The Shankars and the Harrisons (images found online, sources unspecified except image 4: Carol-Anne Lennie)

The following is Anoushka Shankar’s dedication, typed up from her wonderful book Bapi - Love Of My Life (found, to my delight, in New Delhi):

“People might be confused to find that Uncle George is still referred to in the present tense throughout the book. I actually finished writing it a couple of months before he passed away, and after much thought I decided that the book should stay as it was, because changing all those references to the past tense would change the entire feel of the book. I couldn’t have just changed the tense without adding more about him, about his death, the sense of pain and loss we all feel and the set memories we have. But the truth is I just don’t know how to write about all that. Losing him was a devastating blow to me, to my mother, and of course, to my father. And for one of the few times in my life, I don’t know how to express that in words. When I think of him I feel at a loss, and it surprises me that he’s not just somewhere, in England or in Hawaii or in the garden. I’ve spent my whole life seeing Bapi’s family and close friends pass away. Somehow because of the age difference between Bapi and me, from childhood, a part of me has always steeled itself subconsciously agains that fact that he, and the people in his life, are mortal, that death is a possibility, and indeed, an imminent certainty. But death wasn’t supposed to happen to Uncle George. Not yet. He was younger than my father, like a son to him. And when he died, I realized that he was like a father to me. I realized… how do I put it? I realized that somewhere in me, with the part of me that was always scared that my father would leave me too soon, I had always felt Uncle George would be there through that. I think a small part of me was reassured by the fact that at least I would have him, if in some horrible event I lost my father. The two of them were so close that I felt Bapi would be there with me, through Uncle George. I now that doesn’t make any sense, and how morbid it sounds, but that’s how Uncle George was to me, almost like an extension of my own father. I can’t even imagine what his own son Dhani has been going through and my heart aches for him. I’ve only seen Olivia once since her husband passed away but through all the pain I saw a strength a d a courage which was inspirational. They, and all of us who knew him, are surrounded by the immense love, wisdom and laughter he left us; from that we draw strength and for that I am eternally grateful.” - Anoushka Shankar, Bapi - Love Of My Life

This is Mo Mo … he’s the last ratty left from the greatest group I ever had, nicknamed the Whiskers. His best friends, Rocket Dog, Pan, Eli and Zaphod have all passed away in the last three weeks, and now my little old man, Mo Mo, is left. I am fortunate that two of my lads, Gilly and Herb Derb, have been taking such good care of him in his old age.

Mo Mo has renal failure, is blind, and is on quite a number of medications to help with the frequent UTI’s and loss of mobility that have come as a result. But he’s one of those ratties who just amazes you every single day. He waits for his mumma in the morning, and I give him his little bath and file back his nails, and hold his breaky for him, and afterwards he will sit and boggle and brux and lick my nose as I kiss him. I love him so much, and I know that he will be going to meet his friends at the Bridge in time, but I think that for now he’s hanging around just to make sure that I’m ok after losing everyone else. He’s a beautiful boy. Ratties are beautiful.

He didn’t care what people thought about him or didn’t think about him. That wasn’t why he did what he did. He just lived a life and did what he loved to do, which was write music, garden, go to motor races and be with his son and family.

History has been written. It’s not going to be rewritten. He was a great man and a great songwriter and a great singer and just a wonderful man.

—  Olivia Harrison on her late husband, George, Sunday (Australia), 6 March 2005

Sitting here in bed with her by my side, this song loops in my head as I kiss her fingertips.

Seinabo Sey - Rather Be