Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Narrative mistery
The VillaThis is a short story about two friends who are on a trip to a desolate house. Reaching there,they find there are strange happenings in the house. What do they discover?Rahul is my school pal. It would be erroneous to say only friend. He is my best of friends.We took pleasure in each other’s companionship since our school days. Be it studies, sportsor having fun, we share everything. Rahul is keen on adventure and thrill. It was winter inKolkata. Our city of joy witnessed its coolest and longest winter that year. We both wereenjoying our winter vacation. No studies. No examinations. Only fun and frolic. Listening tomusic, watching movies and reading hair raising thrillers and ghost stories constituted ourleisure.It was a bright, sun-drenched Sunday morning with nourishing, copious sunshine. When Iwas at my breakfast table that the phone started buzzing… Picking up the receiver, I said,"Hello!" It was Rahul. He said, "Hey, what’s up?" I was elated to hear my best friend’s voice.I asked, "How is your vacation going?" Rahul informed me that he is ready for someadventure this winter. Oh! Rahul and his adventures! "What’s the matter?" I asked. He toldme that he is planning a short trip to a certain village, Vishnupur. And he wants me to joinhim in the trip. Why on earth, Vishnupur? What’s so special about it? Rahul said, "Lookbuddy, there has been some tittle-tattle about an old house named ‘Kunj Villa’ in the villageVishnupur. The house is haunted. So we are going to spend one night there, at that house.Isn’t that thrilling?" I was sure that it was one of his eccentric ideas! But in my mind the ideaseemed thrilling. A forlorn village. It’s tranquility. An old haunted house. After a secondthought, I agreed.So we started packing our bags. We just packed a few clothes including warm ones owing tothe chilled weather. Some biscuits, cakes and a flask of coffee to satiate our taste buds on ourway to Vishupur. We also carried a torch. A prerequisite for a village jaunt. Our rural areasare still devoid of adequate street lamps. Our journey in a hired cab was very comforting. Forme this trip was a respite from the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle that suffocates ourlungs with noxious air. But for my dear Rahul, it seemed a tryst with the supernatural! Onboth sides of the road, our eyes were greeted with yellow-green mustard fields. It was a treatto our eyes.Finally we reached our destination, Vishnupur. The village was really scenic. Hence, wedecided to walk after paying the driver and he drove away. Being winter, the sunshine wasgreat and the air fresh and crisp. The place was very desolate but had a kind of strangeattraction in its milieu. Rahul and I were walking through the arid muddy path. On eitherside, there were farmlands. A narrow trail made its way through these farmlands. We madeour way through them. Profuse quantity of fresh vegetables like cauliflowers, cabbages andbrinjals made these agricultural lands riper with vegetation and growth. "Wow, what apleasing sight," said Rahul. We hardly get to see such natural sights in the city. Tall palmsand an ancient banyan tree were also visible. There were also sporadic cluster of bamboogroves to add to the beauty of our destined village, Vishnupur. There was pin-drop silence aswe sauntered through the thick bamboo growth.Absolute silence engulfed us. As if, we have set our foot into a world, minus people and
population. There was a queer serenity in the whole ambiance. Now and again, the northchilly winds brush past our ears as if, whispering an ominous message. Our bones werefreezing owing to the cold. Rahul was enthralled. He said, "I smell impending evil." "Shut upRahul. Just take pleasure of the fresh clean air," I said. We kept walking. As we walked, dry,brittle leaves and twigs cracked under our feet breaking the stillness of the air.On the way, we met an old man. To be sure I asked, "How far is the old Kunj Villa from thisplace?" The man gave me a bizarre look. He asked, "Why do you want to go there? Don’t setfoot near that haunted bungalow. It’s cursed. Go back." Saying this, the man hurried away.He gave a curious chuckle. It was a malicious, unpleasant laughter. Ignoring his sillywarnings, we finally reached Kunj Villa.The house was dilapidated. Cracks were visible in its exterior walls. Signs of an abandoneddwelling. It had a grayish, unkempt and neglected look. A kind of morbid desolation attachedto it. The villa had an atmosphere of desertion. The garden in front, too showed signs ofneglect and were overgrown with weeds.An elderly gardener, Dayaram, opened the rooms for us. Oh! Then it’s not completely anabandoned house, I thought. Good heavens! I noticed that the room needs cleaning. Thicklayer of dust and cobwebs were all over the floor, ceiling, walls and the creaky old furniture.Dayaram asked, "Are you going to stay here tonight?" I nodded. "The house is haunted.Please don’t stay here after dark. This place has a curse on it. I stay only during the daytime."I inquisitive asked, "What makes you feel the place is haunted?" He informed, "Twenty yearsago one army man stayed with his only daughter. Both of them died under inexplicablecircumstances. Some say they had been brutally murdered. Since then this house remainsvacant. No one dares to set foot in the vicinity of Kunj Villa." I told Dayaram not to worry.We can take care of ourselves. Rahul too nodded in agreement. A frightened Dayaramcontinued, "Believe me sahib, there are strange noises heard here after dark. Rahul nowannoyed said, "Leave that to us. Please tidy up our rooms and arrange for some tea and dinnerfor us. Make it fast as you aren’t going to stay after dark." Dayaram nodded and followed ourorders. We paid him handsomely for his services.Our room is now clean and our beds made. We freshened up and went for a stroll in theevening. We enjoyed wandering in the picturesque village, walking by the village pond andappreciating its crystal clear water. Hope we could have fished in the pond and caught adelicious fish and fried it for dinner! At dust, we retired to the villa.Now it was getting dark. The crickets have started singing. It was a shrill continuous note.Soon night cast its dark shadow over the entire village. It was a very dark night. Thedarkness seemed to engulf Kunj Villa like a thick blanket. We lit the lantern. The villa had nopower supply. It is getting cold now. We shivered. To get rid of the cold, we sipped steamingcups of tea with potato chips that we carried. To pass away the time, Rahul started recountingghost stories. Soon it ended up in a gossip session of marathon eerie tales. Rahul said, "I amexpecting some thrill tonight. The haunted villa. The darkness. Ha...Ha...Ha." I was feeling alittle uneasy by now. We soon felt the pangs of hunger. We had mouth watering, spicychicken curry with rice for dinner that Dayaram cooked for us. Yummy! Fatigued by thejourney, we decided to go to bed. Extinguishing the lantern, Rahul and I felt fast asleep.I was awakened by some strange noise. I listened. Before I could figure out anything, an ice-cold hand touched me. I got up with a chill running down my spine. It was pitch dark in the
room. Quickly, I put on the torch light. Thank God! It was only Rahul’s hand- no ghost.Rahul said, "Hey it’s me." But I was a little nervy. "What’s the matter?" Rahul asked. Iwhispered. "Just listen." Yes, there was no mistake. It was the sound of a woman’s anklets.Some one seemed to be moving about outside our room. The anklets kept tinkling. Now thesound came more distinctly and closer, just outside our door. It ceased for a while. Timeticked away. Tick...Tick...Tick. Suddenly it came back again in the dead silence of the night.This time followed by footsteps.I was too timorous to move. It was Rahul who gathered courage. I was behind him. Heopened the door. It gave a nasty creaking sound. We peered out. And guess what we saw inthe torchlight! It was a cat on its night-time stroll with tiny bells tied around its neck. So itwas the bells that were tinkling whenever the cat moved. We felt a little pacified at this.Strange enough, the next morning when we were getting ready for home, Rahul showed mesomething. It was an imprint of five fingers on my wrist. How did it happen? It was onlyRahul’s hand that caught me by the wrist in the darkness. But was it Rahul’s hand then? Itwas an unearthly touch that gave me the creeps. I couldn’t fathom. Neither, Rahul and I couldmake anything of the sound of the footsteps. Was it our imagination then! Or was the cat, aportent of evil existence at the villa!