CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE: By Amlan Chakraborty


child
Photographer: Afrah

Dear Riju,

Hope you’re enjoying your summer vacation. How’s Lucy? Mama showed me her photo. I like her floppy ears. I will get a dog too if I behave, Baba said. I’m trying my best.

I’m writing to tell you something. Dadu died this morning. He is lying on a mat in his room. You remember his room? I hid under his bed and you searched for me everywhere else?

It’s the smallest room in our house. Apart from Sanyal Dadu, nobody came to visit him in his room. It’s so crowded now, and I don’t know most of the people there.

I never saw a dead man before and was scared. Dadu looked happy though. And asleep, as if he’d wake up and ask for tea. Only his nose was stuffed with cotton. I don’t know why they stuff the nose of a dead man.

Batasi Masi lit incense sticks near Dadu‘s head. She also dyed his feet red (she says it’s called altaa) and took prints on a white paper. Baba will frame it and put on the wall, she said. Mama is now busy looking after the guests. I’m getting to know everything from Batasi Masi.

Mama and Baba cried a lot. I’m happy they won’t fight over Dadu again. Mama said Batasi Masi could stay with us only if she could sleep in Dadu‘s room. She also says Kaku and Kakima are selfish, they left Dadu with us. I think it was nice of them to let Dadu stay with us.

Kaku, Kakima are reaching tomorrow. They always bring gifts for us. Also, Rini is coming. She’s my cousin. She’s seven but I still don’t call her Didi. Guess what, she stays close to Disneyland!

Mama calling, I must go now.

Your friend

Arka

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