Friday, April 27, 2012

Can you give, when you've lost someone?

Today after an hour's drive into the interiors of Kancheepuram we reached a sleepy village to collect the eyes of an old woman who had expired just this morning. As we waited outside people especially children started coming to look at us... (happens all the time...) suddenly a man came running out crying 'no I won't allow the eyes to be taken!...'

Apparently, one of the sons had promptly informed the eye bank about his mother's death, while the other wasn't even aware, many village elders and the brother pleaded with the other to no avail. The whole drama played out for about half an hour on the streets as everyone watched, finally we left the place without completing the eye donation.

This is not the case everytime though. I must have collected at least fifty pairs of eyes in the last 3 years. Generally people are gracious in spite of their loss and when people thank us for coming, I'm often frozen, not knowing how to appropriately return the courtesy.

An instance I remember, once a son who was in final year medical school requested if he could be around when we were doing the procedure, I couldn't refuse, I don't know what he must have gone through, but I'm sure it must have been painful.

What has struck me is the profound impact the whole thing must have on the children of the house... how they would be positively impacted when their grieving parents explain to them with pride that their grandpa/grandma is giving their eyes and sight to two unknown people...

I'm sure these children would turn out to be good people, making this world a better place... :)

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