Prithvi’s cousins, Ashwin and Kartik lost their grandfather last week. A fine gentleman, who was known for his exemplary values and strong personality, he had been ailing for sometime. Prithvi was very disturbed.

‘If I am very good – like really good all my life, can I get to stay in the same room as you when we are all in heaven?’, he says suddenly, while we are driving back from dinner.

‘Why are you thinking about all this?’, my heart went out to him.

‘Because I feel very scared sometimes.’

‘Of what?’

‘What will happen when you take off?’

‘Take off?’

‘That’s my word for D-I-E. I don’t like saying that word because it scares me.’

‘You will have your sister and your cousins. They will be there for you!’

‘No, I want you and papa.’

‘Don’t worry baby, we are not going to take off so fast.’

He still looked pensive and stared out of the window.

I held his hand. I was also scared. Of more loved ones dying…taking off.

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one.

We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up.

And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know.

It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is.

Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”

― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Below : Ashwin with his grandfather.