The Sunflower field near Donetsk
Like many of my fellow countrymen and I am sure many thousands around the world, I have elected to give parts of my body, upon my death, for transplants or medical research or any other purpose that these parts may be deemed fit for. It occurred to me to contemplate what value such a wish might have had if I were a passenger on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
Even if some brave volunteer or two managed to recover my body from a picturesque field of sunflowers in Eastern Ukraine, chances are my body would be shoved into a body bag and left by the highway, under the orders of some equally brave militia commander. Under such conditions, my fond final wish to help fellow humans with my dead body would dissolve in putrefaction as fast as my body.
Still, I persist in hoping that my imagined death in the skies might have helped someone, somewhere, in some tortuous way. I wonder, what might there be left of me to help others?
Maybe something in my wallet; I usually carry two or three hundred US dollars in cash to tide me over immediate needs at the destination. The credit cards in my wallet might prove of some use, provided someone was smart enough to try using them as soon as possible after the crash.
I usually carry my passport in my trouser pocket; maybe it would still be there in the sunflower field. Now that could be real find for someone. In expert hands, my passport could be recycled for use by drug-traffickers, human traffickers, you name it. However dubious, such a final service might merit some recognition in some quarters.
If my computer bag were to be found, no doubt the computer would be wrecked for good. Still, I fear the electronics-savvy Russian-backed Eastern Ukrainians might be smart enough to recover the hard-drive and send it where they send the plane’s black-boxes. Maybe my bank account might get hacked; that could prove a real disappointment to hackers, considering my eternal overdraft. But I always carry an unfinished manuscript, handwritten, in my computer bag. If the diary is found, maybe the unfinished story might give some fleeting moments of pleasure to some. But that too seems unlikely.
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Join Shelf Life Books for an evening with Ayesha Chatterjee as she reads from her latest collection of poetry, Bottles and Bones. Ayesha previously published The Clarity of Distance in 2011. Born in India, Ayesha currently lives in Toronto.
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Toronto launch of Ayesha Chatterjee’s new volume of poems, “Bottles and Bones”
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,