Friday, 7 December 2012

Godless & Barren – 2

The strings are broken, the sitar won't play any more.

The sea has dried up, now it's one long sandy shore.

The Sun forgot about the harshness of its own brilliance,

And now wants the Monsoon to give it one last chance.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Break the Bondage...and the Bond

Liberate yourself.

Liberate yourself with dignity. Liberate yourself with humility and without shame. Liberate yourself whichever way you can, whatever be the price.

Liberate. Liberate. Liberate.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Godless & Barren

Lack of inspiration is a lethal injection. It first numbs the mind, then kills the heart.

Lack of inspiration induces a feeling of godless existence. Then it slowly renders your emotionscape barren.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Ballad Of The Solitary Drifter

"Loosen the grip and drift away...

Hoist anchor and sail away...

Let strangers no more hold sway...

Over you heart.

Over your blessed, lonely heart."

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Pujo Like No Other

A Pujo like no other.

A dash of nostalgic clouds peeping at the mind's window, like a naughty child playing truant while the mother sleeps. An unseen raven of fear cawing away from behind a cover of leafy green, like the shadow of the shark that passes beneath the harmless fisherman's boat.

The first Pujo in 12 years without a Sister. A Pujo that is sandwiched between dead weights pulling me back, and hopes of a newer, better Me. A Pujo filled with dreams of breaking shackles and nightmares of an extended sentence.

A Pujo of Old Demons and New Goddesses.

Like I said, a Pujo like no other.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


“I loathe what is my lot, for I love not nor deserve it.

What I merit, and desire with all my soul, is so close to and yet beyond my reach.

Oh, why do I vent my ire at You, You who is Heaven’s Choicest Blessing unto me?

I rage at the Gods’ injustice, I direct my fury at them.

And yet it is to them that I pray for the Greatest Miracle of all.”

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sheyr-o-Shayari – 3

Triggered by repeated hearings of three all-time favorite Kishore Kumar sad/emotional numbers:
  1. Aaj tu ghair sahi, pyaar se bair sahi [Oonche Log – 1985] — RD Burman
  2. Tera ghar teri galiyaan hum to chhod chalein [Oonche Log – 1985] — RD Burman
  3. Kisi ki bewafaai ka sabab ban jaaya karti hai [Main Awara Hoon – 1983] — RD Burman

“Ek khauffnaak maahaul ki giraft mein hai zindagi,
Yeh kaisi sannaate ki qaid mein hai zindagi…
Kasheedah lagta hai sukoon ka ek saans lena,
Jaane kyun apno ki hi vaar se lahoo-lohaan hai zindagi.”


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sheyr-o-Shayari – 2

This new one was triggered by repeated hearings of three of my all-time favorite Kishore Kumar romantic numbers over the last 4-5 days:
  1. Aankhon aankhon mein hum tum [Mahal – 1969] — Kalyanji-Anandji
  2. Yeh duniya-waale poochhenge [Mahal – 1969] — Kalyanji-Anandji
  3. Saawan ka maheena aa gaya [Nehle Peh Dehlaa – 1976] — RD Burman

"Aksar raaton ko tanhaa baithe,
Tere baare mein sochtaa hoon...
Jab sannaate ki zulfon se tapakti shabnam,
Dastak dey khayaalon ki chaukhat par,
Pesh-qadmi ki ghadiyaan gintey huye,
Tera intezaar kartaa hoon.
Aksar raaton ko tanhaa baithe,
Tere baare mein sochtaa hoon."


Saturday, 22 September 2012


I am not a poet. Despite being an avid lover & student of literature, I have never been too keen on reading or writing [the latter is something that 99.96% Bengalis try at least once in their lifetime, esp. during their college years, even more so if they go to Presidency College/University or Jadavpur University, & invariably when—not if—they fall in love] poetry. I don't think I have the talent or the patience to write poetry.

The following lines took shape in my mind on some lonely afternoons & pensive nights, & I didn't even notice. They just...happened, & without any effort, if I may add at the cost of sounding a little vain. I don't recall what I was thinking or doing when it happened, but one thing I can assure U of: though they seem a bit Gulzar-ish, they are completely original. With that, I now take the liberty of putting them up here.


"Bas kuchh dhundhli-dhundhli si yaadein,
Kabhi Kabhie tanhaai ki waadiyon mein,
Ek jhalak dikhaakar,
Bikhre huye armaanon ke toote huye parr lagaakar udd jaate hain..."


"Woh sard shaam, woh besharm taarein...
Woh bheed ki tanhaai, woh andekhe nazaarein...
Teri rukhsaar pe khamoshi ki nami, merey labon pe ankahey izhaar...
Kuchh sawaal jo fasaane ban gaye, aur kuchh dard jo aksar raaton ko milne aate hain..."


"Yeh woh shahar nahi Ghalib, jahaan dost bastey hain...
Yeh qasbah hai naaraaz tanhaaiyon ka,
Yahaan to saaye bhi paraaye hotey hain."


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What Are Friends For?

A few years ago, I became good friends with a [now ex-] colleague of mine. The gentleman was somewhat of a “charming rogue”, at least as far as first impressions go. We were working in the same company & project—in fact, I was a member of his team—& before long, we became good friends [I repeat the phrase from my opening sentence, because this particular phrase holds a great deal of importance to me].

We were friends for almost two-&-a-half years, during which we experienced, & shared, a lot of things. I considered him, & still do, one of the best IDs I have ever met [but then, I’d say that I’m probably among the bottom 3-4%]. He was not merely charming, but quite intelligent, & could hold up his end of an intelligent conversation for long. He was quick-witted & glib, if slightly of the Aunty Acid type.

Over the next couple of years, our interactions & intimacy grew. He survived a bad separation from his girlfriend of 8 years; lost his job [I remember trying to canvass for him & being snubbed by the powers-that-be; in fact, I was his replacement!] while I survived nearly 3 years of that impossible place; sat me down at his 1-BHK pad in Mumbai for an all-night talkathon, during which, over endlessly-flowing rum [which he drank] & Coke [which I drank], he gave me tips on how to avoid a pretty-but-nagging, clingy, & harboring-impossible-romantic-hopes-about-me colleague [“Her motto is: First we make fraaands, then we make baaabiesss!” still cracks me up when I think of that night & of him] as well as on how to appease my wife, with whom I’d been having a series of fights…yes, he was a good friend to have.

And then, he went away.

It so happened that soon after the aforementioned break-up, he acquired a “hot new piece of a$$” [his words, not mine] who had joined the organization where we worked. The relationship grew at a rapid pace, & before long, the girl, otherwise known to be fairly good at her job, started neglecting her work [he'd already been doing it for quite sometime]. What got my goat was that she, for no apparent reason, was always after him to end his friendship with me. However, he did not pay heed to her.

He left Mumbai & went back to his old company in Pune, taking his new girlfriend with him. Soon after this, my sister joined the organization, & I asked him to “keep an eye on her, guide her in terms of work—& life, as need be…generally, be her brother/friend/mentor.” He agreed.

Strangely, my sister & my friend’s fiancée bonded fairly well, & she bonded with my friend too…until one day when they invited her for dinner & didn’t serve anything to eat until about 1 at night, when my friend’s fiancée cooked up some sandwiches that disagreed with my poor sister so badly that she landed up at the hospital for a day.

That incident upset me, but it didn’t exactly send me to the orbit. Shortly after this, however, another incident did.

I was having an email conversation with my sister & inadvertently Cc-ed my friend. My sister, while replying, hit the ‘Reply-All’ button by mistake, so her response went to him as well. Ideally, he should have kept quiet [that would have given him an opportunity to have a laugh at the two of us later, & no one would have minded], but he chose to respond with an unnecessarily sarcastic & derogatory reply. What’s more, he Cc-ed his fiancée, & she in turn, having read through the entire conversation, replied with an even uglier & downright insulting comment directed at my family. Despite my first protest, she persisted.

That made me go ballistic. I told my sister to step aside, removed the churlish girl [my friend’s fiancée] from the list of recipients, & flew at the guy. I mean, I just flew at him, with all the guns that I could find lying around blazing away on full automatic. At first, he tried to brave it out, but quickly realized that I was in no mood to relent. I gave it to him right then there, over a series of emails, & by the end, he was begging me to stop & crying for truce.

I told him: “Dude, we’ve been friends for so many years, & discussed so many things. There have been numerous occasions when certain things that you, or your girlfriend, told me could have been construed as downright offensive. But did I take offense? No. that’s because I knew where you coming from. So now, instead of trying to put up a brave front & cover up a blatant mistake, the least you can do is take a step back, sit down for a minute, & think why I am saying what I am saying!!!

The guy stopped in his tracks. In halting tones, he asked me: “So would you still be interested in attending my marriage, after all this?” I replied: “Why not? What have you or I done to change that? We are still friends, aren’t we? You only have to tell me the date and the venue, & I’ll be there as promised.”

A couple of months after this, my friend called me up to tell me that the marriage date had been fixed & that he would email me the details soon. I told him that I would be waiting.

The invite never came. I came to know of the marriage date a few days before it took place from another colleague, who gloated over the fact that someone who I had claimed would name me as one of the first invitees had not invited me, after all. I knew the real reason behind this snub, of course, & stayed silent.

That was the day when we parted ways, that friend of mine & me, never [yet] to get back. It is not that I miss him, it is just that I remember the series of good moments we shared, & how one bad moment that was not my fault in any way made him move away. Good riddance, you say? I don’t know.

And I can foresee history repeating itself. This time, the wounds are going to be deeper, so deep that no ointment is going to heal them; the scars are going to be wider, so wide that no thread of time can stitch them together. Because this time, it is not just a “good friend” or even a “very good friend” I will lose, but someone who endorsed my claim when I said that we were “not merely BFFs, but soulmates for all eternity without being lovers”.

On the previous occasion, I lost a friend because I stood up for my rights; this time, I will lose another for reaching out to U for help, Coco.

Yes, My Friend, I needed your help. I had voiced my concern some time ago, if U remember. I had told U that for the first time in our friendship, I am facing problems, & they concern U. I wish U had paid a little more heed to my words than the usual lip service that I usually get. I wish U had taken that all-important step back, sat down, & pondered over my statement. I wish U had defended me, on stupid social networking sites, as vociferously & as readily as U defend your other friends, some of whom [rather ironically] U met through me. I wish U could spare for me a thousandth of the time that U spend with others. I wish U had reached out, even once in a while, placed your hand on my wrist, & told me: “Yes, I know that a lot of things are not going right in your world, or as well as they should go, but remember that I am Constant, as steady as the Pole Star, as unvarying as Life itself, in your life. Do not worry about me, my Friend, for I will be there for you even after we both stop breathing.” That is all I needed to hear. Not every moment, not every day, but once in a while. That is all that was needed to heal me, cure me of my fears & my insecurities. That is all.

That is all.

Sunday, 16 September 2012



Complex, complicated, relentless.
Maddening, frustrating, difficult.

Bring a smile to your lips when you are shrouded in melancholia.
Squeeze a drop from your heart when you are surrounded by gaiety.

A sidewalk you may have walked down with someone special. A blanket that belonged to someone, but now warms another. Sundown hour that was hitherto synonymous with tea made by an old, grown-accustomed-to hand, but from now on will announce the presence of a new one.


Choking windpipes. Curving lips upwards.
Flooding eyes. Throbbing hearts.

Memories. What devils they are!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

How We Feel Without You

If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane,
We’d run right up to heaven above, and bring You home again.
A thousand words can’t bring You back,
We know because we tried,
And neither can a million tears,
We know because we cried.
As every tear we shed for You becomes a star above,
We build for You a House of Lights, lit by eternal love.
You never said You’re going away,
You never said goodbye,
You were gone before we knew,
And only god knew why.

An angel in the Book of Life
Wrote down our Baby’s birth.
She closed the book too soon, and said:
“Too beautiful for Earth.”
None know the pain that drowns our souls,
What we are forced to face,
You have our word: we’ll meet again,
Someday we will embrace.
There’ll be a time, we promise You,
We’ll meet on heaven’s land,
We’ll kiss Your face; we’ll hold You tight,
And then You’ll understand.

We hear that it was “meant to be,
God doesn’t make mistakes…”
But that won’t soften our worst blow,
Or make our hearts not ache.
Our hearts still mourn in wretched grief,
And secret tears still flow,
Oh, what it means to lose You,
How painfully we know!
When we are sad and lonely,
And everything goes wrong,
We hear You whisper in our ears:
“Cheer up and carry on.”

Each time we see Your pictures,
You seem to smile and say:
“Don’t cry, I’m only sleeping, folks,
We’ll meet again someday.”
They say there is a reason,
They say that time will heal,
But neither time nor reason,
Will change the way we feel.
For no one knows the heartache,
That we in our smiles hide,
And no one knows how many times,
We’ve broken down and cried.

We’ll tell You a little secret, Angel,
So You will have no doubt:
You’re so wonderful to think of,
But so hard to live without.
In life we loved You dearly,
In death we love You still,
In our hearts You hold a place,
That none can ever fill.
It broke our hearts to lose You,
But You didn’t go alone,
For our hearts went with You,
The day god took You home.

The world may never notice if a snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even stop to shed a tear if one’s joy turns to gloom.
But every life that ever forms, or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.
The Little One who we long for
Was swiftly here and gone,
But the love Her presence planted is
A light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Each heartbeat of our grieving souls
Speaks of our love for You.

To some You are forgotten,
To others, part of the past,
But to us who loved and lost You,
Your love will always last.
Nothing on earth matters now,
And we feel so alone;
Our hearts will always be broken,
Our lives will never be whole.
We might be parted for a while;
Our souls will be together,
For one day soon we’ll re-unite,
This time it’ll be forever.


Inspired by obituary poems on 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

In The Wake: Picking Up The Fragments

You can stay together, but live apart.

She eliminated that.

You can stay apart, but be together.

She accomplished this.

One more day to survive. One more night of staying apart.

There is a strange, surreal, almost eerie, stillness that has suddenly seeped into our life, the one common life that five of us share now. We move about, we talk to other people, we try to concentrate on our work at home or in office, we eat, we bathe, we brush our teeth…everything seems to be going normally. But it is not. It is a façade, a common mask that we simultaneously wear, a mask behind which we hide the raging maelstrom inside.

A mask that is not very effective.

When people look back at their own lives, when they self-retrospect, sometimes they divide their lives into segments, periods of time, marked by personal milestones. ‘Pre-college’ and ‘post-college’. ‘Pre-marriage’ and ‘post-marriage’. ‘Until I met ABC or did xyz’ and ‘after I met ABC or did xyz’. Until now, I used to categorize my own life under two such headers, ‘until the end of school’ and ‘college-onwards’. But for the five of us—Baba, Maa, Mamma, Kiara, and me—the life that we share, the one life that we have been sharing since 16th January 2012, is divided into two parts, “pre-Kuttush” and “Kuttush-onwards”.

Which would have been a good thing, but for the one additional rider: there is a virus that has attached itself to the second phase, a monstrous virus that has rapidly expanded itself to form a third, additional segment of our life and will not be removed.


It is as if an intruder invaded your home, your privacy, and took away forcibly, or maybe sneakily, something of immense value to you, when you were not looking, or maybe you were but you were caught unawares and was unable to do anything. It is only after he left, slamming the door behind him, that you realized what you lost in a matter of a few minutes or a few seconds only.

It takes a few moments to register what you just saw. Or heard. What you just lost. Forever. The brain has already registered what the heart refuses to acknowledge, but will be forced to. For a while, your mind is in the throes of a strange frenzy. It blacks out everything around you. The shock is physical. The numbness slams into you with brute force.

Within a span of barely a few minutes, your entire universe has shrunk into one little, white, furry body that lies lifeless in your arms.

The one moment you thought would never come, and took that thought for granted, has come and taken away the very essence of your being, leaving with you the little white shell that housed the twin to your soul.

But god is supposed to be great, right? Isn’t he also supposed to be good and merciful and caring and kind?

You question, not without reason, not entirely consciously, the concept of the so-called greatness or goodness or mercifulness of this vague, ambiguous, obscure entity called god, even as your mind struggles to cope with the harsh reality that rushes at you with the speed and force of a Mack truck. There is a replica of the original standing next to you. Where you are shattered, the replica is mystified. As you cry, it nudges you, nudges its original, seeking an answer to what is happening, but does not get one. It keeps moving around the two of you, keeps nudging the two of you, letting out low, mournful yelps.

The original, for the first time since the replica has been around, refuses to answer. Or respond. Or look up. You are still crying.

You realize that the age of miracles is long gone. You take in the fact that killers cannot be gods. For the first time in your life, as your world comes to a shuddering, shattering halt, you realize that the so-called “goodness” of so-called “gods” is a cruel, cruel, cruel myth.

The tears keep flowing. Irrespective of whether we try to control ourselves or let go, they keep coming, as if they have a life of their own, white-hot lava rising from some deep cavern inside, liquid fire that burns our eyes, throats, hearts, souls, reminding us of our irredeemable, irrevocable, abject loss, without realizing—or perhaps despite realizing, but nevertheless making a mockery of our helplessness, hopelessness, powerlessness—that we do not need to be reminded. The very fact that we, the rest of us, live on is a reminder painful enough.

It’s a vicious cycle: the more you cry, the more you hurt. The more you hurt, the more you cry. And you don’t know how to stop the cycle. You don’t control it.

I wish the tears would stop. I wish the pain would subside.

I want the tears to flow. I pray the pain never stops.

It is decidedly safer to be positioned away from the direct line of fire. You get hit, yes, but the bullets that hit you are the ones that have penetrated, perforated, the front-liners first and lost a little punch. The blood pooling around you is less your own and more that of the front-liners, who took the direct hits.

I think I am lucky that I am away from home; I did not have to witness first-hand the passing away of a family-member, a sibling, right in front of my eyes. After all, I am not my Father; I cannot absorb grief, sorrow, pain, sadness, the way he does, like a sponge. Baba was unlucky to see a child of his own, borne not of his flesh and blood but of his heartstrings and his love, pass away before him.

Or was he?

In life or in death, we are happiest when we are in the company of our loved ones, surrounded by those dearest to our hearts. The moment when Kuttush left, she had Baba’s lap to rest her head on as her mortal body breathed its last. Baba at least had the consolation of holding her hand. His tears on her forehead soothed her own pain, the pain that she experienced in having to leave him behind.

What did I have? Solace in knowing that I am 2,200 kilometers away from the direct line of fire? What good is that?

The other realm, the “great beyond”, is not really that “great” if you are not in the company of your nearest and dearest. Is the company of god more preferable to the company of your parents, your siblings, your child? I think not.

Togetherness is not limited to physical co-existence. Two people may not live side-by-side, but they can continue to be together, in each other’s hearts, in a unique, death-defying, god-defying way.

The Daughter lives on with her Family, in their midst and in their hearts.

Love that reaches out across worlds is something that not even god and his sole weapon death can overcome.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

In Memoriam: A Daughter Remembered

How does it feel when a loved one, someone close to your heart, a beloved family-member, passes away?

How do you cope with such loss? How do you even think of coping with this profound, monstrous, torrential grief that floods every corner of your soul, saps your will to live, threatens to tear your world asunder?

You don’t. Your instinct takes over on autopilot mode.

If there is one absolute truth in life, albeit the most severely unacknowledged one, then that is Death. Death, whenever it comes, is always considered inappropriate, unfortunate, unwelcome. No matter what the condition of the one about to be carried away, Death always leaves you with a feeling of having been unprepared.

But is that all there is to Death?

Death is about Grief. About Sadness. Pain. Parting. About the feeling that never again will you see before your eyes the person who meant so much, probably more than the world, to you, never again will you hear him or her laugh, cry, speak. About the deep-running sense of Loss that, days afterwards, has the tendency to suddenly jump out from one hidden nook and catch you unawares, releasing tears you never realized were still there.

But Death is also about Acceptance. About Unification. About realizing, over a period of time, how much you loved, how much you love, the one who has passed on, leaving you behind, for tears that flow in remembrance of a loved one are the most sacred tears of all. In the end, therefore, tears in Death are tears of Love.

That is the legacy of Death.

As I write this piece, with the intention of sharing it with family-members and a few select friends, I realize how the most tragic event in the history of my family so far has once again brought each member of the unit, spread over three cities and now two worlds, closer to each other. For 34 hours now, we all have been crying, outwardly and inwardly. We will keep crying, each one of us, for several days to come, until a day will come when our tears will stop flowing externally, and even later, a day when the tears we shed will be for someone else. But I know that as long as we live, we will keep alive in our hearts the Sister, the Friend, the Mother, the Guard, the Companion, and most importantly, the Loyal and Devoted Daughter, who filled our lives with joy and love and laughter, and made us better human beings through her illuminating, heavenly, love-filled presence among us for eleven and a half years.

Exactly how long is eleven and a half years? Four thousand, one hundred, ninety-five days? Is it long enough to be remembered for the rest of one’s life? For the rest of five lives, separately and cumulatively, individually and simultaneously?


The thing with a pet-master relationship is, if the ‘master’ is lucky enough, it will slowly evolve into something as symbiotic as a child-parent relationship. From placing a filled bowl or plate for your pet in one corner of the kitchen, you graduate to sitting it down before you and feeding it with your own hands. From taking it out in the open thrice a day so that it can relieve itself, you slowly start expanding your duties to toweling it clean after it has done its job. When it starts chumming, you clean it up lovingly with antibiotic-soaked paper towels. You start talking to it, pretending that it understands you…and suddenly realize that it does!

And if the master-turned-parent is unlucky enough, then slowly but surely, as your children grow up and leave the nest to settle in another city, state, or country, your pet-child will nearly fill up your entire universe. It will become a substitute for your biological children. You always knew, at the back of your mind, that your pet would be dependent on you, but now, when you find that your own children have learned to fly and hunt on their own, you realize that there is still someone who waits for you at the doorstep, one who will not budge, come hail or storm, until you have returned, one who will not settle down to sleep until you go to bed and carry it with you to the special spot next to your pillow, one who will zealously—and jealously—guard your affection and snarl at anyone who vies for even a drop of it.

You realize you are as dependent on your pet-turned-child as he or she is on you.

That is when trouble starts. For that is when you discover a whole ocean of love, hidden within a white, furry body, love that you thought you could only give: to your wife, your son, your daughter, your granddaughter, but now you see that same love being given to you, without question, without condition, without demand.

Which is why, when you see that little furry white body, made frail by age and a little illness, going limp before your eyes, you call up your son and with a shock, he listens to his Father crying, crying his heart out, crying like he has never cried before, crying as if his world has ended right there, right then.

For more than a decade, if there was one factor constant to our family, then that was your presence. You were always there, Kutty. But most importantly, you were always there beside Baba. You were there beside him when we fought with him, rebelled against him; you were there when he was unwell; you were there at his side when he faced financial problems; you comforted him when people much, much beneath his stature insulted him just to prove that money is more powerful than anything else under the sun. He kept quiet. You comforted him. He hugged you. You loved him back.

When he would buy fresh chicken breasts for you (and later, for Kiara too) and proudly tell Maa how much time he had to spend in the queue at the meat shop and how he fought with the shopkeeper to give him fresh pieces, you would look at him straight in the eye and tell him, wordlessly: “What care I for fresh chicken? Is being your Beloved Daughter, your Constant Companion, not enough for me, Baba?”

You were jealous about him. You were jealous to no end. To the extent that you could not bear the thought of sharing his affection with anyone, not with his biological daughter, not with your own daughter. We still remember how you had pushed Mamma—literally—out of Baba’s lap one day and positioned yourself in that place in such a manner that there would not be space for anyone else.

If Baba has been the roof, the walls, and the floor of the building that houses his loved ones, you were the air in which we all breathed, the river of love that Baba drank from, that kept him going. He keeps us in his heart, sure, but you, Kutty, run in his veins.

We love you, Kutty. We all love you and miss you. But Baba misses you most of all. You should not have left him like that. Not while I still wait to finish my sentence away from home, away from him.

If you can hear us, know this: no one, not even god, can give you as much love as we, and Baba in particular, gave you. Nowhere will you be more at peace than you were at home, amidst your own family.

This is one visit to my own home that I am dreading, Kutty, and all because of you. There will be only Kiara to pounce on me, lick my face like crazy, wash away the dirt and grime of my tired being, when I go home from now on. When Baba clicks a photo of those moments, there will be only Kiara and me in the frame, not you and Kiara and me. This is one time when I will be greeted at my own doorstep not with smiles and laughter and yelps of joy, but with a whole lot of heart-wrenching sadness that is here to stay, a season of tears and bittersweet memories that will be in the air until the day Kiara takes over from where you left off, and the whole cycle of Love and Pain begins all over again.

I do not want you to go to heaven, at least not yet and not by yourself. Stay where you were brought up, stay with us, so that you can greet the rest of us when we pass on. I will get you those protein chewy sticks you loved. Mamma will get her camera phone to click you and will continue to bug you as well, and you can keep giving her the royal snub. Kiara will come in all her bounding glory and you can give her a wash. Maa will get your water bowl and your red pullover, and also that red short pant of yours, in which she had cut out a small hole through which your tail poked out. Best of all: Baba will get your collar-belt and his walking stick. We will travel together, my Love. And we will all live together again. Do not cross over yet.

But if we know you, you have not. You are still here. We may not be able to see you, but we can feel your presence everywhere.

Life in your absence is already killing. Life without your presence would be worse than the worst death of all.

Stay, Kutty. Don’t go. Please stay.

Kuttush Dey Choudhury, a sister to Ankana and me, a daughter to our Parents, and mother to Kiara (and four other pups she gave birth to on 2nd May 2006; we had to give them away as we were worried about their mother’s health), came into our lives as a white little ball of fur only a few days old on 23rd July 2000. She left us for what is known as “the heavenly abode” on 16th January 2012. I regret the fact that my daughter will grow up without getting to know one of the two sources of love that fuelled her family. This piece, that kept me mentally engaged and therefore away from my own grief, is in fond remembrance of our Angel of Love. I hope Kutty comes back to us, as a child to Ankana or me. I know she remembers the way back home, back to us, back to Baba.