KOCHI: The latest Mollywood hit Action Hero Biju has an auto driver chasing a married woman and lands in police custody after she complains against him. The film also has the wife of a mason, played by Suraj Venjaramoodu, elopes with his friend and then publicly denounces her husband.
If the story threads in many Malayalam films and most serials as well as crime reports are an indication, then Kerala is a land of extra-marital and illicit relations. And while some of them end up in police complaints, many others have a gory ending with one or more of the partners getting killed.
“This is a reflection of what’s happening now,” said Dr C J John, leading psychiatrist in Kochi. “But unlike what we see in films, there is new trend of the partners in such relations seeking professional help of counselors.” Dr John said this is a new phenomenon. “The Othello Syndrome has percolated to extra-marital affairs as well,” he said.
And professional help matters too. “A love-hate relationship is at the core of the Othello syndrome,” Dr John said. “There is inferiority complex at work in most relations as in the case of Othello who suspects his beautiful wife Desdemona. Here new Othellos are made in extra-marital relationships who suspect their partners. There is love in the relationship and also the fear of losing the partner to someone. All these nowadays culminate in violence and murders.”
The doctor said that all these come out of the tremendous possessiveness of the partners in the illegal relationships. The very act of talking to others or travelling with someone young would trigger doubts in the mind of ‘partner outside marriage’ also these days.
“An extra-marital affair may be a sexual adventure in the case of male but there would be dependency, a sense to be loved and cared in the case of females. There is love in that sense. It is lost owing to suspicion of another relationship or other aberrations as happened in Fort Kochi incident in which a woman wanted her paramour to marry her deserting his wife leading to the murder of the woman. It is a case of vacuum appearing in the mind and the partner becoming distraught leading to quarrels and depression.”
Rejection or even fear of rejection leads to anger in this sort of relationships. When suspicion of betrayal takes place, it leads to anger. “Many, especially the victims of such relations, ask why they should suffer and be in trouble and take the extreme violent steps,” he said. “Another set of people would seek professional help when they realise that things are getting complex and becoming tough managing both marital and extra-marital affairs.”
Some of the wise extramarital ‘couples’ or one of the partners nowadays seek help of professionals like psychiatrists and counselors to save the situation.
“Partners separately reveal their anxieties and ask us to show a way out,” said Dr John. “Most of them, especially women, are upset with their partners. We normally try to take them to safe shores, to a life best suited for them. It’s a tough job," he pointed out.
The gory stories
Sandhya Ajith, a woman in her mid-thirties, was strangled by her lover, Anwar, for making an ‘unreasonable’ demand. She wanted him to marry her, he told the police. That was what provoked the murder. She was a married woman with two kids. He was a married man with one kid.
A girl child and an elderly woman by a techie couple, Mathew and Anu Shanthi, who were having an extra marital affair. The woman’s husband narrowly escaped a murder attempt. Here the murder of the woman’s child and mother in law was committed by her lover but the woman was a willing accomplice, as whatsapp messages exchanged by the duo indicate.
A quadrangle love affair where two married persons, Tissan and Sajitha, got entangled. The woman’s husband was murdered and the lover planned to kill his wife too, but the conspirators were arrested before Plan B could be executed.
Jerome Mathew, a Kochi-based lieutenant in the Indian navy, got arrested for the murder of Neeraj Grover in 2008. It was the quintessential crime of passion where jealous lover A killed unsuspecting lover B. The woman in the story, Maria Susairaj, helped Lover A to chop up dead lover B’s body, pack the pieces in bags, load them in the boot of the car.