Sunday, April 5, 2009

An encounter with a young woman

Ashwin was held up in the city till late night. He had expected the work to be over by 9pm.But the deal could not be clinched easily as negotiations proved tough and long drawn. It was only when Ashwin told that he would return back as it was getting late and his home is far away in the suburb, the other party relented. It was already 11pm and it would take an hour or more to reach home. He was feeling very hungry and felt he cannot drive his motorbike without eating something. He went to a small way side joint and had Chole Bhauture with a large cup of strong tea. When he started the bike it was nearing 12. His wife would remain awake waiting for him without eating her dinner. It was a long stretch of lonely load after some distance. The road was also not amenable to good speed due to its poor condition. There were trees lined up on both sides hiding the moon and making the night appear darker. It struck him only then that he could have brought his son along with him. The boy was pleading with him in the morning to take him along for him to see the town. He had travelled many times even after 10pm on this road and found it safe. There were a few hamlets on the way side with stray light from occasional hurricane lamps. It started drizzling very mildly though. For the first time there was a strange feeling of unknown fear coming over him. A strong man with muscular body, he started humming his favourite tune as the bike roared its way in the still night.
It was then he saw at a distance a woman standing outside her lone hut on the road side frantically waving her hand to stop. He saw a man sitting on a cot outside the hut. Both appeared young. He was in two minds whether to stop the vehicle or rush past. Being a kind hearted man, he felt there must have been an emergency as otherwise a young woman would not come out of her house at this hour and wave a vehicle to stop. As soon as he stopped the bike by her side, she asked Ashwin whether he would allow her to travel on the pillion up to his village town. When he looked at the man, he signaled with his hands to refuse. .Puzzled Ashwin turned to her and said “I do not mind but your husband is not agreeable. Get his permission. I am in a hurry.” She replied “Who is he to give me permission? I told him yesterday I am leaving him once and for all. He is a drunkard and always suspecting me of having an affair with every passerby. Living with him is a torture as not a day passed without his beating me mercilessly each night on his return and falling on me shamelessly when the influence of the alcohol faded. Please take me now so that I can live with my mom peacefully. I hate to be on the same ground with this wretch.”
The man ambled his way towards Ashwin with the help of a heavy stick and said “Don’t trust her. She is a common whore and will seduce you. I have been putting up with her in my compassion and have no mind to part with her. I like her immensely. Leave her alone and proceed on your way. If you don’t listen to me, I will break your backbone with this rod.”
Ashwin could easily see the threatening tone and understood the intent to harm him were he to go against the man’s instructions. He started the bike and the woman came rushing to get on the pillion. The man swinging the stick came rushing and drew the woman away from the bike even as he was raining blows on her.Ashwin felt sorry for the woman and decided that it was not proper to interfere with quarrel between spouses. Ashwin told the drunkard to stop beating her as he was not giving her the lift. That inebriated man without understanding what Ashwin was telling came rushing towards him. Ashwin sped away at full speed not turning his head even once. He saw from the rear view mirror she was pushing her husband away from his clasp.
When Ashwin’s wife asked him why he was held up that late, he could not help but narrate about the incident of the unfortunate woman and her cruel husband. It was then she said ‘Did you not know that our servant Arul’s sister Shanthi was living with her alcoholic husband in the exact spot you mentioned and that she committed suicide by having poisonous weeds yesterday. Her husband was always suspicious and assaulting her. She tried in vain to change him from his drinking ways and when she failed to mend him, she put an end to her miserable life. I heard stricken by remorse the fellow had also followed suit by eating the same weeds. People are advised not to travel in that stretch after midnight lest they bump into the couple”



  1. amazing, and i loved the suspense.. :) thank you for the story sir. Never did i felt this uncontrolled urge to read the next line before the previous one is over. woow.. this one, cheers :)

  2. An amazing story weaving together the threads of heart-break, the supernatural and the helpless human heart.

    Thanks, Parthasarathi.

  3. Very nice story. I never expected the ending. Very nice twist. Well written creating a nice suspense. Really enjoyed it.

  4. That's scary, lonely roads have loads of scary tales. Enjoyed reading it!Thanks:)

  5. ummm there you go ...
    now it s not easy for me to view the things without some psychological glass on me ...

    some karma theory explained here? :-)
    i am not surpriced, but i guess so.

    i got an sms a few days back from a friend of mine. it reads like this:

    suppose we both are in a room up stairs, talking cheerfully as usal. then phone rings, and i go down to pick up & the voice on the other end gives me the bad & sad news of the demise of my friend (with whom i was just speaking a second ago) last day evening! question is would i go back to that room again?

    cause & effect?
    whatever ...

  6. Quite a gripping narrative with an unexpected twist in the end...strange are the happenings at night especially. It makes one wonder about the queer encounters they are bound to face even while following the normal course of events of a day to day living. Such as the above instance of returning home from work. Peculiar and interesting are the ways of life.

  7. hello ..
    how is everything going on?
    hey i didnt get your reply yet on karma!

    hope all is well with you!

  8. i like your way of narration.. gives a clear pic.. loved the suspense too.. its scary..! i guess i've heard of almost similar stories elsewhere.. Now i wonder how many ghosts must have spoken to me without my knowledge!! :)if i am to know that the person talking to me is a ghost, he/she will go deaf with my scream!:) and the ghost will never be seen in that place anymore!!

  9. Ya, Not safe to trave after midnights!