As 2018 comes to a close, Neenu remembers her beloved Kevin on his birthday. On the special day, Neenu reached the tomb of her life partner who was brutally murdered by her family in the name of honour.

Holding a bouquet of red roses, Neenu stood by the tomb at the deserted cemetery. She came with one of her friends. All Malayalis know her love, Kevin, the victim of the first ever dishonour killing case in Kerala. Friday was Kevin’s 24th birthday.

‘I had wished him on his b’day last year and also gave him a gift. But this birthday….’ Neenu remembered while standing near Kevin’s tomb carrying a smiling picture of him. Neenu stood for a while watching his picture. Then put the flowers on the slab of the tomb as a gift and wept.

File photo

It has been seven months since Kevin breathed his last. For Neenu, it is 216 days of her loss. He was brutally murdered by Neenu’s father and brother on May 28. She has been surviving the agony since then. She never fails to visit his tomb at the Good Shepherd Church near Kottayam collectorate every now and then with a handful of flowers.

‘I feel relaxed when I spend some time here. The very thought that a person who loved me to the moon and back lies underneath this slab gives me some relief. I have nothing else in this world,’ Neenu said.

Neenu has been staying in Kevin’s house since his death. His father Joseph and family did not let her go as their son sacrificed his life for her.

‘I pray to God every day that no other girl should have my experience. Kevin’s parents are still grieving. Their love was the only thing that glued me to life. If they had rejected me, I would not have been alive…’

However, Neenu is not ready to lose and will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.

‘I know that there are people out there who want to see me failing in life. But if I fail, it will hurt Kevin’s soul. I must live for my Vavachan…’ Neenu said. Vavachan is Kevin’s pet name.

Now, Neenu has started giving tuition to children near Kevin’s house to make pocket money. She manages to do well in studies despite the hard times and has even earned a scholarship. She is a final year degree student.

Kevin’s sister has got a temporary job in Kottayam medical college. The government has completed the procedures to grant the financial help to the family for a house. But nothing can cure the pain in Neenu’s heart: ‘Whatever you get can't replace someone you lost?'

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