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It is a loss to the language of urdu and a loss to theatre. Tom Alter was the most nondescript urdu speaking individual. With skin the color of chalk and eyes the color of the ocean, this man could slip into roles of a British army official and Ghalib with ease. There was an out pour of love and emotion after this death. I liked Mona Ambegaokar’s piece on his death. She wrote:

I will meet you there

When they scatter your ashes
On the slopes of Landour Cantt.
I will walk up Rajpur road
And meet you there.
On that bendy path by which,
The Raj, in palanquins, was carried
To its Summer Capital.
Where we kicked at logs
Laid out to ease the climb
And marvelled at the old
Abandoned chalk mines.
Where high flying birds
Through dappled sunshine
Watched us chewing on straws
In lazy wide circles of clear skies.
Over that hill, on the other side,
Past Uncle Tom’s cabin,
Far across that steep ravine,
Those glowing snow caps wait
For their prodigal son to return.
And rest, but only awhile, before
He either grows roots on the hillside
Or decides to sprout wings and
Circle, circle on the spiralling wind.
I will sit on that bench again
And you will be nearby
In that fold of that slope
In the fall of the leaves
In the gurgling of every mountain spring.