Just yesterday, as I was reading a particularly well-written fanfic, I was moved to tears. Not because the story was tear-inducing, but because an incident in the life of the female protagonist — and her reaction to it — resonated within me.
Rain, lots of people and the Howrah bridge — that was my first glimpse of the City of Joy. I reached Calcutta on a summer evening late in April. Despite the rain, the heat and humidity levels were nowhere near bearable. The short walk from the air-conditioned cab to the air-conditioned hotel lobby had me sweating profusely. In my sweat-drenched kurta-salwar, with a rucksack on my back and a small sack and suitcase in hand, I must have looked a real sight. That night, as I lay in an unfamiliar bed some 2000 odd kilometres away from home, I thought I would never like this city; that it was just another city in India that I could add to my travels and forget. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Death. Even just the word gives you the shivers, doesn’t it? Death, on which many, many poems have been composed, thousands of essays written, tons of metaphors invented. Death, the great equalizer, the leveler, in the face of which the kings, so also the beggars, are equal. Death, which the three Peverell brothers wanted to thwart. Death, which was Voldemort’s greatest fear. Death, which lurks around the corner. Death, which comes as a surprise to some, while others go to meet him. Yet, no matter how much is said and written about death, there’s always something to be added, someone else’s views to be noted, someone’s story to be heard.