I come from a place famous for timber. The logs are hauled on to the lorries by elephants. They are gigantic well-fed beasts.
When they turn wild even the most experienced mahout cannot handle them.
“One day a tusker escaped from the timber yard and began toroam about, bringing havoc in the town.The elephant nowentered a school ground where children were playing, breakingthrough the brick wall.
All the boys ran into the classrooms andshut the doors tight.all the teachers had climbed up to theterrace of the school building; from there they helplessly watchedthe depredations of the elephant.Suddenly. Igrabbed a cane from the hands of one of the teachers and ran down the stairs and into the open. I moved forward and, mustering all my force, whacked its third toenail on the quick. The beast collapsed at that very moment.
“You are crazy, Iswaran. There are no such things asghosts or spirits. It is all your imagination. Get yourdigestive system examined — and maybe your head as well. Youare talking nuisance.”
You know, sir, this entire factory area we are occupying wasonce a burial ground. I have seen a number of times skulls lying on the path. I have seen aterrible ghost of a woman which appears offat midnight during the full moon night..
It is an ugly creaturewith matted hair and a shrivelled face, like a skeleton holding afoetus in its arms.
Mahendra was a junior supervisor in a firm which offered on hire supervisors at various construction sites. He had to keep moving from place to place every now and then as ordered by his head office. He had the company of a cook, Iswaran. the cook was quite attached to Mahendra and followed him uncomplainingly wherever he was transferred. He was a master in Storytelling.
Who is it? is there anyone? I think I am just overthinking. Perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me.
His descriptions were greatly influenced by the Tamilauthors that he read. When he was narrating even the smallestof incidents, he would try to work in suspense and a surpriseending into the account.
Sir, remember the other day when I was telling you about the female ghost with a foetus in its arms, you were so angry with me for imagining things? Well, you saw her yourself last night. I came running hearing the sound of moaning that was coming from your room...
On one full moon night, Iswaran tells Mahendra an account about ghosts.
Sorry sir, I cannot stay at this place anymore
From that day on Mahendra, for all his brave talk, went to bedwith a certain unease. Iswaran's story had created a light fear in his mind.One night, Mahendra was woken up from his sleep by a low moan close to his window. At first he mistaken it to a cat prowling around for mice. But the sound was too guttural for a cat. He could not resist the temptation anymore. Lowering himself to the level of the windowsill he looked out at the white sheet of moonlight outside. He saw a dark cloudy form clutching a bundle. Mahendra’s blood ran cold and he fell back on the pillow, panting.
By the time he had got up in the morning, had a bath andcome out to have his breakfast, the horror of the previous nighthad faded from his memory. Iswaran greeted him at the doorwith his lunch packet and his bag. Just when Mahendra was about to leave, Iswaran interrupted him .
A chill went down Mahendra’s spine. He did not wait forIswaran to complete his sentence. He hurried away to his officeand handed in his papers, resolving to leave the haunted placethe very next day!