Suicidal man finally succeeds in ruining wife's lifelong ambition
By Melanie Allicock
March 11, 2007
Like every bride, when Nalini Maraj married her husband eight years ago, it was with the vision of a long, happy, life together.
The couple had great plans for success. They were going to start their own business, have kids and endeavour to love each other forever.
However, Nalini and her baby daughter are now penniless and without a home at the hands of her husband who set their home and himself ablaze on February 19 last by puncturing a gas cylinder. This was after three failed attempts at taking his life and one of killing the couple's one-year-old daughter, Ambilita.
The lives of Nalini's sister, Davika and her daughter Cindy were also destroyed at the hands of the Eddie Maraj, since they resided in the same building which was located at Cummings Lodge Housing Scheme on the East Coast of Demerara. The home belonged to Nalini's mother who had given it to her two daughters.
Forced to seek refuge at a friend, the 35-year-old and her sister are at a lost as to how to begin to salvage the pieces of their lives.
“He left me and my family without anything…that is what he had always threatened to do and he did it,” a tearful Nalini told this newspaper recently.
To add insult to injury, Nalini is also left saddled with an imposing $2M debt, incurred to assist her husband.
Reminiscing on the turn of events that led to her present purgatory, Nalini recalled that for the first three years into marriage things were fine.
“I was a clerk in a legal office and Eddie was an office assistant and we met when he came to deliver mail and started talking. We fell in love and got married about one year later and things went well for the first.”
According to Nalini, things began to go downhill after the couple opened up a business in the city. By then, Eddie was a qualified computer technician.
“We saw the opportunity to make money and started the business which sold computer equipment and did repairs. It was a joint operation. The operation also offered business services which I did.”
Shortly after Eddie began acting strangely which concerned his wife.
There were late nights and what she suspected to be bouts of infidelity.
The first hint that all might not have been well with the young man was when Nalini threatened to end the marriage after reports about Eddie's promiscuity surfaced. He reportedly ran atop the four-storeyed building from which the couple worked and threatened to hurl himself off. He was averted from doing this by other occupants of the building.
Nalini continued to endure the mental torment, despite constant appeals from her relatives to put Eddie out and start a new life; and in the name of commitment and an earnest desire to see her marriage work.
Last year, Nalini's worst fears were realized when her husband informed her that he had accrued the substantial debt of $2M to a main supplier, who as a result, had stopped selling him items for the business.
He once again threatened to take his own life.
“I knew that he would cripple the business with his actions. I was afraid of that.”
However, always the dutiful wife, Nalini managed to access a loan to help pay off the debt.
Two weeks prior to the dreadful incident, during one of his fits of anger, Eddie grabbed his one-year-old daughter from his sister-in-law, and hurriedly took her and the cylinder of cooking gas into a room and locked the door.
Rushing up the stairs after him, Nalini said she heard her husband releasing the gas into the room
It was only through the pleadings of her sister for him to open the door that he complied.
He was to attempt it again a few days later.
“We were all sitting outside when Eddie suddenly pull out the bottle of gas and say that he going to commit suicide and run inside and lock the door.”
Nalini ran for the police, but said that none were available at the time.
Three hours later, apparently unable to carry out the deed, he appeared from within the house and went out.
On his return, he threw all of his wife's clothing outside and tried to set it alight.
Nalini had had too much. Now that he was attempting to harm their baby and increasing the frequency of his suicide missions, it was time to get out.
She moved next door to her sister's apartment in the building and for the next few days things were quiet.
But, on the fateful Monday, Eddie returned home from work at about 17:30 hrs, and proceeded upstairs after brief exchanges with his wife over a missed phone call.
“I left the office at around 3 p.m. for home. I left him at the office. About four-thirty he called my sister's phone and told her that he was trying to reach me but I was not answering the phone. Davita told him that I was with her and that my phone did not ring. However, when we checked the phone, we saw that indeed I had a missed call from him. When he came home he told me that he was calling me to ask me to return to the office to write a receipt for a cheque which someone had paid and I told him not to bother, I would do it the following day.”
He then asked to see his wife's phone and proceeded to his sister-in-law's apartment to access it. After being told that the door was locked, he asked his wife for the keys to access his apartment.
“I stretched my hand to give him the keys but she stressed in a loud voice that he wanted me to open it. Something about the way he said it and the look in his eye made me not do it. Instead, I sent the keys with my niece and he went upstairs, locking the door after him.”
Relatives said that he took the gas cylinder and proceeded to the top flat of the two-storey building, and secluded himself in a room.
According to reports, the man then hurled several threats to his wife, who begged him to come from the room. Their one-year-old child was safely in Singh's arms this time.
In her bid to prevent Eddie from proceeding with his apparently ill-fated plan, Nalini summoned help from the newly-constructed Turkeyen Police Station; but when two ranks arrived, they, too, could not persuade the man to come out.
The ranks attempted to gain entry into the room, but to no avail.
At around 19:00hrs, there was a loud explosion, and then fire broke out at the top flat.
The Fire Service was summoned, and the blaze was contained mainly at the top flat of the house, even though some areas of the lower section were damaged.
Eddie's charred remains were removed by undertakers, at around 22:30hrs, to loud screams and wails from his wife.
Nalini claims to have lost in excess of $5M, since it was only last December that she had her home refurbished and redecorated, adding new furniture and appliances, as well as wall-to-wall carpeting.
In tears, Nalini noted that the hard-earned efforts of her parents had gone up in flames
“My parents managed to get the piece of land from government and through dint of hard work built the house and give it to me and my sister. Now it's gone. He meant to leave me penniless and he has. My sister is a single parent with a child to take care off, we don't have that kind of money to build a house and he knew that.”
The sisters are fighting to rebuild their lives, one day at a time. For them, the most important thing at this time is getting another roof of their own over their heads.
“We need clothing and household appliances and so on, but I'm not too worried about that because we are contented with what ever little we have… but we really need help in rebuilding our home,” Nalini pleaded.
The sisters have opened an account at the Demerara Bank in Georgetown in an effort at garnering assistance, and anyone desirous of rendering help to them restart their lives can make a deposit to Account No 2105658.
For further information, Nalini Maraj can be contacted on telephone number 626-6625 or by email at, firstname.lastname@example.org.