Water Wife! [Story]

             Kartik Bhagat was fifty five years old. He lived at Mangalpur in Maharashtra, India. He had three wives- Snigdha, Popy and Supria. When Kartik was twenty two, he married Snigdha. Everything was going on rather well. However, grief started following the couple after the drought of the next year.

            Obviously, they were suffering much because of the shortage of water. For a few days, Snigdha used to fetch water from the distant well at the foot of a nearby rocky hill. Though it was an extremely burdensome task, Snigdha had to do so almost everyday.

            The situation got worse when Snigdha fell seriously ill. She could not walk. In other words, she was bedridden. Now, Kartik became tense. Without water, it was impossible for the couple to survive. One day, Kartik’s neighbour Bishu suggested him to marry again. At first, Kartik took the matter lightly; he thought that Bishu must be joking. However, Bishu kept on insisting Kartik to marry for the second time and it would be better for the family.

            Karitk could not understand how marrying again could possibly be productive and better. Then Bishu made him understand by saying that if the second wife entered the house, then the household works could easily be divided between the two. For example, the first wife would take care of the domestic chores. On the other hand, the new wife would fetch water from the wells.

            Now, Kartik realised the depth of Bishu’s words. He found him utterly logical. The problem could be solved like a simple math if he married again. Therefore, Popy became Kartik’s second wife. In spite of certain bickering between the wives, the family seemed much organised.

            Though Popy realised that she was married only to fetch water for the family, she did not seem to be bothered by the thought. Sometimes, she became jealous of Snigdha who never had to fetch water. Once Popy thought that cooking at home was much better than bringing water from outside.

            Popy told Kartik that she was tired of fetching water everyday. She needed rest for some days. Hearing this, Kartik got rather angry; he ordered her to continue her task. But, she refused to do so. As a result, out of anger, Kartik beat her. Popy was injured much due to the beating.

            Now, the previous problem came back. Snigdha could not fetch water and cook at the same time. Her supporting hand i.e. Popy was bedridden. The shortage of water was there once again.

            It was at that very moment when Kartik decided smartly to marry for the third time. Consequently, Supria became the third wife of Kartik. Like Popy, Supria was also a water girl because Kartik’s intention behind marrying her was to make her fetch water. It goes without saying that the decision was made to ensure the smooth supply of water to the house.

            Supria was only 15 years old. She did not have the intention of marrying at that age. However, her dying father Onupom forced her to tie the knot. In fact, Onupom was unable to maintain the ever-growing family expenses. That is why he instantly accepted the offer made by Kartik.

            Supria hated Kartik since the wedding night. She hated the task of fetching water more. Every now and then, Supria behaved adamantly and refused to bring water for the family. Once she furiously tells Kartik,

- I won’t fetch water anymore!

- Why not? What’s wrong with you?

- What’s wrong with you? I’m not a maid to do such task!

- I’ve married you so that you can help us by fetching water from the far-off wells.

- I’m not a machine; I’ve a life! I’ve self respect too!

- How dare you talk to me like that?

- I’m talking to you rationally while you aren’t!

- Huh! Now, should I learn rationality from you?

- Why not? If you can’t afford a maidservant, then you’re not a man really!

- Enough! Hold your tongue! You’re crossing your limits!

- Stop treating me like a doll! I don’t want to stay here even for a minute!


- Shut the hell up, you bitch! 

Kartik scolded her bitterly. These days he was even in the habit of beating her whenever she declined to do the specified task. Once, due to the severe beating received from Kartik, there occurred a deep black spot around Supria’s left eye. It looked as if she wore an eye patch!

            One day, Supria went to fetch water routinely. A few hours went by but there was no sign of her return. Kartik and the other two wives became worried. It was almost evening then. Kartik himself went towards the wells. Reaching there, he saw the crowd of people who surrounded a particular well as if they were enjoying a performance in the circus. 

            Kartik went closer and after much endeavour reached the point from where he could see the lower level of the well. Kartik almost fainted when he saw that a girl’s dead body was floating on the surface of the water like a log. He could not see the corpse properly but he was sure that it was Supria. 

Now, it was the task of the police to detect whether Supria was sexually assaulted and murdered or the ‘water wife’ surrendered HERSELF to the water!

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