Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
“It was the pink lip gloss that first roused my suspicions,” an Indian woman by the name of “Lisa” told the Bangalore Mirror. “He used it every day without fail… His mannerisms and interests were also feminine, and whenever I questioned him, he always gave dodgy responses.”
31-year-old “Lisa” and her 32-year-old husband “John” (not their real names) were wed in November 2013 through an arranged marriage orchestrated by their parents. She was a dentist. He was worked in tech. The couple lived apart for the first six months of their marriage, until John was able to transfer for work and the couple rented a house together in Malleswaram, a suburb outside of Bungalore.
But it didn’t take long for Lisa to notice that something was up in her marriage.
John, she claims, would not touch her. On top of that, he insisted they sleep in separate rooms. He would also work unusually long hours, leaving the house at 8 a.m. and not returning home until as late as 10 or 11 p.m. Except, she claims, on the nights when she was working late. On those evenings, John would return home early.
So Lisa did some sleuthing. She learned from neighbors that her husband would often bring men home with him whenever she wasn’t there. When she confronted him about it, John said he and the guys were discussing business.
But Lisa wasn’t convinced. She began to suspect her husband might be gay.
Her next approach was to suggest John see a doctor.
“I first spoke to John and advised him to get a medical test done, thinking he did not want to get intimate with me because he was impotent,” she said. “He flatly refused.”
Lisa says this left her with “no option” but to approach John’s parents. According to her, they were unsympathetic towards her about her marriage woes and said that if she wasn’t happy she should file for divorce.
But Lisa, feeling throughly dejected by both her husband and her in-laws, decided to take more drastic measures.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes gay sex is an offense punishable with life imprisonment. The section was declared unconstitutional by the Delhi high court in July 2009, but was reinstated in December 2013, sparking international outcry.
Lisa decided to use this draconian law to her advantage. She would catch her husband in the act and turn him into authorities, and he would spend the rest of his days rotting in a prison cell.
The jilted wife installed hidden cameras all throughout their house. Then she told John she was going to visit her parents. When she returned home a week later, she reviewed the footage. She said she was “aghast” by what she discovered. As suspected, her husband was having an affair with another man.
Armed with her evidence, she marched into her local police station and filed a complaint.
“I have also accused my in-laws of cheating me since I believe they knew their son was gay, but intentionally led me to believe he wasn’t,” Lisa snarled. “They have cheated me and ruined my life by getting me married to him.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil confirmed the incident, saying, “We arrested the [husband] soon after his wife tendered a complaint, with proof. The parents have been booked for cheating the victim, but these allegations have to be fully proved before we can arrest them.”
Dr. Vivek Benegal, Professor of Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, told the BBC that he’s not surprised by this case.
“There are many people who are still being forced to marry because of social pressure. Society really did not give him a choice,” he said. “The man cannot be blamed. Neither can the woman be blamed. We can only blame the social structure. They have been forced to formalize a lie.”
Dr. Benegal added: “It is so tragic that in an era when science has proved that sexual orientation is not a vice, society should be forcing zebras to be horses.”