Shakti Bhatt

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.

3 comments

  1. this was truly and seriously shocking. i barely knew her, but i knew how she (along with jeet and you) did the workshop for caferati delhi; how, at the last minute, she released their stories at the coffee table. i was amazed at her energy and serenity, and i wish there ahd been time to talk more with her.

  2. Its extremely shocking.I’d heard of her when she had become editor of random house.she had seen my manuscript with interest.however i’d not met her until the jaipur book fest when i got to know that shakti was present and was looking for new writers for the newly launched bracket books.i still didn’t know how she looked like.however i’d seen her wearing a red top and a black skirt with big black shoes.now when i’d seen her i didn’t know it was shakti.she looked like a discotheque going girl.and when i realised she was shakti i was pleasntly surprised. i was truly impressed with this attitude. for editors always meant the stereotype churidaar types.we spoke for a while and she was very encouraging and offered to look at my new manuscript.i sent it to her soon enough.was hoping for a personal meeting through a common friend. and to hear shakti is no more is a great shock to the fledgling indian publishing industry. my heart goes out to jeet and i do hope god gives him the strentgh in this hour.vikrant dutta

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