The 64th death.
[Text by Ashlin Mathew; photo by Shiv Ahuja]
Ashlin Mathew, known for her strong opinions, judgmental looks and sunny personality, gurgled and died while in mid-speech in one of her homes between Goa and Diu. She was 90. She is survived by her partner, two sons, three sisters, three cats and four dogs.
This spirited woman always thought she had no room for drama in her life and all her friends believed otherwise. Giving in to popular demand, her death was quite dramatic. Ms Mathew was reminiscing about one of her submarine sexcapades with Vladmir Putin’s illegitimate son Alexei to 20-something-year-olds in an attempt to get them to write porn. Ms Mathew was the secret publisher of the porn literature website Norwegian Wood, having written under the pseudonym Aleena Afeem.
A prolific writer, Ms Mathew had Salman Rushdie eating out of her palm though she had eyes only for her unnamed partner, who adored her sycophantic ways. Even so, Ms Mathew’s work shone the brightest when she was pulling up someone or something – NGOs, administrators, government – for not having lived to the idealistic expectations she had of them. Very few lived up to those standards and neither did she.
Her partner, who did not want to be named, said she had spent the previous week in the company of her soothsayers; rejecting a Pulitzer Prize because they had given it to her for writing about the rich; and breaking bread with the local gold smugglers. She was their patron. In Kafka style, her unnamed partner said he intends to profit from publishing many of her unpublished novels.
Despite relishing her life in shadows, Ms Mathew had her five-day stint of fame when she debuted as the rap artiste ‘Paratholil Rice Boat’ with her singles Coconut Extract, Rasam Squirter and Rice Burn, all of which topped music charts in 2015. She went on to be a part of the band ‘The Outta Keys’ to promote a budding musician with beautiful fingers. True to her materialistic outlook, all proceeds from the songs went to building her homes in Goa, Diu and Fiji Islands.
“She had mild depression occasionally, but who doesn’t these days what with origami pets, people having illicit affairs with machines and talking to itchy possums. She ensured she was human all along and enjoyed making our father and us sing and cook for her occasionally,” said Aarav, the younger of her two adopted children.
The smart cookie that she was, Ms Mathew has created a trust to look after her homes and they cannot be sold or split as long as her progeny, adopted or not, have children. As has been the tradition, the mezzanine and constellation floors in all her homes will continue to host the creative idiosyncrasies of the AK-47 cult.
A memorial service will be organised near the Arabian Sea on the Diu coastline. All those attending the merry event should carry gifts for her afterlife and please carry hip flasks to endure it. There will be live painting by Rudy and Baby Lolly, eulogy by Seeti, drag sequence by BTJar and a fire juggling performance by Noby and Sue.
P.S.: Registered Trademark: Rasam Squirter – Avik R; Coconut Extract, Rice Burn: Cara T; lil Rice Boat: The Outta Keys
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