It was for the first time in my life, as far as I remember, that I reacted to a murder in that peculiar way: awe and delight. My instant reaction was ‘Bravo!’ when I read the news, ‘She shot her lover dead.’
Slightly disturbed at this brutal reaction to a gruesome act, I tried to make amends by reasoning with myself: ‘But she destroyed herself too. Didn’t she? She might be hanged.’
But damn the gallows.
The fact remains that I was fascinated and still can’t make myself believe she did a wrong. And I am not alone. I talked to a few friends of mine, all women, about this episode that took place in Lahore and was reported two weeks back. And they all reacted the same way.
This woman, a law graduate, was in love with the advocate she worked for as an assistant. As the story goes, it was definitely a two-sided affair. He was married. It didn’t make any difference. He told her repeatedly he would marry her. But he didn’t. So one day while they were going to the court, or perhaps coming back, with a friend in the back seat of the car, she took out a pistol and shot him.
“Bang bang!” a naughty friend of mine mimicked in a cowboy style with a grin on her face and a glint in her eyes. “I am happy she killed him.”
“He deserved it,” another friend commented.
“Why did he say he would marry her when he never meant it?” a third wanted to know. “He could have been honest with her. He played the game of love quite ruthlessly. She played it ruthlessly too.”
Men might be appalled at our reaction but don’t they feel the same sadistic pleasure when they read about a man killing his unfaithful wife?
And come to think of it, it’s so rare that the woman who is invariably always the victim, retaliates against her oppressor.
There was no follow-up to the story. Perhaps I missed it. Or perhaps the authorities decided it was ‘indecent’ — a woman killing her unfaithful lover. If a man had committed the murder in the same situation it would have been considered just an act of ‘manly madness’!
It’s so sickening — the double standard, the hypocrisy.
When I think of that girl I wonder what she would be going through now. Perhaps she might be feeling relieved of that intense, killing passion which went awry, turned into hatred, erupted in violence.
Didn’t Plato say Eros is demonic? And this demon can be creative or destructive. The urge in every being to assert itself, to affirm itself is said to be demonic. Its positive aspect manifests itself in the form of ‘genius’ — the generative, creative processes within the individual.
The demonic has the potential of turning into evil when it usurps the total self and explodes into excessive aggression.
The social environ determines to a large extent what side of Eros overrules the individual — divine or diabolic. Why does our society have almost no geniuses in the field of science, arts, politics? Why do we have so much crime and oppression instead?
Isn’t it because we have blocked all the creative outlets to channelize our energies?