20 October, 2020

Ashes On The Hudson

To remember is to relive the trauma. Of reconstructing the event and wishing it had a different end. But death has a finality that sooner or later one has to accept. And the families who lost their dear ones to the tragedy—a sister, a brother, a husb

Seshu Badrinath/Pipal Productions
Ashes On The Hudson

Eva Narula on sister Manika, 22
There is an urgency to Eva’s words, a rushing forth of moments past. "This year’s been a lot about denial," says Eva. "We can’t face up to it."

We are in a booth at Martino’s, a pizzeria in King’s Park, an hour outside New York City. Eva fusses over a paper napkin, rolls it up, tears a piece of it, rubbing it between her thumb and index finger like raw cotton, until she produces a thin braid.

Eva waits for her younger sister Manika or Mona to show up any day now. After all, she calculates, it’s impossible Mona could have made it to work by 8.48 am, when the first WTC tower was hit. The train pulls into Penn Station at 8.08 am, and it takes another 20-25 minutes to take the subway downtown. On September 11, though, their train arrived at Penn Station at 8.23 am. Eva dashed off without the usual hug. Mona, she reasons, would have taken her own time to make the transfer. And then, at the WTC, it would have taken her five or ten minutes to fish her ID card out of the handbag. "She was so...



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