Poor Rhea! And the mess I can relate to from both sides of the coin
The Monk and his Muse: Sashant Singh Rajput and Rhea Chakraborty
Let us assume that the first-person references by me are fiction over here and therefore this is a story in the first-person. And that this has nothing to do with the emerging Rhea Chakraborty - Sushant Singh Rajput episodes.
A very dear friend of mine, intimately connected with Bollywood and its film industry, committed suicide in a very gory manner four years ago. He was slightly older than me, had never been married, but was visibly attempting to do so to share quality time with someone during the sunset years of his life. With real estate assets spread across three cities and enough money in the bank, a sense of humour that was sublime and brilliant at the same time, he was a hit with our families everywhere in his and our extended circle of friends.
I used to have him come to my office, just to hold sessions with the youngsters working there, on how to reduce stress in their lives. The words that fitted him best were "easy-paced traveller".
Till he decided to off himself one fine evening, before dinner, while everybody in his ancestral home waited for him to join them.
The honeytrap is a well-known well-oiled system globally. That is no secret.
It is only in India that it comes with sections of the mighty law to back it up, which pertain to modesty of a woman, rape, harassment, and similar. In most of which, the onus of proving that the accused is not guilty rest on the quivering shoulders of the said accused. The pressures that such complaints and accusations put on a person's mind, leave alone the fiduciary impacts, are enormous. Matters become even worse if the complainant is not an Indian citizen, or chooses to complain from out in the fantastic rural parts of India with or without cyber laws---the complaint can in such cases stay looped around the neck of the accused forever.
I write from first-hand knowledge, having faced similar for something as minor as RWA politics of the tony posh South Delhi Colony that I live in, and the way the System gets together to try to take the accused down has to be seen to be believed. In my case, I am standing up and ready to face trial, which appears to have taken the heat off me along with the circumstances of the pandemic, but not before I took some really stupid steps that got me admitted into the Emergency of a huge hospital and then transferred into all sorts of procedures and tests before I could be discharged.
My good friend, let us call him "R", was introduced to a woman in Mumbai by well-meaning friends through friends of friends. Both being in their '50s, and in quick as well as short order, "R" was smitten. Like never before. Love makes eyes opaque to the purveyor, but to some of us, she was an outright gold-digger.
One fine day, friend "R" announced that he had got married, temple, photographs, the usual stuff. Happily going to live in Mumbai was the plan. Where "R" had his own pad. Next thing we know, she wants to know more about his ancestral property in Chennai, and when she can shift there. Actually, she also landed up there, and that's when "R" got in touch with me for help.
In the confusion that followed, nice traditional English speaking but still orthodox upper middle-class families can be destroyed by rumours, the elderly mother of "R" passed away, the rest of the family started blaming "R" for the mess that they were all probably moving into. "R" rapidly flew out of Mumbai to Chennai to escape what appeared to be the Ghost of Banquo following him.
MACBETH :- So foul and fair a day I have not seen. (1.3.38)
FIRST WITCH :- Sleep shall neither night nor day, Hang upon his penthouse lid; He shall live a man forbid (1.3.19–21)
And my friend went into the bathroom, sliced his wrists open - the family, to cover "shame", used their skills to declare it a "natural" death, and the gold-digger went back to Mumbai.
Will the truth emerge? Is truth stranger than fiction? Blackmail is a weapon which only those who have been blackmailed can relate to. Or have knowledge about how traditional pimps work the system to their advantage with their stables and harems of pretty young girls and boys.
Or have the guts to write about.
Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.
A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.
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