She deserves elegies

She woke up that day, happy to greet the Sunday. She was going to see her father today, and that was good. She had a quiet morning, checking in on the plant blooming in the pot. It was her first attempt at gardening and it made her smile to see the pinks flowers. She hugged her dog and told him she’d see him soon. That afternoon, she started her car and drove on to the highway. She was a normal woman on a normal weekend living a normal life, until an overtaking bus driver decided that her life was not more important than his impatience.

Kadambari and I have known each other since college, but we became friends as we kept in touch through social networks in the years since then. Our friendship grew when I began writing in this space. We both enjoyed so many of the same things. The more I got to know of her, the more I wished we’d known each other better when we shared the same physical college space. She was a beautiful person, inside and out, passionate about what she stood for and a strong cheerleader for the things she supported. She was a spirited urban planner and was working hard to resolve pedestrian issues in the city, work that is needed in the over-stressed cities of India. It was a sad twist of fate that she fell prey to a road casualty herself. She was vivacious and talented, and a loving, giving human being who deserved a life much longer than the one that was horribly snatched away from her and all those she loved and who loved her. Though we lived continents apart, I feel her loss, so I cannot begin to imagine the loss felt by her family and the rage they must feel.

There is nothing that can be said that can truly capture the loss felt in your absence, Kadu. I think of you every day and wish you were still with us. I’ll miss our discussions in this space, and seeing you pop up in all the virtual places through which we were connected, with all the interesting work you were doing and things you shared. You were someone who praised and encouraged my writing from the beginning and always urged me to write more often. You deserve elegies and I wish I was poet enough to give you that. The world was a better place with you in it. Rest in peace, my lovely friend. I hope there is much beauty and serenity where you are.

Traffic rules have been treated merely as guidelines for entirely too long in India. The statistics are staggering. Click on the links below to learn more about this.

Death of pedestrian activist turns a spotlight on Bangalore’s dangerous roads



  1. Nupur

    I’m sorry for your loss, Sharmila, and sorry that India lost this promising young person. I’ve lost close family members in India in mindless traffic accidents and it is infuriating that there’s not more emphasis on safety.