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Dada had been avoiding transfer for about eight years by various manipulations like medical certificate of illness, recommendation of eminent persons etc. But why did the same Dada suddenly make frantic efforts for transfer ! No body could under stand.

Submitted: November 12, 2013

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Submitted: November 12, 2013




Dada had been avoiding transfer for about eight years by various manipulations like medical certificate of illness, recommendation of eminent persons etc. But why did the same Dada suddenly make frantic efforts for transfer ! No body could under stand.

He was Dada Damley for all of  us in our Bank. Damodar Dadaji Damley- that was his full name, Dada Damley in short. His very close friends called him simply “Dada”. Coming to know that Dada was asking  for a transfer, all enmasse confronted him : “Dada, you will go leaving all of us ?”

“Do not think that way in your dreams even .”

“Then why are you trying for transfer ?”

Dada only smiled...... but did not say anything. Because he could  not  have disclosed the reason. He only wanted a transfer.

Transfer will materialise – there was no doubt about it. He was manipulating to cancel orders of transfer so long. Now that he wants transfer, he must be transferred. So he had started spreading this.

His wife asked” Childens’ examinations are drawing near, what does his transfer at this time mean ?”

“What do you know about service matters ? I have no control onthat.”

“How could you manage  so  far ?”

“There was no difficulty, because I used to refuse my promotions and  so transfer orders were being cancelled”

“Then, refuse promotion this time also”.

 “No, with rising prices, it would not be possible to manage the household expenses”.

“I will do as  you say; we will act down expenses, but pray stop this transfer”.

“But why ?”

“What about education of the children ?”

“Thousands are being transferred- if they can manage, why can’t we ? ”

The helpless lady remained silent. She could not understand how her husband got transformed. In a way, she too had no interest to live in that house any longer, because it was tiresome  for her to bring water from the ground to the third floor house daily.

Due to low pressure, water does not come upto the third floor level. Tenants complained ; so the land-lord provided separate lines – one for every two families. Flow of water was satisfactory for  a few days. Then the ....... neighbour Ganpuley called a plumber and did some mischief: so there was plenty of water  in his house; but in Dada’s house, only drops & trickles.

But for the past few months flow of water to Damley’s house was profuse; no body could know why ! So Damley’s wife had no reason to want to leave the house. Then why this transfer !! Her husband was silent about it.

How would Dada speak it out also ! He knew pretty well that none would believe, evenif he spoke on oath. It was a true incident, that occurred four months ago.

The second cashier in the Bank took leave. So Dada had to take up both works -receipt and payment. He was troubled a lot due to this dual–role. He is an easy –going man-hates hastiness in work. So his collegue cashier used to tell “He is son-in-law of the Bank”.

That day, Dada was a bit confused, while totalling up the transactions of the day. Therefore two other employees had to wait for Dada. A slight error in entry had caused two hours  delay for all the three. At last work as completed, all three went to a hotel to soothe their mental exertion. Dada’s pocket got lightened, because delay occurred due to his fault  but, he gladly paid the Bill.

It was 11.00PM. when he returned home. An eerie ...... stillness pervaded all around. Dada ascendedthe stairs: hardly had he crossed two steps he heard some one calling, soo............ soo... “Dada turned around and looked... there was none. He crossed two more steps; there was the same  soo..... soo”  call. Dada again looked back.... there was none. When the same call was heard for the third time... little later, Dada said “My name is Damodar Damley... call me by this name.... ” or simply Dada will do,. Telling this, he reached the first floor. When he was about to climb on to the 2nd floor steps, he heard :

“Dada Damely, just wait a bit”

Dada stopped. But no one  was visible. Dada made a full turn around where he had stood.

“I am standing at a distance of only three feet from you”

“Then why can’t I see you ?”

“I am not visible to anyone”

Dada was a little frightened : he clutched the staircase railing ...his legs  began to tremble .... his tongue parched

Again, the same voice. “It is natural to be afraid, and human beings are scared of ghosts. But I would not harm you. Have I so far ?”

Dada liked this, still he said nervously, who are you ?

“I am Janardan Ekbotey”.

“Where is your house ?”


“What do you mean ?”

“I was living in the same House No.15 where you are now staying”

Dada was amused a little. He asked, when ?

“Eleven years ago”

“Why did you leave the place ?”

“Due to my transfer from Bombay. I went in the Truck carrying my household goods, the truck met with an accident, and I died. My family members survived, because they were going by train”

“Oh, my god !”

“There was lot of weeping & walting in my house. My wife was crying loudly and beating her head against the walls. I was  observing everything from the terrace where I  sat, but I could not do anything. My eldest son sat in sadness, awaiting my dead body”.

“That means ?”

“Dealth in accident .... so post mortem.... coroner etc... I was  witnessing. when they were ripping, slicing my mortal body for that...”

Dada shivered. The ghost continued.

“Leave these things. Eleven years have passed. My son has grown up.. married ,has a son also. He is keeping my wife in full care and comfort. So I have no anxieties.

The ghost stopped. Dada was sad. Then the ghost said, “I have a little work with you, will you do”

“I !!Shall do your work !!”


Dada took it as a joke, and said “well speak”.

“After 11 years I have again come to Bombay on transfer”

“Transfer............ means ?”

“We also have to take up service........ or at least do some business. I have been transferred as per rules of ghost-land. I have come here since two days. I have travelled from this end to that.... but no suitable place to live. Therefore I came here, and was waiting for you. I was staying in this house. So I have an attachment for it I came,  observed your family life.... I liked all of them. So I intend to stay in your house. Can I ?”

Dada could not understand anything....... stood silent where he was.The ghost said swiftly.

“We will not create any trouble for you”.

“We, means ?”

“Means, if you accede to my  request, I will bring alone my family”.

“Family !”

“Yes, myself, my wife and thirty eight children”.

“Thirty eight children !!”

“Twenty five died”.

“Died !! Means ?”

“They got  rebirth”

“Will there be enough space for so many ?”

“Two thousand five hundred ghosts can be accommodated comfortably in the vault in your house”.

Dada’s head reeled. He said, I am tired. Let’s go home and talk there. Two more floors have to be climbed.

“Stay here. Your wife is waiting for you at the threshold- Take care that no one knows what we talked here. If you refuse I will not be angry, and shall go back. But once you say, yes’ you will not ask us to leave”.

“If you had come to stay without telling, could I have known at all ?”

“One’s culture remains as it was, even after death. During the time when I was alive, I have never done anything surreptitiously: whatever I have done, I have done with permission. As it is, lakhs of ghosts stay unauthorisedly in lakhs of houses But I sought for your permission. If you refuse, tell me now. We will out create any problems fro you. Rather, we will be of much help at your times of need”.

“How will you help?”

“Shut your eyes”.

Dada was scared.

“If you are frightened, I will not come to your house”.

“Wait ..... I am closing my eyes”. Dada closed his eyes.

The ghost said,  in an instant, “Now open your eyes”.

Dada opened his eyes.

 “How did you feel ?”

About what?

“You have reached your home”

“What do you say ?”

“Look, your wife is standing at the door steps”.

Dada was amazed greatly.

“If you feel tired at any time, tell me”.

“You will kiss me ?”

“Kill you ?” what do you mean ?

“If you tell something like thisto everybody, then half the people in this building would die of heart failure”.

“Okay. This is between us only. It will do. I will come”.

“Come, Dada said”.


Dada’s wife vigorously shook him off his sound sleep, and said,’ come inside.’

Dada was sleeping in the balcony. He was perplexed, and came inside. He saw water is gushing and of the taps. Such a  miracle never occurred in the past three years.

Both filled their pitchers, like drums, jars, brass pails with water. Dada merrily came out and sat on the quilt. He heard a laughter close to his ears;  ‘ water problem is over?’The voice asked.

“Er. ...........yes... yes. Water available at home after three long years. But how did it come about ?”

“I sat over Ganpulley’s water tap”.

Dada’s mouth was shut.

A man like Ganpuley was not to remain guiet. In the evening. he called the  plumber again and opened the pipelines... broke the walls to inspect... but no defects were noticed.

The same thing happened the next day. Dada came out after filling up all his pitches & receptacles  with water.

“Everything alright ?”

“Yes, okay. But you are having to sit on the tap everyday. It must be trouble some for you”.

“No, I have no problems”.

“How is it possible ?”

“I have asked five of my 38 children to sit on Ganpulley’s taps”.

“By this, Ganpuley with not get any water at all”.

“For how many years, you carried water from the ground ?”

“Three years”.

“Let Ganpuly do that for three years. My children would have grown up by then; the tap would not be sufficient for them to perch on”.

“Ekbotey, you are doing a lot for me”.

“I also have some self –interest in that”

“What interest ?”

“This Ganpuley had also given me similar troubles. I could not do anything then. My nature is like yours”.

Dada’s wife came, shouting. The conversation was stopped. When there was no water on the  third day also, incensed Ganpuley. hammered  the doors of Damley.

“Damley, what did you do the pipe, my “saala” (wife’s brother), why water so suddenly stopped coming to my pipe ?”

“I do not know”

“I will throw you from the balcony along with your quilt”.

“Touch the quilt and I will also see you”.

Ganpuley shrienked by Dada’s counter threat. Stamping his foot on the floor, he retreated into his house.

Dada’s wife could not believe that he would speak like this; normally he used to shut the door and keep inside on seeing Ganpuley. How could this be today !!

Ganpuley was shouting from inside his house. “ungrateful wretch. Gathering fat on body ... resorting to black art. wait , rascal........ if I do not call a sorcerer tomorrow.....

Hearing that, Dada got up, stood at Ganpuley’s door, and shouted back, “you effiminate Ganpuley.... why are you barking hiding behind your wife’s pallu..... come  out if your have the guts...”

In the meantime, there was a gathering, but consensus  was in Dada’s favour. So helpless Ganpuley was silenced.

During lunch time in the noon, Dada heard the laughter from behind his back.

“Who............ Ekbotey ?”

“Yes, you showed a lot of firmness in the morning”

“Because, I had your backing”.

“I never know that this Ganpuley was so timie. He was giving troubles to me like this......... I was helplessly tolerating that. He is cowed down by  shouting, I never knew. then .

“Did I also know it earlier ?”

“If he had attempted any mischief today, I was in full readiness with my army.”

“What would you have done ?”

“ My children were sitting behind each containers on the wooen plank in his kitchen ...three were under the dining table. My wife sat on the  steel almirah.... in the  drawing room....”

“My goodness! What would have happened themn?”

“Had he touched you, all the containers would have been flung off the wooden plank.... dining table would have been carried to  drawing room... godrej almirah would have been taken to the kitchen..........”

“Ekbutey, I entreat you..... do not do any such thing,  everybody would say that I am resorting to necromancy, and take Ganpuley’s side. I would, then have to vacate the house”.

“Dada.......... do not worry; I will not smear your good name. But rest assured that I am always with you”. That night, Dada’s wife told him, “Do not sleep in the balcony”.


“I do not trust that Ganpuley. If he does something after you are asleep...........”

“What would he do ?”

“But why don’t you sleep inside ?”

“Why .... afraid of that ape ?”

“Tell me what has come upon you ? Has any one cast some spell on you?...... or you have been bestowed with some divine boon ?”

“why ?”

“Your style of speaking has changedyour language too.....”


“Do you remember, once we went to an opera show. Two  hoodlums passed comments on me. You got nervous and came back home.”

“Then............. ?”

“ But today you stood firm, and spewed much steam & bravado before Ganpuley”

“A man changes in accordance with time”.

“But you were younger then... could have firmly dealt with the vagabonds.”

“Leave thosethings. Have I now become as you wished ?”

“What is the  use  in exhibiting masculinity in this building ?”

“I understand .......... you have spoken enough. This is a bad habit with you women ... not content with what you have.........”

“Upon my honour, ...... please do sleep indoors”.

“No ....... from today I will sleep here outside, and also keep the doors open ..... I will see what  anyone  cando to me........”

From that day, Dada’s doors were kept open always, even at nights.

Dada Damley was transformed. Everyone felt this...........


Oneday, his wife said ,”these days you are not thinking of the house at all.”

“Why, what happened ?”

“Have you noticed .... the ceiling fan, the chaaza.......... all remain neat and clean........... not a speck of dust......... not a spider nest  in the entire house....... even though the fan is never switched on ...... no dusting is done ......... how do they remain so clean and spotless. Everything is miraculous !”

Dada was afraid….. could be have said .... that ghosts are inhabiting  in the house !!

His wife said, “you are concealing something from me. Really, you have changed a lot”.

Dada had no answer for this.

“From tomorrow, I would be late in returning home from office, for a month”. Dada said during dinner that might.

“Why ?”

“The cashier is again going on a month’s leave”.

“No substitute has been given ? ”

“There is staff –shortage. Of course, others will help. Yet the pressure will be on me”.

“That means domestic matters can not be told to you for a month !”

“Cash –counting, accounting are not that simple; he , who does ,only knows”.


Next day, the Bank closed at 2.00PM Cash has to be counted now, and accounts prepared. Dada was brooding over this. Suddenly, he heard, close to his ears;

100 Rupee notes............two thousand ten pieces

50 Rupee Notes.............. Six thousand five hundred pieces

10 Rupee notes........... ..... Eight thousand eight hundred pieces

5 Rupee notes................ Three thousand seventy one pieces

2 Rupee notes.................. Two thousands five pieces

1 Rupees notes................ One thousand thirty pieces

“Ekbotey !”

“I am ready after counting the cash  -write down whatever I said. Finalise the accounts, and  be comfortable”.

Dada’s accounting work was over in ten minutes.

Everyone looked at Dada in wonder.

Twenty two days passed. Not a single mistake on any day was noticed in accounting by Dada. The statement gets ready in ten minutes. Everyday.

How is it being possible ! Dada is totally silent about this. At last, Chaffekar could no longer restrain himself. He did not let Dada breathe in peace. That evening he dragged Dada to the sea beach. Dada also could not control himself any longer ........ he disclosed everything to Chaffeker ........ Chaffeker became grave after hearing every thing.

Dada asked “you must be thinking all this are lies”

“Not lies -  alarming”.

“Alarming ?”

“Oh Dada, despite all this help........ a ghost is a ghost. If a human being is angry, not much harm is caused. But if the ghost gets angry ? who will protect ? He is giving you all scarce commodities... Kerosene to Dalda  with much ease.”

“Will anything adverse occur ?”

“Dada, if such a force, before which we are totally defenceless, turns against us ? What would happen, if he harasses others for helping you ?”

“That means ?”

“How did you get cinema tickets without standing is the long queue ? Is it not by threatening and scaring the manager ? That day, in Ganpuley’s home, what would have happened if he had done as he described  to you ?”

“I would have been forced to leave the house”

“So it can not be said when Ekboey would lose his mental balance”.

Dada stood , grim and morose.

“Do you know the most terrible  thing ? you do not have anything of your own in life..... only wife. The ghosts must be witnessing you and your wife, in your intimate moments at bed.”

This benumbed Dada totally. This had  never occurred to him.  ... Ckaffekar asked, “would he leave the house, if asked to ?”


“Then, you leave this place”

“Where do  I go ?”

“Seek a transfer for some days”

“Let me see....... something will have to be done. But take care, that no one knows what I told you today.”

“Don’t worry”


That night, while Dada was taking meals, his wife said, “A miracle happened today”

“What is it ?”

“Suresh climbed on to the Chazza below the roof”.

“Why ?”

“I wanted a big Dekchi (aluminium cooking vessel) for heating water. I asked him to climbe up”

“How  often have I told you not to make him do such things ! He is only eleven years old !!”

“Are not you willing to hear what I have to say ?”


“Suresh gave me the Dekchi from above I held the Dekhi. Suddenly his legs  slipped......... he would have straight away fallen on to the ground .... but from midway he went up again. I sat down half.- dead  in fear hat he would fall down, but nothing happened to him. On being asked after that , he said that he was lifted up by three four people”.

“He told that ?”

“Yes............ repeatedly”

“Trash ..... he might have felt like that”.

“How can one feel like that ? How can one go up again, from half way, while falling down ?”

“What do you intend to say ?”

“You keep silent when I speak something”.

“Tell, what you want to”.

“I find a great change in you and in this house”.

“Good or bad ?”


“Then do not speak anything”

He silenced his wife, but mentally, Dada decided upon something and tried for a transfer.


Dada’s wife was quite upset that the transfer was to Kanpur. Dada was very happy, though. Bank  would provide quarters to stay...... promotion... and allied facilities. There was nothing to worry about.

Dada packed up his household goods and started for Kanpur. His friends bade fare well........ even Ganpuley, jubilant at heart, came to the Railway station to see Dada  off.

Dada came to the weighing room to weigh his luggage. His wife stood aside. At this time, Dada heard a voice ..... close to hs ears.

“Who, Ekbotey ?”

“Yes, Dada. Did you do the right thing? Had you told me, I would have got the order cancelled”

“Shall I not come back after, a few months ?”

At this time, Dada’s wife was talking to someone... “Transfer is alright...... but to such a long distance ..... Kanpur City...... No acquaintances there ....... no known people. I am worried  how to manage there. There was no problem here......... water was plentily available”.


Luggages were kept at proper places. There was amused talk all around. Dada took leave to go to the toilet.

Again the same voice.

“Eh. I thought you have already departed.”

“ I had gone............ am just returning”.

“Came back in half-an-hour ? You are great.... can go anywhere as you like....... where had you been to for this half –hour ?”

“I went to and returned from Kanpur”

“Kanpur ?  Why ?”

“I heard your wife’s apprehensions. I was distressed. So I thought to scout if anyone knownto  us  w as there”.

Dada, stammered, “What do you say ?”

“What do you think of me ? Do not worry at all. Your  luck is favourable.”

Dada gasped for breath.

“My maternal uncle’s son is there, I have briefed him about you........ and have pushed him into you  quarters  through the ventilator. By the time you reach there, the house would have been swept and cleaned, kept spick aced span...... like mirrors”.

Train started moving ......... but tears rolled down Dada’s eyes.

Everybody said, Dada was glad for transfer.......... but at the actual time of departure, he cried a lot......



(Original story is Marathi)

Odiya version .... By Dr. V.S.Jogelkar

Translated to English, By Arun Kumar Mohanty.







© Copyright 2019 Arun K Mohanty. All rights reserved.

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