The Green Goblin – The Painful Pangs

21 April 2024
4 mins read
The Green Goblin

Ganga couldn’t sleep a wink. She tossed and turned in her bed. Her sister, Gowri, sleeping on the other side of the bed said, “What’s wrong with you tonight, Ganga? Why are you not sleeping?”

“Nothing, Akka. Just worried about my upcoming exams. Haven’t really been studying well the last three months.”

“Aww c’mon, my brilliant and beautiful little sister. You hardly study, and yet top the class. Your chemistry teacher talks highly of your knowledge levels.”

Ganga could hear the tone of pride in her akka’s voice. She hugged her sister in happiness and joy. She would be eternally grateful for Gowri, strong, sturdy, and wise. Ganga was more than 15 years younger than Gowri. 

Their mother had succumbed to childbirth complications while delivering Ganga. The elder sister became a mother to the little one. Gowri ensured Ganga was never denied anything in her life. The younger sister’s deadly combination of ravishing beauty and brains made her a star in the neighbourhood.

“I am also worried about your decision to marry Arun, Akka. You do know what happened to his previous brides, don’t you?”

“That will not happen to me! The poor man has had a tough life and he deserves happiness. I love him too and we will make a happy couple. The best part is I will be living next door and can continue to be here for you.” 

Ganga cringed inwardly at her sister’s words. She wished she could share her deepest secret with her akka. But, the world including her akka was not ready for it. 

She thought to herself, “Why can’t people accept that it is perfectly normal to fall in with a man more than twice her age? Love doesn’t give you a warning. It just comes and you get lost in its beautiful mire.”

“Is it my fault that I didn’t fall for any other man but my new handsome 45-year-old neighbour, Arun, when he moved into the neighbourhood, a year ago? Yes, the same man her Akka now wants! He is witty, gentle, and the nicest man I have ever met.” 

She had approached Arun with her proposal within a week of his moving in. That’s how sure she was of her love. But, he had brushed her off laughingly. He called it an infatuation. When she persisted, he got angry and told her to stop being crazy because he couldn’t see her that way. 

Ganga decided to keep her feelings to herself for the moment. She decided to give it a few more years for Arun to come to terms with the power of her love. Her akka had taught her she should never be denied anything.

Also, his marriage is not likely to get finalized any time soon. Who would want to marry a 45-year-old man even if he had a good job and was a nice person?

But then one day, his parents came home with his wedding invitation. Ganga was shattered. She went into a solitary jealous rage. The green goblin threatened to tear her apart. She wilfully worked to keep it in check and wait for the inevitable to happen. 

The night before his wedding day was the most agonizing. Her heart broke into a thousand pieces. But a strange news woke her the next morning.

Arun’s bride-to-be had died the previous night. It looked like an old heart problem that killed her. The bride’s mother had gone to wake her up and found her unresponsive to her calls. 

One of the relatives who had come to attend the wedding was a doctor. He examined her and declared her dead. Perhaps, the excitement of the wedding might have triggered the latent heart problem? God favoured Ganga! 

Interestingly, another proposal came to fruition for Arun within three months of the unfortunate incident. The green goblin took control again. She had believed that God was on her side when the first bride-to-be died. But now a second one!

She didn’t know what to do. So, like the previous time, she decided to wait and watch. The wedding ceremony was an anxious affair for everyone considering what had happened the last time. But, to everyone’s relief, it went off without a hitch.

The bride came to Arun’s home in the evening. Ganga and her family had gone to welcome her to the neighbourhood. Ganga tried her best to remain calm but the tears came anyway as she hugged the new bride. Gowri noticed her crying and asked her what was wrong. She simply said, “Something seems to have gotten into my eyes.”

The next day dawned bright for everyone except Ganga who had cried herself to sleep disturbed by the imaginary intimacy scenes between her beloved Arun and his new bride. But again, fate seemed to intervene. Arun’s new wife had died the previous night. 

At midnight, Arun had come out of his bedroom calling his parents frantically. His wife seemed to have passed out and was not responding to his calls. She was rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead. Arun’s house turned into a graveyard for nearly a month after that. He had gone into depression. 

And this evening, Ganga heard the most horrifying news. Gowri and Arun had announced their engagement. Gowri had helped Arun during his difficult times. The two had fallen in love, it seems. The elders were thrilled at the news. Ganga and Arun were made for each other. 

No way! How could her Akka agree to this madness? Couldn’t she see that the deaths of the previous brides were no coincidence? Couldn’t anyone connect the hugs of death she gave them just as she had given her sister tonight? Couldn’t they understand that her jealousy needed the satisfaction of feeling the poisoned pinprick gently plunge into the skin of her victims, even if it was her own beloved sister? 

Ganga looked down at the dead face of her sister and cried piteously. 

Photo by negar nikkhah on Unsplash


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Ratna Prabha

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