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Our Self-Written Obituaries – Krishnali Pratap, Esauli

The tenth death.

[Text by Krishnali Pratap; photo by Zakir Khan]

The death of Krishnali Pratap defies exactness in totality. This is the only thing she wanted — no certainty.

Ms Pratap’s life had been a mysterious concoction of assumptions. Nothing much is known about her except for the fact that at the time of her death she was at her ancestral country house in Esauli village, Uttar Prdaesh. On March 18, her mother in Dehradun received a worried phone call from Shanti Tai, Ms Pratap’s sometime-caretaker. For the last four days, the elderly caretaker said, she had heard no word from their daughter.

On entering Ms Pratap’s room, her parents found lots of books and handwritten manuscript pages strewn around her; the ash heap of burnt papers lay in one corner.

The last rites were performed at the family’s private cremation ground, in the middle of yellow Mustard flowers.

Ms Pratap’s father, a doctor, had long before diagnosed her illness. He said, “She was always at loggerheads with bona fide orientations. Somehow I always knew that these self-invented measures of hers, and her complete isolation and too many books would take their toll one day.”

Her mother simply said, “Krishnali wanted to be a writer.”

Our Obituaries invites Delhiites across the world to write their obituary in 200 words. The idea is to share with the world how you will like to be remembered after you are gone. (May you live a long life, of course!) Please mail me your self-obit at

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