Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Replacement parts

This weekend, as I sat by my mother, helpless to stop her pain from her knee replacement surgery I had a lot of time to think. Once as the nurses shunted me out of the room I walked the hallway of the acute car floor. There were diagrams of replacement knees and hips. Bionic parts for bodies worn out by age, accident or disease. Groans of pain coming from the various rooms I walked past brought me close to tears.

In an increasingly consumer-driven society, it is becoming easy to think in terms of replacement parts. In France they did a partial transplant of a face. What does the new woman look like? Partly herself and partly the face of a suicide victim. It makes me shudder and yet be wonder-struck.

I wonder where my mother's knee is now. What it looks like. This is the knee that she was born with, the knee that grew within her own mother's womb. She fell and scraped it as a child. She knelt on it for years, cradled sick children through the night on it and hurt it many times as she banged it or fell on the ice. It gave her so much pain that she consented to have doctors invade her body and cut out a part of her.

This makes me think of the Mount Mary Fair in Bandra. I am not from Bombay but the last time I was there, was right before the fair. Vendors in the area sell body parts. You can pick up legs, arms, heads, necks, even breasts. All made out of wax...palliative spiritual cures for any afflicted part. Wishes for cures come true at the Mount Mary Fair.

Maybe next time I go I'll pick up a wax knee in homage to my mother's plastic knee and pray that it works as well as the original.


temporal said...


this is simply routine surgery with understandably long recuperation time…my dad underwent this some years ago…the pain has eased…but he cannot function in the same manner as before…has difficulty sitting or getting up…

re: face… shudders…what is next? brain? taubah… who needs a world of hitlers or einsteins?….that would be an utterly boring world…

and another digression: what with all this emphasis, research and development that goes into seeking ways to extend life… arey baba the world is already growing in population with diminishing resources…

if anything …the scientists should work for planned qualitative obsolesce…enhance the quailty of life for a set target date

Bina said...

I think the world would be very exciting it it were full of Hitlers and Einsteins.

Hope your mom is feeling better, Jawahara!

temporal said...

a world full of hitlers and einsteins would be a black-white world sans gray


Nabeel said...


Can your mother try this? or you might wanna try this and tell her some tips on how to do this?

I've tried it many times (Even before this study was done) .. pain is controlled by brain .. if you just ignore tha pain or TELL your brain to stop sending the pain signals .. it might work.

hope this helps

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Thanks nabeel, I'll have her try it.

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info
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