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Rajib Das


I have read many a sad page, seen many a teary-eyed motion picture, but I had never known what grief was really like until the day my father died at twelve-fifteen that July noon. I was sitting under the shade of a coconut tree, looking after our cattle grazing in the fields belonging to our separate plot of land when my sister had come running, her feet bare, crying, the sound unsettling the Greater Adjutant storks in the fields of grass and puddles of rainwater. Between sobs she panted out that father had passed away only a while ago. I sprang up from the grass, breathless, shocked, disoriented, but death was expected. Father had been seriously ill for two years and had taken voluntary retirement from the village school where he taught English. Throat cancer, the doctors at the nearby town hospital had said. He would go any day, so…