person, who too was fortunate to be a beneficiary of the benevolent angel Karuna. He was earlier suffering from acute stomach pain and was admitted to the hospital in a hopeless condition. On the preliminary examination itself the doctors declared that his liver was badly damaged and the patient was in a very critical stage. The only chance of his survival could be by immediate replacement of his damaged liver by a healthy one – which is rare to get. The doctors had given up hope and told his wife to be prepared for the worst and also inform all kith and kin of the patient about his critical condition. But God is Great. Miracles do happen. Satnam Singh escaped from the clutches of Death. Had it not been for Karuna, he would not have had this new lease of life. She came to his rescue at the most appropriate time. Satnam Singh recovered very soon. He thanked Karuna’s parents profusely and vowed that he would never never touch the damn liquor again – the culprit of all calamities on him which had ultimately dragged him to point of no return.
The doctors wanted that Karuna’s parents to visit another ward also where Neelakandan and Ramanathan were being treated. These patients were earlier undergoing dialysis on every third day. Dialysis taken at frequent intervals though helped them to prolong their lifespan, was indeed a big drain both on their purse and energy level. By the time they would gain enough physical energy it was time for next dialysis. No doubt it was a difficult task to arrange for funds also – huge amount at short intervals. Both were declared as chronic cases and were in dire need of kidney donors. Just then Karuna’s timely help worked wonders on them and now they are out of danger and out of ICCU ward and are recovering speedily. Karuna had a unique magical healing touch running through her body. No wonder all those who were recepients of her benevolence were relieved of their problems.
Neelakandan and Ramanathan and their family members received Karuna’s parents with folded hands and tears rolling on. The silent tears spoke volumes of their feelings and gratitude.
The doctors then navigated them to two separate ICCU wards where Suresh and Naresh underwent heart and lung transplantations. The visitors could not be taken inside as both the cases were major operations and the patients could be seen only through the glass windows on the doors. Both were young men in their late twenties. Naresh was a chain smoker and got his lungs damaged by his constant smoking, but Suresh, despite his clean habits, had a unique problem – one of his heart valves required replacement urgently. The wonder of wonders was that with just 40% chance of acceptance of the organs, both the patients had very well responded to the treatment and the transplanted organs had fitted well with the donees.
Dr. Ramachandran MD. Orthopedic Surgen, the chief in charge of the Shri Ramachandra Super Specialty Hospital was deeply moved by the humane and noble gesture of the Karuna’s parents, who despite their soul stirring grief, extended their whole hearted support to the hospital’s newly launched programme MOHAN – Multiple Organ Harvesting Aid Network. He wanted to acknowledge their high spirits and let everyone about their noble deed. So he had arranged for a small gathering – to which a few well known philanthropists and regular blood donors were also invited. In the meeting, Dr. Ramachandran narrated the circumstances that led to Karuna’s Multiple Organ Donation. She was a victim of a road accident and she sustained injuries and was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state. Soon she fell into coma, and in spite of putting her on ventilators and life saving equipments doctors could not save her. The doctors declared her as brain dead. It was very very pathetic to see Karuna’s parents lamenting over the loss of their only daughter. Premature death of young Karuna – a tender flower plucked forcefully in the prime of her youth was tragic. Umpteen times the doctors have seen the battle of life and death in the very same hospital – but this one was very tragic. Somehow they gathered guts and approached Karuna’s parents rather hesitantly and explained to them about the doctrines of MOHAN. Surprisingly they agreed. Their dear dear daughter is gone – gone forever. But if she could instill or bring in new life into few dying patients, that would be the best thing they could do for the dead Karuna and put her soul to rest in peace. The very name Karuna refers to Mercy and Mercy is twice blessed – both the giver and the receiver. So they decided to make her life – rather death meaningful.
Dr. Ramachandran told the audience that Mercy was twice blessed but in Karuna’s case it was 7 times blessed. By one death, 7 needy and chronic patients were treated. Karuna’s Jeevakaarunya act was a holy one and it would always be hailed in high esteem. Equally great was the timely act of her parents in agreeing to donate all possible organs.
Karuna’s father Deena Dayalan rose to speak a few words – how Karuna’s life right from birth was full of donations – “donations donations all the way”. Right from birth till death.
She was born only through a surrogate mother as Karuna’s mother Neela could not bear any child. A large amount was paid as donation to the family of surrogate mother for delivering the baby. From there on, journey of Karuna’s donation started. Later, as baby Karuna was growing up, her donations too grew up. The parents had to pay a big chunk to the schools admission – the play school, pre – school primary school and the regular secondary and higher schooling – at every level. All the schools had their share in different names. Some called it building fund, some mere donation, some named it as construction of Laboratory / Library / auditorium…etc.
When she entered collage for higher education, then too the situation remained the same. There they termed it as capitation fees and payment seat. She graduated and stepped out of college and started job hunting because she could not take the offer that came through campus interview. Her parents were not willing to send her on job to far off places, she picked up a local one and that came up with a price tag – a donation. In common parlance it is called bribe / commission. Parents thought that it was better to accept life as it came up rather than sending the daughter to a faraway place on campus recruitment job even if it fetched higher pay and position. Also in a few years time she had to be married off. So why send her to places away from them right now.
As years rolled by, Karuna grew up to be a pretty damsel and it was the right time for her marriage. The groom chosen for Karuna was no doubt a thorough gentleman but his parents wanted dowry – again donation by a different name. Karuna was married just two months ago and was yet to join her husband, who was abroad, before then her destiny had written a new chapter on her.
Donations made by her so far, rather by her parents on her behalf, were all in cash and were for her future and wellbeing. But the final donation made by her this time, not in cash but in kind was of a totally different kind. Full of kindness…. For the mankind.
Deenadayalan choked in emotions, could not speak further… So was the audience who lent a patient hearing. Dr. Ramachamdran, after a pause, concluded that the best way to pay homage to the noble soul called Karuna was to give a philip to the newly launched programme MOHAN and requested the people assembled there to register their names for similar donations to be made effective after their lives and such a registry duly agreed upon by their children. He continued “Though no one ever wishes for an untimely brain dead death, every living being has to die sometime or other. The mortal remains after death are either cremated or buried and the organs which otherwise could be available to any other needy person go wasted. On the contrary if harvested in time, the multiple organs could save a few living fellow beings. The old saying is that Charity begins at home and it does not stop at the grave – let everyone know that Charity goes beyond the grave also. Karuna has proved it by adopting MOHAN.”
He requested everyone who was present there to spread the message of Organ Donation.
Karuna is dead. Long live Karuna.