She got married to Anantharaman, a nice man and a soft-spoken professional. They chose the exotic Munar for their honeymoon. Two days into the honeymoon she ran to the Police Station to complain that her husband had been murdered. She was crying her heart out. Police investigations began and with in a matter of two days she was arrested for killing her own husband. She had conspired with her lover, an auto-rickshaw driver to carry out her murderous plan. All the culprits are behind bars and the legal process is on. Almost at the same time there was a murder in Chennai. This time the victim was a lawyer. This time also it was his wife who killed him. And again there was adultery behind the gruesome murder. And what made this case even more pathetic was that the lawyers wife had developed illicit liaison with his brother’s son, several years younger to her, and they both joined together in eliminating the lawyer out of their lives. Like many others I was so disturbed by these news that I almost lost sleep on them. As a writer I have been championing the cause of women all along. Naturally I was shattered. The media had a field day. Lurid details, juicy gossips filled the columns of newspapers. Letters to Editors reminded the readers of a dialogue in Thooku Thooki a hit film of yesteryears, “Kolaiyum Seival Pathini.” ‘A wife will even kill to attain her objects of desire.’ It was only when the dust settled down, was I able to think calmly over the gruesome happenings. First, these two killings occupied a prominent place in the headlines precisely because the killers were women. Men killing their wives and lovers are much greater in number. In fact men-killers are so many that such happenings are not half as newsworthy as these two. But that is neither an explanation nor a justification for these gruesome acts. It was then I read the writings of Gnani (who writes O Pakkangal in Ananda Vikatan). Gnani refuses to buy the stories handed out to him and always looks every thing in a different angle. And more facts emerged from the investigations as well. If we take the case of Munar murder, the girl had already fallen in love with an auto-rickshaw driver. I don’t want to go deep into the fact whether the autodriver was a good man and was not Anantharaman a far better choice than him. That is besides the point. The point is that she was passionately in love with him and he with her. She confessed her love to her parents, who as usual, shouted at her and hastily arranged a marriage for her with a boy, whom they thought was worthy of her. The girl shouted, protested, cried, threatened but nobody listened to her. Her parents probably emotionally blackmailed her into accepting the boy they had fixed for her. The lawyers wife’s story is even more pathetic. The lawyer was related to his wife even before marriage. He was her uncle and the age gap between them was so large that it amounted to a generation gap. Added to that the lawyer took advantage of the poor economic condition of her family and started sexually abusing her when she was very young. Finally he forced the family to give her in marriage to him. The family could not object. If a girl is sexually abused she develops so much of hatred towards her aggressor that she cannot even bear seeing him at a distance. And if she is forced to marry him! Nobody could observe the vulcano in that girl, waiting to erupt at an opportune time. Erupt, it did, and the lawyer was justifiably destroyed in its eruption. It is here that Gnani presents a very convincing argument. Well, if these women did not like their husbands, they should have adamantly refused for the marriage, or could have at least opted for a divorce. Is murder a solution? Is adultery justified in these circumstances? Let’s leave Gnani for a while and look into criminal law and morality. No. Murder can never be a solution and in no situation can adultery be justified, explained away or even condoned. In criminal law there is a concept called, “extenuating circumstances” . When the victim did such horrible things so as to infuriate the accused to do the crime, then such ‘extenuating circumstances’ can be taken into account, at least to mitigate the punishment. For us, bye-standers, it will help to understand the working of a woman’s mind.