The 12th death.
[Text by Sanchita Guha; photo by Deepali Guha]
Sanchita Guha, a journalist by profession, both remarkable and unremarkable in many ways, was always a vocal opponent – at the risk of getting much flak – of the human tendency to cling to life despite age and infirmity. It had been her desire, as friends knew, to die when still young, still at the peak of physical and mental strength, somewhere far away from home, far away from the drama of grief that always follows the news that the inevitable was here.
“Human life is a drop of water on a lotus leaf.” This line from a Bengali classic poem guided her goals. Ms Guha never deferred her travels, never waited – for the right time, the right company, the right weight of the wallet. If she wanted to go somewhere, that was the right time; if she never returned from that place, that would be the right time, too.
And so it happened. Ms Guha never came back from her most recent trip into the wilderness of the Himalayas, a place that she always described as the most magnificent on earth. It was a solo trip and her will was already written – a preparedness for vanaprastha, the third stage of existence, or perhaps even of death. No one knows what occurred, but her friends respected her wishes by not trying to find out.
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