Is there any connection between the observance of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and several tragedies that have occurred around the time over the years?
Pachipeko was a young man fond of hunting on the week-ends. Like many other Catholics of the Agra-Delhi Archdiocese, he had been named by the Italian Capuchin fathers, who made it a point to christen boys and girls born in the parish with names popular in their own country. So one found the likes of Leo, Pascal, Classtica, Veronica, Francisca, Filgensius, Scholastica, Fidelis, Contapa, Petrus, Betus, Verancio, Paulina, Sanfaroza, Valentina, Cecilia Liguori, Linus and Pasqina walking about as living examples. Well, whenever Pachipeko went for a shoot in Gurgaon, his mother-in-law, Dulcina Monica (nicknamed Dacho Munia) would nag him so much that one day he shot her and then himself. The tragedy occurred a few days before Easter. After that there were rumours that the parish priest, Fr. Leo was woken up every night by Dacho Munia asking him (sic) to pray for her deliverance from purgatory. Many years later Fr. Leo himself was stabbed to death by his servant, whom he had caught stealing. This tragedy too took place during Eastertide.
Not far from Delhi, Father Adeodatus was murdered by thieves in his room at the Sardhana church built by Begum Sumroo. That was just after Easter. A bigger Easter-time tragedy took place at the Taj Mahal, where a British major shot dead his wife and her paramour on a moonlight night. The event led to another military officer writing a book, now not available, “Murder at the Taj Mahal”. It was published in 19th Century London and probably (just a hunch) inspired T. S. Eliot to write his play “Murder in the Cathedral”.
Another case is that of a student, Caleb who was shot dead in his hostel room over a one-sided affair with a bishop’s daughter on one of the 40 days of Easter. Okhla was the favourite angling spot at one time. It was there that Cecil killed his wife’s lover after he picked up a fight with him over the right to fish at a certain spot. After that Cecil went home and slit his wife’s throat before escaping to Najafgarh, where he was caught near the jheel with his young sister-in-law, whom he had been trying to befriend. That happened many years ago and Cecil was hanged at the old Delhi jail, situated near the Khooni Darwaza, while his sister-in-law became a nun of the Order of Poor Clairs. But she had to leave the order after being allegedly bullied by her seniors and ended up marrying the kind cook attached to the priests’ quarters. The cook happened to be several years older and had lost his first wife, the second one (Munni) delivered a daughter who survived them both, but died as an adolescent in a convent of TB. The strange thing about the “Motia affair”, as it came to be known (after the cook’s name) was that both he and his wife died (in different years), one on Maundy Thursday and the other on Good Friday, while the daughter passed away on Whit-Sunday, the day Eastertide ends.
A strange story is about Goodu James who waited for the parish priest to come for Easter blessing to his house, telling the reverend father that his time was up and he must die now that Pasca (Easter) had passed. The same night he expired to the great grief of his wife and daughter (named Khushboo). Even more stranger was the death of Sushil Wilson, just 25, who was drowned while rescuing a friend caught in a whirlpool. They had gone fishing in the ruins of Birbal’s Hans Mahal, near Akbar’s Tomb, where fish is plentiful, as rohu and barm (eel) take shelter under the broken slabs of the mahal. Sushil, the only child of his parents, met his end, after promising his mother enough fish to last till Easter Wednesday. It is said that the mahal is haunted and anglers often lose their lives in the quagmire there. However, the biggest Easter time tragedy in comparatively recent times was the suicide of a dancing girl and her lover (son of a bullion merchant) in a Delhi park on Alleluia Day (Saturday before Easter). One of them was a Muslim and the other a Hindu. Surprisingly enough, they too had ended up at the Christian (and Jewish) Passover time. Is there any connection with the observance of Christ’s death and resurrection or are these just coincidences strung together by kismet, which seemingly leads to many tragedies at Christmastide too?