Sunday, January 17, 2021

Scary story: India’s own Bloody Mary (Part I)

So what does Mita, a girl, do if she is born in a male bastion at a North Indian village and cursed right from birth till death? She would obviously look for bloody revenge … even if it comes after her death.

Deep inside a remote Rajasthan village lived a farmer by the name Jhingru, who was 45 years old. He had two daughters Asha and Lata, who were 10 and 7. Jhingru wanted a third child and longed to have a boy this time.

Villages in rural parts of Northern India like Rajasthan are usually male bastions. And in this region, the birth of a girl is not really a reason to celebrate.

When Jhingru’s wife Malti was pregnant for the third time, the whole village was certain that he would have a boy.

Even the astrologer, who is almost worshipped like a God in the village, assured Jhingru that he would have a son this time.

A few months later came the moment of truth…It was time for Malti, who was in her early thirties, to deliver and the midwives had already gone to Jhingru’s house to assist in the delivery. Hearing this from some villagers, Jhingru, who was sowing in the fields, left his work and ran to his house to hear that he finally had a boy. He never remembered when he ran so fast in the last 10 years. On reaching home, he got the news…it was a GIRL.   

There was a thud and Jhingru fell on the ground crestfallen and started crying aloud as if all was lost. Some villagers tried to comfort him. But no one could console him and he went on crying for hours.

A few days later, the baby girl’s naming ceremony took place in a subdued manner where she was named Mita. Malti had not been keeping well ever since Mita’s birth and had been taking medicine for cough and fever, which seemed to be worsening.

Malti’s health further deteriorated and her cough became more vigorous. One day, Jhingru decided to take her to a doctor.

The doctor at the local health centre referred Malti to the Government General Hospital in Alwar’s district headquarters, where a litany of tests was conducted. She was later taken to Jaipur for a few more tests.

The results came in a few days later. The news was grim…she was suffering from late-stage lung cancer.

A few months later, Malti passed away and Mita was seen as the bad omen that killed her. Her grandmother took the responsibility of looking after the three children.  

Leave alone her father, even baby Mita’s sisters, grandmother, aunt and uncle snubbed her. Right from the time she was an infant, she never knew what love and care actually was. But there was an old woman, a neighbour by the name Radhe Ma, who would occasionally come and take Mita away in her lap and play with her. This is all what love and care meant to Mita.

She wasn’t even aware that someone could be loved and cared for.

As Mita grew up, it was time for her to go to school. Accompanied by her reluctant sisters, she started attending school and years passed by. She was in Class 4 now, and her friends used to tease her, saying, “The bad luck girl has come.” Mita didn’t get much help from her class teacher, who would, in fact, enjoy seeing Mita’s friends tease her.

But Mita proved to be meritorious and stood first in class, unlike her elder sisters, who just managed to not fail.

Mita knew that this was the only good thing happening to her and before her Class 10 state board exams, she studied diligently day and night. When her results were out, she was declared the topper in her district. It was a proud moment for her school, which never had a rank holder in its history.

Although the school principal gladly accepted Mita’s achievement and acknowledged that it was a proud moment for the school, her reputation as the “bad luck girl” overshadowed her achievement with the school’s teachers and her classmates.

Even her father Jhingru and sisters Asha and Lata were not impressed. The trio felt it was useless for Mita to study any further.

Jhingru had developed a dislike for Mita right from the time Malti died. He used to often say that Mita brought his family bad luck.

He actually believed in this because after Malti’s death, he stopped working in the fields, and as a result, his income had also gone down substantially. And, he held Mita responsible for his poor monetary condition.

Even after Mita excelled in her Class 10 exams, Jhingru wanted her to stay at home and learn the household chores as he wanted to get her married just after Lata.

“No more studies,” he had warned Mita. Asha was already married and Jhingru was looking for a match for Lata.

One day, Mita overheard Jhingru telling the villagers that he even wanted to get her married. On hearing this, she became furious with her father but kept her feelings to herself. Her outstanding Class 10 results, prompted her to dream big. But the thought of marriage just shattered it.  

A few months later, Lata got married to a teacher working at a government school. Though the groom was 20 years elder to her, Jhingru said to himself, “At least, he has a stable job.”

Then came Mita’s turn. Jhingru found a groom for her just 15 days after Lata’s marriage. But there was a big problem. Though the groom, whose name was Rakesh, belonged to a wealthy family, he was mentally deranged.

Earlier, Rakesh had a wife, who ran away because he and his parents tortured her. Mita was so disgusted with this match that she tried to escape from home the night before marriage but was caught by the villagers and abused by her father and his friends.   

She was forced to marry Rakesh. In fact, Jhingru had to drag Mita to the podium on the day of marriage and this caused a big embarrassment to Jhingru and his two daughters Asha and Lata. The whole village was talking about it, cursing Mita for her reluctance.

Barely a week after marriage, Rakesh was back to his usual self he started torturing Mita, and after a few days, his parents joined in. Slowly, this torture became a routine affair for Mita.

It went on for months and one day there was violence like never before. Rakesh kept hitting Mita with a cane and his parents repeatedly started kicking her.

Unable to bear the pain, Mita went to the bedroom, broke the mirror, laughed aloud to herself while looking into the mirror, took a broken glass and put it right through her stomach.

Amid the pain, she looked into the mirror again and laughed out loud. Finally, before the pain of life was over, she cried out loud, “If any villager looks into the mirror at night, I will come back to kill him.”

Even in her death, the villagers were indifferent as if nothing had happened. The police inquired about her death from her in-laws and after a few days of questioning, things died down.

Rakesh and her parents were free to go back to their house.

A fortnight after Mita’s death, some unusual things began to happen in the village when people looked into the mirror at night. They found injury marks on their faces from where they bled profusely. Everyone was clueless and asked each other, “What is happening?” And, as this went on, panic gripped the village


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