She is lost to me already, without having died, this woman I care for in more ways than one. Bound to her by indissoluble ties, I sometimes pause to wonder, guilt-stricken, whether my commitment to this stranger in all but name and appearance can honestly be described by the euphemism that pervades the literature available on the malady–“a labour of love”. For oftener than not, I am unable to regard it as anything other than an exercise in frustration, resentment, anger, futility and resignation.
The following piece was published in The Statesman, Calcutta, India, on January 10, 2000. The subject of this piece passed away on 3 April 2004.