Through my blog posts it must have become evident that I am enamoured by the notion of love. It’s a universal feeling that everyone understands and experiences at some point in their lives. In fact, Love is such a profound feeling that sometimes, despite being a writer, I find words as an inadequate conduit to contain the effervescence that is intrinsic to it. I often resort to using several allegories to express what love means to me and one that often comes to my mind is that love is like coffee. Coffee tastes like heaven only when it has the right blend of coffee powder, sugar, milk and water. Similarly love feels like heaven only when it has the perfect balance of care, concern, possessiveness and freedom. Too much of one ingredient and it can go horribly wrong.
This week’s love story is like coffee that became very bitter because of too much coffee powder. It’s dark, potent and heady. It’s a deviation from my staple –‘and they lived happily ever after’ kind of love story. The reason I chose to write this kind of love story is because as a writer, I constantly try to challenge myself and explore different kinds of love stories. I had so much fun tapping into the dark and delirious side of love and I’m sure dear readers that you’ll will enjoy this heady concoction of love titled- Till Death Do Us Part.
Lots of love,
Till Death Do Us Part- by Kaajal
‘I wish I’d been there earlier. It might have made all the difference.
‘Are you saying that you knew he would be killed?’
‘No officer, all I’m saying is that I had a hunch that Yash was in danger. I know who did this…’ I trailed off as my eyes were drawn towards Yash’s dead body. He was lying sprawled on his back with his head turned to the right, staring at me, as if pleading to help him. I wish I could have. Blood was smeared on his shirt and it trickled down to pool around his hands. I felt choked by the pungent metallic smell of blood. An angrily plunged dagger stuck out of his stomach. I didn’t need to wait for the test results to know who the finger prints belonged to. I knew it was Sanvi. The red rose lying near his body was proof that Sanvi killed him. She always gave him a red rose whenever she met him. I had kept my silence in the past but now that silence was like a burden on my heart, a searing pain that wouldn’t go no matter how much I ignored it.
‘Miss, are you alright? If the body bothers you we can go to the station and you can give me your statement there.’
Oh my god, he just called my future brother in law a body! Yash was really murdered and the murderer was my sister Sanvi. I held a hand to my mouth to stop a sob from escaping and only nodded, grateful to be led away from the gory sight.
I huddled into the coat that the officer offered when he noticed that I was shivering. Grateful for the hot mug of coffee in front of me, I was prepared to be interrogated. It would most certainly be a long night.
‘Why do you say that your sister Sanvi Mehra has killed her fiancé Yash Kapoor?’
‘Sanvi had found out just the day before that Yash was having an affair with his neighbour Shreya. Shreya might be in danger; Sanvi may try to harm her.’
‘Okay, I will send some officers right away for Shreya’s protection.’
A furrow appeared between his thick dark brows and he ran a hand through his already mussed hair, a tangle of thick chestnut brown that fell over his black eyes. Stubble covered his angular jaws and he pinched the bridge of his nose. A frown clouded his face and he looked weary but still managed to be alert.
‘Don’t you think killing a fiancé over infidelity is a bit too harsh? A rational person would talk it out, fight over it or just break the engagement. Why kill?’
I smiled ruefully at that and said,’ Sanvi is anything but normal. She may appear to be an ordinary 23 year old but her only problem is that she loves deeply. So deeply that it becomes an obsession and that is her curse.’
‘Can you be more specific about this?’
‘Sanvi was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s a mental condition in which patients are insecure, impulsive, and prone to erratic behaviour. They tend to cope with problems by doing self-harm and Sanvi is terribly afraid of being abandoned. The doctor said that neglect and the sorrow of losing our parents was the trigger for her depression.’
‘When was she diagnosed with this disorder?’
‘When our parents died in a car accident, I was just 12 and Sanvi was 10. We were sent by our grandparents to a boarding school in Pune. Sanvi was unable to cope with the loss of our mother and she was always lonely at school. I tried to quash the pain by busying myself in studies and competitions. I was so preoccupied with my own problems that I didn’t even notice how Sanvi was doing. I thought she was alright too, until one day Sanvi was found unconscious at the Chemistry lab. She had broken a test tube to slit her wrist. Luckily she was saved when she was discovered by the lab in charge.’
The officer, Inspector Arjun Singh, whose name I just read off his name tag, raised an eyebrow in reaction and muttered about being sorry to hear about our hard past. I nodded and acknowledged his sympathy.
‘So then, what happened?’
‘Sanvi was sent for therapy. Her condition began to improve and at the therapist’s suggestion we got a dog for her. She named him Joy. She didn’t allow anyone to play with him and was extremely possessive about him. Once when joy went missing for a week she didn’t eat anything at all and just cried. When he was found, she went towards him with a stoic face and thrashed him so badly that he was severely injured. I tried several times to take the stick from her hand, I begged her to stop, but she pushed me away with such brutal force that I fell down. I was horrified by her merciless beating and I just sat there rooted to the spot. By the time our grandparents and servants reached the scene, Joy was almost unconscious. Luckily he was saved and he managed to recover.’
I shuddered as these unpleasant memories accosted me. I had tried so hard to push them away, but these memories always hovered at the edge of my mind like black swirling smoke, hounding me unbidden.
My eyes misted and I saw a bunch of tissues being placed on the table before me. I looked up to see Inspector Singh looking at me. I drew strength from his calm and composed demeanour.
‘Go on’, he gently prodded.
‘That was the first time I noticed that Sanvi was possessive and obsessed to the point of craziness. The next day she behaved as if nothing was wrong and that Joy didn’t exist at all. She calmly went on with life and I vowed to get her cured. Therapies continued and years went by. She seemed to have recovered completely and never behaved oddly after that.
Everything was fine till Sanvi turned 21. She had gone trekking to Manali with her college friends and when she came back she said she was in love. For days she only spoke about Yash. She met him at the camp and she told me it was love at first sight for both of them. I was so happy for my baby sister. She had grown up after all and was dating, something that college girls normally did.’
Just then the telephone jangled loudly and I glanced at the wall clock noting that it was a little shy of eleven. Had I been in the police station for nearly an hour?
‘That was my junior informing me that Miss Shreya’s house is guarded and that she has confessed to having a relationship with Mr. Yash.’
Inspector Singh’s reassurance that Shreya would be safe soothed my frayed nerves and I collected my thoughts to relay the last bit of Sanvi’s story.
‘I was hesitant at first about the budding romance between Yash and Sanvi. Yash was not from a rich family but he was bright and ambitious. He had an infectious charm that made it hard to dislike him. Though Sanvi’s destructive tendencies had died down but the episode with Joy still niggled at the back of my mind. After only a year of dating, Sanvi and Yash decided to get engaged. They were still so young, just 22, their romance was tumultuous with a fair share of arguments but Yash always managed to stoke down embers.
Sanvi was a very possessive girlfriend but Yash seemed to like the attention and adoration that she generously showered on him. She gave him outrageously expensive gifts and after graduating, Yash joined our grandfather’s company as an intern. The first hints of trouble started last Christmas when Yash shifted into a new neighbourhood and went for a social meet and greet. He took Sanvi as his date and that’s when he met Shreya. They hit it off instantly and chatted the night. This made Sanvi feel insecure. I remember, she bawled her eyes out that night. I could see that she was seething with insecurity and jealousy. That night she went to bed after taking sleeping pills.The next day she was unnaturally calm and the histrionics of the previous night were completely forgotten but I knew that a storm was brewing just below the surface.’
To be continued…