Another February 14, to be precise the third Valentine’s Day after their meeting, is here but this time, Neenu is alone. But she doesn’t want to believe that. For Neenu, her ‘icha’ that she lovingly calls Kevin is still with her.

“My icha is in Dubai. I love to believe that. Nothing else.”

When asked how many years she loved, Neenu said 3 years. She further made it clear about the number of years of their love.

“We were together for two years. One year has passed since his death, but my love for him still continues. I believe he is still with me. So my love for him has nearly completed three years. I can’t imagine anyone else in Kevin’s place. I don’t even want to think he is dead.”

The story of Kevin P Joseph and Neenu Chacko began in July 2016. The Kottayam native Kevin, an electrician by profession, fell in love with Kollam native Neenu as she pursued a course at a college in Kottayam. They intended to get married and live together. But, Neenu’s parents were against it, as they were not happy with the financial status of Kevin, a dalit Christian.

Two days before the murder of Kevin, the two had filled a joint application for marriage registration in Kottayam on May 25, 2018. Neenu’s family fiercely objected. On May 27, Kevin was kidnapped and murdered by a gang led by Sanu Chacko, brother of Neenu. Kevin was brutally murdered presumably in a case of honour killing.

Neenu Chacko
Photo: Mathrubhumi Archive

“Our love was true and it wasn’t an immature one. I got all care and love from Icha, which I didn’t get from my parents. He was a perfect man. He was caring, loving, supportive, funny and always encouraged me to study.”

Neenu first met Kevin on July 24, 2016 at Kottayam bus stand when he came to see off his friend’s friend. The love that sprouted out there grew deep and on August 28, he proposed to Neenu. Initially she rejected by explaining her problems at home and the objections from parents. But, Kevin was firm in his decision.

“We weren’t like everybody else and didn’t have any celebration on our first Valentine’s day. But, I gifted him a watch. He wasn’t that type of guy and hadn’t brought any gifts.”

Their love wasn’t a time passing one but real and intended to be lifelong. That was what both wanted. And that had united them.

Last Valentine’s day, Kevin was in Dubai for job. But he surprised her by arriving in Kerala with gifts. This time Kevin had brought many gifts for her; a box of snickers which she liked the most, a teddy bear and a watch.

Kevin’s arrival had another purpose also; their marriage. Because, by this time, Neenu’s parents had registered her name in a matrimony and started getting proposals. They searched for a high profile relation for her. Kevin was sure if he moves a proposal, it wouldn’t get a nod from them. However, they both waited.

Amidst this, Neenu rejected proposals that came by by giving excuses. As the parents proceeded with the proposals, having found no means, they finally took a decision to get married.

On May 25, 2018, they filled the forms to get legally married but fate was just the opposite. Till then both families didn’t know anything about their love. But taking the advice of a friend, Neenu informed her father about their marriage. The rest is history.

Neenu chacko
Photo: Mathrubhumi Archive

Living at Kevin’s house as the daughter of Kevin’s parents, Neenu now has only one aim in her mind. That is to pursue a master degree and get a job to look after her new parents.

“Kevin is my husband; I can’t imagine anyone in his place. They (Neenu’s parents and brother) could take away only my Icha’s body. But he still lives in me. This year, February 14 would be a normal day for me. I will go to church. We both had dreamt a peaceful and happy life. But…”

Photo: Mathrubhumi Archive

In her life, love was the villain. Even after all these tragedies in her life, she doesn’t denounce real love.

“Even after all these, still I stand for love. Moreover, it should be genuine.”