Bride dies after husband's sex ploy
Tuesday 24 August 1993
In this modern-day Indian version of the tragedy there are no feuding Montagues and Capulets. The only villain is the village astrologer, who told Mr Rao and his bride that although they were married, they had to wait until the stars were auspicious on 16 September before they could enjoy sex.
This meant a delay of more than six months before they could consummate their marriage. With a month to go, the over-heated Mr Rao could stand it no longer. He hit on a desperate plan.
Smearing a few granules of pesticide on his lips, he faked a suicide attempt. As Mr Rao was being dragged off to the nearest clinic, 6 miles away in Sattupalli, in Andhra Pradesh state, he croaked out the reason why he had poisoned himself. It was because he and his wife were forbidden to make love, he said.
According to some newspaper reports Mr Rao's wife, Nagalakshmi, may have been as young as 14. She believed her husband was dying. That evening, when Mr Rao, 20, was being discharged from the hospital in perfect health, his besotted young bride swallowed the remaining pesticide. Then she lay down on their new bed, a wedding present, and waited for the poison's grip.
Nagalakshmi's agonised screams roused her family and they rushed her to the hospital. Her path to Sattupalli undoubtedly crossed her husband's, who was returning home by bus, pleased and anxious to see if his bogus suicide had stirred up enough sympathy to make her family relent and finally, after so many months, let them make love.
Instead, he learnt that his prank had caused his wife's death.
Later, the girl's father lamented to the Indian Express: 'I was only waiting for an auspicious occasion for the nuptials. I only wanted a happy life for them. Had I known . . .'
Proper medical help, as well as Shakespeare, might have saved the bride. But by the time Nagalakshmi's family arrived at the same clinic where her husband had been, the doctor in charge had left - to attend a wedding.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...