Our Self-Written Obituaries – Tikuli Dogra, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
The 236th death.
[Text and photo sent by Tikuli Dogra]
Tikuli Dogra passed from this world today. A walker found her propped up against a fallen tree next to the stream. Her final words were “I had a good run and one thousand years is long enough.”
A worn out notebook, some stationery, a wallet with a photograph of her sons and a few ancient coins were found in a duffle bag next to the stream. A hunter had hammered a wooden stake through her heart.
Ms Dogra was the keeper of the words, a story teller also labelled a ‘witch’, a ‘sorceress’ accused of laying word-traps. A wanderer at heart she never fitted in the boxes society tried to put her in. She was a poetess who often disappeared into the morass of her own words.
She was like that empty house upon the hill
the silent, uneasy house where no one ever goes,
where scarred walls hold dark secrets
and windows are like empty eye sockets;
where there always seems to be a movement,
the sound of a door closing, footsteps
a flicker of light in the emptiness—
haunted and haunting at the same time.
A memorial will be held in the ruins of Hauz khas where she was often seen wandering alone.
[The author is a poet]