A found object might bring sorrow or delight, but a lost object presents a question mark. Its absence can feel like a cleave, a permanent one, in our memory. Absences inevitably lead us to quests. In this personal essay, which is linked with a larger writing project on family and material memory, I search for the contents of an “essay” written by me when I was ten years old, on the very day that India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. In searching for this lost object, I excavate and access childhood memories that were forgotten or, perhaps, lay dormant waiting to be awakened. The essay remains unfound (lost), but in looking for it, this essay that you are reading here, emerges, showing me why the object, the essay must remain lost, so that a forgotten moment of my childhood can live.

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