The comedy of caracasses

People who have donated their eyes, would realize when your kins would be sobbing and crying their hearts out, some fellows would be silently snorkeling out your cornea. Let me clarify, you won’t be buried or burnt off without eyeballs. Its just a thin layer on top of eye which would be smartly chiseled off.

One of the leading veteran cine-actress Lalita Pawar Jee donated her body to medical students. If you have watched her movies, you would know the ‘mantharaa’ of Ramayana was one of the most wicked vamps of Indian cinema. The squinty popping eyes, the gruelling voice and the witchy gait. Lalita Jee was truly ‘Ek thee daayan’ exemplified. The sheer idea of playing with Lalita Pawar’s dead body unnerved me. Thankfully, as soon as our medical school captured her cadaver, some family members interrupted with a modified ‘will’ document. Seems she had dropped the idea of donating her dead body to amateur medico butchers.

Dead bodies in anatomy classes may not be Lalita Pawar, but must be someone abandoned by their family. Except Parsee families, almost every religion love to celebrate the deaths. Decorating and embalming the deads, garlanding with flowers. Some bury them graciously, some burn them off in a serene riverside milieu. Inspite of this, we never had a shortage of cadavers. Many were just unclaimed dead bodies, while some families would shoo off as soon as death is announced. Anatomy hall was probably orphanage of the deads. If you don’t wish to end lying naked and brutally dismantled bit-by-bit, time to take care of your kins!

For some years in Gurgaon, I worked as junior ICU doctor, where my primary duty would be to predict death and ring up mortuary. Over the time, I became so accurate that I would perfectly guess the death-time and order the mortuary vehicle exactly 20 minutes before. Before the kins would build up inertia to cry and create ruckoos in hospital, body would be siphoned off. No tears fall, or a furniture broken. Death managed so smoothly, could have given me some ICU gallantry award. 

Reflex became so inherent that I called the mortuary exactly 20 minutes before my brother’s death too! I just couldn’t cry. Neither could my family. He was burnt to ashes within an hour. How cruel?

Does it really matter how a dead body is being carried, abandoned, buried or burnt off? What would you prefer? Ashes to be scattered in Ganges from a helicopter?

12 thoughts on “The comedy of caracasses

  1. Upon reading the title, I’d thought you’d have written about the cow carcass issue, not that the actual content isn’t interesting. The incident at the ICU with your brother must have been quite hard.
    I’d prefer to be incinerated in one of those electric ones that are (in)famous now, saving wood and preventing a lot of pollution. Famous final deeds, eh?

  2. I never think about Death so much. But given that I follow Hinduism, I will probably be burnt off.

    Have you been able to put the deaths past you?

  3. One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time….irony of the fact that this is about death. That subtle humour actually helped ease the heaviness surrounding DEATH. And the bit about your brother……profound!

  4. This particular article written by you is no joke. Having read the comments coming from your most stringent followers, nobody seems to understand the ‘catch’ hidden beneath this serious topic. The analogy is incorrect. Perhaps NHRC (there seem to be many) would understand it much better. Exceptionally well executed. Cheers to heaven, I’m sure!

  5. Nice Write, The Odisha man carrying his dead wife is everywhere on all news channels, the irony is do those people really feel bad for him, or is it something to be used against the ruling party ?and these news channels don’t hesitate from making their TRPs out of a dead body. I actually felt bad and realized how poor could be a poor man in India .

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