The 99th death.
[Text by Neha Mathur; photo by “Husband”]
As irony would have it, a hailstorm ravaged the night when Neha Mathur’s soul departed for another world, just like the day she was born. A single spaghetti dangled from her mouth, and she had the satiated expression of finished a plate of Carbonara. In front of her, a Macbook blared R.D. Burman’s Mera Kuchh Samaan, playing on loop for the last week. The room looked like a stack of hay, with clothes, books, food strewn about, and like a needle, somewhere under the pile her phone vibrated, ringer off as usual.
Ms Mathur, aged 75, suffered from Alzeimer’s, and could recall with great detail every meal she ever had in Milan, Dubai, New Delhi, New York. But you could move heaven and earth and she would not get off her bed to clear her room. People suspected she faked the Alzeimer’s to indulge in laziness and gluttony.
The departed soul has left her collection of F.R.I.E.N.D.S episodes, which she religiously watched every day, all day. Her family remembers the day Mathew Perry, or Chandler, from the show died, Ms Mathur sobbed hysterically and then went around deliriously grabbing people and repeating Chandler’s jokes from the show. That was perhaps the beginning of the end.
Ms Mathur is the author of best-selling novels, Cutting Corners, Women vs. Women, Dreams to Kill, and many more. She is survived by her 80-year-old husband, Ashish, her son Rehaan, and daughter, Naina. Her family plans to publish her unfinished autobiography, if they can find it. They talk fondly of the times she was caught sneaking into the kitchen, and plan to hold her send-off ceremony at her favourite place, provided Dilli Haat allows funeral ceremonies.
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