The cops got in to an investigation after taking the bodies in to custody. The post mortem reports were no surprises but for the girl’s. The couple were identified as the girl’s parents, who were brutally murdered along with the girl, their throats slit with a kitchen knife. There were blood stains all over there bodies and presumably assaulted before being killed.

But as it appears, the girl was murdered days before she was actually killed.

The girl’s parent’s maternal home is a small town, around 200 miles away from their place. Both families are quite close to each other. In fact, the maternal house has no girl child and the girl was the apple of their eyes. They often visited each other during festivals and shared their happiness of being together.

Who would have guessed that a family so affectionate to each other would have hidden desires of dark ferments?

As the cops dug deeper, and a more provocative questioning, the girl’s aunt confessed the diabolic intentions. Her husband, and the girl’s uncle has been absconding since 2 weeks. He used to call her but since last 2 weeks, she lost touch with him. They both have a teenage son who is a college drop out and owns a small cyber cafe along with a xerox machine in their town, few meters away from where they live. Her husband owns a small retail shop of groceries and fruits in the main market of the town.

But since last 6 months, his husband has turned in to an upsurge monster. Or, may be something even more uglier and tormenting. His unusual late working hours and sudden inflow of perpetual cash made his wife blink an eye, more than once. After few days of relentless questioning and trash talk, he reveals his involvement in drug trafficking business through the local goons of the town. Worse, some part of it also involves human trafficking. Needless to say, his wife was throttled to death with this news but stood helpless as the maniac threatened to kill her and their son if she had other ideas.

Since both families were close to each and this equation of her uncle being an enigma, this spelt doom on the girl and her family. And the girl’s uncle had a devious mind. The girl became a bait for his unscrupulous deeds.

He began to sexually abuse the girl when he visited them, and at times when the girl’s parents were out since they were oblivious of this devil at home. He even took the girl to his place on the pretext of getting her a bicycle to commute, drugged and raped her. This continued for a while and on one such occasion, the aunt was a direct witness to his lust and crime. Yet, she was too meek to speak out. He even used this girl to carry few packets of substance to the neighbourhood in the pretext of getting her a job in a top company.

Few weeks back, a deal of his went berserk and the local cops were out for the hunt. He went out without notice, called her wife to ask if the cops came home. But his lust for the girl was beyond his desire to escape the inevitable.

The day before all 3 were killed, he went to the girl’s house. Drunk beyond measures, he captures her before intoxicating her parents and tying them up in a corner. He drugs her to keep her calm and rapes her. He leaves, dazed and dashed once his filthy desires vanquished his lust. He kills her parents, while on his way out.

Post mortem reports revealed that the girl died from drug overdose.

DNA test from semen traces proved that it was him.

The Uncle. The Husband. The Man. The Animal.

He is still absconding. The hunt is on and the case remains open.

What begets of a sunshine girl who is conspicuously confined to the doors of darkness and anguish?

She was timid but curt, pretty but not flamboyant. Besides, she liked keeping to herself. With a cherry like smile and rolling brown eyes, she was this restrained girl of unreliable dreams. Quite and outside the cynosure of eyes, she liked quietness around her. 

Since last week, though, things have changed. She still keeps to herself and is quietness personified. But there is sorrow and pain in her eyes. Not the type to vomit our emotions or vent out in a fit of rage. But there is something so unusually distracting and tumultuous about her sudden stature. People in the workplace chatter but don’t talk to her. She hardly talks to anyone, if fact she does not talk to anyone. 

Couple of weeks gone by, the pain and the sorrow is still hovering large. The smile has disappeared and eyes look terribly woven.

What could have gone wrong? What could be so viciously staggering that is troubling a 25 year old to no bounds? 

After 4 disastrous weeks, she stops coming to work. Her colleagues, her peers, her bosses – all are worked and lost. But no one has the answer. She has just disappeared, just gone. 

One of her more inquisitive and caring colleague decided to take a peek at her home, which is located in the suburbs and the reachability is tenaciously disabled. Yet, she decided to take the plunge and find out what’s gone wrong (or perhaps can go wrong). She was ably supported by couple of adjoining people at work.

But nothing came out. The house was locked out and no one was at home. As it appeared, no one has been home since couple of weeks – the neighbours gave them good evidence.

Disappointed and dejected, they came back. They requested the neighbours to give them a call if they saw or heard about her whereabouts.

Couple of weeks went by without notice, and the realistic audience decided that the girl has gone absconding and was one of those characters who don’t come back. Pretentious and filthy.

3 days later, one of the neighbours called stating they find something unusual and scary about the house as they hear some noises though it is conspicuous and difficult to decipher. There is also this stale smell that is quite scary to explain. We rush to the girl’s place.

We break the door open to find out that the girl is lying in a pool

of blood. We have a man and woman lying beside her, with their throat slit. The dead bodies have been in this state for more than a week now and it was difficult for us to stay in the place any further.

We were stunned, no words to express the gore we just witnessed. 

What would have happened? What led to the mysterious death of such a tepid and innocent girl? Who are the 2 people found dead near her?

We only had questions at our disposal, but answers were more scary and heinous.

* The concluding part of this story will be published on Monday, 21 Aug at 11 PM.

It is 1970. Civil War. The longest running and perhaps, the most ignominious in the history of human tragedies.

No war in the history of mankind has been kind. In fact, the ruthlessness lies in the aftermath, not in the ways of war.

In the wake of demands for a separate state, separate constitution and independence from the autocrats, innocent lives were lost and several rendered homeless. Thousands were displaced and we have never seen them again. I guess, we will never see them. But hopes don’t die, they are not meant to die. 

I have hopes too. I hope to see the light at the end of the unknown tunnel. I hope to see my family again. I want to see my daughter going to school again. I want my wife to wait for me when I return from work. I want my parents to feel proud that their son is doing well for himself in life. I want my siblings to visit us every week for dinner. I want the kids to play around in the garden. I want those moments back. I want to live those moments again. I want to live again.

As it stands today, we are separate souls in search of our soul mates. Our families are scattered or lost, our homes have been bombed, our workplace is a no-place now. Our industries are dead because we have no one to run them. Our economy doesn’t exist, or may be it does.

The war has ravaged our spirits, along with our land and its wealth. I feel I have lost my identity. I feel the credibility of being an accomplished is lost. I have the urge to live but how? I have the insatiable in me to survive but for who? Yes, the war is for us. But am losing grip over the factual representation of this calamity. Am I fighting an enemy in flesh and bones or am I battling my demons within? No sleep, but I have lost sanity.

Our city has turned in to an island of gaping quicksand. And with us, everything around is dying. Obscured death, if I can say what it is.

30 years later…

I am in Chester, UK. I own a convenience store, managed by me and my wife. My son is a freelancer and occasionally visits our store. My daughter is married to a British and they live in Liverpool.

Yes, I have a life. My family has been returned to me amidst chaos and catastrophe. In fact, I am one of the few who have emerged alive from the clutches of war and violence.

I feel, I have seen it all. But I am still not home. I know for a fact, I will never make it. 

There is no home, we have enclosures and we are breathing.

She is an Iron Lady. I have never seen her blink an eye or being moist in a situation. She took tuition classes, her husband has a decent job and her son was studying in a boarding school in a different town. A family of 3 with dreams of their own, I knew them as a courageous and friendly family.

But destiny had other plans. A plan that shattered their lives and bought them to knees. But I just had one question. Why?

One midnight, the phone rings aloud. The call is from her son’s Boarding school. They inform that her son collapsed in his room last night and they did not have a clue till one of his room mates tried to get in to the room. With a heavy and scary tone, they inform her that he is dead. 

Her world has just gone down. The couple rush to the boarding school and get his body back home. Doctors inform that he died due to a respiratory problem leading to cardiac arrest. 

I met her a few weeks after her son’s death. She was her usual self, didn’t talk much and I did not have the tenacity to stay longer. But I could see the pain she locked herself in.

Not willing to remain inside and refuses to come outside. I could see how her world has collapsed with a blink of an eye.

But disasters have this uncanny knack of knocking doors twice. Again, I was living with the same question. Why?

I visited her a few months later and during the normal conversation, ended up enquiring about her husband. Her response startled me. He has been diagnosed with cancer and is under treatment for the last 3 months. Her voice, not for a minute, had a touch of fear or apprehension about the situation she is dangling with. 

I was out of town for 4 months. When I was back, I learnt from her that he passed away last month.

Her life stood toppled and devastated. Yet, she stood firm and I did not see tears in her eyes. She continued with her tuition classes. She started visiting a nearby orphanage and offered her services. Few months down the line, she quit classes and became a regular in the orphanage.

I have since moved out of the city since 7 years. Last time I visited her place, door was locked and neighbours have not seen her around for sometime. As of today, I don’t know where she lives or has moved to.

I, at times, remain astounded by the ways of life. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. We have sinned. Yet, life bestows numerous opportunities to redeem ourselves. And, we survive. We live to see glory.

But in the adversity of time, life decided to show off it’s gruesome face to this lady and her family. 

I am still living with the same question. Why?

*Inspired by real life events.

The Preface

Motherhood is the most beautiful emotion in this world. Unconditional, unearthed and supremely human. Can this feeling be compromised?

The Story

On the day of child birth, we visited Martha in hospital. Martha has been the caretaker of our home and the most exquisite cook we have ever seen, for the last 7 years.

Martha has just given birth to a baby girl and it was a moment of great relief for all of us. Elated, yes. The usual happiness of welcoming a baby in the family was a precursor for all households. We are no different, with smiles and sweets all over the place.

But Martha was not happy. I would say, her face quite dead as a pan and she preferred not looking at the baby.

We were perturbed and equally curious. Why would a mother not look at her baby? Where is the usual epitome of love and sacrifice?

We decided to wait for couple of days as we wanted her to get some rest.

A week gone by, we sat beside her and with a sense of judgment and sensitivity, popped up the all important question to her. 

‘What went wrong’?

Martha did not answer for few minutes. Then she looked up at us with a grim and hesitation. What she finally uttered shook us hard.
‘This is not my child’. ‘This baby is not mine’. – exclaimed an unassuming and nonchalant Martha. She had tears in her eyes but her words were not fake. She emoted naturally.
We spent a couple of minutes gathering ourselves before popping up yet another inevitable question. 

‘What do you mean’? How is this possible?
The spate of questions obviously meant we wanted Martha to elaborate on this shocking revelation. The understanding was mutual as Martha started to narrate what has gone through in the last 18 months of her life.

Martha is a surrogate mother. Couple of years back, she was visited by a Columbia couple through the local agent in Martha’s area. They were desperate for a child, Martha was in need of money. She had a paralysed husband with no income and her tiny little brick house went down in last year’s torrential rain. It was difficult making ends meet with 3 children and an almost ineffective husband. Thus, began a process by mutual consent and shared affection.

‘I will not have sex with this man’, Martha was curt when she informed the agent. The agent then explained that sexual intercourse is not required for her to carry a child in her womb.

“We have progressed”, the agent told Martha with a smile.

Though Martha was consciously in agreement to this, she never felt motherhood all through the 9 months of her disputed pregnancy period.

“I have just rented my womb for another person in exchange of money. This baby inside me is not to identify me as a Mother, I see myself as a business woman who is selling babies for cash”.
Martha’s tone was all guilt and conscience.

A week later, the Columbian couple and technically Martha’s customer, took the baby with them after paying the sum of money, as agreed.

Motherhood was redefined, but not sure where and who is the ‘Mother’ here?

The Moral

Surrogacy is bringing cheer to many such families across the world but we also sense that this introduction has perhaps murdered the purity of Motherhood. Consent or no consent, Motherhood is a woman’s right to her identify and integrity. Surrogacy, by all its noble intent, has manufactured a new and spurious Mother.

Once upon a time, in the long lost world of happiness, anguish and chaos, there lived 2 individuals who were raised and bred together. Yet, so gorgeously different.

Angel was a shy, submissive, reluctant girl who had her choices defined by her parents. She was extremely adorable and loved by all around her. It was imperative that she was the darling of her household and she receives the best in life from her equally caring parents though they are moderately employed. But they were a friendly couple and very helpful, hence they also drew considerable amount of respect from people around their neighbourhood.

Disturb was Angel’s neighbour and her best friend. Their parents were former colleagues and that gave both an opportunity to share a large part of their childhood together. They even went to the same school and shared their lunch boxes with each other. But Disturb was an arrogant boy. He often has tussles with local guys and is prone to fall in trouble. There have been instances when Angel has come to his rescue but that doesn’t stop him from messing around. Disturb’s father is a reputed businessman and is known name in around their place. That gives an edge to Disturb as he takes advantage of his father’s social reputation and gets away with his pranks.

Time flew, and the bonding between Angel and Disturb developed. Nothing platonic about the relationship but both had immense love and respect for each other. Yes, Angel disapproved his behaviour and attitude in an otherwise mutual relationship. As teenagers, Angel often guarded Disturb when he invited trouble and took the blame on her on number of occasions. But, such acts only intensified Disturb’s menacing character as he grew up to be a rude and indisciplined individual. He had the support of his father, who was less of a parent and more of a businessman who was ready to compensate any situation with money. This impressed Disturb but Angel quietly criticised it as she was bought up in a completely different household whose ecosystems where massively apart.

One fine morning, Angel’s father dies in an accident while commuting to work. Angel’s world turns upside down as she and her mother struggle to cope up with the sudden demise of their sole bread winner. Angel decides to work as that’s the only way out for their lives to redeem themselves out of this situation. Disturb does provide Angel with emotional support but he is too insensitive to come out of his lurch and think of providing some financial assistance to Angel and her family. But, Angel has no expectation from Disturb and his family.

Angel slowly takes the reins of her family on her shoulders, and gradually sets on her foot to stabilise the family situation. She also grows up to become a beautiful and pretty lady who is equally charming and kind. The discipline inculcated in her by her Father is something that caters to her rescue and she aptly adapts to the changing conditions around her. Disturb is completely immersed in his exploits and regarded as one of the mighty goons in the neighbourhood. He starts indulging in drugs, bad company, nocturnal activities and a set of paltry, opportunist friends who tag along for his Father’s money. His Father continues to bail Disturb out of nasty situations but gradually realises that he has a big stake in Disturb’s upbringing – hence the consequences but Disturb has now gone beyond his control.

In her workplace, Angel starts to flourish and is doing well for herself. She gets a promotion and a raise. She is going around steady with one of her colleagues, with whom she shares a special bond and both of them are quite fond of each other. Meanwhile, her relationship with Disturb cannot be termed as strained but certainly has distanced. Angel, for her part, has tried hard to get Disturb on the right track but his seminal instincts have had little or no inclinations towards Angel’s concerns for him as a human being alone, if not for anything else. They keep in touch, rather, Angel calls him once in a while to check if he is okay. His responses are usually rugged and minimal but Angel is by far the only person he responds or reacts to. His relationship with his Father is going the downtrodden way as he hardly lives with him and stays outdoors most of the week. In fact, it has come down to the point where Disturb’s father occasionally calls Angel to check if his son is doing okay. All this does pain Angel but she realises that she has done her bit and Disturb’s equilibrium lies in something else.

Angel’s mother passes away after a brief illness and this leaves Angel devastated. Her only source of inspiration and motivation has been her mother, who ensured that Angel lived a good life despite early setbacks in their lives. Angel decides to move out of her current residence, and she moves in with her boyfriend. Couple of months later, she comes to hear from common friends that Disturb has been arrested with charges of murder and conspiracy. She immediately calls his father as she is not sure if he is aware of Disturb’s plight. There is no response from him. She rushes to the police station but she is not allowed to meet Disturb in custody.

After few days, she gets the news that Disturb’s father is absconding and his business associates have no clue of what happened to him. It appears that they have not met him for few months and after Disturb’s arrest, the phone calls have stopped coming through. Police suspect that his disappearance and Disturb’s arrested might be connected. They are investigating the case as they feel there is more to it than what meets the eye. Disturb is still in judicial custody.

Angel is shocked and perturbed. With stories and rumours afloat, she is trying to comprehend the situation but feels all the more sorry for Disturb but she is helpless. She continues to live with her boyfriend in his apartment.