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Victim Of Superstition
By  -  Aakash Ravichandran  (VI A)

About sixty years back this incident happened in Pudukkottai, the native town of my grandfather. A leading advocate called Varadarajan celebrated the marriage of his only daughter Rukmini on a grand scale. The groom was a young lawyer and son of a leading advocate in Chennai. The town was painted red!
Guests came in large numbers from far and wide and the celebrations lasted for four days as was wont in those days.
When the marriage was over the groom’s party went to Chennai by three private cars. The new bride was accompanied by her father and her paternal aunt.
Komala Varadarajan and her brother Somu were asked to wind up the affairs by making final payments for the various goods and services produced for the marriage.
When things had settled down Komala found that her diamond necklace costing around Rs. 10,000 (a princely sum then) was missing.
Cook Rangan told the mistress of the house and her brother that he saw Mariammal the maid carrying something hidden in her sari the previous night when she left and said it must have been the missing necklace. He had a grudge against the maid who was indeed an honest woman.
Rangan also brought a man who was an astrologer and an expert in finding out the truth in such cases with his mystic powers. The astrologer applied black ink on the palm of a young girl summoned for the purpose and cleverly putting words into her mouth made her say that she was seeing through the ink Mariammal stealing the necklace and carrying it outside the house!
Komala and Somu immediately sent for the police and Mariammal was taken into custody for theft! When she was about to be taken to the police station Varadarajan and his sister who just returned from Chennai stopped the police. They said that by mistake the necklace had been taken to Chennai with the girls’ jewels and they had brought it back. The advocate was annoyed with Rangan for falsely implicating an honest worker and apologized to the maid. Though Mariammal was relieved she refused to continue to work in the house where she had been accused of theft.
This is a case of a victim of superstition.

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