On experiencing writing

Jhumpa Lahiri recollects when writing as an experience happened and what it meant. Mildly struck by this perspective – 

One rainy evening, my parents received a call from the hospital. The woman’s husband cried into the telephone as he told my parents that their child had been born dead. There was no reason for it. It had simply happened, as it sometimes does. I remember the weeks following, my mother cooking food and taking it over to the couple, the grief in place of the son who was supposed to have filled their home. If writing is a reaction to injustice, or a search for meaning when meaning is taken away, this was that initial experience for me. I remember thinking that it could have happened to my parents and not to their friends, and I remember, because the same thing had not happened to our family, as my sister was by then a year old already, also feeling ashamed. But, mainly, I felt the unfairness of it—the unfairness of the couple’s expectation, unfulfilled.

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