“He always wanted me to dress like a queen. Whenever we went to a party, he’d say: ‘Put on your nicest sari. Or a little more jewelry’ And I’d tell him, ‘Oh Goyal, please shut up.’ But he loved clothes. It was his passion. Every piece of clothing in our store he chose himself. We’ve owned this business for forty years, and the entire time I was his helper. That’s just how things were in our generation. Now young women are working in India, but not during our time. So I’ve always been his helper. I was the shy one. Goyal was the one who approached the customers. Everyone loved him. You should see the things they wrote in his memorial book. Whenever people saw him, they were shining in the face. Because he always had a joke. One hundred jokes per minute. People would pull him on stage at parties, and say: ‘Please Goyal, make the jokes.’ He even made the nurses laugh at the hospital. During the months he was sick in bed, he still wanted me to dress for him. ‘Please Saroj,’ he’d say. ‘Just a little more jewelry.’ He fought for the longest time. I wanted to give him my kidney, but I wasn’t a match. He said: ‘I don’t want to die, Saroj. I don’t want.’ But on the last day he said: ‘Krishna is coming to take me.’ That was two years ago. And it’s been so hard for me with him gone. He’d do anything to make me laugh, but he never told me anything. Nothing about the accounting. Or how much we owed. Or the taxes. I still don’t understand the tax thing. I’m a little upset with him. Because he left me in this situation. I had to close down when the pandemic came. And when we opened our doors again, there was nobody: no cars, no nothing. I owe so much money now. I miss him so much. At home I’ve made an altar to him. When I take my bath, first I pray to him. He was everything to me. Everything. But I’m angry, I really am. I wish he’d have told me more. Because without him I can’t deal with this. My two children live far away. And I stay alone. Sometimes I feel like if something happens to me, nobody will know it. I put on a sari for this interview, and some lipstick. But it’s the first time in a long time. Because there’s nobody asking me to dress up anymore.”  

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