Isn’t Divorce Simpler?

August 16, 2010

A couple of days ago, we read on the front page of this young school teacher who’d been murdered in Bangalore. It was a vicious killing – she was strangled, her hands were tied, her throat was slit and then there were multiple stab wounds.

Her husband said he’d gone for his morning walk and badminton outing when it happened. He had a story. It sounded so improbable that I thought it must be true. Nobody who had to cook up a story would cook up something so completely cockeyed. I mean, if your wife calls you about some strange men a the door at 6 a.m. and you get home a little later to find the door locked and no response from your wife, would you then waste an hour and a half going to your office to get a key? No! Of course not! You’d panic and break the door down.

I thought to myself – I hope this guy is the bereaved spouse; I hope he’s not the killer. In most of the murders I have read about in the papers, it’s the spouse/lover who does it, either directly or indirectly. If it’s not the spouse, it is some family or business rivalry, or some scorned domestic help. It is almost never a random stranger.

The papers said they’d had a happy marriage, so I was optimistic that for once we’d have a real tragic hero here, not a cold-blooded murderer.

But no – the story turned out as expected. According to the current news reports, the husband did it. He set up the whole thing, planned it for three months! Never mind that it was a half-baked scheme in the first place, he carried it out as per his plan and then tried to cover it up with the badminton outing followed by the whole drive-to-office-to-get-a-key routine. According to the papers, he said he did it because his wife was “irritating”. And because she made him move away from his parents!

What I really just don’t get is – so what? ALL wives are irritating at some point or other, in some way or other. That’s the whole point of a wife. (Husbands are irritating too – but we don’t want to go there right now.) Pretty much anybody you spend that much time with every day, under the same roof and all, is going to be irritating at some point. Even your mom. If you don’t like your wife, you can always just walk out, can’t you? You can even get a divorce. It’s not that difficult. And in any case, you can always just pack your bags and leave. Go back to momma. It might not be the nicest thing to do, but it’s a lot better than just killing your wife. I don’t think this couple had kids, but even if they did, you’re not doing them any favour by murdering their mother (or father) as opposed to just splitting with them.

And then, of course, you do such a stupid murder that you have to go and get caught. Anybody who’s watched a bit of TV knows that if your wife is found dead at 8 a.m., the docs can obviously narrow down time to death pretty accurately, so hoping they will buy your story that she was alive and making you a fake phone call at 6 a.m. when she was actually dead two hours earlier is plain stupid. Anybody who’s watched a bit of TV or read a murder-mystery or two will also know that the husband (or wife) is the prime suspect. And that most murderers get caught in the end. Especially the really stupid and obvious murderers.

You’ve got to have a twisted kind of mind to imagine that that kind of solution, with all its blood and gore (he had blood on the shoes he was wearing when he went out to play badminton!), its cruelty, its permanence, and its extremely high risk factor, is the best solution for the fairly trivial problem of marital discontent.

And this guy was an HR chap in an IT company. Wonder what kind of solutions he had in mind for employees having trouble with their colleagues or bosses!

In the end, what did this HR genius achieve? He wasted two lives, which could quite easily have been spent quite fruitfully, if they’d only agreed to part.

And I’m really puzzled by it. I just don’t see in what kind of a mind, in what kind of manner, it can appear to be the sensible, logical, or right thing to do to murder someone who “irritates” you, when you could so much more easily just leave. Can somebody explain this to me?

Amit says you can’t believe everything you read in the papers and that the papers don’t give the whole picture and so on. True – there may be stuff here I’m not aware of. Maybe “irritating” is not the real reason. Maybe the guy is actually, clinically, insane. Maybe the confession is fake. Maybe…. Whatever. But going by what’s emerged so far, all I can say is: What’s wrong with this man????


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