Contd from : You mean it’s a clue?- Part 3
“They did. But there was nothing more beyond the trail. It opened on to the wide road in the east and that’s where the footsteps finished,” Rajlakshmi duly explained.
* * *
Early next day it was business as usual in the house. The road in the east was forgotten along with the strand of hair in the hustle bustle packing tiffins and reading newspapers.
“Will it be okay if I stay back at home today?” and amidst this came Devyani’s weak voice in the kitchen.
Her mother did not turn afraid her desolate expression might communicate her fears. She only nodded in response, indicating it was alright.
* * *
Rajlakshmi was fifteen and married. Her life though did not take a bad turn up until her husband lost his job in a few months. She was forced to return to the village. It was more of a sense of disgrace rather than the loss of city’s luxury, which made life hell for her.
“But will he return or not?” her father’s soft nudges didn’t help either.
“Well it is only a break. He is also being paid for this time,” she resorted to lying as an alternate to save face.
And of course the repercussions in her marriage were far deeper. Now not only was she not pretty and uneducated but also a curse.
“My life was just fine before you came along. I think if I were to dump you right now the job, happiness my mental peace all will come walking back,” almost every night she heard this.
And in response she only gave a slight nod with her back towards him. Afraid her tears too will be disrespected and then she would have nothing left to preserve.
* * *
“Rajlakshmi,” her husband was apparently going early to work and hence the thundered call.
She ran out of the kitchen with tiffin in one hand and his watch, shoes in the other.
“If you are not able to manage then tell me. I will get you a maid,” the words themselves perhaps formed a helpful suggestion but the tone accompanying them indicated them to be far from encouraging.
She shook her head in negative, this time not raising her head afraid the anger in the eyes would get communicated.
And in one quick pull, he took the tiffin, shoes and watch and left.
* * *
“But there must be something you could figure out,” she overheard her husband ask the policeman.
“Just that the murderer might have been a woman,” he replied in a hushed voice.
contd. at She is very strange-Part 5
* * *