The 23rd death.
[Text by Arpita Das; photo by Freddie Ribeiro]
Arpita Das was an independent publisher of a whimsical list of books. Although she was often heard saying that she couldn’t be bothered with bestselling books, a friend remembers that she lived her entire working life in anticipation of publishing a bestseller.
Few may be aware that Ms Das was also a writer. Apart from blog posts that seemed much too short and feature pieces that were much too long, she wrote fiction in her head transferring it at times to Evernote. Four chapters of a novel about the Bengalis of Banaras and three more of ghost stories for young readers have been found thus.
Towards the end of her life, Ms Das became a staunch believer in social media. Her twitter activism inspired many and she was responsible for persuading a number of shy, retiring writers to embrace the medium (you know who you are). It is fitting then that her passing was announced only on twitter and she would indeed be happy to know that the said tweet quickly achieved bestselling status in twitterverse by going viral.
Sadly, the end did not come swiftly in Ms Das’s case. She choked on a mutton bone while having lunch at home and her last words as she was being rushed to hospital were, “There is no bestseller.” She is survived by a loving husband, daughter, son and dog.
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