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An early end to a life of trying turns

On Monday afternoon, Gudiya passed away after a prolonged illness at Delhi?s military hospital. Life was never going to be the same for the delicate 21-year-old woman with nerves of steel after a leading news channel whisked her to the studio to quiz her ? in a live session ? about a choice she made about her life: the fact that she chose to return to her first husband when he came back home after being released as prisoner of war.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 14:05 IST

On Monday afternoon, Gudiya passed away after a prolonged illness at Delhi’s military hospital. Life was never going to be the same for the delicate 21-year-old woman with nerves of steel after a leading news channel whisked her to the studio to quiz her — in a live session — about a choice she made about her life: the fact that she chose to return to her first husband when he came back home after being released as prisoner of war.

That was in September 2004. The media — national as well as international — descended on her home in Mundali, where she was living with Mohammad Arif, her first husband, and his family, and wanted to know why she had given up on her second husband Taufeeq (who lived in Gurgaon), whose child she was carrying at that time.

“I felt like asking the interviewers to shut up, not get so personal, tell them it’s none of their business — but I was helpless,” she had told HT then. “I’m where I’m because I want it to be this way, not because the village panchayat wanted it this way.”

Gudiya became a mother soon after, and Arif accepted the child — though he had initially refused to do so. Life seemed to slip into a routine for Gudiya who was, reportedly, “happy”.

Till a few months ago. After giving birth to a premature baby at Meerut’s military hospital, she never quite recovered. Later, she was shifted to Delhi for further treatment. “Her prolonged illness made her weak and she failed to recover,” said her aunt in Mundali, where all the villagers turned up on Monday to pay their respects to a girl who gave their village its place in the sun.

Arif’s brother Hamid and his wife came to Delhi to take Gudiya’s body back to the village, where her last rites will be performed.

And Arif, the man for whom Gudiya chose to tread the untrodden path, was by her side when she breathed her last.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 14:05 IST