Nallasivam Chettiar (NC) Businessman aged mid-thirties
Parvathammal Chettiar (PC) Wife of above, thirtyish, traditional
for Mr. Chettiyar (AN)
for Mrs. Chettiyar (AP)
Now that both parties are present, plaintiff may please state case.
Cut to the point and no sentimental drama please.
Sir, plaintiff presents a case for seeking divorce from his
estranged wife Mrs. Parvathammal Chettiyar on the grounds of
incompatibility and mental harassment. My client and the defendant
are married for seven years without issue. Two years ago, my client
met with a serious accident leading to damage of his right kidney,
requiring organ replacement therapy. After a suitable blood-related
donor was not found, my client agreed to accept a donation from his
wife. Since that time the defendant has continuously caused
harassment to my client by constant nagging and reminding him that it
was she she who saved his life and that he was therefore obligated to
constant nagging and demands for increased attention over these two
years have played upon the peace of mind of my client, and he is on
the verge of a nervous breakdown. These have caused him to be
distanced emotionally from an unloving wife, and he is unable to
sustain such a relationship that has lost all meaning. Therefore he
seeks divorce from his estranged wife so that he may find love and
peace of mind elsewhere. He is willing to make a reasonable
settlement as arbitrated by the court towards alimony and maintenance
for the rest of the defendant's life. This is the case for the
defendant accepts the case of the plaintiff with conditions. My
client Mrs. Parvathammal Chettiyar is a reasonable person, and agrees
that a loveless marriage is of no meaning. She is willing to accede
to divorce, on the condition that Mr. Nallasivam Chettiyar shall
return the kidney that was donated to him, along with proportional
damages towards compensation for the physical and mental trauma
caused to my client.
is a most preposterous and unreasonable claim Sir!
not, Sir! My client is a lady of scant education, who only recognises
the ancient Indian tradition that it is her wifely duty to sacrifice
her life to save her husband's life. In return, all she she expects
is that he be faithful to her. Instead he has violated the sanctity
of their marriage by taking up with another woman, and seeking to
divorce my client in order to marry her. Such an action is mala
fide to the spirit of marriage, and therefore the sacrifice of my
client has been negated.
Mala fide indeed! Come on, Sir, infidelity is a problem in all
marriages. And what is fidelity? Sticking to a person who does not
love you? Just because Mrs. Chettiyar gave him the kidney, has she
become his owner? My client does not refuse to acknowledge that he
owes his life to her, but does that mean his life is pledged to her?
you must note that the act was a selfless one in the first place.
Instead, her undiminished devotion towards her husband has been
cruelly rewarded with selfishness and infidelity, which is disgusting
to say the least. oHhhhIt has caused her tremendous anguish and pain,
and yet she acknowledges that their matrimonial relationship is over
in all but law. Mrs. Chettiyar is therefore willing to give him legal
release. However, she endangered her life by having donated her
kidney. Therefore it is only reasonable that the plaintiff enable her
to pursue a life of complete health by returning the kidney. He has
no right to retain it by virtue of having voided the marital
keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. By his logic,
every spouse who donates an organ will get the right to keep the
other as a slave. He or she can then claim legal sanction to
ill-treat the recipient. She can nag him, verbally abuse him, refuse
him sex, show him down in front of neighbours and in everyway
interfere in his normal life. All this and more has been perpretrated
on my client by the defendant. Where did all the so-called
‘selflessness’ go? It was for pure profit, sir, the defending
party is trying to get this court to validate their idea that a whole
soul can purchased with a mere organ.
the plaintiff’s case is verging on imbecile and completely
hypothetical arguments now. They are trying to mislead the court by
inventing outrageous claims. The fact remains that the plaintiff has
violated the marriage. Therefore, if he wants release, he must return
the kidney. We repeat, his action is mala fide.
all this is nonsense. His actions cannot in any case be considered
Yes, they are mala fide.
No, they’re not.
raised) Mala fide, mala fide, mala fide!
raised) Bona fide, bona fide, bona fide!
raised) Na dhin dhin na!
raised) Dhin dhin dhin na!
raised) Na dhin dhin na!
raised) Dhin dhin dhin na!
Quiet! Stop all this nonsense. Now, attorney for the plaintiff, do
you have any argument to state why your client should not return the
we have here scientific evidence to prove that though the donated
kidney did belong to the defendant, it now biologically belongs to my
client. Kidney cells die after wear and tear, and are replaced by the
stem cells of the host. Over the period of two years, all the
original cells of the donor have been replaced by stem cells of my
client, and the kidney is therefore now his own tissue. We have
carried out a DNA test to prove this point. Thus it cannot be
alienated from him on the pretext that it did not originate within
his body, and besides there will be immense medical problems to try
the preposterous notion of 'returning' the kidney. Instead, my client
is willing to pay a generous maintenance that will take care of all
the defendant's requirements, including future health problems that
may result from her having given him a kidney.
I'll pay amount of money, sir, please rid me of this terrible nag!
CHETTIYAR (Agitated) Aiyo! Nee naasamaa pova! Ava nalla
iruppaalaa? Nee saava! ava saava! Aiyo! Aiyo!
ANY OTHER VERNACULAR RANT INTENDING TO SHOW THE UNPRIVILEGED NATURE
OF MRS. CHETTIYAR]
Mrs. Chettiyar. Counsel for the defendant, have you anything to
all we wish to ask is, does a biological fact bind the hands of
fairness and justice? Can any act be justified because it is
biological? Men have a natural tendency towards murder and rape, so
does that mean rape and murder can be made legal? Is there no moral
obligation of the law? Will the law allow a woman to suffer because
it is a biological fact?
Now the defence is trying to climb the moral mountain and claim a
position of great virtue. It is no use being sentimental. It will be
practically impossible to try to transfer my clients kidney to the
defendant. There will be severe immune reactions. We can call in a
qualified surgeon to testify, if deemed necessary by the court. It
will only endanger the life of both parties involved. Instead, my
client is willing to negotiate a generous settlement.
CHETTIYAR BECKONS HIS ATTORNEY AND WHISPERS SOMETHING]
my client has just offered to pay for an operation to provide a
kidney to the defendant, including the cost of surgery and
post-operational care, whatever it costs.
WHISPERS TO Parvathammal CHETTIYAR]
Aiyaiyo! Aiyaiyo! Ennai enna cheyya solraane! Nee naasamaa pova! Naa
enna cheyya? Naa enge pova?
Chettiyar, I warn you again. Please calm down.
can she calm down, Sir? The plaintiff has just made the cruellest
suggestion he can make to her. According to her knowledge ofd the
traditons that bind her, he has just suggested to her that she give
up her chastity. How can she receive an organ from another man? It is
her marriage duty to share her body with that man only, and she did
that literally. Now he suggests she share it with some unknown
person. He has again violated her dignity, right under the court’s
eyes. We will not let this go unpunished, Sir.
or otherwise, you leave it to me. Attorney for plaintiff, what do you
respond to this?
to Mr. Chettiyar, then faces up) Sir, again the defence is trying
to make sentimental statements since they have no grounds on which to
refuse divorce. Mrs. Chettiyar is free to receive a kidney from her
mother or sisters, who are her blood relatives. Such donations are
free of complications. We have definitely not insulted the dignity of
AND PC WHISPER AGAIN. PC STARTS CRYING INCONSOLABLY, MUTTERING
now my client says that this tantamounts to beastly greed. Now that
her husband has ruined her, he also wants to ruin her family also.
This leaves me speechless. The defending party is not allowing
logical debate at all now. Nevertheless, we stick to our stand. It is
medically impossible to ‘return’ the kidney, so we will help find
a suitable donor and undertake all the expenses.
I wish to ask, can money replace a kidney? Can a payment for impaired
health substitute for the health that my client had foolishly
sacrificed in the interest of the plaintiff? Can a man violate his
domestic life and atone for it with money?
suggest to the defendant that she take a break for sometime, and
think rationally. One must have a pragmatic attitude in life. What
has happened has happened, and now one must move on. So they may
kindly stop harping on foolish sentiments, and negotiate a
settlement. The sooner the better.
client has been a dutiful Indian wife, steeped in tradition. She was
an unselfish slave of her husband for so many years. I suppose that
in the plaintiff’s eyes that includes unquestioned surrender of her
vital organs. He is a cold, cruel man who thinks nothing of
abandoning her for another woman.
Be practical, Sir.
raised) Thath thath tha ri ki ta!
raised) Dhith dhith tha ri ki ta!
raised) Thom thom tha ri ki ta!
raised) Nam nam tha ri ki ta!
Quiet! (Calmly) I get your arguments now. Anyway, both of you
please state your final stands, and then I’ll I’ll make the
to Mr. Chettiyar, then faces up) Our case is simple. Despite all
the nagging and nasty behaviour of the defendant to my client, he
offers a settlement with generous maintenance and also offers to
completely pay for an organ replacement operation, in return for an
to Mrs. Chettiyar, then faces up) Sir, we shall not budge from
our position. My client wants the return of her kidney, and will
release that man only then. He can get a kidney from his new wife,
surely she will be as dutiful? That is all our case.
have never come across a case like this. This man has had a troubled
marriage, lost his peace of mind, and wants release from his
troubles. He may be justified. There is no point in such a marriage
at all. It cannot be considered that just because a person has saved
another’s life, he or she gains a right to possess him or her.
this woman has sacrificed the most vital part of herself for the
health of this man, but realises that it is her final wifely duty to
make him happy by releasing him. But does she deserve to have her
kidney back? Biologically it belongs to him now, but she had donated
it in complete sense of wifely duty as she understands it. In her
view, she has been betrayed. I cannot argue with that. What judgement
do I make?
up and addresses audience)
listeners and watchers of this scene, I am really stuck on this
issue. I feel it will be an injustice either party if I make a
judgement one way or the other, but the judgement has to be made. But
I think I can count upon the audience’s collective wisdom and
understanding to make a conscionable judgement. Therefore, I shall
leave to you the judgement. Does the kidney belong to him or her?
Labels: divorce, organs