The Blue Bowl




The blue bowl was the key. It had my name embossed on it. A little crack ran through it’s middle. I was extremely attached to it. It was to be my partner in crime. It was perfectly imperfect to stand by my side as I fought for justice.  Today, it held his favourite vegetable soup, delicately flavoured with lime, coriander, and just the right hint of asafoetida, and an extra, secret ingredient! My revenge.  He choked at the second sip. The poison worked beautifully. His face grimaced in pain, his eyes bulged out, as he tried desperately to breathe! Just as my baby girl had done! *** The experienced dai didn’t bat an eyelid as her right hand forced-fed my baby with the poison even as her left hand reached out to take the money from my father-in-law.  I sat numb with shock, watching my baby’s body go into agonising spasms as the milk of the oleander berries did its murderous work. He had me pinned down and my mother-in-law clamped my mouth shut. I could do nothing then! My baby’s lifeless body was buried in the field nearby.  “Human manure is good for paddy,” the evilness in my father-in-law’s eyes was unmistakable. “And be grateful that we have one less mouth to feed and one less burden in our life.” Nothing could ever wipe away the horrendous memories of that day. And I didn’t make any effort to wipe them away too. Those memories fueled my desire for revenge. They all had to pay the price, and the way I wanted them to pay. I used the same oleander berries that killed my baby. I crushed some of the berries and lined the attractive blue bowl and poured the soup. I was nothing more than a cook and cleaner in the house from the day he brought home Savita, the one they hoped would give them a son! *** They found traces of poison in my bowl. “She murdered our son.” His parents told the inspector during the investigation.  “But that bowl was hers, wasn’t it? Why would she poison her own bowl?” “Maybe she gave it to him.”  “Would he have taken what she served? The neighbours told us you’ve kept her isolated. She lives in a shed behind the house. Who is the other lady living here?” “She’s my niece,” my mother-in-law lied.  “Can I speak to her?”  “What can she tell you? She’ll be leaving for her home today itself,” my father-in-law interjected. “When there’s a murder investigation going on, no one can leave this house without my permission.” The inspector’s voice was chilling. Both my parents-in-law backed off in fear. “Come here and tell me what you know,” the inspector called out to Savita. Savita came forward, trembling like a leaf. “They brought me here to get me married to their son. They told me they would send off the first wife to a faraway place. They said they would solemnise my wedding with him soon after.” “Which place did you fancy sending her to? Was the poison in the blue bowl the passage to that place?” The inspector’s face was livid. “See how karma came back like a bitch, swallowing your son into her abyss!” “No! No! We don't know anything about the poison!” My in-laws’ voice was desperate. “We wouldn’t even know where to get it?” “Maybe you got it from the dai who fed her newborn baby girl!”  They looked shocked at this revelation.  “Yes, we have done our research. The dai has spilled the beans. You are evil people. You are charged with not one but two murders, your granddaughter’s and your son’s.” Both were handcuffed and led away to the police station. It took all my willpower to hide my smile of satisfaction at the way things panned out, exactly the way I had planned it.  I was an untouchable, allowed only in the kitchen and that too only to cook and clean.  It took me a year to find the perfect moment to work out the timing. I placed the steel bowl at his place, took it away after he slurped a couple of fatal sips, and replaced it with my poisoned blue bowl.  The poison that killed him was in the steel bowl, now thoroughly cleaned, and lying innocently among the other kitchen utensils. The unused poisoned blue bowl became the murder weapon that neatly tied together my revenge story.      Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!