“I am insolvent!” said Dwarkanath, poor man. “I cannot manage to make and return you this much money…!”
“That’s your problem! “said the acquisitive Mother, Yamunadevi. ”You should have thought about that before taking so much money! You first lend money for your cosy life and then you beg you’re not having money? You have 7 daughters..! Tell your daughters to work and pay me back…!” she ordered fiercely.
The poor old Dwarkanath started sobbing. He pleaded to the Mother, “I have seven daughters to be looked after. I have no extra money. Please try to understand me!”
”OK.I will forgive you and all your debts on one condition.” The wicked Yamunadevi said,” Ask one of your daughters to marry my son! I’ll never ask you for any money henceforth. I only want to have one of your daughters as my son’s wife..!”
The poor old man had no option but to do as she said. After much symposium, his seventh daughter Sushma, agreed to get married to her son. Yamunadevi’s son, Ajaypal, was a medical college dropout after he met with an accident while driving his two wheeler. His one leg was permanently fractured. His mother ordered him to leave the college, as she couldn’t bear the cost of his treatment and his education. Ajaypal knew his mother was lying, as she had ample amount of money, but he couldn’t say anything in front of Yamunadevi. Sometimes, when he was alone, he used to look at his medical certificates that he had got for receiving top ranks in all the subjects.
Recently Yamunadevi had started complaining of blackouts, dizziness, inappropriate actions and other symptoms related to mental illness. The doctors had detected this behaviour as Schizophrenia, and had prescribed certain medicines to her. However, Yamunadevi was too stubborn to accept it.
The marriage ceremony was held in the Town Hall, and all the expenditure was taken care of by the poor old Dwarkanath, as per stipulated by The Mother. The poor old man gifted a Violet saree to his married daughter. “I can only give you this much..!” he said with watery eyes and blessed both the Husband & Wife. Yamunadevi, showing her pride on the money she had, gifted beautiful gold wristlets to her, studded with diamonds.
After the ceremony, the bride came home. After supper, the guests started leaving. As per the community’s tradition, the bride also left with her father. “I’ll come back on the 7th Day!” she said while leaving.
“I hope you know how to do all the household drudgeries...” Yamunadevi asked when Sushma returned. “From now on you should do all the household work & prepare good food for me…! Listen to what I say carefully…! And don’t act filthy & dirty the way you used to act at your home..!”
Yamunadevi was chatting with her elder sister, Sarladevi. ”How did you manage to get this girl for your infirm, handicapped son?”
“In return for the financial obligation from her father,” replied the mother. ”But the fact is at least I’ll keep inculpating her for what her father did. As such I did want someone to take care of daily household chores. Besides, I donno why that doctor has prescribed me these medicines…! He says I have a mental illness..! I think he’s himself mad and he requires these medicines..! ” Both of them laughed. “I’ll leave now. Take your medicines on time.” Sarladevi said as she left.
Sushma used to get up early and start the family work. However good her work was, Yamunadevi always used to torment her. Every single minute of the day, Yamunadevi never left a chance of defaming her and her poor father. At some point, she even thrashed her 2-3 times for a small blunder. The poor bride, Sushma, was helpless. She couldn’t do anything. Every instant of the day, Sushma used to keep thinking about the disturbance caused by Yamunadevi to her.
One day her unwell son, Ajaypal spoke about this to her. ”Stop being so notorious! Why are you doing this? What has she done? ” The aggrieved son said.
“Do not say a word. I know what I am doing. After all, who would have married a person like you..! You’re just like your father…!” The contemptuous mother replied.
On the 7th day of the 7th month, Sushma habitually woke up, wore the Violet colour saree and finished all the household work. She washed all the clothes and was on the terrace putting them for drying. While doing this, she was still thinking about the persecution caused by Yamunadevi.
The son woke up and called the Mother. “Mom!” No answer. He was scrutinising the entire house.
Suddenly; he heard a loud shrieking voice and a thud in the courtyard. He rushed outside, only to see Sushma fallen face down in a pool of blood. She was immobile. ”No..!!How did this happen?” The son shouted. Yamunadevi came running down from the terrace. ”I donno…! I think she lost her balance and fell down..!”
The police were called. They determined she died due to a lethal injury on her forehead. While enquiring, the cops found the railing on the terrace was broken. The cops then asked the son, “What was Yamunadevi doing on the Terrace?” No answer was sorted.
The next evening, Yamunadevi was sitting with her sister. They were discussing about Sushma. “I don't know why, but I keep hearing her voice in my head. I get this feeling that she is somewhere around. Sometimes, I even feel that I have seen her roaming in the house..! ” Yamunadevi looked unwell. Her thoughts were dysfunctional and her body movements were agitated.
“D’not worry, I think you’re overthinking about her.” Sarladevi somehow consoled her, “Let it go. Take care of your health. Take your medicines on time & try to come out of the grief.”
After her sister left, Yamunadevi was crossing Sushma’s room when she heard a faint muffle of bangles inside. She turned and saw the door towards the bride’s room was marginally open. She pushed the door open and peeped in the interiors.
Sushma was standing inside in a Violet Saree, facing the window.
Yamunadevi lost her balance and trembling uncontrollably, fell down. Sushma started turning her head to look at her. “No.!” The Mother screeched, covering her eyes.
Hearing her scream, Ajaypal came running, somehow maintaining balance on his cripples. “What happened Mom?”
“Tell her to go away!” she shouted, pointing at the dead bride’s room.
“There’s no one there. Look for yourself!” The Mother, still shivering, looked and literally there was no one. The room was empty. “Mom, what’s wrong with you? Please take your medicines on time!”
The next day, Yamunadevi was going to the marketplace for groceries. She bolted the main door and stepped down in the courtyard.
“Ma! I am upstairs!”
The dead bride’s voice ringed in her head. Terrified, she looked up and saw only the broken railing on the terrace. Trembling, she grabbed the gate post for support. Why am I thinking about her? Gradually, she started for the market. While in the market, trying to avoid thoughts about Sushma, she purchased a vegetable and was lending the money to the vendor.
“I like this green. It grows in 7 days!”
Again, the dead bride’s voice. Scared and shivering, she looked next to her. No One.
“Aunty? Are you OK? You dropped the money.” The vendor said.
“I...can’t ...stand ...here...” Yamunadevi said. Her body rigid, she was unable to move. Someone tried helping her. ”I am fine. I’ll ma...manage…” Saying this, she started returning home.
“You are behaving weird nowadays!” The unwell Ajaypal said while having breakfast the next day. “You’re looking delusional…I think we should consult a doctor..!”
“You take care of your health. That ignoramus girl never did that!” Saying this, Yamunadevi got up. While taking the utensils, she glanced in the courtyard.
Sushma was standing in the courtyard in a Violet Saree.
Shivering, the Mother dropped the plates she was holding. ”Mom! What happened?” Ajaypal asked. “No ...N...Nothing! I am going upstairs!” She went to her room. Thinking of the dead bride, she sat on the bed, shivering.
Suddenly, Sushma’s suitcase kept up on the wardrobe fell down and all her cloths and jewellery fell apart. Of all the cloths, she saw the Violet Saree that the Sushma was wearing when she had died.
Why is this happening to me? Why am I continuously thinking about her? The horrified mother thought, looking at her medicines.
Next day, Sushma’s father was called to collect her belongings. “Take them away! They are obsolete as was your daughter!” Feeling sad, the poor old Dwarkanath took them and left.
The Mother then said to her son, “I am still not feeling well. I’ll take the Soporific drug and have some rest.” She then went to her room upstairs to sleep.
She is on the terrace of her home. It is raining heavily. The Mother is taking out the clothes kept for drying. Suddenly, she sees Sushma in the same Violet saree coming towards her. The Mother stepped back. Due to heavy rains, she couldn’t see her face. ”Wait! Why are you troubling me?” But the dead bride didn’t stop. She pushed the terrified Mother exactly where the broken railing was. As she fell, she saw Sushma standing near the broken railing and staring back at her.
Shivering and sweaty, she woke up screaming.
“What’s wrong with you? You’ve grown so ill.” The Son was asking her.
“I keep seeing the bride; I keep hearing her voices and keep seeing her things around. I donno what’s happening to me…why is she doing this to me..?” The Mother’s eyes were sore; there were dark spots below her eyes. She couldn’t handle herself properly. “Take your medicines on time and take proper rest. I think we should see the doctor again…!” The Mother went to her room. As she walked towards her bed, she glanced around.
Sushma’s wristlets were kept on her bed, the same ones which Yamunadevi had gifted her.
Shivering, the Mother stumbled behind. I am dreaming! she thought. Suddenly, she heard something flutter behind her. She turned, expecting to see the dead bride on the door. No one. Sweaty and trembling, she was almost about to faint when she heard footsteps approaching. It was Ajaypal.
“Mom you forgot the bottle downstairs. So I …What happened?” Convulsing, Yamunadevi took the water and looked at the bed. There were no wristlets. The son helped her get on the bed. Exhausted, she dozed off.
Yamunadevi woke up with a start. She couldn’t remember what she dreamed. Shakily, she woke up and started going down the stairs.
“I am the 7th daughter of my dad!”
The dead bride’s voice ringed in her head. Terrified, she felt her body go rigid. She grabbed the handrail for support and reached the bottom of stairs. Suddenly, she felt someone go past the Sushma’s room. As she walked nearer, the door fell open.
Sushma was sitting inside in Violet saree, with her back facing the Mother.
Yamunadevi again started shivering terribly. She couldn’t take it anymore & collapsed on the floor. When she woke up, she was in her room. The doctor was sitting next to her. ”Take your medicines on time.” The doctor said, examining her. ”You’re not convalescent. That’s why you keep seeing her and hearing her voice. I think you’re Schizophrenia has intensified. We need to do some other required tests immediately. ” “I am fine doctor. It’s just that I am not getting the right sleep…!” The worn-out mother nodded and went to sleep.
Yamunadevi’s health was deteriorating every coming day. She was taking her medicines, but still she was seeing Sushma around. She tried removing Sushma from her mind, but she was not successful.
I shouldn’t have behaved wrongly with her, she thought the other day. Maybe my wrongdoings took her life…this was not supposed to happen.
The following night, Ajaypal and Yamunadevi were having dinner. Ajaypal looked at his mom. She was lost in her thoughts, not aware at all of what she was eating. She had weakened a lot, & she couldn’t speak clearly or was not able to understand things properly.
“Mom, did you kill Sushma..?” Ajaypal directly asked this question to her.
Yamunadevi was startled on hearing this.
“Why will I do that son? She was your wife…! She was doing all the chores perfectly…! I still don’t know how she fell down..!”
Today morning, Yamunadevi woke up early. She washed the clothes and took them on the terrace for drying. She rinsed the clothes, squeezed them and started putting them one by one on the strings.
“I’ll be back on the 7th Day!”
The dead bride’s voice ringed in her head. Yamunadevi started shaking. She suddenly saw Sushma standing with her back in the same Violet saree. She couldn’t control herself. Terrified, she started getting away from Sushma. As she stepped backwards, she sensed she had come to the same spot were the broken railing was. Realising something, she tried to grab something for support.
Ajaypal heard a loud thud in the courtyard. He came sprinting and saw Yamunadevi lying face down in a pool of blood. He was shocked. How did this happen?
The cops were called. They inspected the area and found nothing suspicious. They determined The Mother died due to a lethal injury on her forehead.
Ajaypal was sitting on the steps, sad and lost in thoughts. The head Inspector said “You please stay with your Mom’s sister. This is not a good place to reside.” He ordered to gather the evidence and seal the house.
Ajaypal was sitting on the stairs when the police left. As he saw them leaving, he smiled.
How nicely things worked out for me, he thought. My mother never ever deserved to live…! She always had pride on everything..! Pride on her money, Pride on herself…everything..! It’s good I am a student of medical field. I could easily manipulate her medicines…!
He removed the medicines that Yamunadevi was having every day from his pocket and looked at them. Exactly the opposite of what the doctors had prescribed…! These medicines did a good job of screwing up my mom’s mind. The wrong medicines implanted a mental disease inside her…and that’s what exactly I wanted. How nicely she responded to her doses..! She killed my father, just because she wanted all the money of the insurance for herself…! She tortured my wife much worse than a maid..! My wife always used to worry a lot…! And that’s the reason she lost her life…!She fell down from the terrace because she was only thinking about my mom, and she never realised she was at the edge of the terrace..! My evil mom started seeing things that were not around, started feeling things that were not present, and started hearing voices that were not produced at all…!
He removed a pic of his wife from his pocket.
“I’ve finally avenged your death, dear one…!” he said as he looked at the photo with tears welling down his eyes.