Sunday, September 6, 2009

The lonely walk in the dark

The bus should have left at 3pm and Mani would have reached the stop for his village by 6pm.His village was about four kilometres away.One had to walk as there were only two trips by a private bus in the morning and evening.The wretched bus he travelled in had developed snag enroute and they had to wait interminably till a kindly truck driver who was also a mechanic helped in starting the bus.It was already 9pm by the time the bus started.He got down at his stop around 11.30pm.It was drizzlng slightly with lightning and thunder adding to the sullen mood.It was pitch dark and he could see no one around.He was afraid to linger in that desolate place but was also afraid of proceeding to his village.The kutcha road passed thro a burial ground.Mani was a tall fellow and heavily built but strangely had a timid heart.He was scared even of cockroaches and lizards and often sought the help of his wife to drive them away.He wished he had not left his place and wanted to return to the security of his home and his wife.But the bus had sped away leaving him no choice but to trudge along to his village.
It was very dark and the frequent lightnings enabled him to move along.The drizzle had stopped but it was windy and cold also.He started singing some film songs but became silent when he felt the noise would attract someone.He wanted to cover the distance fast.After three kilomtres there was a village and from there it was easier to walk as the road was better.He started praying to get over the fear.He seemed to get bolder when he thought he heard some footsteps behind him.He had been told as a young boy not to look back if he thought a ghost was behind him.He was afraid to turn but increased the pace.His heart beat fast as if it would burst.To his dismay he heard the steps also had quickened.He heard them distinctly.He knew he was close to the burial ground and could see the embers from a buring body with smell of odious smoke assailing his nose.Fear gripped him.He had to keep moving but the legs would not.They had become leaden by fear.
He sat down on a culvert and listened keenly.He heard the approaching footsteps.He was expecting a ghost though he had doubts as ghosts do not walk on the road making thuds.he was confused and his throat became dry.It was then a dim figure appeared before him with a plaintive voice of a female ‘Ayya, I am afraid to walk alone in the road.I have to go the next village.I was waiting near the bus stop for someone to proceed this way.When I saw you,you were ahead of me by good distance.I was trying to abridge the gap and you were walking fast.Can I accompany you up to the next village.” She was a middle aged woman with a bundle on her head.
Mani thanked God for His mercy and walked the way to his village chatting with her merrily and boasting that he used to while young visit burial grounds at dead of night and was never afraid of ghosts in his life.The sky had cleared,the drizzle had completely stopped and he neared the village.. It was still dark but not so pitch dark and he could see silhouttes of the trees..He asked her to which street in the village she belonged and who her husband was.When there was no response, he repeated the question.Still there was no reply.He turned to look and found no one by his side.There was no trace of any woman or a bundle on her head.It was then he realised that he had crossed the burial ground.


  1. SOmetimes our own imaginations do help us alottt..:) Here is one such incident. Thanks uncle..:)

  2. Dear Partha,
    really interesting!your stories arouse the feelings of curiosity!the image is so nice n i was walking that deseretd kutcha road with mani!:)
    hats off you at the great spped you maintain in writing stories.i just can't keep up with your fast steps.:)
    keep writing!
    have a great sunday!

  3. Friendly ghost !! As I was expecting a twist, I guessed the end :))

  4. Dear Partha..!

    Nice read..though i guessed it..:)

  5. Even ghosts turn tender when penned by you.

  6. eeeeeeeeee! I was happy that he found someone..but there definately are better choices in life than to have ghosts for great story indeed!

  7. Wow! I just loved this one!
    You have an amazing style of coming to the main plot. :)

  8. Legs getting laden-ed due to fear, Throat going dry narration really captured my imagination.You have great imagination to get into the skin of the character :)

  9. Holy Crap!! gosh, if i was mani...i would have peed in my pants and ran towards the village without looking back with hands covering my ears!!

  10. LOL! Very nice one sir. Enjoyed it thoroughly :-)