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She Took Away Many Lives

20th January, 2014:

Dear Lakshmi,

It been two years since we are waiting for you, how have you been child? Don’t you miss your parents? I and your mother wait for you days and night with a hope to have a glimpse of you. You met your sisters but not us! Are we that bad or you don’t love us? I know you have gone through worst phases of your life but do you really think what you did was right?

                                                                                                                            -Love,

                                                                                                                                Daddy.

18th December, 2011:

“Hare Rama, Hare Krishna! Hare Rama, Hare Krishna,” the old lady kept on murmuring these words in her sleep. Sweat had covered her face on that chilly night, a feeling of dread crept up from the pit of her stomach. Tears were silently rolling down from her eyes. A scary movie was playing in her dreams. She didn’t understand what exactly did the dream mean, all she knew was it was a bad dream!

In her dream, she saw everyone crying. Every people in the village were bidding goodbye to someone. She could not recognize the person whom they were crying for.

Was this dream an intuition of something worst that was going to take place?

She opened her eyes to come out from the dream as she could not bear it anymore. She stretched her right hand to caress her daughter’s silky hair, who was sleeping beside her.

“Lakshmi, Lakshmi! Where are you?” her mother asked when she didn’t find her daughter beside her.

Silence.

She lighted the lantern to welcome the brightness in her room. The snowflakes had covered the night! It was cold, the old lady got up from the bed covering her with the bed sheet. She saw her daughter’s bed sheet covering her husband’s body.

“Lakshmi, it’s too cold outside! Come in!”

“Lakshmi? Can you hear me child?” she said in a brittle voice.

She started calling out Lakshmi’s name on top of her lungs. Her screaming had woke up everyone sleeping in the house, including the guests in the aangan and marched towards the room.

“What happened?” her husband and son had inquired.

“My Lakshmi, she is not here! My Lakshmi!” cried the mother.

Every member in the family searched every corner of the house but she was nowhere.

“At around 3 am where will the girl go?” one guest had asked.

“She must be in the house, search for her properly,” said the second.

Once again everyone had began hunting for her in the house, yet again she was nowhere to be found.

“Is my sister Lakshmi at your place?” Lakshmi’s elder brother went to every neighboring house to inquire about her but none gave him the positive response.

Lakshmi’s father had called his every daughter who stayed in UP to ask them if they had any idea where her daughter was but Alas! No one knew the answer.

They had searched for her everywhere; backyard, farms, school, market but nobody except the divine God knew where Lakshmi was.

 

6th July 2010:

Our vacations was coming to end, we were packing our bags as we had a train to Mumbai. Every year I and my family members went to village to spend some time with our family residing here.

“Didi, I want to visit Mumbai Once,” Lakshmi said.

My mother at that very instant had asked her to pack her bags. Getting tickets to Mumbai on the spot in UP was like winning a free ticket to watch ICC World Cup, so my dad had booked a chaalu ticket for her as our other seats were confirmed.

For the first time in my life, I had noticed her very carefully, she was an angelic beauty. Her innocent smile, her joyous nature, her naturally blonde hair, her hazel brown eyes, and her soft voice defined the term ‘real beauty’. She had a perfect curvy figure that every city girls dream for!

Time passed, her life in Mumbai had started. Initially I was really jealous of her because I thought she is trying to separate me from my parents.

Since she was three years elder to me almost of my age my dad used to treat her like his daughter. He used to call her beta (child) and denote me with nalayak (useless).

She used to help my mother in kitchen, serve my dad with whatever he required, every day she used to do hair massage of my parents. The more she helped and served them the more they started loving her.

Every Monday she used to fast for ‘Shankar Ji’! Okay so she was God fan, Day and Night apart from the house chores all she used to do was pray. On one Monday, my mother had asked me to accompany her to the Shiv Mandir that was located nearby to our society.

“What do you want from God?” she asked with a raised eyebrow maintaining her innocent smile.

“To send you back to the village where your mother and father are, so that my parents start loving me once again,” I busted out without realizing what will be the impact of my words on her. She didn’t say anything but smiled. They say, silence is the best answer. In her silence I understood that her heart had ached due to my words.

“What do you want from him?”

“To call me near him,” was all she replied. On our way we didn’t talk. She was upset with my words, I was angry on myself for using such words.

We reached my society wing, while opening the door of the lift, I was all into tears.

“Why are you crying?” she asked with concern in her voice.

“I—I amm so-o-orry,” I said as I was in guilt.

She embraced me into a tight hug consoling me.

“Every child is possessive about their parents. Its Okay! I understand what you meant to say. I am fine. Wipe your tears fast.

 

25th February, 2014:

Dear Lakshmi,

I don’t believe my daughter who loved me so much is avoiding us. Come back Lakshmi. The way you left us is not fair. Every night, I see your mom crying for not being careful enough to protect you from not leaving us. We promise, we will shift to another house along with you. Just come back once!

                                                                                                Love,

                                                                                                Daddy.

19th December, 2011:

 

At around 7 am the entire village had gathered at Ramapati Pandey(Lakshmi’s father’s) house. Unlike other day, the sun had not rise till yet as If sun was too upset with the ambiance in the village. Koel was hiding in the tree, that day no one had heard her chirping voice as if she has lost someone close to her.

All the men’s went to nearby villages and bus stops to inquire about her and the women’s stayed back to console Lakshmi’s mother.

She recollected the incident that had happened a day before.

 

18th December, 2011:

“You bitch, how could you eat pickles from my jar? Go and ask your poor day to buy you!” Lakshmi’s bhabhi slapped her on her right cheeks.

“Dare you use such words for my dad, I’ll kill you here itself.”

“So now you’ll argue with me! Control your tongue.”

Lakshmi’s brothers were out for work, her father had gone to receive the guests of that night. Only females and kids were in the house when this incident had occurred.

“You too keep your tongue in control. Enough is Enough! What problem do you have with me? I’ll die one day just because of my two bhabhi’s.”

“You should die. You and your parents are a burden on us! The day you’ll die I’ll distribute sweets in the village and also I’ll dance on your cremation,” she continued in anger, “Give my clothes that you are wearing.”

“I’ll give it to you tomorrow. My all clothes are at Seema Didi’s place. I had brought only two clothes with me and they are wet as I had wash them few hours ago.”

“I said give it now!”

She started removing clothes from her body.

“I swear on my kids, give my clothes or I’ll drink poison at this very instant,” Lakshmi’s bhabhi black mailed her when Lakshmi resisted giving her clothes.

Lakshmi’s mother tried to stop her daughter in law but she was a lioness, she succeeded  removing clothes from Lakshmi’s body and on that wintry day she had to wear wet clothes.

“Ganga Ma, If you love me why don’t you take me from here?” She cried but except her mom no one heard.

Her mother immediately went to the market to buy new clothes for her.

This was not the first time where Lakshmi was treated so badly. Every day she had gone through this  phase.

 

2nd Nov,2010:

Lakshmi was still with us. Slowly and steadily the bond between us grew stronger. We three- I, sister and Lakshmi started loving each other’s company. We danced together, slept together, ate together, sang together. She shared everything with me and my sister but little did we know that she never shared what exactly she was going through.

Lakshmi had some charisma within her; she had always touched the heart of every new people she met in Mumbai. But there was one thing in her which I, my family and my neighbor hated- her suicidal talks.

She narrated my mom, dad and Vanita Aunty how her both bhabhi was up to take her life, God knows for what reason! What they did was explained her to be patient. I always heard them saying- “Be patient. Its just a test by God. One day they’ll realize how cruel they are.”

 

19th December, 2011:

My Grandmother had buffaloes in her house. One among them was going to give birth to a baby. Lakshmi’s mother knew how important it is to serve her food on time. She stood up and served her, her chaara. She sat nearby well which was outside her house.

There she found Lakshmi’s pink slipper.

“Mom, I’ll die this way that no one will come to know where I am, but for you I’ll leave a clue behind.”

Her mother’s heart sank, her heart became heavy, and she started huffing and puffing around.

“My Lakshmi.. My Lakshmi she is inside the well, she left this slipper as a clue,” her mother screamed with pain.

She had called her husband and son and informed them about Lakshmi.

They reached within half an hour and the public too gathered near the well. Everyone peeped inside the well and saw Lakshmi floating in the water. The family members were shocked because they didn’t come to know when she jumped inside the pool.

Even a single stone when thrown in water makes a noise, then when Lakshmi jumped, why there was no noise? How is it possible?

The water must have been so cold or I should say icy, didn’t she palpitate? Only God knows what she must have gone through at that time.

Her brother with the help of rope and few men went inside the well. Every single person standing there in the form of crowd was taking God’s name hoping that she would be alive BUT sometime’s hopes disappoint us!

Inside the well, her brother went numb when he realized his sister was no more. With all the guts he had, he had brought her up and placed her on the ground.

Even when she died, she still had an innocent smile on her face saying that she’ll now rest in peace. Her fair face was glowing more than before. Her fists were tightly closed indicating that she is taking all the love and hatred along with her. That day she had wore favorite color dress – Violet and Yellow.

 

“Hey  Rama! What I did to her? She died because of me! Lakshmi get up! I didn’t mean whatever I said yesterday. Please get up. My curse has led her to death.” Lakshmi’s bhabhi said. She could not tolerate the death news of Lakshmi. Her body had stopped working. Her guilt had paralyzed her. Alas! She could not distribute sweets to the villagers and dance!

 

19th December 2010:

 

I heard the phone fell on the ground. As I opened my eyes after a morning sleep, I saw just like the cell phone my father too had fell down on the ground.

For the first time in my life, I had seen my father in such condition. My mother started crying without knowing the reason and so did I and my sister.

“She is no more!”

Our morning had just begun and the no more news had already devastated us.

“Who?” my mother asked with a choking voice.

“Lakshmi! Our Lakshmi, she committed suicide!”

For my mother, the Earth had shattered into pieces, all she did was she sat in a corner and started crying!

She remembered how she had told to her dad on phone call to tell her not to black mail. Let her siucide. The one who says, doesn’t do.

Nana had called my mother to make Lakshmi understand not to again and again talk about suicide. My mother was fed up of her suicidal talks and in anger she blurted out those words. When she narrated the story to my neighbor, even she said the same. She did thought to call her later but she didn’t knew this later will never give her the chance to talk to her sister for the last time.

Nani also said that Lakshmi had said one day that, “See when I am alive my elder sister is not calling me. I guess, she’ll call when I’ll die.”

My dad died a thousand deaths due to guilt. In spite of knowing her bhabhi’s attitude towards her why did he let her daughter go in the village.

I and my sister cried regretting why were we not that matured enough to understand that she was actually going through the worst phase-depression and family violence.

 

Present.

“Every night my Nani peeps inside the well and see her daughter’s face. She cries, begs in front of her to come back.

My Nanu is not in his senses after that incident, Every month he drafts a letter to his daughter and drops inside the well hoping one day she’ll reply to those letters. He is upset with her daughter because she had appeared in her sister’s dream but not in his.

Nani had once narrated that ‘One day when Lakshmi had fast she had went to the Kaali Mata Mandir. She was alone there. When she was praying she saw a beautiful lady holding her hand.

“I have come to take you. I really like you,” the lady said.

Lakshmi was frightened, she tried to free herself but all went in vain. She cried, pleaded to the lady. Finally the lady left her saying, “I’ll come back soon to take you.” Lakshmi had said this story to Nani.

 

The dream that the old lady saw did come true. Everyone in the village said Lakshmi Good bye.

 

All the villagers think that God himself had planned her death. Those dreams, her again and again talking about suicide, her giving clue was all a plan of God.

But the reality is: She herself created her death.

They say, “You are what you think!”

She was into depression, she again and again talked about suicide- her thoughts resulted into dreams and her dreams resulted into action.

I hate Lakshmi because she is a murderer. She not only killed herself but she killed everyone in the family: her mom, her dad, her bhabhi, her brothers, her sisters and my dad- everyone.

She died but with that she taught me three very important lessons:

Even I used to black mail my parents, I’ll suicide if they force me to study or do anything against my wish but that day I had seen a mini trailer of what would my parents have gone through, if I had committed such crime called- suicide. She taught me the value of my life. She taught me the value of my parents. She taught me that suicide is a sin.

Her suicide had taught me that if someone again and again talks about suicide he/she must be suffering from a worst phase. At such times, we should take the person to a counselor.

 

Her death had taught me, no matter what happens but never to utter harsh words that are worst than stabbing a knife in someone’s stomach. Your words can be the reason behind someone’s death. Choose you words wisely,”

I narrated the story to Tejal, a girl from my college who always talked about suicide.

I had called her and her mother at my place to discuss about her depression.

Tejal didn’t say anything but she just hugged her mother tightly. She did realize how worst is to commit suicide. Her mother took her to psychiatrist to treat her for depression.

 

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Rekha Mishra

Blogger. Dreamer. Enthusiast. Learner. I love to laugh and share the laughter with the world.

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