Arindam shares a true crime story that he had witnessed closely during his stay in Bombay, in the mid-1980s. Trusting and gullible men were enticed and trapped in marriages. Within a few months, they were looted. It is necessary that we crosscheck and verify about a person’s antecedents before we decide to marry that person, especially in these days of marriages through matrimonial columns (and sites, more recently). Here’s a warning that we must heed to. Read more about the true crime, in the regular column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Young and smart Deep (name changed), hailing from a good family in Calcutta, worked as a peon in a major media group, in Bombay (it wasn’t Mumbai then), in the mid-1980s. He was soft spoken, cultured and had good etiquettes. He had told his colleagues that he was intimate with a beautiful girl, whose father was a backstreet tough and henchman of a prominent leader of the ruling party in the state. He was roughed up and escaped death by the skin of his teeth. He had to flee from Calcutta to save his life.
Working as a teashop help, he had managed to keep himself alive. He was just 16-year- old then. He took up odd jobs, including that of a newspaper boy, from 4am to 6am. There were many twists and turns of fate. He was spotted by an executive of the media house and on his recommendation found a job in the organisation.
Years passed. Things settled down. Deep visited Calcutta, now and then. He was 32-year- old. He decided he should get married. He went to the advertisement department and sought help. As he was popular and well-behaved, the executives helped him. He was in the matrimonial column as a prospective groom. Soon there were responses. He decided to meet a prospective bride. A casual meeting soon developed into a friendship. They were dating each other and spending a lot of time together.
Deep was so possessive of the damsel that he was not ready to introduce her to anyone else. He told his colleagues that she lived with her widow mother. That she had been allotted a brand new one-room set in Bhainder, a suburb of Bombay. She had told him that this was to be their new home. But, since she had been bled white, buying it, he should furnish it. Her only condition was that her widow mother would stay with them and that she would sleep in the kitchen, at night.
Deep was elated. He was not only getting a new wife but a new home, as well. He went overboard. Took a loan from his PF and friends. He soon made their new house, a home. He bought furniture, kitchenware, soft furnishings, etc. He invited his mother and two sisters for the wedding.
A court registrar had come to their new home and their marriage was solemnised. In the evening, there was a modest party. Deep introduced Neeru, his new wife, to his family and friends. Two of his sisters were there with their husbands, one was a bank manager, in Calcutta, other, a lecturer, in a PG College. Deep’s mother was happy. She gave lots of gold jewellery to the only Bahu (daughter-in- law). Her two sisters-in- law also gave cash and gifts. Strangely, there was no one from Neeru’s side, except her widow mother, who would stay with them.
Deep had lost the mirth and spark in him. He looked pale, exhausted and had suddenly aged. He was not his vibrant self. He was very quiet. Very sad. It seemed things were wrong with him. His friends and colleagues asked him. But, he had lost his tongue. Something was corroding him, within.
Not every marriage works out good. But, if this happened so soon, there was something terribly wrong.
The worst fears came true. On a Sunday morning, Deep had rushed to the home of his boss, one of the directors of the media house. He was in a vest and torn pajamas. He was bleeding from his nose and was full of bruises. He wailed and sought for help. He was afraid that Neeru and her people would kill him. His boss heard him. Paid him to go to Calcutta.
After that, he made a few more calls. An ace reporter was sent to the suburban home of Neeru and Deep. The police were alerted. Neeru and her so-called mother were nabbed. A huge racket was unearthed.
Neeru was part of a marriage scam. The old woman was not her widowed mother but a chaperon, a senior member of the gang, who kept an eye on Neeru, lest she spoiled the game. Neeru had married four persons, before Deep. And there were quite a few operators like her, in Bombay.
They advertised as prospective brides, enticed and trapped gullible and easily trusting people like Deep. Within few months, these new hubbies were beaten and thrown out by goons of the gang. All the gifts and ornaments would vanish. And soon, other mother-daughter teams would take their place, in the flat, where they were living till then.
The police had nabbed over 30 people of the marriage scam gang. They were operating in Bombay and the suburbs. The only folly that Neeru did was that she forgot that Deep was associated with a large media house.
It’s rightly said that crime never pays.
Pictures from the internet.
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