"This is an achievement,” Dr. Batra said triumphantly to Shefali and her two children. Neil was just thirteen and Pearl was seven. Pearl pondered what the doctor was telling her mom. They were at the J. B. Hospital, one of the most prominent and progressive hospitals in their city, Amadavad, and also in India.
“This is the first successful case of brain transplant in the world,” Batra continued enthusiastically. “But we don’t want the inquisitive media at all in this, until your husband is completely acclimatized to his new environment, and we are ready to share this milestone with the world. Shefali, don’t discuss this with anyone.”
“Whose brain was transplanted in my husband?” Shefali asked.
“We do not disclose the identity of the donor to the recipient family. It is a matter of medical ethics.” Dr. Batra’s voice was polite but firm. “It was a young man of 27, who had met with a terrible accident. He had no parents, only a girlfriend he was to be married to in six months. It is a big tragedy for the girl. The boy’s vital organs like liver, pancreas, kidneys were so badly smashed that there were no chances of reviving him. It was at that time that the girlfriend remembered her boyfriend’s words and decided to donate his eyes and brain. This is an experiment.”
“I would advise you, Shefali, of the dichotomy we have created. You have Aakash with his body but someone else’s brain. Though we have given him a lot of medication to erase old memories, they can keep coming spasmodically, causing him stress and frustration. You will have to handle that. Obviously, we will also give psychiatric help and therapy. Please do not, at any time ask him about his past. Do not try to find out yourself. Otherwise you will be asking for a lot of trouble,” Dr. Batra said, beaming his confident smile.
As the nurse removed the bandage, and Dr. Batra flashed a light in Aakash’s eyes, his brain got a jolt. He saw a truck banging against his car. His horn was stuck and then he was upside down and after that it went blank.
“Welcome back,” Dr. Batra said. “Aakash, you had a major surgery. Now you are alright. You will have amnesia for a while. Let me reintroduce you to your wife and children.”
Aakash looked blankly at Shefali. “She is so beautiful, light brown eyes, round face, shoulder length hair with curls,” he thought, his mind still seemed numb. The children came and hugged him, with tears in their eyes.
“I will return their love,” he thought.
At that time at the far end of the city, at the S. G. Highway Crematorium, Sejal finally let go of her boyfriend’s body, crying, as it went into the incinerator. “I will find out the people who murdered you and see that justice is done.” She was determined, angry and grieving.
Writing order: Joe Labrum (USA), Angela Shaw (NZ), Linda Alley (Aus), Hemali Ajmera (Ind), Kalli Deschamps (USA), Vatsal Shah (Ind), Iliena Bosu (Ind), DonnaMcT (NZ), Tulika Saha (Ind), Suraya Dewing (NZ)