|Feb 28, 2005 5:19 am
||FuFa STORY - - story continues.......
FuFaji Lalit Vashishta
|| The Story
It was a dark wet evening when I decided to take a walk around the old cemetary.
The cemetary was surrounded by seven-foot fence of wrought iron bars, each bar tipped with a lethal point to keep intruders out or to keep potential customers in. There had once been a gate but now, well over a century on, it lay propped up against the fence and overwhelmed by years and years of undisturbed ivy.
Suddenly the eerie silence was broken with sound of footsteps behind and a chill ran down my spine. Swirling around, I realised that the chill was actually cos of a drop that had fallen off the lamppost on which i was relieving myself.
The footsteps halted.I began to breathe, hadnt realised all this while I had been holding my breath.I took quick steps forward, anxious to get away as fast as possible from the mysterious eerie place. Somewhere at a distance I could hear the hoot of the owl. A few bats fluttered above my head. I walked on. The footsteps started again.They stopped when i stopped. My heart was beating faster!!Heavy steps! I dare not look behind!
My heart froze, my hands felt clammy, my skin broke out in a sweat!I had to move and move fast, get away from this place. Someone cleared his throat. A deep sound !I was rooted to the spot! paralysed with fear!
After several seconds (thought it seemed like ages) i had the courage to turn around and there it was rt in front of me.......... a shimmery-blue fog, a fog so thick that one could cut it with a knife! But then i heard them .... the foot steps were coming closer. Closer and closer..... picking up pace by the seconds.
The footsteps got closer and closer, I could almost feel the breeze as something moved towards me sending a chill down my spine. I wanted to scream, but no sound came out. My eyes were open wide in alarm, screaming silently for help, just screaming. But there was only the sound of footsteps, getting deafeningly louder.
There seemed some movement of light in the dark blue fog, shadows approaching, playing with the light in the thick fog, and then I felt something touch me. No, there were more than one of them. I felt them on my chest, legs ... I closed my eyes and screamed out aloud, i was sweating with fear. "Help, help ....."
Suddenly ! I heard a voice " Saheb what is the time now?"
Sweat poured down my forehead and the sides of my face as I recognised the voice of the cemetery worker Kalu who helped prepare bodies for burial. My heart beating in relief at the known voice , I croaked "Eight thirty p.m.". He came closer and peered through the fog " Are you okay saheb? " "Its not very safe to come here at this time"
"As darkness falls and the night draws nearer , various noises can be heard . Please dont come here at this time again ," he said harshly . "You never know what can happen !" I kept silent and walked along with Kalu , my eyes fixed on the circle of light thrown by the torch on the wet muddy road. Thoughts of the mysterious suicide of the young widow who hanged herself three days ago kept forcing its way in my mind.
"Kalu" I said, as he turned his fair nepali face towards me, "You are so fair, almost a ghostly white, then why are you called kalu?"
Kalu looked at me with piercing eyes, and said " It was a night as scary as this, and I was walking on this street, when I saw her, Saheb its a long story about my name.
I said to myself, I think a Fair Nepali and being called Kalu must be associate to some black magic he must have inherited from his village when he was born. The fear factor started increasing while being guided with the torch circled light which was leading us in front. Suddenly I noticed a image far away in white cloths it was very hazzy, I barely could recognise, my heart started pounding faster and faster..
Somewhere at a distance I heard the wail of a dog. I inched closer towards Kalu. I halted in alarm for just about a 100 metres away , i saw the figure walking gracefully, moving away from the cemetery ,the gentle sway of her body registered somewhere in my subconscious and I realised it was a woman walking away into the shadows beyond!
My eyes took in the entire length of her body , moving upwards to the full hips, her narrow waist, her beautifully arched back and... Blood drained from my face , my hair stood on end as I realised she was headlesss!!!!!!
Realising that i was rooted to the spot where i stood Kalu turned back & said "aaah! sahib dont worry thats just my wife she loves wearing my raincoat around at night & pulling the collar up" he continued "brainless i always thought she is but dont worry she's definitely not headless".
I continued looking at the figure moving up and down , and then we heard a voice from the opposite direction "I am fed up of waiting Kalua, everyday you come home for dinner so late" - we looked towards Kalu's house and there standing on the door holding a flickering candle in her hand was his wife.
There she stood staring straight into my eyes. The flickering candle throwing shadows across her face. In the dim light of the candle I could see her break into an evil grin, her tobacco stained teeth peeping from under her thick blonde moustache!
Suddenly, there was a metal crashing sound and it deafened my ears and for that fraction my eyes shut and there was vision lost and the pitch darkness with wind roaring my mind blew me shattered ! I would have collapsed, I felt the numbness in the air, but the curiousity trailed my thoughts and I had recovered my sight which did not let me fall. I failed to see the circled torch light on the ground and immediately realised Kalu was nowhere, Mrs. Kalu was actually a headless woman standing on her feet firm, the candle flickering in her hands, I wanted to run, the legs did not have energy and out of nowhere a hand grasped my neck.......
... And an irritatingly tiny voice screamed into my left ear - "Laddie!! This is an examination hall, not your bedroom!!" I woke up with a shudder to see the once half-filled answer book in front of me, now streaked with rivulets of blue ink, flowing on with more than a little help from the sweat which seemed to have had gushed out of every pore in my body.
The ink continued to flow mingling with my sweat as though they were lovers in a previous life time joined together in a common puddle at my feet. My shirt was drenched and my mind kept slipping back to the white nepali boy called Kalu and his headless wife. I knew immediately that something was amiss. Realization of the situation and the gravity of the moment progressively unravelled itself like the gradual breaking of the winter dawn. It was the that i understood that I, for a change had remembered to bring my hall ticket hall ticket but had actually studied the wrong subject. All around me i could hear the scratching of pens on paper, magnified by the silence of the hall and knowlegeable heads looking up in thought for the next correct answer, confidence of a well studied subject writ large on their faces ....
Heck. Why was I doing this to myself? first flirting on the net, then wasting time studying the wrong subject and to make matters worse, I was sitting around dreaming of headless blondes with facial hair. I could at that moment merrily slap myself. Hard.
Anyway this paper was a goner. Visions took over, overpowering ones fell on top of one another, wanting to be first. Till they stopped at one. It was clear as day. There she was, beckoning to me, asking me in. An angel in white with soft feathered wings. Self control was not a word I knew. My hypnotized feet moved in a journey I had no control over....
I started wiping the ink from the paper that was lying in front of me. Suddenly I heard a very heavy voice... Boy... What are u doing... cant u see that this is the sheet I am spreading here? I have brought it here so that I could sit on it.
I looked back, it was very hazy and dull. Two small babies were trying to come closer to me. One of them gaave me a very mysterious smile. I looked at the right side,Kalu was standing there. He said...Saab.. they are my children, they live here. I found myself again in the cemetry. I was trembling. Kalu asked me..saab.. what is the matter? aare u looking for somebody? I was speechless, not knowing what was going around. Suddenly a young girl came from the thin air, and asked me.. Sir... Can you take me out from all this bullshit? I need a cup of coffee, see there is our '..Baristan.. come on let us go..
I was speechless and avoided facing the supervisor's face who was barking niceties at me. Things began to fall in place at their own pace. Today was my Math exam. I was not prepared.Somehow, I dragged my feet to the raliway station and got into the crowded but familiar train compartment. I could remember me getting into the examination hall. As I entered, my eyes followed the rather plump behind of the girl before me. To ease the tension off the scary integration and derivatives questions that were to haunt me in the classroom, I was exploring the exciting terrain of this lady who seemed relaxed and perfectly at ease. "Must be one of those math lovers what else" I had told myself.
If I could remember all that with great ease, what happened after the question paper landed on my desk? Things were totally blank after that. I just could not trace anything till the point I woke up. How can one fall asleep and have a full-fledged nightmarish dream in an examination hall? But there was hardly any time left to ponder over. I felt a chill down my spine when I looked at the watch. 12.30 it declared with pride. There were 15 minutes left and I was only at the mercy of Question 2. 4 questions to go. I nervously asked for a supplement from the supervisor who obliged only beacuse he was legally bound to do so. The expression on his face was clear "Just stop that pretence. I know your apptitude" I looked at question 3. "Taking the contour C as the unit circle ....... " it ordered. Even as I made a feeble attempt to grasp the problem, the dream came back to my mind. This time round, as a trailor.I was fighting hard to get back to contour C when Kalu and Mrs Kalu came back in a flash. My eyelids drooped like an old, much-played with baby doll on the verge of being discarded as scrap."Saheb, what's wrong with you. Why did you leave home at this hour? Is there something I can do to help" asked Kalu with a face showing genuine concern. Even as I opened my mouth to reply, Mrs Kalu gave out a ear-piercing scream that caught me unawares.
The bell rang in my ears with cruel intensity. Before I could react, my paper flew from my shaky hand into the firm grip of the supervisor who had the smile of a victor on his wrinkled face.I left the hall only beacuse all the others did...................
Oh my goodness, did I start the day dreaming again? But this is not a day dream except that it comes during even day time. This is also not just a funny night(?)mare. Now I started getting scared but need to finsish my exam.
After the exam I was returing home with mind filled with thoughts. All that happened in dream apppeared so real as before. For the past 6 months I am experiencing this at regular intervals. Though the happenings are different but almost the terror is similar.
"Should I tell this to my parents?" I thought it was silly. My sister sure would make fun of me since I had been showing her that I am the bravest in the world all the time. I don't want to make a clown of myself.Are not these similar thoguhts that follow every time I have this episode?
Could it be that these forewarn me of something to come? Or am I undergoing some hallucinations? Should I consult a psychologist? I was not sure of what I should do. Again these are the same chain of thoughts that follow after every episode.
This time I need to seriously think about waht I should do. I should try to read more about parapsychology probabbly. I shall search in Google about repeated nightmares, I think.
My God, I had walked quite a long distance but away from my home. It is getting darker now. The confused mind led me to unknown destination. Maybe a tea will help me. Almost all the streets were deserted. I walked a little furhter but without my knowledge in the same direction but away from my home.
Now there is a little cosolation that there is a little light about half a Km away, most probably a teas shop. I started walking slowly towards it. Suddenly a thought came, could that light be some burning corpse? A Chill travelled through my spine. Gathering courage, I continued walking towards the little light. However, my heart did not stop its pounding.
Atlast, I reached the spot. It was not the corpse but a little tea shop. Most probably I had some fear developed over a period and started dreaming bad things and dreadful things. mmmm the shop did have good hot samosas. It just striked me while sipping the tea that there were certain things common in my dreams. Yes like the headless woman, the foot steps behind me and so on.
Could it be that at any time I saw a headless body in an accident or some thing like that? No..not to my knowledge.
Oh my dear, let me forget all these and start walking home as it is already 8 pm now.
I started walking, but alas again in the wrong direction. Almost after walking for half an hour I noticed that I am very far of from home. Only a hazzy light lit the Road ahead, but now no road, it was a big compound wall. The board on the wall was made of wood and half eaten by termites. I tried hard to read what was written on it. The first line was almost gone but the second line read..
Now it scared me a lot. Yes it was a cemetry!
yes a Cemetry ..the same one with a board with only part of the name showing. I am puzzled. I shake my mind and pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. No...I am quite awake and standing infront of the entrance to the cemetry. Then i hear a giggle .. a childish giggle from nearby. I jump quite scared and want to turn back and run. But - what happened to my legs? I am not able to move even one step. I stand there as if glued to the ground. Now the giggling sound is louder and I see some movement in the fog. I want to cry aloud but feel as if someone is clutching my neck and no voice coming from my mouth. Now I can see the figure moving towards me giggling while it is moving. Haa! now I see a little girl aged about 5 to 6 years so beaufiful , giggling loudly and and showing her hands as if calling me to follow her. I am too scared but at the same time enchanted by the little girl's smile. I feel as if I know her for a long time and start moving towards her. Then she starts running inside the cemetry again beckoning me to follow her and now i feel as if someone is pushing me from the back and start running inside the cemetry.She runs and at times looks back to confirm whether I am following her and we both reach a burning pyre. I am dumbfounded seeing body just starting to burn. It is a female as can be seen from the long stresses of hair which has not started burning and i see a beautiful face quite fair ..so fair as if all the blood has been removed...Then it happened.. A shriek like a whistle was heard and the corpse just got up and started walking towards me. I just wanted to shout, run..no..my legs were glued again and no sound coming from my mouth ..I just stood there so horrorstricken..I was sure the corpse is coming to kill me..
Then somebody patted me. I just jumpede to see the younger Ramsay brothers smiling at me "it has come out so lovely! You showed such a tremendous acting as if you were actually seeing the corpse walking.and as if it is going to kill you.vyou just lived the scene. You know our "Bhooth ki Beti" has already sold all the B & C Centres. I am sure A Centre will also be taken at our rates". I just stared at him thinking to myself "who acted?" Then I see Aishwarya Rai coming towards me after removing her corpse makeup.
She hugged me effusively and said that I am one of the finest co-stars she has ever acted with and that the emotiveness and histrionics that I had shown reminded her of Shah Rukh in Devdas. I was exhausted from the entire experience and felt like getting into Devdas's shoes for a few days and drinking myself silly just to escape this role (or was it real ???). Anyway, I decided to call it a day and went back to my make-up van. As I was entering my spot boy told me that 2 people were here to see me...
In the tiredness of the hectic schedule I I told bahadur (my makeup man) to send them directly into the van and went on for a change over....when I came back what I see is a white nepali with his 5 year old small kid waiting for me...the smell of tobacco and emanating from his pink nostrils made me shudder with fear, he was a well built man capable of handling 5-6 ppl in case a riot had broken out.he showed his blood stained khukri and said "saab ek baak agar ye khukri bahar aati hai to khoon leke hi jaati hai)....Jesu Christ I was here in my van without any aid or assistance and with a nepali who's talking abt blood and vengeance....the immediate thought of a budding star killed came into my mind....what a deep shit i'm in i thought....then he blurted in his heavy voice saab abhi abhi chicken maara hai is khukri se...should I clean it and bring it to you?...bahadur said that you like chicken a lot
But i was not listening to the Nepali nor I was looking at the blood stained khukri. My eyes just transfixed with the child's eyes which were trying to tell me something..and the child's face? Am I hallucinating? the child's face looked similar to the small girl's face who was beckoning me to the pyre. Is it real or is it shooting..I shake my head in bewilderment but the Nepali takes it for a 'NO' and starts protesting "Shaheb ! shicken (chicken) shapke liye layi".. I was not listening to him..I was just trying to find out what the child is trying to tell me..
Suddenly the caravan's door opens and bahadur peeps in and calls "Gorkha..idhar Aao". The nepali is leaving the van hurriedly asking the child to follow him but the child just did not follow him though the Nepali pulls him. Again bahadur starts shouting, this time very loudly and I ask the Nepali to go and am I happy to see him go. I lookat the child and to my surprise the child comes running to me and starts crying 'chiken khana math/ chicken khana math".. But i was not listening as again the child face starts changing to the face of the girl I had seen in the cemetry..Am I becoming mad or is this really happening to me? But all these thoughts were marred by heavy shouting outside and I come out and what I am seeing? All the film unit members beating the nepali and someone comes and tells "Sir! the chicken is poisoned" My head starts rolling .."why would the nepali want to kill me? who is behind this?" but then i felt the chil's hand catching me reassuringly as if to say "I told you". I turn to the child to find out more truth but where has the child gone?
With the child nowhere in sight, I was taking stock of all the strange incidents that had been happening to me, some conscious, some subconscious and some really surreal.
With the bowl of chicken gravy in hand, I wondered which one of my next thoughts would hijack my sanity and transfer me to a place reminiscent of the cemetary, the examination hall or the deep well which I conveniently seemed to have forgotten to narrate, but only in deference to worse evils.
Looking into the bowl, things look familar, strangely familiar. By Jove! it's as if I am peering into the well from its circular parapet. Am I going to eat into my own death? Why does everything that I say or do have such an ominous overtone to it?
I realise this is not my favourite Sushi, but an almost 'gauti' preparation of chicken which is famous in these areas nevertheless. I dip my hand into the gravy and feel the still cold water of the well seep into my skin. I divide a piece into two with much difficulty and I can feel the algae separating and a few bubbles representative of life surfacing and then dissolving into the water.
I blank my mind for some time, try not to think about anything at all, and in that effort think about everything that I probably would not have thought about had I not made such a preposterous assumption.
Yet, in time I am able to think nothing. Yes it is possible. You can think 'nothing'. Only that it feels like being in a deep well with cold water that is frighteningly still. The aroma of the chicken is in stark contrast to the stench in the well. But I conjure up courage with the help of memories I have of comic book endings that suggested that eventually good prevails over evil.
I begin to think about all the superheroes I was in awe of in the hope that they will help me overcome my fear. It seems to work. I can no longer think about the well and the stench and the corpses and the kukris and the headless entities. In fact, I am quite relishing the chicken. Yeah, not my favourite Sushi, but still enjoying it.
Then suddenly a weird thought flashes in my mind. I realise that when I boarded that crowded train, there was this woman who boarded after me. And for some strange reason, she didn't seem to hassled at all by the crowd or the fact that the train was in shambles. I now remember the distinct pink scarf that she had wrapped around her neck. In fact it was so big, it could pass off as a shirt. Too caught up in the stench of smelly passengers and the 1x1 sq. foot real estate that I was holding on to with my dear life, I was not too bothered by her presence, until I could almost hear her looking at me. Yea, I could 'hear' her looking at me.
I looked above and she engineered a little smile, a carefully manufactured one. One that you couldn't find fault with, but wouldn't readily trust and accept as completely human like. Knowing not what to do and to fight off the predicament, I asked her, "So where are you getting off lady?" She improved upon her engineering and said calmly, "I do not have one place to go to."
Now that was really eerie. After all who would want to keep travelling in this torture without a purpose in mind?
These Nepali's sure know how to cook up fowl. Trying not to let the foul smell permeating through the compartment affect me, I take more interest in her rather innocuous answer to my question. And then before I can analyse further, she tells me, "lad, have you booked your berth in heaven?"
I said "wha... berth in heaven... but i dont understand..." and that seemed to be the cue for all the people sitting in the compartment to start singing bhajan's. They whipped out tiny cymbals and bells and began banging away in merry abandon and singing" Jai Jagadish Hare...". It wasn't very melodious, but it wasnt bad either, except for the raucous decibel levels. I couldn't think... they were too loud. Their religious fervor was contagious and i began singing along too. I felt like I was in a trance... I could see the lady had taken her pink scarf and tied it into a sort of a bandana around her head and was deep in a meditative, chanting trance. The chanting grew louder and it had moved on from Gandhiji's favourite song to more mundane mantra's in praise of Lord Vinayaka, I was completely caught up by now and was lost in my trance... when i suddenly felt my shirt being unbuttoned.
in the midst of whipped up 'religious' fervor and the dissonant vocal harmonies set against the steady rhythm of the rocking train, i felt some movement on my chest - in my intense focus on the chanting and singing, i must have lost my sense and timing of response to external stimuli - more so the hands of a stranger on my body - i opened my eyes and what did i see? an effiminate man (shaped eyebrows, face shaved over many times) in pink shirt and yellow slacks with lust in his eyes
at that moment, all tolerance, compassion, and belief in the lords (vinayak, jagdish and the rest) ceased to be - to be 'manhandled' this way - me a normal heterosexual male, and attractive to women! i cannot imagine how my motions of chanting, singing, swaying, and all of this could arouse lust in another man!
i caught hold of the smooth hairless hands and applied pressure - the effiminate one's face contorted in pain, but what came next to my disbelief - he did not resist or draw away - with more pressure, he closed his eyes tight - the face was a bizarre mixture of pain and sensual pleasure - brought about by this physical contact that was meant to dissuade, not encourage and titillate!
amidst this - the chanting and singing continued to the sound of cymbals and other percussion while the trained chugged along
om jaya jagadeeshwaha re!
i wonder what sigmund would have to state on this strange incident?
"Oh Baba, how I pine for you!" I heard her voice� though no lips moved. "Oh, my heart pains for you." I could hear it�the blood gurgling in her heart. Niagara, screaming and falling with a million beats on the drums of my ears. I felt her diabolic tongue exploring my chest. And froze, her rotting breath overcoming me. The bloody light from within her axed-open neck blinded me.
I was shocked to see that her hand was strking my hair. I hurriedly stole a glance at my fellow passengers who were immersed in the bhajan. I was rather enjoying the feminine attention when she slapped me hard. "Is this the way you treat ladies" She shouted at the top of her voice" "But you were the one who.........." I could only mutter to myself when I saw three four guys turned towards me. I was sweating profusely."Hey, look here, she herself came to me and............." "Ah, please don't........"
"But what's wrong with you?" It was a surprsingly soft voice. I looked up and saw a friendly familiar face of Roopa, my colleague. "I think you need to see a doc" she suggested. I tried to explain but in vain. She would not understand. "Look here, you are bahaving very strange these days. All the time, you fall in in a trance and utter strange words. Have you lost interest in me?" Roopa was visibly irritated. I was really feeling sorry for her. But the moment I said things about my dreams, it angered her more. "tell me honestly, whom are you seeing these days" You are cheating on me...hence you were mumbling something like "Please stop it.don't do that" in that stupid dream.
This was my turn to boil with rage now. "Look here, Roopa....This is getting..... "
(Contributed so far by: Ruchi, Sandhya, Satish Laxman,Supratik, Lalit, Harry G T, Bobin, Ameeta Agnihotri, Cheelu Singh, Sudhir Raikar,Manju, Bhaskar, Kaushik, Sushi, Keertan, Anand Swamy, Vija C, Lavanya Karalkar,Keertan Adyanthaya, Sudhir Raikar, Dalton: firstname.lastname@example.org, ranjit roy)
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