He looked a lot like her. He was her dad. I shouldn’t say he looked like her. I should say she looked like her dad. I wondered when I had last seen LOLy. In May this year. And I wonder if I would get to see her again any time this year.

Uncle was in Bhubaneswar for delivering some seminar. Before we met in his hotel room day before yesterday, we had only heard about each other. And yet when we met, it never felt like it was the first time. At least, not to me. May be because I saw LOLy in him. We raised our glasses of Signature to each other and as we took the first sips, I felt I was back with LOLy.

We talked about lot of things. Chetan Bhagat. IIT. My work. His work. LOLy. Gujarat. Orissa. Ports. Ships. For a long time uncle had served as a captain in various ships. I asked him about his worst experience in sea so far.

‘I usually don’t talk about this to anyone but I would answer you. We were on this ship – your aunty and me. LOLy wasn’t born then. But we had an elder son. He was a li’l over two years old. And then he fell down from five stories and died. The next shore was nine days away and we didn’t have the heart to do a sea-burial. So we spent nine days on the ship with our dead child. This has been the worst experience in sea so far’.

My daadi had once told me that she had a son elder to dad. She lost him when he was still a kid. I had not known how to react then. I had always thought my dad had been the eldest and suddenly I was being told that he had an elder brother who had died even before dad was born. I had always though LOLy was the eldest and suddenly I was being told that she had an elder brother who had died even before she was born.

Suddenly my biggest loss so far looked so puny in front of such grave losses that I felt God has been to0 good to me so far. Life. Such a weird phenomena. Live on!

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