Photo by Faruk Tokluou011flu on

Priya Ravi, a 28-year-old journalist, received a call from her Editor-in-Chief, Kunal Verma, to cover a sensational double death. She noticed the policemen condoning the area with a yellow crime scene tape. She tried to approach an inspector with her winning smile. “Hello, Inspector,” she said, ” I am Priya Ravi reporting for the Mumbai Times. Could you please tell us about the deceased? Who discovered their bodies? Were they murdered, or was it a suicide pact?”

The inspector wasn’t happy with her questioning. He knew that once the press got a whiff of any untoward incident, they would pounce upon the police like a bloodhound and wouldn’t leave without getting some answers. He replied,” We will keep you informed after receiving the post-mortem reports.”

Priya had a glimpse of the dead bride while the paramedics were carrying her on the stretcher. She was astonished to find her best friend, Natasha, and her husband, Gautam’s bodies. She had attended the wedding the previous day. Yesterday’s vicious memories flooded through her mind. She had abruptly left the Wedding Hall after a heated argument with Natasha. It was the day before yesterday. She had attended the Mehndi and Sangeet ceremony. Gautam, the groom, had attempted to rape her in an inebriated state. She screamed for help, alerting Natasha and her family members. Natasha apologized to her and requested her not to file a police complaint. She begged her not to ruin her wedding as her family prestige was at stake. Priya couldn’t believe her ears. Her best friend chose to support her groom. She lost her temper and snapped,” How can you do this to me? You are supposed to call off your wedding with the monster. You should have helped me put him behind bars. Is your family prestige more important than your life? You could get a better life partner. Gautam doesn’t deserve you.” Natasha hurled abuses at her and said,” You are a selfish woman. I already apologized to you for Gautam’s misdemeanor. Why don’t you forgive him and leave this place? We are women. We are the epitome of love and peace.”

Priya yelled,” Are you dumb? I want you to use your brain. Gautam is likely to be an alcoholic and a would-be rapist. How can you expect him to be loyal towards you after marriage? If you forgive him, he will become a serial offender. There is no guarantee that he would spare his own daughter.” Natasha and her parents accused her of practicing witchcraft and hypnotizing Gautam into seducing her.

Priya felt humiliated. She had only her friend’s welfare in her mind. She never realized that Natasha would misconstrue her statement as jealousy. She exploded,” I had enough of your insults. You have blamed me for no fault of mine. I wish both Natasha and Gautam rot in hell.”
She walked out without waiting for their response. Unfortunately, her curse materialized. Natasha and Gautam were dead. Their wedding went uneventfully. However, during their first night, they drank a glass of milk laced with poison. It so happened that Gautam had ruined Natasha’s cousin Prerna’s life after he got engaged to Natasha. Prerna had pleaded with Natasha to give up her claim on Gautam because he had raped her. He should marry her and not Natasha. The latter called her names and accused her of sabotaging her upcoming wedding. Prerna cried her heart out and promised to avenge her humiliation.
Prerna witnessed the entire episode with Priya. She felt sorry for her. Priya’s curse gave her an idea to get rid of the evil couple. Gautam didn’t deserve to live while Natasha was extremely stupid. She was endangering other women to sexual abuse. She poisoned the milk meant for the couple. Her plan was successful. The families of both the groom and the bride were mourning over the terrible loss.

Priya felt bad for cursing her best friend. She called her boss and briefed him about the situation. He allowed her to take the rest of the day off. Priya returned to her room at the Navya Working Women’s hostel in Malad, Mumbai. She deposited her bag on her dressing table and plopped into her comfortable bed. Her mobile started ringing. She dreaded answering the phone call. She knew that her mom would continue to hound her until she responded. She picked up her phone and pressed the green button. Her mom screamed into her ears, leaving her momentarily deaf. Her mother said, ” We have good news for you. Your father and I have decided to get you married to my brother’s only son, Deepak. Do you remember playing with him? Well, he is in love with you and came forward with a marriage proposal. They are coming here to Bengaluru for the engagement. The engagement is on Saturday. Aren’t you excited?”
Priya burst out,” Excited, my foot! How dare you take such a stupid decision without my consent? I hate that sneaky worm, Deepak. I will never marry him. As for your brother and his family, they can go to hell.” She ended the call without waiting for her mother’s reaction.

Her parents lived in Bengaluru. Priya was their only child. Usually, Priya obeyed her parents and would never go against their wishes. Her mother, Sudha, was shocked to hear such harsh words. Priya and Deepak were almost inseparable during their childhood. Their parents had made up their minds to strengthen their relationship by getting the kids married to each other.

Why did Priya start hating Deepak? Was she being possessed by some evil spirit?
Sudha and Ravi were worried about the upcoming engagement. Their reputation was at stake. Ravi wished he had sought Priya’s approval before going ahead with the engagement.

Priya regretted her emotional outburst. Fate had something sinister in store for her. It was Friday. She was about to leave her hostel when her mother called. Sudha was wailing loudly,” Why did you curse your uncle and his family, Priya? They died in a car crash on their way to our home. A truck rammed forcefully into their car, killing everyone on the spot. I hope you are happy now.” Priya almost fainted after hearing this tragic news. Her curse worked out for the second time.

She felt responsible for the tragedy.
Alas! She had no idea of her true identity.
She was a shape-shifting demon. She was born with a curse. Who cursed her and why? Read more about Priya’s battle with her inner demons in my upcoming blogs.

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