There was once a village in Bihar in which every living person, whether young or old, woman or infant, was a defendant in a murder case. How they all were mired in such a controversial case together has an interesting story behind it.
There once lived an old man named Sevaram, in the village. His name meant 'service' but he was the antithesis of his name. Harming people was his hobby. When he was young, Sevaram figured out that creating problems for others was the motto of his existence. To calm down his itchy fingers, he used to hurt others' pets, broke branches from the trees in their courtyards for no particular reason, punctured their tires just for fun. But he was never satisfied with his small adventures and wanted to become an even bigger pain in the neck.
As luck would have it, he discovered the best way to fulfill his purpose of life. A big fight took place between two groups in his village and they took the matter to court. Sevaram would listen to old people discussing the case under Banyan trees for hours. He would be enchanted and would dream about dragging people in court cases. 'Oh! It would be such fun,' he thought, 'Way better than pulling dogs' tails or stealing sugar canes.'
Sevaram wanted to become a lawyer, but he came to know that it might take so many years and so much hard work that he dropped the idea. He managed to find a job in the 'Kutchery' (Court) and honed his skills for a bright future in suing people. After that, Sevaram began his suing spree, suing people at small instances and thus gaining his infamous nickname Sevaram 'Mukadmebaaz'( One who is involved in court cases).
As Sevaram lived through his reputation, he brought up two sons and made them study law. They were now established lawyers and Sevaram took pride in the fact that he now had all the information and resources at hand regarding court cases. Trapping people in court cases was now a breeze for him.
But he was also getting old. His sons had bought big houses in the city and had moved there. Sevaram did not want to leave his land and his litigations. He could not live without troubling people and suing every living person in his village was his ambition. So, he stayed back, looking for reasons to sue people.
Folks in his village used to stay away from him. For, if he saw them, he would start calling names to instigate them and if someone dared to retort, he was in for a court case. Women pulled their children close when passing Sevaram's haveli, cyclists carried their cycles on shoulders and tiptoed through that part of the road to avoid inviting Sevaram's ire.
Staying all alone and a dearth of new court cases took a toll on Sevaram's health. He fell ill and when nobody saw him for a few days, they got suspicious. They checked in on him and found him ailing, counting days. Word of his illness spread swiftly and people from all the different colonies of the village flocked his house to see Sevaram Mukadmebaaz for one last time. In his last time, the poor wretched man was really vulnerable. Even those sued by him were now empathetic to him and stayed close to take care of him in his remaining days. They brought hot broth and chapatis, cool massage oil and freshly laundered sheets for him.
After a few days of this community help, Sevaram became capable of speaking and called the Head of the village along with the five members of the village council. As they asked him about his health, Sevaram's eyes brimmed with tears and he spoke with folded hands, 'Dear Sarpanch Ji and all of you, you have helped me when I was ill while I have done nothing but cause trouble to this village all my life. I know my end is near. Here is a letter to my sons, please post it. As I am dying, I have one last wish that I beg to you to fulfill. You are kind people. I want you all to drive a nail through my heart so that I die at the hands of merciful people. It is the only way that I could get deliverance.'
Though the villagers were very unwilling to do this job, they had to respect a dying man's last wish. So, they all decided to fulfill it. They knew that though it looked like a sin, God will know that they were only being good to a wicked man. What they did not know was the contents of the letter that Sevaram wrote to his sons and which was promptly posted before his death:
As you are reading this letter, I am most likely not alive. Finding me alone and helpless, the whole village has ganged up on me. They all hate me so much that they have decided to kill me by driving a large nail through my heart. In the event of my death due to this, please use this letter as a proof and sue the whole village. Spare no one, son as they are all the murderers of your old, helpless father. Sell my haveli if need be. But do not spare them or your father will not get deliverance.