Monday, December 23, 2013

How Did Shakti Bhatt Die?

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A very oft-googled question... many of those who ask get directed here to my blog. So, how did Shakti Bhatt die? Bhatt was a young writer/editor who passed away somewhat mysteriously "after dinner" in Delhi on 31 March 2007. Time really flies. It seems like yesterday when I got word she was gone.

First of all, why the big secret? The blogger responsible for "The Chasing Lamb" had this to say "It would be better if you did not direct any more enquiries about the death here since it feels uncomfortably public to me." Really?

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Shakti Bhatt won't be forgotten - there's a facebook page and an annual book prize named in her memory. She was 27 when she passed away, and I think people are naturally curious when someone who has a public presence leaves this mortal coil. A simple statement explaining the cause of death would have sufficed. Instead, speculation sometimes approaches JFK-conspiracy-level.

Another blog published an "OBIT" which contained the statement "we'll post an update once we're clearer." Apparently, they never reached any point of clarity. Some have suggested poisoning or other foul play. Others ask questions about Bhatt's husband. As far as I can see, he is very lucky to have found a seperate "soul-mate" in a short space of time (yes, others have accomplished that feat as well!)

Sridhar/Thayil is the collaboration between vocalist-actor-producer Suman Sridhar and Bhatt's husband, guitarist-poet-novelist Jeet Thayil. The story goes the pair met at a theatre backstage in Bangalore in late 2007, and soon their songwriting took inception with scribbles on napkins in coffee shops. Rolling Stone Magazine India calls them "two of the most uninhibited people that ever came together to play with music." I like that. WITH music!

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