Our Self-Written Obituaries – Soumya Mukerji, Hindustan Times House

Our Self-Written Obituaries – Soumya Mukerji, Hindustan Times House

The 27th death.

[Text by Soumya Mukerji; photo by Amit Singh]

It was an anxiety attack that killed Soumya Mukerji. “A decade of dead-lined journalism or may be just love is enough to do that to you,” says her brother, Lallan, the keeper of her unfinished writings.

Or, as a few are saying, perhaps it was just existential emptiness in the lack of both passion or peace – something that has often taken away the lives of such folks in their late twenties.

People knew Ms Mukerji in different ways: some as a journalist, some as a rather private poet and blogger, and others, for creating a poetry-to-visual-art project – Kavi – known more now as a flourishing enterprise driven by her family and friends. Her anthology of poetry was a lifelong collection that her close friends had long urged her to publish. Her second book – a collaborative biography of a well-hiding yet acclaimed wordsmith – was still being written while tragedy struck at twilight.

Ms Mukerji’s study houses many scattered, handwritten notebooks full of hitherto undiscovered poems and notes that are being interpreted in different ways by the interested. She died with a wish that her dog would refuse to part with them.

“She just wanted to hole up in the hills and live a simple, sublime life,” says her friend Swati. A couple of months before her death, Ms Mukerji had pledged her organs toward medical aid.

Our Self-Written Obituaries invites people 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 mayankaustensoofi@gmail.com.