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Our Self-Written Obituaries – Abhijit Dutta, Singapore

Our Self-Written Obituaries – Abhijit Dutta, Singapore

The 68th death.

[Text by Abhijit Dutta; photo by Sebastian Ku]

Fittingly, Abhijit Dutta died mid sentence, hanging from the edge of a comma. He had always been a man of great ambition. Indeed, his ambitions were so great and so many that he never found the urge or patience to accomplish any of them. Being Bengali, and that too of a lineage that included the indolent nabobs of shovabazar rajbaari and the effete poet Toru Dutt, he had a suitable disdain for anyone who suggested that he might consider putting in “real” work, in the sense of joules, to advance some of these phantom ambitions into whole beings, complete with an end. Instead, he chose to squander away a lifetime reading old letters and emails from lovers and critics.

He did however leave behind a substantive literary estate comprising of 21 unfinished novels and three diaries. Like Kafka, he asked his Max to burn it all, but being vain he also asked his Holroyd, à la Lessing, to write an authorised biography based on these works.

It was not immediately clear as to what, or who, caused his death (suicide? murder?) or even the precise hour and place it took place. He was a liminal man to his last breath, dissolving contradictions within his body semiotic. He may well have died in the middle of a desert, deep inside a dream, drunk on wine, reciting a poem he was yet to write.

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

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