Dinesh, my friend, died in my father’s lap. In a moving train. A strange place to die. Away from home, and yet to arrive at the destination. I wonder if Dinesh thought he’d die on the way. My father believed he would make it. My father always chose hope. Dinesh died of brain haemorrhage en route to Delhi from Patna. My father got off at Lucknow with the dead body and travelled back in an ambulance with the body to Simaria Ghat in Begusarai, Bihar, for the last rites. Seven hundred kilometres.
Sometimes, I wonder how that would have been. All that silence in the ambulance. My mother remembers what my father wrote that day in his diary, where he used to maintain his accounts. The only entry about a different kind of loss. A loss they never bring up.