This is hard to write, but for all those who knew and loved her: Shakti Bhatt, writer, editor of the newly-established Bracket Books, and friend to more people than can be counted, died of a sudden and brief illness late on Saturday night.

She and her husband, the poet Jeet Thayil, moved back to Delhi from New York two years ago, and made a new life here by throwing open the doors of their home to all of us. Shakti was well-loved, and will be missed more than I can put into words right now. Our thoughts are with Jeet.

One of Shakti’s friends sent me this poem, by Vikram Seth; I hope he won’t mind if I put it up here today.


All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above–

Know that you aren’t alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights, or for one,
And some for all their years.