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© Nikhil Jha


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“But he is dead” claimed Mrs. Awasthi.

And dead he was…finally and fully. Though Mr. Awasthi has led a pompous life, with a jargon of ardent followers following his every move, in his death he seems to find his peace. No one knew how Mr Awasthi had died. Last checked a night before, Mr. Awasthi was found singing an old classical song (as usual), sitting on a plump sofa (made from imported Italian wood) and pulping pills like a piston (that’s what rich eat for vitamins). And so when last night, Mr. Awasthi went to bed, everything was all right. But still in the morning, when Mrs. Awasthi – proclaimed (from the top of the building – you see) that Mr. Awasthi is dead, people were surprised.

“Tuk Tuk Tuk, but don’t take me wrong My Lady – he is dead, no doubt about it but still he is saying that you are the one who killed him.” – The inspector said with the mischievous smile.

Mrs. Awasthi was confused to her wits. Yes, she knew that she has killed him. And she had her reasons. Mrs. Awasthi was a budding star in her prime but due to family pressure she had to get married to Mr. Awasthi very early in her life. Though from then Mr. Awasthi proclaimed her love to her each and every day of his life, in her mind he was responsible for crushing her dreams. Expensive wines, enchanting rides, lofty high-rises, the pool and the school was not able to thrust the burning hatred she had for her husband. The more he insisted, the less she persisted.

And when on one fine evening, Mr. Awasthi finally confronted her with the request of renewing the marriage vows, she was furious. Why it is important to celebrate the day when her life was finished. Doesn’t this man know how much she hates him? From her side, she was clear – this man has to die. He has to. Mrs. Awasthi wanted to destroy the life of man who has destroyed her life. And so she conspired. One fine evening, she added a victorious pills among the many pills he takes and so Mr. Awasthi was dead. But now the inspector was saying that he has the proof that she killed him.

“My lady, you see – before he died My Awasthi had the inkling that his life is in danger from you and hence has written a formal letter to me. He has named that if anything happens to him, you are responsible,” – Inspector smiled flashing the letter in front of Mrs. Awasthi and remembered that he has been paid pumped 1 Cr to ensure the same.

Mrs Awasthi was perplexed. Mr. Awasthi – the scoundrel has won even in this death.

“But then you see, Dear Mrs. Awasthi there is something else.” – Inspector took out a lighter from his packet and burnt the letter in front of Mrs Awasthi. “Mr. Awasthi has the inkling that something of the same could happen to him and hence he has specifically instructed that this letter should be burnt in front of your eyes. You see – My Lady – in his life he could not prove his love to you but his only dying wish to ensure that you know how much he loved you.”

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