Isn’t Divorce Simpler?

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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8 Responses to Isn’t Divorce Simpler?

  1. Prakash says:

    Really, whats wrong? Thats the question S and I have been having these days. It is very disgusting to see this happen.

    You are right, one can divorce, run away etc etc so many things can be done. I also dont understand how he can fake tears. This is murder in cold blood…

  2. Ruby says:

    C’mon journos are not that a breed, most of the times all stories are true. I still can’t figure out the viveka babajee thing, am sure the guy had a hand in it. I was sure you wd blog on this, the first thing I thought abt was anamika wd have a take on this issue. I have been through this irritation is killing, but it can be handled and most wives get accused of taking them away fm momma. Is it a world-wide phenomena or pertains to India?

  3. poupee97 says:

    Ruby: 🙂 Relax. The point was not that journos are bad, but that the papers don’t give the whole story, which is true. Also, for example, maybe it was a cooked-up confession. Why do soemthing so deadly and then promptly confess? In any case, you can’t understand this kind of thing from newspaper reports. But I can’t understand it no matter what. I can even understand getting completely, incontrollably angry at your spouse and whacking them with something – that I can totally relate to… but planning a murder for three months! At least if he is insane he has an excuse.

    That cutting of the umbilical cord business must be an Indian thing, right? Imagine, if the whole world is like that? There’s no hope for the world then!

    And do you mean to say the things I blog about have become so predictable???

  4. Supriya says:

    This guy had gone out jogging in leather shoes (not to play badminton). Another stupid error. I believe the reason was not just that he was irritated by her. It was that they were married for 4 years and she was not able to conceive and in a spat recently she called him impotent. He also called her names – but she obviously cut him to the quick. Also she had arthritis and asthama – and his parents and she never got along. So he probably thought it was far simpler to start over with another healthy girl.
    But with such a low IQ – where he made such basic errors apart from the main mistake of thinking he’ll get away with it – he managed to get an HR job in a big firm doing ref checks ironically. It doesn’t take much to get employment does it?
    Who do we trust then? What has the world come to? Ordinary common people seem to be capable of murder these days. Very upsetting.

  5. poupee97 says:

    Supriya: Like I said, if you have a spat and your wife says something really vicious and you hit her on the head with something… it’s horrible, but it’s understandable. What’s really creepy is to plan it, work on it like a project for three months. And to plan such a gruesome thing and have the stomach to carry it out! And then coolly go out for a walk or whatever! Even if you are impotent or your wife is infertile, aren’t there other ways of dealing with it? Like, for example, divorce? My problem is, why not divorce??? It’s SO much easier!

    And come on – you can’t murder someone for having arthiritis and asthma, either one or the other or both. Come on! Next he’ll be murdering his sister because she has a head cold!

    You hit the nail on the head – it’s so very disturbing because ordinary people – “people like us” – now seem to be capable of murder! It’s not goons or gundas whom we can’t relate to. It’s people like us! It could easily be someone we know! Ask around and you’re sure to know people who know these people, socially or professionally. Shudder!

  6. Arun says:

    he is one real stupid guy!
    fact that having similar workplace, lifestyle and family setup like him, it really feels uncomfortable!
    i mean, my wife..or my house owner aunty..it could strike to anybody on a second image of me now, though they know its silly!

  7. Christina says:

    You know as soon as I read the story I thought that the husband had done it, and that’s what it turned out to be.

    My immediate reaction was similar to yours too – why not just get a divorce??

    Apparently, there’s some report somewhere that also says he did not do that because he didn’t want to pay his wife alimony. If that is indeed the case, I’d say it’s a very good example of being penny wise and pound foolish 😦

  8. poupee97 says:

    Arun: Yeah, I didn’t think about that – now you have to look at every “normal” guy and wonder…

    Chris: Alimony, pah! Also, you could say it is more difficult for a “divorced” man to get remarried than for a widow – if his problem was, as Supriya says, that he wanted to “start over”. Crap! What feeble motives for murder. That’s what’s worrying. Next time somebody sneezes, it’s like, oh, I might catch a cold from her, what to do? Oh, I know – I’ll just murder her! You can’t even take it in jest any more – who knows who might mean it!

    Really, the only reason that makes even the remotest kind of sense for cold-bloodedly murdering your wife (or husband) is if you stand to make a huge amount of money by inheritance. For everything else, there’s always divorce, or even simpler, separation.

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