The Death of a Nice Man #Fiction

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Thursday morning saw us wake up to the news of our neighbour having jumped to his death from his balcony. Before we could even absorb this shocking news, our apartment complex was abuzz with talk about him and wife.

As we walked down to confirm the news our maid had given us, ‘What a nice man he was’, was what we heard repeated often. ‘The wife though..’, the sentence was left unfinished, with a deep sigh or some eye rolling following it.

The young couple had moved into our gated community a little over a year ago.Even though we lived next door to the couple, neither of us had ever ventured beyond a hello or a cliched remark about the weather.

We wished we could have been the kind of neighbours who borrowed a cup of sugar or rang the bell next door with a box of Mithai on festive occasions. The vibe we got from the couple next door was never encouraging enough to do so. They kept to themselves and we had never seen them mingling with anyone.

As the last rites started, my husband and I stood by the body to pay our respects, still in shock at seeing the young face before us as a dead body. Wasn’t it just yesterday, or the day before, that we had seen him walking up, a newspaper under his arm as he checked his mobile phone? A ghost of a smile had flashed across his face as we passed each other on the stairs.


In the midst of the ceremony a group of people burst in through the building gates. They began hurling accusations and abuses at the wife who stood by the body, head bowed in grief. Her silence seemed to incense them further. They called her names, blamed her for killing a nice man/ their son/brother/brother-in-law/uncle/friend. She did not look up nor did she utter a word.

Some elders from the building lead his furious family a little distance away and the Pandit was requested to pause the final rites for a while. 

The scene was too much to bear and after paying our respects my husband and I made our way home. As we slid the key to unlock our door, we couldn’t help but glance at the door next to ours.

Still in shock we sat across each other, cups of Tea warming our hands and heart. We talked about the nights we had heard her sobbing for hours, almost always followed by the crash of cutlery or furniture being hurled . We still winced at the memory of harsh words and abusive accusations being thrown with such force that it used to make us cringe. We remembered the nights we were roused from our sleep, by cries of pain and regrets being screamed at from next door.

Who was right, and who wasn’t, no one would ever know. The answer of that question had died away with the death of the husband.

I just mused how strange it was that how death covered people with a cloak of respect? A person who passes away may not have earned it in their lifetime, or even got it when they were alive but death magically bestows them with respect or at least a respectable image.

So, a nice man had died and we had to let his memory remain thus. For no one speaks ill of the dead, even as they continue hurting the ones left behind alive. 

Spread the love


  1. The cloak of respect, truly said M. One might never know what happened. Isn’t it easy to place the blame when the wife has no one to back her up?
    Wonder how these people reached there after he died but not when she cried and suffered.

    1. True that, Varsha. Thanks for reading.

  2. Death certainly makes people view everything in a different light- its like forgive the person for the all the wrong he/she did for they are no more. Is it the right thing to do? Does everything the person did when he was alive suddenly become inconsequential? many questions to ponder upon, you did a great job raising them Mayuri

    1. Thank you, Akshata. These questions haunt me each time I see death glorifying a person.
      Thanks for reading.

  3. That really is the sad truth of life! You can spend a life time trying to get people to gather around and say good things about you but death does make it possible for almost everyone, however good or bad they might have been! A poignant read, Mayuri!

    1. Well said, Kala. Thanks for reading.

  4. Such people do not have compassion, it is just a mask of face saving. maybe it the fear that the departed soul will be harsh on them in case they back bite or maybe their attitude towards the ‘poor fellow who died’ ignoring the fact that the living person is the one who suffers.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Ira.

  5. Speechless. So many thoughts thronging the mind space yet not a single is able to cross over the threshold of lips.
    “The ghost of a smile…”, took me captive and not letting me go free from its clutches Mayuri.
    Every death has a story and a mystery, no matter whether the life was lived well or otherwise. So well woven!

    1. Thank you for your effusive praise, and for reading, Anagha.

  6. Mayuri Nidigallu Deepa

    This is the sad reality of our society. No one really knows the reality but are quick to judge others. We are no one to judge or pass any comments as we are not the ones in their shoes. Good one Mayuri!

  7. So true…We are quick to judge and often fail to see all sides of the story,

  8. This may be fiction but is very much rooted in fact. Death grants respectability and likability to all those one couldn’t stand in real life. And as the death gets pushed into the distance, the man’s stature in society grows!
    And how easy it is to blame the wife. Why is she always the horrid one????

  9. Oh my god… What the wife must be going through! This is heartbreaking. It almost felt like a true story. The last few lines really touched me. How true they are. Beautifully penned.

  10. This is the sad reality of our life. Love the issues and thoughts that you have raised through this story, Mayuri. Good one!!

  11. Yes, I have seen the same. Sadly so. Yes, one must avoid speaking ill of the dead for the sake of gossip. But death does not wash away all sins. Besides what really happens between a couple is not really known by others. It’s ridiculous how people form opinions as to how good or bad the person is based on their limited interaction. The story felt really real.

  12. This is a fiction, but our imagination takes roots from the very truth happening around us. It’s very easy to point fingers, blame others especially the ones who are in the most vulnerable condition.
    You have said it all M, a nice man is gone but no one cares who is left behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.