Aishwarya is her nickname, full name Sara Islam. Hers was a brief life of just 20 years, the major part of which was painful because of a genetic health problem called tuberous sclerosis, yet she never betrayed her physical affliction; rather was the first to come forward whenever someone was in need of an emergency help. Had a stint with the Kishore Alo, was good at painting, particularly in drawing portraits. Her illness could not stop this university student from living a mellifluous and meaningful life. It is quite natural she was a moving light before her family and appeared so to all wherever she happened to be.
Yet the richness, prosperity, wealth or treasures that her short and handy name suggests were waiting to unfold in their wonderous splendour until her mortal self bade adieu to this world. In her death, Aishwarya embraced immortality. The girl whose heart melted for others in distress when she had to struggle to overcome her physical pain during her lifetime accomplished her life's mission by donating her kidneys and corneas to four different persons at the time of her clinical death.
She has thus made medical history in this country by becoming the first ever donor in cadaveric transplantation as it is called in medical parlance. Organ donation, as against sale, is legal in this country since 1982 but there had been no legal provision for transplantation of organs from any brain-dead person until the law was amended in 2018. Since that time no patient or patient's near and dear ones had ever volunteered to make this unique and ultimate sacrifice.
Perhaps involved here is the controversial ethical question of euthanasia. After all, termination of life of a patient suffering from incurable and painful disease or in irreversible coma is not an easy decision. Also in rare cases, patients declared clinically dead have come round after years of mere existence on life-support system in a hospital.
When a patient, before going into coma, makes her last wish to save other people's lives, it needs a big and heavenly heart full of courage and a sense of purpose. The richness and nobility of Sara Islam's heart did not falter to make the option clear to her mother Shabnam Sultana who only respected her daughter's last wish by consenting to the cadaveric surgery carried out by BSMMU and Sandhani doctors.
The innocent and beautiful soul may have taken a flight to the world beyond to have her rightful place there. She has made her family, society and nation proud as do others of her kind in this mortal world before their spiritual journey to get reunited with spirits like Evangeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin.
"In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not! It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight". The above long excerpt is from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is part of the moving passages when Uncle Tom and Evangeline are in conversation about the little girl's spiritual experience in their summer villa on Lake Pontchartrain.
The readers' hearts melt as old and experienced Tom senses the inevitable which the girl with a golden heart alludes to when she says, "I'm going there to the spirits bright".
Indeed, the finest souls that arrive in a family conquer everyone with their sweetest smile, their extraordinary sense of empathy and tenderness for all irrespective of human beings ---low and high, and all creatures in distress. They are delighted to see everyone happy. But then the writer adds, "When the little soul reveals in words sweeter and wiser than ordinary words of children---hope not to retain that child..."
Sara was one such child who came from heaven only to return there soon enough. No remorse then for this extraordinary soul. In Rabindranath's insightful song, "Tomaro aseeme monoprano lae jato dure ami dhai/ kothao dukhho, kothao mritu, kothao bichhed nai (How far do I proceed with my mind and soul in the infinity of yours/ there is no sorrow, death and separation)". Death cannot be averted but surely conquered as fictional Eva and Aishwarya of flesh and blood have done.