Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indian mourning

Today our landlady has died. Or ‘is gone’ or ‘is not anymore’, as the Indians say, because it is too sad to pronounce the word death.

She used to live at the ground floor in our building. Her building. A refined, well-mannered old lady, extremely kind and polite, with whom it was always pleasent to have a chat whenever we crossed each other on the stairs.

She died today. The sad news was brought to us by Pansigh, our factotum, in tears. Because he, together with his wife who used to accompany her every day to the park for a walk, were part of her ‘enlarged family’. A family suddenly without head.

Likewise, when I went downstairs to offer my condolences to the daughter, I could not restrain myself to shed a few tears, probably because - perhaps unconsciously - we had also become part of her family.

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