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The Namesake and Irrfan: Something Precious

Irrfan Khan passed away two days ago. He had been battling the big C for a couple of years. I had studiously been avoiding all 'news' about his health: I wasn't even aware that I was avoiding it till just now. I had the luxury of packing it away and ignoring it; so I did. Till he died, and I went into a spiral of grief that took me by surprise. I had expected to be sad, but I felt ruined. I have taken the best part of the last two days to understand why the death of someone who I didn't know, who was very occasionally a part of my life, affected me like this. My mind landed on March 2007, and The Namesake.

In March 2007, I was in the last semester of my post-graduate degree. My mother had succumbed to cancer six months earlier, after a long and bruising battle. My father had passed away in 2001; in the span of five years, my family was changed forever. Heartsore and weary, I was trying to get used to not being someone's child anymore. University was a refuge but I…

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