On the day when Film Director Rituparno Ghosh breathed his last, at the age of just 49, I felt, after a long time, an overwhelming need to be back in my city, Kolkata. Rarely in the last 15 years since I left home, have I felt the need to be back home so ardently and passionately.
To most people in most parts of the world, the news meant nothing. It was not breaking news; neither was it related to the IPL scam, nor was it about the ground-breaking fashion choices of our Bollywood Cannes contingent.
But for a few of us who have watched his films, who were touched by the sensitivity of his characters, the brilliant nuances of his dialogues, his courage to live his life so differently and on his own terms; for all of us waited with bated breath for his next masterpiece, it was a sad day today.
The brilliant director with his bold and hard-hitting ideas who brought Bengali films once again on the global map and who was so often criticized and ridiculed by people who did not appreciate his vision will enthrall and shock us no more. We grieve alone today, as utterly alone and lonely as he would have felt his entire life.
In only, we were back in Kolkata today - there in the middle of a crowded state bus, there in the evening rush hour metro, there at the local tea stall, there would have been strangers sharing our grief, talking about his films, talking about him, his courage, his bravery, his brilliance and his loneliness.
There would have loud voices and arguments, hotly debated opinions and eagerly shared beliefs. We may not have shared all the views but we would have joined in, even if silently, and felt our grief and pain melt away in the shared exchange.
But alas, we need to grieve alone.
We might pride ourselves on being global citizens, on leaving our old homes behind and finding new homes. But on days such as these, do we ask ourselves, have we really found where we belong?
Maybe Don McLean would have dedicated his "Vincent" song again today to another genius, another misunderstood soul.
“This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”.