A Spooky Tale
Eerie Sound at Night
It was a bitter wintry night in mid December in a North Bengal town when we were preparing for the ensuing annual examinations. My brother and I heard the repeated terrible noise in the vicinity. My mother who had been keeping a close vigil on us, would not allow any distraction but as the disturbance continued we could not but look out to enquire and from the sound of things we came to learn that the stones had been hurled on the tinned roof top of our neighbour Tony uncle. The sound was loud enough to attract the attention of all and sundry and soon all the residents of contiguous houses collected and spooked by such mysterious noises began to pour out different theories.
While we wanted to spy on the local urchins the elderly women saw the work of the evil spirits behind such uncanny incident. Someone enquired if there was any lunatic in our locality!
Ruling out other possibilities for the present the off the cuff opinion of my friend Sanu, a brilliant student and smartest among us, was accepted. He had suspected the hands of the local Bhutias in such a mischief. They were a group of poor men hailing from the hills in search of livelihood. They had put up in a bustee behind our houses. A few of them used to deal with indigenous wine which they would dump surreptitiously in earthen pots under the ground to hoodwink the police. That was enough reason to trigger such quickest theory and soon the police were called to investigate. Interestingly, I noticed such pounding on the roof had melted away when the crowd appeared or the police were in sight! Two such men were apprehended and taken for interrogation. As the cops had left, the crowd slowly disappeared and their exit was greeted by a loud noise again and our Tony uncle panicked and almost fainted.
Tony uncle was our close neighbour maintaining very cordial relations with everyone and such bizarre incident was the rarest that could happen in our peaceful town. The rumblings of discontent were writ large on his face. Everyone was taken by surprise and since no definite clue to the mischief could be found the two Bhutias were also released from the police remand. But the incident continued to occur almost every day when night descended. Tony uncle’s was a joint family and his father, a septuagenarian, was a priest and at his behest sacrificial rites were performed to propitiate the evil spirit when we were all invited. Those present had a feeling that such ugly incident would only be a thing of the past and the disturbed family would henceforth lead a happy peaceful life. But alas! The noisy incident returned to every body’s surprise and continued unabated for days on end. At this Tony uncle’s father was visibly very embarrassed since he had propounded the theory that it was the handiwork of an evil spirit he had discovered engulfing his house for some time. So he chose to lead a secluded life thereafter to avoid visitors.
Is the Mystery Solved
Since then many winters had gone and sea changes had taken place in our lives as we shifted to Kolkata and the spooky happening almost dimmed in our memory. With the advent of technological innovations we then inclined towards gadgets and my daughter suggested one day to trace my old friends through Google. She helped me reach my school friends one by one and at long last I could get to Sanu and was surprised to discover that he had become a famous surgeon practising in Kolkata. I sent a message immediately and he responded forthwith advising me to see him at his South Kolkata residence. A uniformed sentry ushered me into his palatial building and my dear friend after giving me a big treat took me to his bedroom and laid bare an album bearing photographs of our school days in that town. Gradually the evil spirit haunted house came to our discussion and Sanu erupted in a peal of laughter when I asked him how long the ghastly incident had continued and how our Tony uncle had got the ultimate respite. “Perhaps It all came to a close after we had finally shifted to this city”. He said with a twinkle in his eyes. “Then how the evil spirit was got rid of?” I again asked to clinch the issue. Without answering my surgeon friend walked off.
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