(A short story inspired by a true event)
(Names changed to maintain privacy)
Muhammed’s 3-year-old son Ram was crying relentlessly searching for his mother. It was 8 am, when Muhammed woke up annoyed with the sound of his wailing son. He was surprised to see Rahim, who should have been in school by now, still lying next to him. “Punitha,” Muhammed yelled, but there was no response. He got out of bed, woke Rahim up and lifted Ram as he looked out of the window and noticed that it was raining heavily, and the roads were flooded completely.
When Muhammed’s attempt to call his wife failed, he handed over Ram to Rahim and asked him to take care of his younger brother. Unable to find an umbrella, Muhammed covered his head with a plastic cover and left the house worried. He asked everyone around with a picture he always carried on his phone – and none seemed to have seen her.
‘You will get permanently separated from your wife’ – the words of a seer resonated in Muhammed’s ears. The meeting with the seer had happened around 6 months ago but he hadn’t taken him seriously then. “How can two college sweethearts, having had an inter-caste marriage against the will of their parents ever get separated from each other?” was what Muhammed’s logical mind told himself.
A vulnerable Muhammed didn’t have a choice but to call the seer again. “My wife is missing since 3 days, I have filed a police complaint, and there isn’t any progress. Is she in trouble?” asked Muhammed. “She isn’t dead, yet,” answered the seer before cutting the call abruptly.
Muhammed, a crime reporter by profession, had his own contacts in the police department to move his file faster. But time was running out, and it was almost 15 days – and there was no news about his wife’s whereabouts.
“She has eloped with your close friend. Find him, and you will find her,” said the seer over the phone in the middle of the night. Muhammed neither had time to argue nor had any other choice but to accept it and started searching for his friend with the help of the police.
After intense search the friend was found, who in turn accepted that they eloped to get married and start a new life. He gave out the whereabouts of Punitha to the police. When they reached the deserted house situated amidst rolling mountains – they found Punitha floating in a pool of blood. She was dead.
“You were right sir. I indeed got permanently separated from my beloved wife,” sobbed Muhammed in front of the seer. “One thing I failed to understand was, why did you say, she isn’t dead, yet? If she was about to be killed by my close friend, why didn’t you tell me beforehand?”
“Had you not reached that deserted house before the police did, she would have lived longer,” said the seer with a smirk. “Anyway your friend will be punished for the murder you have committed,” said the seer as he walked away in the twilight, whilst Muhammed sat there staring at the picture of his beautiful wife on his hand phone.