“I wept like a child. Not because I was overwhelmed at having survived, although I was. I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously. It broke my heart. You know my father was right: Richard Parker never saw me as his friend. After all we had been through he didn’t even look back. But I have to believe there was more in his eyes than my own reflection staring back at me. I know it, I felt it. Even if I can’t prove it. You know, I left so much behind: my family, the zoo, India, Anandi. I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye. I was never able to thank my father for all I learned from him. To tell him, without his lessons I would never have survived. I know Richard Parker’s a tiger but I wish I had said, “It’s over. We survived. Thank you for saving my life. I love you, Richard Parker. You’ll always be with me. May God be with you.””

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