The Course of Destiny

by Dr. Pran Rangan

A small crowd consisting of some neighbors and a few passersby has gathered in front of a decrepit small house. Some persons attempt to have a peep inside as no one dares to enter. Suddenly, sound of siren of police van can be heard as it arrives on the scene. Policemen headed by SHO (station house officer) of the area, accompanied by a sniffer dog, grimly look at the crowd, which moves aside to give passage to them. They enter inside in a dimly lit room. One of them switches on all lights of the room to increase visibility.

They see a dead body of an old man around 65 years sprawled half over the bed, hanging down to the floor. The body is smeared with blood, which is also splattered all around it. Man has been stabbed many times in chest, abdomen and face with a sharp kitchen knife, leaving no possibility of survival.

Looking at the gory scene, one of the policemen calls Ramu, who had informed them about the murder. Ramu comes inside and gets a fright by looking at the dead body of his friend Avatar with multiple stab wounds.

When asked by SHO to relate all he saw, he said, "Both Avatar and his son - Suresh, who was drunk, had been having heated arguments since late evening. He couldn't make out what they were arguing about as he was inside his home. Though he wanted to come out to pacify them, his wife didn't let him lest he might make the situation worse. After sometime, there was a lull as they were no more arguing. He also went to sleep around 10.30 PM."

He continued, saying that all of a sudden, he heard Avatar shouting aloud, "Help, help, help; he is killing me; somebody come to save me."

He continued further, "After being jolted out of deep sleep, he woke up his wife and then ran to help Avatar. He saw Suresh coming out with a kitchen knife in his hand smeared with blood and saying that he deserved it. As he saw him, he ran away fast. He immediately went inside and saw that Avatar had been brutally stabbed to death. Without wasting time, he informed police. By the time, his wife and other neighbors had gathered here."

Police team became busy with their work, lifting fingerprints from many spots and making dog sniff places. The murder weapon couldn't be found as it appeared that Suresh had taken it along.

After completing necessary investigation at murder site, SHO again asked Ramu what all he had known about them.

Ramu replied, "He had known them for the last thirty years as they had been neighbors since then. Avatar had been a man of meager means. His wife used to be very unhappy as they hadn't been blessed with a child. So they had decided to adopt a child. They had kept on trying to find out a suitable one. Finally, they found a healthy boy, whom they adopted. Incidentally, it was the same young man, who has murdered him today."

He continued, "Suresh grew up to be a rebellious adolescent, who always insulted his parents. As a young man, he became more defiant, sometimes abusing and beating them. He began drinking and gambling compulsively; he didn't do anything to earn a living. When Avatar became too old to earn, Suresh began to beat him frequently because he couldn't provide money. He used to sell off household things to satisfy his urge to drink and gamble. Avatar had given up on life, when his wife had died two years ago."

Ramu suddenly broke down and said crying, "Poor man! I wish he wouldn't have adopted this monster. God bless his soul!"

The police took the dead body along with after completing the official formalities. Suresh is arrested after three days and booked under section 203 of Indian Penal Code. He is sent to the jail.

After the police were gone, Ramu and his wife went home. They were very distressed as Avatar was not only a neighbor but a close friend too.

Ramu tells his wife, "It is quite difficult to understand life as it always gives birth to innumerable mysteries from the depth of its womb. One makes great future plans but they turn out to be so different as to make everything topsy-turvy. What a mysterious life it is!"

His wife consoles him, saying, "Yes, mysteries of life are unfathomable. In fact, the course of our destiny is crafted by the Karma we perform. No one can foresee the future course of one's destiny, so try to forget what has happened and live in the present, though it is quite difficult to do so."

After a period of eight years, Suresh is convicted of murder of his own father and sentenced for life imprisonment.

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