Sunday, December 10, 2006


I stood staring at the old man. His story had captivated me for the past half an hour. It did not seem like the story had ended.

“How do you know so much?”, I asked.

The man sighed and looked away. He did not seem to be able to answer my question.

“And why? Why did he have to kill a man he was so enamored by?”

“It was not enamor, it was affection. It was not murder, it was retaliation.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You did not ask me about the photographs that hung above Lal’s desk.”


“That’s the name we called him. That’s what I called my son.”

I realized that my first question was answered.

“Whose picture are you referring to?”

“His wife….an angel I cherished almost as a daughter. A woman, as gentle as she was intelligent, who sacrificed all that she held dear for the man she loved, only to be consumed by his violence and insane and unwarranted jealousy.”

“What was her name?” I asked, intuitively knowing what the answer would be.

“Her name was Susheela gupta. But we used to call her Shelu”.


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