The 52nd death.
[Text by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan; the self-portrait is of the author in her 30s with Pablo, the inspiration behind her cat breed project]
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan died on January 2, 2082. She had just turned one hundred this past December, and wanted to be the world’s oldest person, beaten out by Kimi Durbang of Nepal, who continues to hold the record at 163. Despite her excellent health, Ms Madhavan’s dreams could not come true as she caught a cold immediately after her birthday and rapidly went downhill.
Ms Madhavan was the author of 60 books—including 12 for children—and the Booker award winning novel Young Days: My Life In India’s 1980s, a part fiction, part memoir book that was described as “groundbreaking” by people who only remembered the ‘80s from what their grandparents had told them. She lived with her longtime partner, dividing their time between Bangkok and the Himalayan foothills, after they were forced to leave Delhi in the mass exodus of 2024 due to the toxic air quality of that city.
The couple had no biological children, but in their 60s, adopted the twins Sophia (the Nobel laureate) and Maya (the children’s book author) from Kerala, who hold all rights to their estate currently.
Ms Madhavan also surrounded herself with animals, and is survived by two of her last line of cats, a breed she created herself, crossing the Indian tabby cat with the endangered fishing cat. Fishtabs, as the breed is now known, are among the most popular cat breeds worldwide, in demand for their dog-like obedience and cat-like independence. Ms Madhavan patented the breed with a caveat that no one should be allowed to cross-breed the cats too much, leaving purity in the gene pool.
“I’ll go now,” Ms Madhavan is said to have said to her daughters the night before she died. Then she went.
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