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Excerpt for Destiny??(+4) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


PREFACE



RAMS

RAMS was started in September of 2017. It has published more than 15 short stories online. The genre of stories includes suspense, horror, thriller etc.

Page: https://m.facebook.com/RRRAMSSS/

Creator: Nittala Venkata Phani Kesava (NVPK)



Copyright © RAMS (NVPK)















SHORT STORY 1

Ram, Veerarajya Rama Bhupathi, was playing cricket with his fellow villagers in his village, Ravipalem, when he was called home by his father. His father, Dasarath asked, ‘did you check the result, son?’

‘I am sorry; dad, but I didn’t check it. Is anything wrong dad?’

Dasarath smiled and said, ‘There’s anything to worry. You made it, son. You will be probably getting admission into one of the medical colleges in Delhi. Are you okay with it, son?’

‘I am okay, dad. You know better about what I need than I do.’

‘My only concern is about this village, it needs someone who can help the people in it.’

Ram joined into Maulana Azad medical colleges, Delhi. He gradually developed close friendship with Vishesh and Sandeep.

One day in the 1st semester, Sandeep asked, ‘Hey Ram, we have told you about Gurgaon. Now tell us about Ravipalem.’

Ram spoke, ‘I am the heir to the ruler of Ravipalem, my dad, Veerarajya Dasarath Bhupathi. Ours is also a dynasty. Even though the panchayat exists today, people look to us for help more than the panchayat. We too have set some rules to intervene according to the present situation for important things; we only intervene in such situations when the panchayat is unable to take an action or when the villagers aren’t satisfied by the deeds of the panchayat. I don’t say we are proud to rule the village. We are more than happy that people still believe us, it is for their belief that we exist even today.’

Few days after the 2nd semester had begun, Vishesh and Sandeep have just returned from playing and saw Ram sitting dejected on a chair. Vishesh asked, ‘What is it that you are so concerned about, pal?’

‘It is a bad incident that has taken place in my village. A man, Jara alias Janartha, has created havoc over there. He is a man who doesn’t leave a thing once it catches his sight, no matter what the consequences. He just robbed a family of their wealth after killing them. The saddest thing is that the police haven’t found any evidence against him. He outraged the modesty of several women in and around our village. He has killed many people for wealth. He is too clever to leave any evidence on the crime spot. He is worse than his father was. His father was also a criminal but people used to know about his deeds due to his rash and spontaneous nature. He died in a surprising way by accidentally stepping on a banana peel on the steps on a bank of the lake in the village. His head got severely hit on each step and by the time he completed the steps he was no more. I don’t know what to do. I never felt as helpless as I am now.’

Sandeep said, ‘Ram, the situation seems so because he thinks that he can get away with what he did. How long will he escape? Every dog has its day. He will have a day where he will face the consequences for his deeds.’

‘Adding on to what Sandeep said, we thought that Likith, the by heart expert, would top the exams. We never expected that you would top in the recent exams but you did. Nobody knows what is going to come ahead in life. Concentrate on your studies and spent the remaining time with us having fun. What do you say?’

‘You are right, both of you. I am lucky to have you guys around me.’

‘No, we are the ones who are lucky. I mean nobody understands the class of Harbinder Sir, Biochemistry. We are no match to his level. Our daily discussions with you are the only reasons to get a good result in Biochemistry. We would have been together in the practical classes had your surname started with the letter A, Ram.’

All the three laughed at the same time.

The first year results came out and Likith topped the 1st MBBS exams. Ram emerged as the 2nd topper. Ram’s friends were not satisfied with his result; they wanted him to be the topper. Ram, in a cool mood, said to his best friends, ‘They are going to give the topper a medal and some prize money. It is okay for me to not have it. I am happy that Likith got it. It is okay, my dear friends. Let us celebrate this moment of us passing out with good marks by having a good dinner tonight.’

In the 3rd semester, the clinics have started. Ram got a group of five to twelve members for any subject. He developed a partner in studies, Rachna. They used to discuss the topic of the clinics and the others used to get confused hearing their discussion.

In the Sundays of 4th term, Ram and his best friends went to the nearby places of Delhi like Mathura, Agra.

The results of 2nd MBBS were out and this time Ram is the topper.

In the end of the 6th term, Ram was attending a Community Medicine lecture when he suddenly felt drowsy due to staying up and studying late in the night. The professor and head of department, who was taking the class saw Ram and asked him to stand up. He asked, ‘Why are you sleeping? What were you doing late in the night yesterday?’

Ram was silent. The professor said, ‘I want you come up here and speak about Community Medicine.’

Ram slowly walked up to the podium. He stood there and said, ‘Every subject in Medicine is based more on knowledge but this one is based more on common sense. That is why last ditch stands with the question banks don’t generally work out in this subject. I learnt that this subject is learnt more by observing the community itself. We all know about the number of problems faced by the middle aged people due to their sedentary lifestyle. We know that Metformin works on diabetics and statins work on cholesterol, then why is it that the patients are also told to control diet and do exercise? It is because the problem lies with the lifestyle. There are several examples of controlling diabetes by diet and exercise without taking aid of medication. We also know that there are rumours about the cholesterol that it is pharma-industry driven theory. Then, what is the solution? It is diet, exercise, yoga and other simple things all by themselves from the childhood itself. They seem so simple, but the fact is they are not so. It is not wrong to eat a pizza once in two weeks, but it might be wrong if one chooses to eat it daily. Along with Diet and exercise, relieving stress is also important. So, if diet, exercise and relieving yourself of stress are part of your life, you can live an almost disease free life.’

The professor, who was sitting in the first bench, said, ‘You seemed to have grabbed a holistic view of the subject, but you are advised to sleep early in the night as a precaution. Less of sleep creates more of stress. Can I expect you to sleep a bit early today?’

‘I will try Sir.’ Ram returned after his five minute speech to his place and so did the professor. In the break before the commencement of the clinics, Ram was a food stall where he met Rachna, who said, ‘Let us not be together for a few days. Rumours are going around that we are in a relationship and that you have proposed your love to me a long time back. I know it never happened but seriously, are you interested in me?’

‘I am committed Rachna, and now there’s no turning back now.’

‘What did you just say?’

“Her name is Mythili, my fellow villager and the daughter of my dad’s friend, Janaka and his wife Sunaina. I used to hear about her good deeds but I never got to see her. I saw her by a lake with her friends for the first time. Her deeds and her looks are stuck in my heart by then. I thought of telling her about how I felt after I passed out of this college but before that something unexpected happened when I went home for the vacation after the 3rd semester. My father said, ‘There is a girl. She is a well behaved woman. I want you to take a look at her photograph.’ As I was taking out the photo, my father said, ‘She is the daughter of my friend, Janaka. I am sure that you are going to like her.’ I took out the photograph and saw her for the second time. I then realised how lucky I am to get her without me asking for it. I make a call daily and speak to her and she laughs at my jokes. It is because of her that I am able to withstand any sort of turbulence. We are going to get married after my course of MBBS ends. Now, as you said, let us not be together for a week in the clinics.”

‘Can I see her, Ram?’

Ram showed a pic in his mobile and Rachna said, ‘You two look adorable for each other.’

In the 7th semester, after the semester exams were over, the month long preparatory leave started. Two days later in the evening, Ram received a call from his mother, Kausalya, who said, ‘Son, Mythili and her family are in a big trouble. Jara kidnapped them and surrounded them with his goons. There are ten of their family members excluding Mythili. You know that your father has fallen ill and I am not in a position to do anything. Please do something, son!’

‘Mom, I am coming home. Please don’t worry; I will take care of it.’

Ram started to pack his luggage when his friends got up and asked, ‘Hey Ram what happened?’

‘My fiancé and her family are in trouble. I am going there now. If somebody asks about me, tell them that I went home. If I don’t go there, he will forcibly marry her. This guy is stealing her dad’s hard earned wealth.’

‘Have you planned your journey?’

‘I have booked a flight to Vizag. I can catch a cab from there to my village. I am sure he will not take Mythili out from the village. Where will her family be?’

‘Be careful, pal, don’t get tensed. You could have taken us in for help.’

‘No, I won’t take you guys there because that guy out there is very dangerous. I will let you know when I am done there.’

Ram left the hostel and went to the airport with the hope of seeing her again. He boarded the flight and it departed at 7.25pm. The flight landed at 9.35pm. Ram boarded a taxi and left the airport. Four hours later, Jara was in the outskirts of Ravipalem when he heard the footsteps from behind. He turned around and said, ‘I was expecting you much early. Don’t you love her so much as you did earlier?’

Ram said, ‘Please keep going.’

‘I want you to see me marry her forcibly and loot her of all the wealth her parents have with them. What do you say?’

‘I am taking her away now.’

‘Careful! Her family members are my hostages. If you make one step towards her, I will make them lifeless.’

Ram took steps towards Mythili and said, ‘Don’t you want to know why I came so late? From the airport, I went to Narasimhanagar, where an isolated building exists. I went in and saw some people tied up. I freed them.’

‘Well, those people might be followed by my men. They still aren’t safe. Stop going towards her now or I will give you most bloody gift ever possible.’

‘After they left, I stayed there. Your men came back after having a meal. Some of them felt drowsy while the others got drunk. I took the situation as a chance. Do you want to see how well they are tied up?’

‘You don’t have a weapon, but I do. What are you going to do now?’

‘I tied them up and saw something in the room beside that room.’ Ram put his right hand behind his neck and while pulling out something he said, ‘Is it really necessary to steal my sword, dude?’ He held the sword by his side.

Jara, with a tone of arrogance, said, ‘Hey, I am going to keep doing whatever I am into, nothing is going stop. What are you going to do now, huh?’

Ram gave a grin and said, ‘Do you who placed the banana peel for you dad on that fateful day?’

Jara got angry, took his knife out from the knife sheath on his trousers and charged towards Ram. Ram took his sword and drove it into Jara’s body in the midline. Jara stood still unable to move anymore after which Ram softly said, ‘I didn’t place the peel that day, but I definitely killed you today in my self-defence. I hoped that you would change but all of it is lost now. I hope you have a good time in heaven.’

Ram pulled out the sword and Jara fell down, and died amidst a large pool of blood. He untied Mythili and told her, ‘All your family members are safe. You have no more worries. Our village will be a happier place from now. You will have to stay here for some time while I call the police.’

Half an hour later the police collected the evidence and took Ram away while Mythili was taken away by her parents. In the afternoon, the next day, Ram went home and saw his mother waiting for him. He said, ‘Mom, please don’t worry; I will take care of it.’

A few days later, Ram reached his hostel in Delhi. His friends were anxious about him in their room. Vishesh spoke, ‘Hey, I am glad that you are out of situation. Two days earlier, I was reading the news when I saw your photograph. I saw the word ‘killed’ and I was freaked out. I read the complete news and then I learnt that you killed in self-defence, so there are no case or court proceedings now.’

All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door and they saw Likith standing with a tensed look on his face. He panted for a while and said, ‘Hey Ram, the dean wants to see you ASAP.’

After Ram left the room, Sandeep asked, ‘What did you do to grab his attention?’

‘I went to the library to study; you know that my roommates are a mess. He saw me there and talked to me for a while and then he remembered the headline in the newspaper and told me to inform him of what I told him. Where should I go to study?’

Ram stood by the dean’s door, opened it a little bit and asked, ‘May I come in, Sir?’

‘Yeah, Rama, come in.’

Ram took a seat and sat erect. The dean spoke, ‘You went to your village without informing the warden. I read the news about your killing. You are knowledgeable, but you are also criminal minded. You have decided to kill him; I don’t know why you decided so. You provoked him by your will and then killed him. I don’t care whether your fiancée or her family is in danger, but you shouldn’t have misused the legal knowledge. You may be the king of your village, but you are also about to become a doctor. Don’t you know that?’

‘Sir, he killed many people in my village. You can let an animal wander like that. I am concerned about my people.’

‘I have had enough of your explanation, son. I want a letter from you within two days stating that you will be leaving the studies or else, I will make sure that you will never pass.’

Ram left the room with a heavy heart. He couldn’t speak a word when his friends asked him about what happened. The whole day, he was thoughtless and clueless about what happened.

A few years later, Ram was in his home on a Sunday. He heard a door knock and to his surprise, Rachna and her husband were standing at the door. He welcomed them and made them sit on the sofa in the living room. Rachna spoke, ‘How are you? How are Mythili and your son, Luv? How are your parents? What about the village?’

‘Everybody in this village is fine, including me and my family.’

‘I had no idea what happened at that time. The events were so quick that I couldn’t just figure out. I felt so afraid after reading the news about you that day. I thought of asking you this many times earlier but I could muster enough courage. What happened after that?’

The day after Ram was absolutely clueless, his friends decided to take him out to relieve him of his inner turmoil. Not a word was spoken by his friends as they have promised themselves not to do the same. They came back after dinner and Ram felt much relieved. The next day, Ram went into the dean’s office. The dean asked, ‘What have you decided to do?’

‘Sir, I am sorry to say this, but didn’t you say on our 1st day in the college that we should not keep humanity aside?’

‘Yes, I said but I am sad that you have kept that aside.’

‘No, Sir I didn’t keep it aside. Jara is not an ordinary criminal. There were no evidences to prove him guilty. There will not be any in future. He doesn’t spare anyone who tries to find out the evidence. He kidnapped my fiancé and her family. I wasn’t worried about that and I saved them from his hands. Had you heard what he said, you would have done what I have done.’

‘What did he say?’

‘Hey, I am going to keep doing whatever I am into, nothing is going stop. What are you going to do now, huh? That is what he said, Sir. How can you spare a man, who is so intelligent, persistent and completely anti-social? You leave him on roads and he is going to make way for several dead bodies. Is that right to leave such a person by himself? If you think that you will leave him, just think about it, because one day he will attack you and your family too. At that time there’s no use of crying over spilt milk. If you are not satisfied with my explanation, I will go from here, but please remember this Sir, what you do to others is going to come back to you one day. You will have to face it that day.’

Ram gets up and goes to the door and the dean speaks, ‘Wait! I don’t think you will have to catch that door now. You can catch it later.’

‘That is how I was able to complete MBBS’, said Ram to Rachna in the present. ‘I came back to my village after the degree and married Mythili in a grand marriage. I was happy that you people came for my marriage. My dad has already built a hospital by the time I completed my degree. Since then, I have been running the hospital and taking care of the people in the village, while my father retired and after a year played with my then new-born son. I completed my MD in medicine. Vishesh and Sandeep are surgeons and they are coming here the next week to work here.’

‘Hey Ram, I and my husband are thinking to disappear away from the city. We want to work with you here. I am an obstetrician and my husband is a paediatrician.’

‘Can you come after two days to the hospital to start with? I hope you two enjoy your very long stay in this village.’

AWESOME LIFE

SHORT STORY 2



‘Hello, Sir, you need to come to crime scene immediately. It is a village, Ethakota, near Rajahmundry. I am sending you the location on mobile’, said Bharat to Guru over phone. ACP Guru went from Guntur to Ethakota in about four hours where the crime scene is there. He went into the home and saw two dead bodies. Guru said, ‘They seem to be a middle aged couple. The knife over there seems to be used by the guilty. We should get the fingerprints and start searching.’

In Panaji, a man is seen talking to his girlfriend in a café. He seems to smile but is hiding the fact that he is afraid of something about which he never told her.

Guru went to Hyderabad and received the fingerprint analysis on his table. He reads the report to himself, ‘One fingerprint of the right index stands apart from the other. The print is whorl in pattern. Here is the detailed print and description.’ After looking through the file, he called his subordinate and said, ‘I want you to get the details of any school which has taken the fingerprint of right index finger. Since the other fingerprints seem to be hazy and aren’t reported, we can go with this one. You can start with Andhra Pradesh. Get a match and call me.’

After spending some time with his girlfriend, the man in Panaji came out of the café and went to stroll on a road which is by the beach. All of a sudden he heard a siren and saw a police vehicle half a mile away. He ran towards the beach and stepped into the water and went inward and faced away from the road. He stayed there until the police vehicle went away. He went out and sat on the sand. After a while he felt a hand on his shoulder and shook in fear. He didn’t notice that his girlfriend was behind him. She asked, ‘Akshath, what happened? Why are you so afraid? I have noticed that you are hiding something from me. What is it, honey?’

After she sat beside him, he said, ‘Shruthi, I have killed my parents. They found my fingerprint, a clear one, on the sickle I use every day. It doesn’t end here; I killed many others and the manner of killing is similar to the way I killed my parents. I ran away not knowing what to do. I have nowhere to go now. I am done!’ They spoke to each other for a while and then Shruthi said, ‘I will be there with you no matter what happens but you will have to face what you did there, whether right or wrong.’ Shruthi left after a while and Akshath sat on the sand busy in his own thoughts. In the evening, Akshath went to Mumbai on a train. After he went to beach in the sunset time wearing black shirt and black trouser, he started wrapping his face in black cloth except for the eyes. He wore glasses on his face to cover his eyes. After a while, the man in black made a call and said, ‘Get ready, I want to see what is going on over there within an hour.’

After half an hour, the man in black went into the sea on a rider by himself and got onto a ship. The men on the ship came near him and said, ‘Welcome, Sir. Where would you like to go?’

The man in black said, ‘I want to go where the computers are there, on my own. All of you stay up here.’

He went to the room where the computers are there. He observed the room for a while and then he typed something and pressed enter. All of a sudden, he stumbled as the floor below him got inclined by an angle. He was breathing heavily and could hear water gushing into the ship. He came out of the room and saw a glass window nearby along with an axe. He broke the window and jumped into the sea. He swam till he got to the rider and left by it, as the sink sunk behind. He reached the shore and uncovered his face. Akshath then went away from the boat leaving behind the rider on the shore.

Guru got a phone call from his subordinate, who said, ‘Sir, we have a match. It is Akshath from Ethakota, from the same address that we visited earlier.’

‘Son has killed his parents in anger. He is the one who is guilty. Give me details. Where is the fingerprint file?’

‘It is with the commissioner, Sir.’

In Panaji, Shruthi was strolling on a quiet road and lonely in the morning. All of a sudden, the man in blank came in front of her, took his silenced gun and shot her. She fell down and the man in black left the place.

In Hyderabad, Guru went to the commissioner office. The commissioner welcomed him and said, ‘I need to talk to you about that case. The fingerprint is not one but many, of the same person. You concentrated just on one fingerprint and left the others. I didn’t expect this from you, Guru.’ Guru replied, ‘Sir, all the others were hazy, that is why I did so.’ The commissioner angrily said, ‘Is it? Then how is it that I got the remaining fingerprints done?’ The commissioner calmed down and said, ‘I know that you are good at your job but it is time you leave this case here. I want to close the case. Just think about it and let me know.’

Guru left to his home and slept through the night while his phone kept vibrating every fifteen minutes with no sound. In the early morning, he woke up and after a while checked his mobile and saw when the last message in his inbox said, ‘Your account balance is zero.’ He was shocked and quickly got ready in shirt and trouser when he got an anonymous call. The caller on the mobile phone said, ‘I have taken a lot from you. Meet me in Mumbai at the location I sent you just now. Your time is ticking.’

As fast as could, Guru said, ‘Hello?’ It was too late by then because all he heard was beep of disengagement. He took his car and went to Mumbai to an empty house. In the house, he saw the man in black waiting for him, who said, ‘I am sorry that you lost all your money from the other account. How will you manage without money?’

Guru and the man in black engage in a first. Guru seems to be on the winning edge and makes his opponent fall on the ground with few minor bruises. The cloth on the face gets loose and the man in black said, ‘I don’t think I need this anymore to cover me, do you need it? I guess not. He uncovers his face and Guru sees Akshath.’

‘You are the son of the middle aged couple isn’t it? Do you have to do this?’

‘Well, what could I do? I am a villager and aspired to become a police officer but failed to become one. One man in the department came to me said that if I could catch the culprit behind many murders, he could get me a job. I tried for the evidence and I got it and found the identity of the murder. I don’t know why I kept the evidence at my home, but that’s the mistake I did. I lost my parents to the murderer and then I saw the sickle I used daily with blood. I ran away because I understood that I was being framed for someone else’s misdeeds. He made a call to his ship. I went to his ship, he came to know about it and he sunk it. He didn’t think that I would get access to his money using the portable hard disk I found in the ship. He then went to my girlfriend and almost killed her. Can we leave such a cruel person?’

‘No, we shouldn’t leave him.’

‘I have good news for you. I have him under my custody now. I will tell you about his future. He won’t be able to hold something in his hands or do some activity with them. He won’t be able to walk. I brought a wheelchair for him. On the top of all of this, he won’t be able to say a word from now. He can see, hear taste, smell and feel tactile sensations and all the emotions but he cannot express them by words. I have got a group of anonymous surgeons for him. The law won’t punish him, but I will. He doesn’t have to be defamed for a wrongdoing because he too has a family. I almost forgot to reveal the identity of the murderer. He is in this very room listening to me right now.’

Guru got angry and ran towards Akshath who bends and pulls Guru’s leg. Guru falls down on his back. Akshath, with all the strength he can pin on, lift his leg and stamps on Guru’s neck. After a while, Guru is unable to speak due to the damage to his voice box as the masked surgeons take him to a clean table. Akshath leaves the building.

After an hour, the commissioner of Hyderabad goes to his office and saw that Guru has been in a same place in Mumbai for more than an hour with the GPS tracker in his shoes, which is unknown to Guru. He contacts the commissioner of Mumbai. A battalion of police rushes to the said location and finds Guru, breathing and unconscious, with his upper and lower limbs partially amputated and bandage tied. They found a letter beside him. One of them read out, ‘I am sorry to say this but ACP Guru lost control over his vehicle and rammed into this building. I found him with all his limbs crushed distally and therefore I had to amputate them. I am a quack doctor. Wish him good luck from my side.’ Guru woke up but didn’t get up. One of the members in the battalion went to him and asked, ‘How are you, Sir?’ Guru couldn’t say anything and tears came out from his eyes.

Akshath went to a hospital in Panaji and sat by a bed where Shruthi was lying in coma for many days. He was tearfully looking at her but he was also tired. He took her hand in his hands, held them and closed his eyes. After a while he heard a feeble voice ask, ‘Will you take me to your village after I get well?’ He opened his eyes and saw Shruthi conscious. He called the doctor and after an hour, Shruthi was sitting on the bed. Akshath came by her and asked, ‘Shall we live together in the village for eternity?’

Shruthi nodded and they embraced each other.

GUILTY

SHORT STORY 3

Day 4

‘I hear voices’, said Vicky in response to the question asked by Dr. Yaswanth.

‘From when are you hearing them’?

‘Since three days, every night’.

‘You mean to say you don’t hear them in the day time’?

‘Yes’.

‘Do you ingest or inject any substance’?

‘No’.

‘What, not even alcohol or tobacco’?

‘No’.

‘Are you sure’?

‘Yeah’.

‘Is there anyone in your family who is subject to some sort of mental illnesses’?

‘No’.

‘Could you describe ‘what happened to you’?

Day 1

‘I, Rahul and Arun decided to move into a flat as the hostel we stayed in was not comfortable. We vacated the hostel and moved into the flat which is in the first floor. Arun and Rahul were due to attend a conference in Mumbai for which they left on the first day. I was in the office the whole day and I returned home at 2030 hrs. I took a bath, ate my dinner and watched movies in my laptop up to 2300 hrs. After I slept, I was in a state where I could hear someone speaking. I thought I was dreaming.

“Who are you”?

‘I am Vicky’.

“What do you do”?

‘I am a software engineer in cognizant’.

“Why have you come here”?

‘I and my friends used to stay in a hostel which was not comfortable, hence we moved here’.

“You might be feeling comfortable here but I am not. I want you and your baggage out of my house”.

‘I woke up as fast as an arrow hits a target. I looked hither and tither took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I thought it as a dream and lied on my bed’.

‘No sooner did I close my eyes than I heard a loud voice as if coming from a speaker just beside my ears’, “Get out of this place now”.

‘I was spellbound. I could not move either a finger or a toe. I opened my eyes widely and could feel my heart thumping. I tried to look to the periphery of my vision and could not see anything or anyone. I got up slowly and touched my forehead. My hand got as wet as if it were dipped in a bowl of water. I looked at my watch and looked at it. The minute and the hour hand glowed at 0400 hrs. I could not sleep anymore that night because whenever I made an attempt, the memory of the loud voice used to ring inside my head. I got up at 0600hrs, got ready and went to my office’.

Day 5

Vicky felt a tap on his chest accompanied by a voice, ‘Vicky, wake up’. He woke only to find out that it was Arun, with Rahul standing beside him.

Rahul asked with an apprehensive voice, ‘Vicky, what happened to you? When did you come here’?

‘I don’t know. I think I am hallucinating. I came here yesterday’.

‘Did they start you on any medication’?

‘Yes’.

‘How are you now’?

‘I am too sedated to hallucinate’.

‘What exactly happened’?

‘A loud voice asked me to get out of the house’.

Day 2

‘I completed my work early in the office, which gave me some time to make up for the lost slumber and came home as usual. I lied on my bed after having dinner. After time went by, I slipped into deep sleep. In the middle of the night, I woke up and sat on my bed, wondering what woke me up. I heard footsteps in the hall as if it were the answer to my question. I got anxious and got up from my bed and headed towards the door. As soon as I touched the handle of the door, the footsteps stopped. I left the handle and waited. Except for my own breath, there was utter silence. After standing for some time, I got tired and returned to my bed. As I closed my eyes, I heard them again. I got up and went into the hall. The footsteps stopped again. As I stood still, I heard a sound of steel glass rotating on the floor. I extended my hands in the dark, looking for switches. The sound of the glass stopped instantly as I switched on the light. To my horror, I didn’t find any glass on the floor. I was sweating when I heard a steel plate fall in the kitchen. I did not dare to go in the kitchen and returned to my bed, trying to sleep but failed to do so. I checked the time on my watch. It glowed at 0500 hrs. I went to my office after the day had begun’.

Day 6

‘Hello Vicky’, said Dr. Yaswanth, to Vicky, who is lying on his bed comfortably.

‘Good Morning, Sir’.

‘How are you right now’?

‘I am fine’.

‘Do you hear any voices’?

‘No’.

‘What about footsteps’?

‘No’.

‘Good. On the day of your admission, we could only talk till the day you heard the footsteps since I was busy. Did anything happen on the day after that’?

Day 3

‘I came from my workplace, took a bath, had my dinner, watched some movies, and lied on my bed after switching off the light. I woke up to a loud banging on the door of my house. The banging was cyclic, with an interval of three seconds followed by four bangs in a second which were in turn followed by the same interval. I put my feet down on the floor and took my steps towards the entrance door. The never ending banging caused a shiver through me as I walked through the darkness. As I touched the door and opened it, the banging stopped and to my shock, there was no one. I shivered with fear and immediately closed the door. I could not think much due to the state which I was in. After taking a deep breath, I lied on my bed and closed my eyes. My heart slowed down as the sweat on my body dried up. I heard it another time which made me run to the door and open it. There wasn’t anyone but I saw something which had given me a big shock. There was muddy footprint mixed with blood. It was so ghastly to look that my head started feeling lighter. I some closed the door and bolted it by feeling for it with my hands. When I woke the next morning adjacent to the entrance door, it made me realise that I had fainted’.

Day 7

‘How are you, Vicky’?

‘I am fine’, replied Vicky, to Arun.

‘Let us hope that you will get discharged soon’, said Rahul.

‘Hello Vicky. It’s good to see your friends with you’.

Arun and Rahul turned around to see Dr. Yaswanth coming towards them. ‘How are you?’

‘I am fine, Sir’.

‘Do you hear them now’?

‘No’.

‘Is there anything else that you would like to say’?

Vicky denied.

‘In that case, you are free to go now’.

The Trio left the hospital by Arun’s car. They reached the apartment where they stayed. Arun parked the car in the cellar.

‘Vicky, we have got an important thing to say’.

‘What is it’?

‘You said that you heard voices, footsteps and bangs on the door. We heard the voices too. Apart from that there is this unusual feeling of coldness, along with a feeling of being watched by someone. I and Rahul felt weird while we were in the house’.

‘The problem is in the house, not in me then, isn’t it’?

‘Precisely’.

‘What’s up next then’?

‘I know someone who can get rid of spirits. He is a priest in a temple. I have already spoken to him. He’ll come tomorrow. We are not staying here tonight’.

‘This seems good enough. Where are we going’?

‘We are going to Pramod’s house’.

Day 8

‘Is this the house you were telling about’?

‘Yes, Sir’, responded Arun to the priest.

‘Are you ready with bricks, sticks and a match box’?

‘Yes’.

‘Now come here and arrange these bricks as three along the length and two along the breadth of a quadrangle’.

‘Sure’.

‘Now switch the length and breadth in the second layer’.

‘Yes’.

‘Repeat the first layer in the third layer’.

‘Sure’.

‘Bring those sticks and place them in the gap’.

‘Yes’.

‘Give me the match box. I want three of you to sit along the remaining sides of this quadrangle’.

The trio took their places. The priest attempted to light a match stick but failed to do so. He took a second stick to try again but of no avail. Third stick followed the other two.

‘The spirit in here is interfering with the ritual. Can I have a long stick and a piece of cloth’?

‘Yes. Here’.

‘Wrap the cloth around an end of the stick and give it to me’. The priest went out of the house and lit the stick. As he came in with the stick, the fire disappeared.

‘I cannot help you. This spirit is very powerful. I can only advise you to look for another house. You need not pay me for this’. The priest left the house. The trio came out of the house, locked it and took the stairs.

‘Arun, what should we do’?

‘I don’t know. We cannot find a new house instantly’.

The trio reached the ground floor and sat over the steps, wondering what to do. A man, in his early thirties came towards the stairs and stopped near the trio. He asked, ‘Are you the tenants of flat number 208’?

‘Yes’, responded the three in unison.

‘Did you start hearing voices’?

‘Yes. How do you know this? Who are you?’

‘My name is Srikanth. I was the previous tenant of the flat. I started hearing voices three months after I moved in. The spirit used to trouble me by shouting out loud, throwing utensils on the floor and banging the door in middle of the night. I got vexed and tried to talk to him. After a several failed attempts via Ouija board, he finally spoke. His name is Marut Ghosh. He is waiting for his friend. Upon further questioning, he told that he doesn’t remember why he is waiting for his friend’.

‘You are lucky for at least three months’, said Arun. ‘In our case, he started disturbing us from the first day. He is strong enough to avoid any ritual take place in the house’.

‘There is one more thing I need to tell you. In the first three months, I found an etching on a wall of the hall which was an address. Upon asking the owner, he said that his father used to own this house before him and he wrote this on the wall when he once got possessed by a spirit. The address is 11-7-4, KP, Pune’.

‘Are they one or two’?

‘I don’t know. This is all I know. The only thing I can say to help you is to find out whether the address is related to the spirit’.

‘Thank you very much’.

‘I’ll leave’. Srikanth left the place.

‘What should we do, my dear friends’? ‘Shall we give up or end this’?

‘Let us make an attempt before giving up’, said Vicky.

‘We are not going to the office for a week then. Is it ok for both of you?’

‘Yes’.

‘We have to go the house to find out a solution’. The trio left in Arun’s car to the addressed house.

A man, in his late twenties, opened the door. He looked at the trio and asked, ‘May I know who you are’?

‘Are you in any way related to Marut Ghosh’?

‘Please come in. My father used to tell me about him while he was alive. He was a local goon over here twenty years ago and was sentenced to imprisonment. He used to write to my father from the jail asking about his family and about my father’s job at work place. Two years later we read a news article about his death and another goons’ death. It was concluded that they might have killed each other. Could you wait for two days over here? I need to call someone here right now’.

‘We will wait. Who is it that you have to bring here?’

‘I’ll let you know once she comes here. By the way, my name is Vineeth Khanna’.

Day 10

‘When is she coming’?

‘She took a train that has to reach by 2345 hrs but the train has a current delay of 1 hr’, said Vineeth, to Arun.

‘We still have three hours then’.

After three hours, all the four people left in Arun’s car to the railway station. Vineeth went into a station and returned after quarter an hour with a woman who is in her late twenties.

‘Vineeth, why did you say that your wife, Anupama, is very crucial in today’s late night adventure’?

‘Rahul, it is because she is the daughter of Marut Ghosh’.

‘What the hell is happening over here’?

‘Anu, you need not worry. Nothing is ever going to happen to anyone of us because you are one of us in today’s adventure. They need to know why your father is in their house’.

‘Vineeth, you know very well that my father did not die in a house. How is this possible?’

‘We don’t know but we will find out. It will take an hour or two to get to their house’.

All the five people reached the house the trio lived in and sat on the floor of the hall. Each one of them could experience unusual coldness in the house.

‘Anupama, please call your father’, said Arun.

‘Will he come if I call him directly? Should we not use the Ouija board?’

‘Spirits are always willing to directly speak to people close to them. In case this doesn’t work out as expected, we will use the board’.

‘Dad, are you there’?

There was no response.

‘Dad, please say something. How did you come here? Why are you here?’

A sound of steel glass falling on the floor was heard by all the five. ‘He is here’, said Arun.

“I got released from the jail two years after I was sent in. As soon as I came out, I had a fight with another goon over a land. I killed him, but I was mortally wounded. As I slipped into unconsciousness, a man took me to a hospital to save me. Sadly, his effort was not rewarded. After my death I got stuck on him and came here”.

‘Why are you here, dad’?

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Wait! I know why I am here. I was waiting for you. Your mom died after I was imprisoned. I thought of meeting you as soon as I got released, but I ended up getting killed. I only wanted to ensure that you are in safe hands”.

‘I was, dad, and I am. After mom died, Vineeth’s father took care of me. I and Vineeth fell in love later and got married with his father’s blessings when he was alive’.

“My time has come. I have to go”.

Anupama’s eyes moistened and tears fell from her eyes. ‘Goodbye dad’.

Marut’s silhouette brightened and condensed till it became a ball of light. The ball went out of the house. Vineeth and Anupama left after a while. Arun, Rahul and Vicky no longer felt cold. They went to the terrace and stood there, smiling at each other, as the sun rose where the sky blushed.

The HAUNTING



SHORT STORY 4

Chapter 1

Vinayak asked, ‘Karthik, what is it?’
‘My dad is suffering from tuberculosis. He is not cured from it completely even after rigorous treatment course. He is not able to work in the fields. My mom looks after him every day. I don’t have money to pay fees for my 11
th grade. What should I do?’
‘You don’t have to worry about the fees. We will ask for extra time of three months. Get your father treated as fast as possible. We’ll see about the money later’.
‘That sounds good enough’.
‘Let’s play catches with this rubber ball. We are in the ground of our school. Let’s use it’.
‘I don’t feel like playing’.
‘Karthik, you know very well you are going through a tough time. Time will pass by and you will get a solution. If need be, I’ll help you. Please be patient’.
‘Yes. I will remember what you have just said. I will not play catches but we will just have a run around the ground of our school’.
‘It is good seeing you say that. Let’s start off’.
They ran around the ground for ten minutes. The ground belongs to ZP high school, the school in which they are studying. They left to their respective homes.

‘Karthik, do you think it is right to go to school?’
‘Mom, I will go to school. I will ask the principal for some time.’
‘What about your father? He is bedridden the whole day.’
‘I don’t know mom but we will definitely find out a solution. Please don’t worry about that. Is there anything else you have to say?’
‘Nothing else’, said Bala. She smiled looking at her son. Karthik smiled in return.

Chapter 2

Vinayak and Karthik met in the ground the next day.
‘What should I do to get books pertaining to 11
th standard?’
‘I have an idea. I will buy all the required books and we will share them until you buy your set of books. Is this okay for you?’
‘Perfect’.
‘Let us go to my house’, said Vinayak.
The duo went to Vinayak’s house. It is a two storied building which has a shop on the ground floor and a flat on the first floor.
‘What is this shop’?
‘This is my dad’s shop. I told you that dad is a tailor. Do you remember?’
‘Oh! Yes. I got it’.
‘Let’s get on the stairs’.
They climbed up to the flat.
‘This is my home, sweet home. Wait for a second’. ‘Dad open the door, please’, said Vinayak as he knocked the door.
The door was opened by a man in his early forties. He asked, ‘Why did you come so late’?
‘Dad, you started to drink again. How many times do I have to tell you that it is not good for your health?’
‘Please son, one last peg’.
‘No more. It is enough. Just stop it’.
‘Fine. I will go to sleep’. Neelakanta went to his room and slept.
‘You ask me about my problems. You never told me about yours. Why?’
‘You were already in trouble. I didn’t want to add to that’.
‘Don’t hesitate to tell me, ever again’.
Karthik and Vinayak sat on a bed and started playing a game and laughed at each other’s mistakes.

Chapter 3

Mom, its getting late. I’ll come home for lunch’, said Karthik.
‘Just wait for a minute or two, I have almost finished preparing your lunch’.
Karthik sat on a chair along the dining table.
‘Take your lunch box and put it in your bag. Have a nice time in school, dear’, said Bala.
‘I will, mom’. Karthik left for school by walking on the road.
‘Hello Vinayak. Looks like you have so many books’.
‘I am dying to carry this dam bag’.
‘Which is the book that I have to take home today?’
‘Physics. Read a chapter or two. Give it to me after two days.’
‘Sure. Oh! Boy. Here comes the teacher.’
‘Good Morning my dear students. My name is Sundar Thakur. I will be taking chemistry for you. Shall we start?’
‘Yes, Sir’, said the whole class in unison.
‘Who can rattle out the elements from atomic number 1 to 30 for me? The guy in the last bench who is busy talking with his friend will answer me. What is your name?’
‘My name is Shekhar, Sir. I know only up to Neon.’
‘Okay. The guy behind Shekhar will answer. What is your name?’
‘My name is Karthik. Atomic number 1 to 30 are as follows, Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Phosphorous, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon, Potassium, Calcium, Scandium, Titanium, Vanadium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Zinc’.
‘Great. One more question for you. Electronic configuration of Copper.’
‘1s
2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1 3d10.’
‘You deserve a treat. Excellent!’

Chapter 4

‘Karthik where did you go’?
‘I have gone to meet the principal. He asked me about the payment of the fees. I have asked him for 3 months time. He told me that since a month is already over, he is giving only 2 months more.’
‘Let’s leave to my house’. Karthik and Vinayak went to Vinayak’s house. ‘Dad, open the door, please’. Neelakanta opened the door and fell on the floor. ‘Karthik, please help me’. The duo carried him to the bedroom, came out and sat in the living room. ‘My dad is drunk again. We are in trouble now.’
‘What happened’?
‘Two weeks ago, a guy gave an order of 2 suits. He had asked it within a week. He had completed stitching only 1 suit. He was very angry when he came the last time. He told that if my dad wouldn’t complete it, he would barge a complaint against my dad.’
‘Why would he barge a complaint? He can go to another shop.’
‘The thing is my dad has taken the whole amount in advance. It’s all used up now. I have no idea how to proceed with this thing.’
‘I’ll stitch it. I have learnt it when I went to my cousin’s house. His mother was a tailor.’
‘Let’s open the shop then.’
They went down the stairs to the shop. To the right from the door is a sewing machine. Vinayak uncovered the machine. ‘Here are the measurements and this is the cloth.’
‘This blue cloth is very soft yet firm. This will make for a good suit.’ Karthik sat in front of the machine on a chair and started sewing. He stitched the arms of the suit, followed by the trunk and then the collar. He completed the work within 2 hours. Coincidentally, they heard a knock on the door.
‘It’s definitely that guy. Give me the suit’. Vinayak held the suit, folded it and kept it in a bag. He opened the door and a young man with short hair and shaven beard came in. ‘Where is the suit?’
‘Here it is’. Vinayak handed over the bag to him. ‘Please check it’. The man opened the cover, took out the suit and kept it back in the cover. He said, ‘Thank you’, and left.

Chapter 5

‘Karthik, get up. Your dad is having a stomach ache.’ Karthik went into the room where his father was lying.
‘Mom, give the keys of dad’s cycle. I will get a doctor here.’
‘Son, it’s 6 in the morning. How will you find a doctor?’
‘Mom, there are many clinics half a kilometre from here. I will find out someone.’
Bala gave the keys to Karthik and he rode on the silent road with vehicles passing by intermittently. He passed by a closed clinic, only to find door of another clinic partially open and went into it. He saw a middle aged man wearing a coat and a stethoscope around his neck turning around in response to him opening the door. ‘My clinic opens at 9. Please go back now.’
‘Sir, please help me. My dad is having a stomach ache and loose motions in the morning.’
‘I will help you. Please take me to your house.’ The doctor sat on the carrier of the cycle and Karthik rode back to his home. They went into the room where Chandu was lying. The doctor asked, ‘What is your name?’
‘My name is Chandu. I am having stomach ache and loose motions.’
‘Where is the ache exactly?’
‘It is in the centre over here’, said Chandu placing his hand on his tummy to show the doctor.
‘What is the colour of the motion and how thick is it?’
‘It is light yellow in colour and thin.’
‘I am giving you three ORS packets. Use 1 packet per day in a litre of water. I’ll take leave’. The doctor left the house after charging an amount of fifty rupees.
‘Karthik, let me stay with your dad. You should go and attend the school.’
‘Why would I go? I’ll stay until he gets better.’
‘Son, do what you mom told. Go to school. I’ll be fine.’
Karthik nodded and left his father’s room to get ready for school. ‘I hope he gets better’, thought Karthik as he left his house.

Chapter 6

‘Where were you? You missed a class.’
‘My dad is suffering from diarrhoea. I brought a doctor home who treated him.’
‘There is not much that was covered in the previous class.’
‘Everything happens for our own good.’
‘Good morning, Students.’
‘Good morning, Sir’, said the students in unison.
‘Today, we are going to learn about iron in d-block. Is everyone ready?’
‘Sir’, said a young man who is the attendant in the school. ‘The principal wants to see Karthik in his room.’
‘Karthik, please go with him.’ Karthik followed the attendant to the principal.
‘Did you pay the fees?’
‘Sir, I need some more time.’
‘You have only one month left. I called you to remind that. You may leave.’
Karthik left for the classes, attended them and went with Vinayak to his house.
‘What is this now? He left the door open. Let’s go and check him and if anything in the house is stolen.’
The duo checked the whole house. ‘I thank god for protecting my house. Dad, please wake up.’
Neelakanta was fast asleep and did not respond to his son’s plea.
‘Dad, wake up.’ Neelakanta opened his eyes slowly.
‘Why did you drink again? I have told you many times that it is not good for your health. You have not only drunk, but also left the door open. What if anybody had done something to you? Please don’t do this dad. I can’t live without you.’ Vinayak started weeping. Neelakanta hugged his son and said, ‘Son, this is my weakness. I don’t know how to come out of it but, I will try for you. I am out of this habit from now.’
Vinayak and his father smiled at each other.


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