Of Reality and Death

the most recent sms my father received
asked him – urged him –
to buy insurance worth one crore –

what would happen to his family
after he passed away?

in my father’s sixth floor apartment
in a sequestered area of the metropolitan
i witness death in stories
Werther shoots himself –
the editor says it was toward his right eye.
Ovid’s Sappho is taken by the winds.
Veronica is afraid to be red-marked –
Gloriosa’s terrifying laughter terrifies her to death.

death is fascinating in stories
for ones who don’t have to worry about living
for ones who can ‘insure’ lives after them
for ones who can afford to think.

in my mother’s ground floor world
in a crowded area of the metropolitan
i witness death in stories –
Kamla dies with her unborn child on the way to her village
(none of her memsaabs would drive her in their cars) –
Vinod lies suffocated underground
Neelu collapses in the heat of the day.

what would happen to their families?
they have passed away.

Akshada Shrotryia is a Masters student at Delhi University pursuing English Literature. 

Featured image: Jr Korpa/Unsplash