It is not easy to sit idle and while away the time mooning over the past . At least not always. At times of course you feel like a trip down the memory lane. That was the case with Kesavan Nair too. He had grown so fed up of keeping his own company and thinking about all his deeds in the past, that he started climbing walls. Irritation and remorse took different forms in his mind often.
But he was not a loner some years back…….
A skyscraper house and a landscaping garden with a plethora of servants and family members summed up Kesavan Nair`s household. Meenakshi was his better half. She was his better half only in shades. Because for him wife was just a bed partner. Just outside the bed or rather the bedroom he hardly acknowledged her. She never had any kind of wifely freedom with him. He never used to call her by her name. That was because, he felt it to be below his dignity to do so…”aye” was the usual endearment for her. But if he was planning an amorous night with her, then there would be a little bit of “darlings” and ‘dears” in his diction. Meenakshi was used to all these tantrums of her so called husband. The magnanimity of it all was that, she just did not care. She did all her duties those were befitting of a wife.
During his younger days he was a ruffian. A kind of terror to his ilk. He had a very gigantic form and to add to its enormity, he had a very baritone sound too.
Kesavan, as he was addressed during his younger days had a nick name -BULL-Though no one dared to call him thus on his face. But Kesavan was aware of it and in the hearts of hearts he was proud of it. That according him was a sign of respect. Little did he realize that it was a name born out of his priggish nature and his odious attitude to all his friends.
The place where he was born was a very remote village, where even sun took an ancient form while shining over it .The villagers were steeped in age old blind beliefs and customs .Kesavan was the eighth and the last child to his penurious parents. Poverty was a watch word in his family solely due to the extended family members in his house. His father Paramu Nair was a local primary school teacher. He was a sedate person. So was his wife Gomathy amma .Her world was her husband .But Kesavan was always against his father`s nature and beliefs .First of all he was not able to understand why his father begot so many children, if it was only to give them squalid existence and a measly living condition .As if it was all not in one`s hands to control all this happenings! He often used to discuss such matters with his one and only real friend Sakaria.
``Dude, don`t you think it is suicidal to have so many kids, when you can help it?” my house is a roaring example of such a blunder. Kesavan felt lost and sad at the way things were moving in his house .He even sounded apprehensive about an impending possibility of his mother getting pregnant ,hence again.!!On hearing all this Sakaria simply smiled .He was older than Kesavan by five years. That made him a little wiser about the ways of the world. Besides he was more practical and level headed than his friend. He did not have any larger than an elephant sized ego or impudence to his credit. So he told Kesavan a little bit about child bearing, lovemaking etc.‘Kesav, do you know how a child is born. It is not at all in our hands .But of course there are earthly methods to control pregnancy. But it is all very costly and messy .These common people are either ignorant or averse to it all “…Then he detailed about the process of copulation as well as lovemaking pleasures and also about how a child was conceived. Hearing it all Kesavan was flabbergasted. He knew there was some pleasure factor attached to it all. But he pretended ignorance, just to hear it all in detail from his all knowing friend….
But still he was not able to justify his father`s actions .So in the heart of heart he developed a kind grudge for his father .A grudge that took a form of vandalizing women too for having a part in the entire act .He started having a notion that women were all play things, just like his mother .Otherwise why couldn`t his mother stop it all by reacting against it. All women were puppets in men`s hands .They pretended coyness just to enjoy it all. After everything they twisted things in such a way that the world considered men to be the sole culprit.
Ultimately what happened was that Kesavan became more morose and he started hating women. But that did not make him averse to sex. He degraded women yet used women to attain his lecherous pleasures in tandem.
There was no rhyme or reason to the way in which Kesavan showed animosity towards his fellow friends. Always he was unhappy or dissatisfied .The root cause was his inability to lash back at his parents for all the injustice they were showering on him in the name of off springs. Kesavan always kept a distance between his sisters and brothers. His mother had an uncanny anger towards him .The reason is still a big question mark to Kesavan. But Gomathy amma was over protective towards his elder brother Narayanan. She had a reason too for that .Narayanan was always very obedient and over protective about his parents. Things were always at loggerheads with Kesavan and his people. His bullish nature always Induced venom in his words and behavior ..
As years went by his parents cared less and less about Kesavan as he never paid any heed to their admonishing and advices …The only relief Kesavan found amidst all this tumultuous happenings were that his mother was declared barren due to some kind of ailments she contacted due to repeated pregnancies. Paramu Nair was devastated whereas Kesavan was rejoicing.
Years rolled by and Kesavan grew in his own way ,caring for no one and afraid of nothing .But in the heart of hearts he still nursed a grudge towards women .He often wondered whether he would ever be able to meet a woman who would make him happy the way he wishes….
Study, books and examinations were the three things Kesavan hated the most .The only reason why he went to college was just to get an admission in to army .He was somehow very fetish about the role of a soldier. He found some strange and rejuvenating joy in being a soldier..
So he did not have a second thought after his pre-degree course .Sakaria came to his help in that case too. He was friendly with some top officials in army and he also had a distant uncle serving army. When fate decides to wave it`s wand on someone, things would surely take its own course .Sometimes those things would be to our liking. Sometimes not. In Kesavan case the fate was running in favor of his liking …
Thus Kesavan was in to the training camp of the Indian army .But nothing went right for him even there. Kesavan was against getting up early in the morning and donning the army uniform. The biting shoes and the slick uniform were all alien to his physical self. He was never used to so many clothes .The village from where he came had no person wearing so many heavy clothes .Besides his bullish arrogant nature found it all a very constraining factor .Still he tried to get adjusted.
After all serving the army was one of his main ambition .
By and by he was totally tired of all their well laid systems and manners. A well-disciplined life was all what army life was about .Kesavan realized with a shock that it was not his cup of tea .He also knew that the euphoria of being an army man …a man who saved the land from enemies., was an intoxicating feeling .Kesavan liked the power, not the purpose .
So he left army half way and came home as a dejected person .His father had expired of heart attack by then. Kesavan found no remorse at that loss. His mother was an ailing person after that .On the whole it was a very depressive house to which he had returned.
He decided to learn hence again. One of his sisters was in city as head clerk in one government organization .He went to her and told about his desire to learn .His sister was quite empathetic towards him. She had from the outset itself knew about the cause of his restlessness and the livid anger towards everything .She pacified him and threw open the doors of education in front of him…Though he was not a very bright student, he somehow passed his course with a third class in the first chance .It was then that he met one Mr., Abdul sheriff .It was for his sister that he met him.
Sheriff was running a very affluent press in that city .Kesavan`s sister had asked him to collect certain printed matter from there .Meeting Sherriff was one of the most important turning points in Kesavan`s life .Sherriff took a liking to Kesavan. Soon he was their manager and by and by he became the apple of Sherriff’s eyes.Sherriff wanted to open all the doors of opportunities for Kesavan .Kesavan often wondered why Sherriff took such a great liking for him .So one day he decided to ask him about it in a roundabout way .But he did not have to worry about it .Sherriff himself came with that answer.
He once told him “you know Kesavan, I have a lot of affection for you. You know why? It is solely because of your rough nature .I know there is a soft person inside you .A person who wants to prove some thing to the world. “He stopped for a moment and gazed at Kesavan for a long time .When he started to speak, there were tears in his eyes …“You know Kesavan, you do resemble my dead brother a lot .He too was like you ...always rebelling. He had a kind of animosity towards this world .But he did not wait for me to enquire about his restlessness .Fate had something else in store for him .It came in the form blood cancer and took him away. Sherriff stopped for a moment.
He was ruminating something in his mind .Kesavan knew that Sherriff’s affection was not because of him .But because of his resemblance in nature and looks to his dear dead brother .But Kesavan decided not to disappoint him by saying all that .He knew better than that .
Sherriff introduced him to one of his very wealthy business man friend .He got Kesavan a very lucrative job in one of the leading press in town …
Days rolled by and months slipped past. Life seemed to take a set pattern for Kesavan .But he resorted to drinks a lot .It was only in liquor that he found some solace .By and by he came to such stage ,when he was able to think coherently only with the help of liquor..
One day when Sherriff visited him by chance in a restaurant, Kesavan told him about his overzealous attitude to liquor. Sherriff found it to be because of his lack of companion .Yes, every one needed a woman to share his life with at one stage or the other .So according to Sherriff ,Kesavan`s time for marriage had come .Kesavan was completely against marriage .Bur Sherriff paid no heed .Matrimonial columns came to his rescue in time .
Thus Meenakshi entered Kesavan`s life .She was a girl from a middle class family .She was the only child to her parents .Her father died young and she was the sole bread winner of that family .Her mother was an asthma patient with nothing to look forward other than the marriage of her daughter. Because she knew her time would soon come. She was so sick that she hid her uneasiness from her daughter.
Meenakshi had part time job as a teacher in a school .It was neither permanent nor full time …So the salary she got from there was very measly .It was to this house that Sherriff went with a proposal for Kesavan. Everything happened in a matter of weeks. Meenakshi became Mrs. Kesavan Nair…
Kesavan Nair never changed his attitude about women .Analyzing Meenakshi`s nature became his past time. He couldn`t believe that there can be such perfect natured women in this world. So he came to his own vile conclusion about her .That is –She was pretending to be good and obedient .Thus was trying to bring him under her spell. No... That should never be allowed .His mother did the same with his father too .They had to suffer the results …All women were bad .Then how can one Meenakshi behave differently. These were all the nasty thoughts that ran free through Kesavan`s sick mind, Little did he then realize that his animosity was becoming a kind mania for him..
Life was like a scene from a tragic cinema for Meenakshi. Whatever she did was viewed through a prejudiced eye. She had wanted to keep servants to manage the huge house .But he refused saying that it was superfluous to keep them, when she had all the time in the world to do everything at her own free will. But when Sherriff suggested it to him, he did keep servants .Meenakshi then understood one thing .Her husband was refusing to oblige her and just her alone .He had no qualms about obliging his male friends. But when it came to Meenakshi, then he always took a rough stand .But one thing he was not able to understand was, how she was able to take in all his snubbing and yet be good and obedient to him. So now Kesavan often wondered, whether it was all for real.
Years passed by and Kesavan fathered a boy and a girl. He was averse to multiplying children. Meenakshi thought Kesavan would somber down since now he was a responsible person .But nothing of that sort occurred .He became more and more incorrigible .He was a successful business man and he had lots of money .But neither did he spend it well nor did he allow his people to spend it ..He was so frugal in his spending that Meenakshi stopped asking him money for any luxuries .Whatever he decided to spend on was game with her too. His hard heartedness started extending towards lewd waywardness too .Meenakshi found it impossible to keep any female servants in her house thanks to her husband .She once tried taking up the matter with him .But it all ended up in a huge upheaval from his part. ~I will live my life the way I want it to be lived .No one is allowed to have any say in it .If any one finds it impossible to stick on they can move out .Remember I have a fully loaded gun with me .”These were always his threatening words to his wife, whenever she decided to sound her ill will at his nefarious activities behind her back.
Since he had been in army for a handful of days, he got the eligibility to have a licensed gun. Not that he knew how to use it properly .But with his influence at the political level due to his fiscal leniency towards them, he was able to continue keeping the loaded gun with him .They used him whenever they needed money.
Day by day Kesavan's atrocities increased .He fought for very trivial matters .Since his children were all away, as one got married to a software professional in US and the boy too took to her heels and settled in US with his brother-n law`s help. Meenakshi was thankful about it .Because they did not have to see their mother`s sufferings under their father.
Kesavan had a mental phobia about women. He knew that. Still he refused to accept it .That was his problem too.
Meenakshi lost all her control on that fateful night ….
The night was young, when some of Kesavan`s friends came home for a drink and a chat..Kesavan seemed overjoyed at that prospect .He asked Meenakshi to prepare a grand dinner .Meenakshi went to the kitchen .They had a maid servant .She was not feeling quite well .So Meenakshi asked her to go upstairs and take rest ,while she prepared dinner …
After she prepared dinner ,she went to the living room to call them all for dinner .She knew it was late in to the night .She was a slow cook and hence she was quite apologetic when she faced those men there .Kesavan was not there .`where is Kesavettan?”She enquired .One of the men there had a very naughty look on his face, when he answered her ``He will be here any moment. Don`t worry. That seemed as such a vague reply and very cheeky too to Meenakshi. But she pretended as if she did not mind it .She then slowly retired to the upstairs room to look in to her maid`s condition. On reaching her room, she heard a slight sound emanating from the dressing area. But there were no light s too. ``Oh God! What was that? “She wondered and slowly treaded towards the sound .What she saw there made here squirm with shame. Kesavan was making desperate love to her servant maid. The entire scene was so repulsive that she cursed her life and her fate for having decided to marry this lascivious man. And more so for having decided to suffer and live with him…
It was not what he did that angered Meenakshi. But why and with whom he did such atrocities. That showed how much regard he had of his wife and their children. How demeaning and devastating was his carnal desires!!!One could never fathom the destructive nature of this man. Meenakshi was at her wits end. How can she even share the same house, leave alone the life with such a man .She was not able to control her tears .She cried silently for a long time.
Finally she decided to confront him .She was eligible for an explanation from him .Because she knew that she had never ever denied him any physical pleasures .Whatever she was asked to do, she was always willing and submissive .Any other man would have thanked his lucky stars for having got her as a wife .But not Kesavan Nair. He did not consider any woman as human beings .According to him they were puppets to be strung and used in whatever way pleased and then to be left alone.
That night after everyone departed, she went in to his room. He looked up at her as if nothing had happened. `What is it? You look a bit sad. “He looked unconcerned. It is nothing “she replied .She was mustering up courage to confront him with the inevitable. ``What is it that you are having with our maid servant? Don’t you know that it is equal to demeaning me to the hilt? Don’t you have an iota of regard for me? I am your wife. A woman who has suffered all your extreme tantrums and yet said nothing to revolt –You must be ashamed of yourself….”Saying thus she began to sob uncontrollably. But Kesavan was not taken aback. He had no remorse for her .Women –they were all the same .Crying was their final weapon to take men in to their fold.
Kesavan sat there like a statue for a long time He could hear his wife crying on to the telephone .Maybe she was venting all her anger to her children. He knew she was very close to her son. ``Stupid woman…As if they are going to fly over and come to her rescue”.
.Kesavan decided to sleep in his study room that night.He was happy with that amorous stint with the servant maid .He was able to make her do some demeaning perverted sex. For a few wad of rupees these women would do anything. Curse all women.
But upstairs Meenakshi was having serious thoughts .She was not a woman like his notions. Heart of hearts even Kesavan was aware of it. But he did not want to admit it.
Sleep eluded Meenakshi. She wondered for whom she should live again. Her mother was long dead .Her children were all away and well settled .It was futile to resort to them always for some moral support .Because they have their own family to look in to .Even otherwise why should they butt in ,when their father was alive and kicking?
So many wild thoughts passed through her mind .Finally she came to a decision. Her heart felt heavy with sadness and the futility of her life .So much she cared for her husband .In return what had he given her? Why should she live again to look after his needs .He did not need her ………..
It was the maid servant who came screaming downstairs the next morning, who revealed that thunderous news to Kesavan .Meenakshi, was cold and very much dead lying sprawled near the bath tub. There was blood everywhere from a deep gash in her left wrist …There was also a suicidal note near her body .It revealed nothing .Only a self-acceptance and responsibility for her death…Kesavan Nair felt numb and void at the turn of events .He was not able to take in the fact that Meenakshi, his dear wife was no more .He knew the reason why she decided to end her life .But even in death she did not give him up.
The usual police inquest occurred. Kesavan felt numb and dumbfounded. He was still unable to come in terms with what had happened .How could a woman be as good and faithful as to take away her life to prove a point .Was he mistaken about his ideas about women? Was it all tumbling down like a pack of cards?
Whatever be the reason, Kesavan was finding it all too much handle .Soon he was in the hospital with a depression and lack of taste in any form of food?.Everyone seemed to Kesavan Nair as of accusing him of Meenakshi`s death. In truth it was his guilt conscience that was playing truant.
Most of his friends started blaming him for all the mishaps that were happening to his life .Even his children had nothing good to tell him .They loved their mother so much and was also to an extent aware of all the noxious atrocities their father had done in the past. They grew up seeing their mother crying over so many misdoings of Kesavan and yet reacting in no way.\
The day before she was to return to States. Kesavan Nair`s daughter Namitha came and sat with him. She felt sorry for her father .She knew it was all his doing .Still she felt sorry .She took his hand in hers and looked deep in to her father`s eyes. There she found a mountain of guilt etched deep in to his heart and soul. For a long time they sat like that. It was Kesavan, who broke the silent `Namitha, my dear, I know I have made a lot of mistakes. Accusing and disrespecting and even discarding your mother of all her rights were my greatest mistake. I took her to be like any other woman ‘’He was unable to continue as words choked in his throat…
``Dad why do you feel that women are all bad. What made you feel such a way?” Namitha was still not able to understand why her father had taken such a negative stand against women, even after living with her mother for so many years.
Father and daughter sat like thus in to late hours that night .Somewhere along the way Namitha dozed off. But not Kesavan Nair. He knew he would never be able to sleep in peace.
Months passed by. Kesavan Nair sat in his huge house cut off from friends and work. He had no mind for anything .He had money .But he did not need it now .His existence was reduced to measly food twice a day, if he felt like it .Mostly he was in inebriated state. Otherwise he was not able to sleep. He wanted to respect women now .How unfortunate he was for having denied himself his dear mother`s love and also his pristine and faithful love of his late wife! How can he ever rectify all these mistakes? Boredom, loneliness and remorse filled his days .Drunken stupor took away his nights.
Here was Kesavan Nair climbing walls with all this stored up remorse and loneliness. He had two servants with him .They were still with him in spite of all the
brickbats he had imparted to then in the form of bad words and ruthlessness. May be they respected his wife more .They might be aware of the immense love she had for him. They must be her faithful servants. So as a respect to her departed soul, they must be looking after him too. Save their souls!
It was a July night .Kerala was under the grip of torrential rains due to Monsoon. Kesavan Nair was feeling very down .Looking into the rain he reminisced his bygone days .How odious and how despicable were his past years .Thinking thus he felt sleepy ….Suddenly he heard a loud thud. What was that/? He got up to on the light .But he was not able to get up? Something was blocking his way .Slowly he scrutinized his gaze. From outside a slow nocturnal light seeped in and his eyes got accustomed to it. ` Who was standing there? He wondered. Didn`t he lock the door properly. He started to call out to his servant .But no sound came.
Then he saw that apparition. It was his wife .She was saying something to him .And she was moving slowly towards his table .Now she was opening the draw. She took his loaded pistol from it. What is happening”? How can she ever take it .She was dead. Wasn`t she? Then with a jolt, he heard her voice piercing his ears. Why do you want to live, just to be guilty? You never saw my love .You never took in my affection. Now what is the use of wallowing in all that past deeds? You don`t deserve to live. Who, better than me can take away your life?” Saying thus she pulled the trigger!
The loud thud of the gunshot resonated aloud in that empty house .But no one heard it .It was raining cats and dogs outside .It muffled away the entire sound from the sleeping servants.
Kesavan Nair was looking at his own self bleeding and very dead on his bed. But where is Meenakshi. She had shot him. And how is it that he was looking at himself. Oh God! Why am I floating .Meenakshi? Why are you running away …….please wait”….Sudden blackness snuffed away his vision and he fell down…….
Next day morning the servant who came with his tea was unable to awaken him. So he waited…But even after his usual wake up time, Kesavan Nair never woke up .The maid was worried .She ran outside and called in the neighbors. They banged on his bedroom .Still no answer. Police were called in. They broke open the door.’ Kesavan Nair was lying on his own congealed blood with the gun on his right hand and a huge gaping hole on the side of his temple !