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Our Self-Written Obituaries – Nishtha Gautam , Deshbandhu College

The 39th death.

[Text by Nishtha Gautam; photo by a French woman traveller]

Nishtha Gautam died in a motor accident on the evening of 8 September. She was observing her weekly ritual of going to Agra, when her car rammed into a truck on Yamuna Expressway.

This visit was going to be a special one since she was driving a gifts-laden car packed with meticulously packed boxes of Banoffee Pie and Blueberry Cheesecake from The Big Chill. It was her husband’s birthday the next day. Ms Gautam was also going to celebrate her 30th birthday after ten days.

Ms Gautam was known for living her life not just on the edge, but also pushing the very edge ahead inch by inch. Her family, friends and colleagues remember her honest laughter shooting forth from a set of crooked teeth, her fanatical commitment to equality, quirky sense of fashion and a rare stance of habitual bravery. Her students are devastated for they say that she was a true mentor. A regular blood donor, Ms Gautam had also pledged her organs away.

Whatever remains of her now rests by the side of a beloved uncle at her village as per one of her casually expressed wishes.

Ms Gautam’s writings on gender, culture and literature showed promise and created a stir among the country’s intellectual circles. She will be survived by her words that were like a gypsy’s charm to many. To mark her resting place there is an ornate slab of orange marble with a line from her poem: “Her words are unleashed. Her world, though, sleeps still.”

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

One thought on “Our Self-Written Obituaries – Nishtha Gautam , Deshbandhu College

  1. Bravo! Ms. Gautam is perhaps the first person in the self-obit series to have pledged her organs away. Very good. Most of us are quite obsessed with ‘making the transition’ intact. One of the best things a person can do is to pass on his/her vitality to others.

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