“I clicked this before leaving the house for work this morning,” Anil Sharma said, pointing at three-year-old Aarav’s picture on his phone screen. “I recently got a calendar of his pictures made. They delivered it right about the time I was supposed to go.”
That it would be the last time he would see his child playfully chuckle at his larger-than-life picture was the last thing on Sharma’s mind when he left his house on Thursday morning.
A few hours later, Sharma, who works as the external communications manager for The Pioneer newspaper, received a phone call that would shatter him.
Three-year-old Aarav had been killed by his mother Sudesh for supposedly being the “love child” of a man whom she (Sudesh) had been seeing outside her marriage for the last four years.
“I do not understand,” Sharma trailed off, evidently in denial about the fact that his wife Sudesh had admitted to having mercilessly hacked Aarav with a surgical blade, as he waited outside the operation theatre of AIIMS Trauma Centre.
“She was just helping our neighbours Reena and Manoj iron out differences in their marriage over the last week. We have known them for the last five years. Manoj helped us get the house we live in,” Sharma insisted, before relapsing into a stony silence.
But, police officers investigating the case said, there was more between Sudesh and Manoj than met Anil’s eye — or what he chose to believe about their relationship.
According to the police, the proof of this lay in a seemingly illegible note that had been scribbled by Sudesh that stated that Aarav was Manoj’s son, not Anil’s. The letter had been written in blood by Sudesh after she stabbed Manoj’s wife Reena to death and slit Aarav’s throat with a surgical knife.
“Sudesh had been asking Manoj to leave his wife and marry her for the last seven months,” said a police officer.
“But Manoj, who believed that Aarav ‘was too old now’ and would have trouble accepting him as his father, refused to do so.”
“Sudesh was frustrated and things were increasingly getting out of hand, especially over the last week. Reena might have brought a knife and attacked Sudesh first, but it was she who chose to finish it. She has admitted to killing both Reena and Aarav.”
The police said Sudesh would be arrested as soon as doctors declare her medically fit.