Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dr. Rita Bakshi/ Complete Surrogacy Solutions: Ashes to Ashes

GUEST POST by Jennifer Matusiak

I wish I could say I'm happy that Drew and Rhy asked me to write this post. I'm happy that there's some small part of this tragedy that I can take on for them but I don't think anyone could be anything but horrified at the subject.

It's recently come to light that the ashes Bakshi presented to Rhy as belonging to Johnny, ashes for which Bakshi demanded additional payment, may not have been Johnny's at all. In fact, they are, in all likelihood, wood ashes.

I realize this is a bold, and terrifying, statement. The idea that someone could be so heartless as to lie to a grieving mother about the ashes of her child is beyond the comprehension of most of us. So far beyond that I bet some of you reading this will not only question my sanity, but the science.

A lot of things can be debated, but scientific facts aren't one of them.

Fact: After cremation (open-air or electric) the ashes and pieces of bone are pulverized to a fine powder. This occurs both in the United States and in India.

I'm not sure why the authenticity of Johnny's ashes came into question and, ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Upon inspection of the ashes there are, quite obviously, small bits of wood mixed in with the ash.

Fact: In order for wood to be completely turned to ash, it needs to be held at temperatures between 1100-1500 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-4 seconds.

Fact: In order to be reduced to "ash" (with some bits of bone) a human body must be held at temperatures between 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours. These temps and times are standard for electric cremation chambers.

Knowing these facts, how could Johnny's ashes contain bits of wood (large enough to see with the naked eye) if he was, in fact, cremated in an electric crematory as Bakshi claims?

Answer: They can't.

Aside from the fact that wood isn't used in an electric crematory (so how could it be in Johnny's ashes?) it only takes 2-4 seconds to reduce wood to ash. It would have taken far longer to cremate Johnny's body, as tiny as it was, even accounting for the small overlap in necessary temperatures. So, had there for SOME reason been wood in the chamber, it would have been ashed.

There is no possible way for there to be identifiable pieces of wood in human ashes.

The unfortunate and horrible conclusion I was forced to make and present to Rhy was that the ashes she paid for could not possibly have been Johnny's. They can't be human, even.

THIS is what cremains should look like.

A fine sandy texture as opposed to a powder. This is because cremains aren't ashes, as such. The ashes presented as Johnny's are, quite obviously, just that. Wood ash.

Given the circumstances surrounding the entire issue (which Rhy has discussed previously) my conclusion is that Bakshi disposed of Johnny's body (either in the river, in the trash or “donated” to medical students for dissection) as she saw fit, without asking his parents what they preferred. Then, when they requested some small token of remembrance from their son (a lock of hair, a footprint) she realized her stupidity. After expressing their desire to have their son cremated she likely seized that opportunity to hide her idiocy, presenting ashes from a wood fire to Rhy and claiming they belonged to her son.

Unethical. Deceitful. Reprehensible.


  1. Jenni, First I want to thank you for researching and writing this. I tried more than once to write this out, and no matter how much I struggled, I just couldn't get past the horror of it.

    The reason we began questioning whether or not we had Johnny’s ashes began with an anonymous comment on this blog. Prior to that, it didn’t occur to us that this was even a possibility. After that comment was left, we consulted with a forensics expert who told us that a simple visual inspection of the ashes made it clear that we weren’t looking at human remains. We also took the remains to two separate funeral homes who confirmed what the forensics expert said.

    We knew that the standard way of handling the death of a baby in India was not going to be okay for us. That’s why we gave Kim and Bakshi the names of FOUR different mortuaries. that were recommended by the consulate who would have handled his remains with respect and dignity. In retrospect, the moment they unilaterally chose not to use any of those facilities, we should have known that there was a serious problem.

    I think that Bakshi probably was doing what was considered “standard procedure” for India. What has left me feeling completely betrayed is that there is no way for me to look at this that can be interpreted positively as far as Kim’s involvement. If she knew that our son had been thrown in the garbage, colluding with Bakshi to conceal that from us is disgusting. If she did not know, how can she continue to say she has the level transparency and influence over the doctors that she advertises herself as having.

    Losing a child is, bar none the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent. Knowing that our son was thrown away like garbage has left us feeling completely shattered.

    1. You're very welcome. I wish, as I know you do, that it hadn't needed to be written at all, but I'm glad I could help.

  2. This is the most disgusting, hart wrenching, utterly unethical and completely horrific inhuman treatment of grieving parents I have ever read. I am beyond disgusted that they call themselves professional. They are nothing more than negligent uncaring beasts.

    1. Every time that we feel like we're starting to get over this, we uncover something else that makes it even more awful.

  3. H (the SE drop-out again)April 26, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    Speechless. Total horror.


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