Sep 24, 2013

"The Suspicion" from Sermons in the Stroms

People acting under the impulses of blind suspicion and gross misunderstanding generally create troubles for themselves and for others.
Here's a pathetic case which recorded three suicides and the death of a babe in the womb— all because of a hasty husband's suspicion.
Having lost their parents, Kumari Bharati-ben aged 12 and Sharadkumar her 8 year old young brother were living with their uncle and aunt in a small town.
One day, her brother was lost. Sufficient searches were made all over but he could not be traced.
Years rolled on and due to various reasons of safety and right succour, Bharatiben was admitted into an orphanage of a nearest city.
One Chandreshkumar, a graduate son of a wealthy brahmin family, associated himself with the humanitarian work of doing his mite for the welfare and rehabilitation of the deserted, the destitutes and the delinquents. He was loved by all for his generous services.
With a view to breaking the miscarrying caste prejudices prevalent in the society and also to infuse new light of happiness into the lives of orphan girls, he prevailed upon truly cultured boys to marry outside their castes and to select brides from amongst the inmates of the orphanages. He also promised to follow suit at a proper time.
One day, when he met my friend Shri. Girish, he made known his desire to marry a non-brahmin orphan girl.

Girishkumar approached the Orphanage authorities and sought matrimonial alliance for Chandresh with a suitable girl. The matter went up to the board of- trustees and it was ordered that should the girl chosen by the applicant wholly agree, she should be given away in marriage to Shri. Chandreshkumar as per rules and regulations of the Institution.
Thus came that, against the wishes of his father and flourishing friends that Chandresh Kumar married Bharatiben a bania girl who was then 22 years. The new couple boldly faced storms of social criticism which lasted for some time.
Some well-meaning sympathizers helped Chandresh to enter the cotton business and at the end of their two years' married life, he was faring well with his pregnant wife.
One day, he proceeded on tour and was likely to be away for about a week.
It was during that time that Sharadkumar who was lost twelve years back came to his town enquiring about his uncle, aunt and Bharati—his sister. The town people sorrowfully informed him about the death of his uncle and aunt and giving him the address of Bharatiben acquainted him with everything that followed from the time of his missing.
Sharadkumar went to the city and locating his sister's house walked right into it. Bharatiben was then performing pooja. Though at times she used to remember her lost brother, yet, the lapse of those twelve long years had exhausted all her hopes about the possibility of his ever returning. As such, when on that day she saw a young man prostrating at her feet, her feelings rose high and she was somewhat taken aback when she observed thick tears trickling from the eyes of the youth whom she at once recognized as her lost brother. With simultaneous and ejaculatory cries of O' sister and O' brother, both of them embraced each other. With past memories racing in their heads, and hearts heaving in raptures of joy, they remained locked in that way for quite a while.
After that, each of them narrated to the other how the twelve years' period of separation had treated them. They did a good deal of asking and answering. Recapitulating some sweet seconds of their young days, they threw themselves into mutual clasps of natural affection—now and then.
Only late in the evening did Bharatiben rise to cook. Shri. Sharadkumar went to the bazaar and brought some handsome wedding gifts for his sister and brother-in-law. He put -off the presentation till the  arrival of Chandreshkumar. After their night meals, both the sister and the brother retired to bed.
On the next day afternoon, seated on a swing, Bharatiben was reading aloud some humorous portion from a book of jokes and her beloved brother  Sharadkumar was seriously listening with his head resting on her left lap.
Shri Chandresh abruptly returned at that very time. The loud laughters which came from his house set him thinking in askance. He approached the door with cat pace and through a half-open window he saw his pregnant wife with an unknown youth in that position. They were so deeply engrossed in that reading of absorbing interest that they, were completely unaware of Chandresh's peeps.
That sight made Chandresh's head reel with crowded emotions of anger and anguish. He left the place and walked on the road with no destination jn view. Girishkumar met him on the way in that changed countenance of chagrin. Before his questioning, Chandresh, himself informed Girishkumar how Bharatiben was caught red-handed in an amorous pose with a stranger.
Because of that direct accusation and also-because he was in a particular hurry, Girishkumar couldn't wait for details. Hence, promising to meet him in the evening he went his way and Chandresh proceeded on.
After dining with me that night, Girishkumar, my host, went out telling, me that, he was going to meet Chandresh. I knew not when he returned.
Next morning. Girish divulged to me what Chandresh had told him on the way and that Bharatiben was not aware of her husband's presence in the city. He also informed me that Sharadkumar —the lost brother had come back to his sister and that he was then with her.
As we were engaged in other talks about Chandresh, an attendant from the City Morgue who knew Both Girish and Chandreshkumar came and informed us that a mutilated body of a young man who answered to the identity of Chandresh was found on the Railway tracks of a suburban station. Both of us went with the attendant to the morgue and we were shocked to see the dead Chandresh. He was run over by a train.
We quickly deduced that Chandreshbhai who sacrificed patrimony and other social benefits to marry Bharatiben, an orphan girl, must have been resentfully annoyed when he found her in the company of a stranger. As it couldn't have struck him that the stranger happened to be her own lost brother, he must have hurriedly mistook Sharadkumar for a questionable visitor. In that hasty, taken-for-granted disgraceful conduct of Bharatiben, therefore, he had cause to feel that his ideals were defeated. So, out of utter dejection, he courted death.
We went and brought Bharatiben and Sharadkumar. The dead-body was handed over to them. Through proper rites the body was disposed off..
In the baggage of the dead Chandreshkumar— which was handed over with the body—was found a note addressed to Bharatiben and it read : —
'O you shameless sinful soul—In the court of the Lord thou shalt meet the right penalty for thy unfair secret love affairs.'— Chandresh.
When on the previous night Girishbhai had been to meet Chandreshkumar, he had informed Bharatiben that he had meet her husband in the city on that afternoon. So, the presence of Sharadkumar at her house since two davs this accusory note was enough for her to surmise and sum up how she came to be suspected by her husband.
Now, in her own feminine way, she began to feel that but for her brother's presence in the house during the absence of her husband, she wouldn't have been prematurely widowed. She sobbed whole of that night. Sharadkumar who was branded as an instrument to the whole tragedy was so very much distressed that he couldn't console his sister.
The accusation in the note was more than what her innocent heart could bear. So, as though to prove her purity to her husband who did not exhibit manly wisdom in his thoughtless action, next morning she caused kerosene flames to consume her body and the babe in it—to go to the realm where her hasty husband had already reached.
The suicide of his sister aggravated the already abnormal mental state of Sharadkumar and turned him mad. He was profusely penitent over his having returned to his sister. For two days he was found moving about in the streets of the city with the wedding gifts which he could not present to his sister and brother-in-law. He was heard incessantly shouting at the top of his voice 'Oh what a downgrade sinner am I to have been responsible for three deaths. What right have I to live? etc."
On the third day, Sharadkumar jumped into a deep dry well. He was brought out dead and that was the third body which Shri Girishkumar cremated during that week.
Just a little patient search for the facts by Chandreshkumar would have not only allowed them all and the unborn baby to enjoy this world of truth, bliss and beauty, but it would have at the same time taught him that all that we see with the eyes need not necessarily be true.

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