“I don’t know what the hell is wrong with these people…ignorant people and why they are acting insane?” He wasn’t talking anymore he was shouting at the top of his voice, while his driver was listening quietly to his master. “I don’t give a darn, I will get that building removed, vanished and completely destroyed”. “I don’t’ care about the atma or the parmatama, I want that darn construction to start”. The idea was clear and intention was even clearer. He asked his driver to stop near the PCO booth, and angrily dialed few numbers; his driver was quietly watching all the animated reactions of his master who had lost his cool; after 15 minutes he stormed back in and asked his driver head towards the Gurgaon site, he had made up his mind; he wanted a solution by evening itself.
The driver understood the emotions of his employer and drove as fast a he could. Shantanu saw the car running towards him, he looked at his watch it was 4 Pm In the evening. He ran towards the car which stopped outside the cursed building. He stormed out and shouted, “This structure is coming down today, I have asked the bulldozer to come in and take this insignificant doom of bricks and cement down.” Both Driver and engineer looked quietly at each other, while their lord kept shouting and abusing at the old and tired structure. After bashing the building, he turned his attention towards the workers who were listening to all this from a distance, “Shantanu, ask them- No...don't ask... just command them to resume the work from tonight; this building which is haunting them is coming down and I want them to resume the construction immediately and if anyone has any problem with that, ask them to talk to me directly, and I will answer them better”. The rage in the voice was getting louder and gestures in the body were becoming aggressive.
Shantanu, who was standing next to him was listening everything quietly and once his master was over with this raging words and hurt ego, he spoke his advice, “Sir, the bulldozer will be able to remove this building but not the fear, if you don’t mind I have a suggestion.”
“WHAT?”… Anger, irritation and disgust
“Sir, if you can go inside the building at this hour in front of all these fear struck dummies and returns unharmed the myth and the rumor around this surrounding would vanish in an instance. Sukhiya tried it but he had a doubt in his mind and that doubt might have got better of him”. He had logic in his statement and he spoke in a very convincing tone with politeness which was clearly heard. The agitated Boss wanted a solution at that very moment and this proposition sounded practical to him. So without wasting any time he turned around and sneered at the assembled group of silent, reaction less workers. He declared his intensions at the top of his voice.
“You dumb heads - I am going inside to show you that this pathetic structure contains only your dull imagination. Once I am back, I want you all to start the work and I want you people to start tonight”. There was no reaction from the silent set of workers; which baffled the driver from the very start. He turned around took a minute long look at the building and asked his driver to bring a battery tube from the car, which he did in a fraction of a second and without saying anything further, in front of a stunned and baffled crowd of servants and workers; he marched inside the tiring door of an building out of which, according to rumors nobody had returned sane.
He walked inside the building; opening an old black gate as mute spectators watched from a safe distance. He was sure that inside the old, forgotten, structure of bricks and cement was nothing but an unexamined fear of an unnecessary doubt. His plan was simple not to waste too much time on that soulless unprofitable structure and storm in and out of that building without any scratch in as less time as possible. After entering the big black gate on the basement there were two small stair steps leading to the main door. He jumped both the steps in one go and reached straight in front of the closed door. He opened the door and kingdom of darkness unleashed, the whole house was gripped with the foul smell and dirt.
He took a handkerchief out from his pocket and covered his nose because the smell was unbearable. He walked inside the room the temperature inside was very hot; the room didn’t had any proper ventilation and it was clear that the owner wanted absolute aloofness for himself. Without giving much attention to the interiors or the architect, he advanced forward to see the area he needed to cover; it was big house spread in area 250 yard with two floors and the staircase of the second floor went from inside the main hall. Second floor was not built for living purpose as it had no rooms or any kind of living structure, it was filled with wooden shelves, which indicated that it might had been used as a library by the writer to save and store his unfulfilled dreams. The ground floor where he was standing and from where he was monitoring everything had a big main hall with normal tiles; both on floor and walls, on the left side of the living room was a kitchen and 5 feets from it was a living room and adjacent to which was the second room. There was another room at a little distance which he thought to be the washroom. He was impressed by the space and felt pity for a man who could not make use of this lavish place.
The house was in complete mess, spiders’ webs, scattered yellow pages, intolerable heat and foul smell was making the task difficult, in only few seconds since his entry he was sweating furiously, he was using same handkerchief to dry himself with which he was covering his face. His idea was not get into the details of the room and storm out as quickly possible. Up till now he was correct in his judgment that the house of nothing more than an unexamined fear, there was nothing strange or haunting about the structure that he had encountered to put his mind in doubt, he was sweating, and was swearing with anger.
He took careful steps towards the living room as there was a pile of furniture which lay disturbed on the floor which wasn’t washed for years - suddenly he heard a sound… He stopped… turned and focused hard to listen to it again it was more like a hiss; a cat hiss. He didn’t let the sound disturb his mind and moved towards the living room, he opened the door and saw two old wooden broken beds with distorted dressing table, and an old Elmira. He first wanted to go and open the Elmira, but then decided against it. He closed the door and moved towards the second room, as he was about to open it - he again heard some strange noise, this time it was not of an animal, this time it was the noise of men chatting with each other. The voice was coming from inside the house from the second floor.
The mind which was resolute up till now was suddenly stuck with doubt. He wanted to run but he could not, he stood there with his feets jammed at one particular position for 5-6 minutes, he was not able to listen or understand anything but he knew there was something strange present inside that house - which defied explanation. Before he could plan his next move, the noise stopped and the whole area of darkness fell into silence again. He carefully made a step forward; positioning his battery on the second floor in the direction from where he heard the noise; but was no one was there.
He decided not to go or move any further in that house and move out as quickly as possible faking a fearless reaction; he took a step back and saw a diary lying on small wooden table. He was not a big fan of reading, neither was he inclined towards books, nor this was an occasion to indulge into reading but for some strange reason he was compelled to pick up that diary and read what was in it. He slowly took 7 steps towards the table and picked up that diary, strangely in the house where everything was covered and messed up in dirt and mud the diary looked absolutely clean there was not even a single particle of dust on it, he didn’t gave much thought to it and opened it to read it, from the first page.
Finally, I found a place away from the hassle of busy streets of a selfish city life. I will make this home my dream; it is untouched of any impurity and gives me an immense satisfaction in my writing. Rita, is little unhappy as she finds this place little depressing but a poor women doesn’t understand the importance of silence. She will come in terms with this. Now I have to concentrate on my writing and complete all my pending work.
It was short entry by the writer; he turned few pages and read the next post.
There is something strange in this house, I don’t know but I can hear something which is unexplained, I hear people talking with each other on the second floor and when I checked the floor, there was no one out there; this is such a remote place with no neighborhood or surroundings and for some weird reason it is only I who can listen to these voices, Rita affirms that she hadn’t heard anything, may be I am working too hard on my book, may be I need some rest. I hope these sounds are imagination of my mind and nothing more.
These words gave him shivers, he was now frightened because like the poet he too was hearing those voices from unidentified sources. He turned quickly to next page to find more about the voices and about the home.
Things are getting worse the voices are getting louder and I am the only one who can hear it, my wife hears nothing, those voices are trying to communicate with me, they are haunting me and running after me. They want me to leave this place, vacate this land, they will not let me live, what I thought was dream is now turning into a nightmare and I cannot bear it anymore. I had enquired that the land in front of my house is haunted many years ago some innocent workers were killed by mad English general and it is believed since then no body has ever lived here - what's true and what's not, I don't care. I have decided to leave this dreadful place forever… and the diary ended!
His mind was baffled and his heart was beating fast, his feet were jammed and sweat drenched his whole body. He was shivering with fear; a cold feeling of uncertainty had tightened its grip. The diary contradicted the story narrated to him by the workers. According to diary notes nobody inside the house was killed, the ghost was not in the house but outside. He knew something was wrong; he collected his guts and made a fast stride towards the door from where he entered his batteries were getting dimmer and the darkness was getting louder, he took few steps and his feet stuck something and he fell on his face.
He felt little dizzy, and his batteries were broken and now in the aloof room of uncertainty he was alone with his fears, he tapped his hands on the floor to find something to grab on and get up, and he got hold of something but was not able to identify what it was, it felt cold and hard. He got up on his knees and carefully examined with his touch the source he was holding, it felt like a cold hard stick, he examined it further and his face turned pale, his breath stopped and voice was lost for words because what he thought to be a hard cold stick was a human hand. Yes! it was a hand of a dead body and his fears got worsened when he realized that the dead body was of a man he recognized very well, it was of the man he had talked to before entering the home- it was a cold, motion less, breathless body of his chief architect Shantanu.
He was not ale to move, stuck on the knees like a cemented sculpture he was out of his thinking senses; he heard someone giggling from the left corner of the room, it was the ghost of Shantanu who was standing with the workers, and they all were saying one thing, “This land is ours, Go Away! Go Away! Go Away!”
© Copyright 2016 Gagan. All rights reserved.
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