Posted in Fiction, Life, Love, Memories, Poetry, Rambling, Stories


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When this dark night ends, silent and still; I’ll be waiting for you at the other end, the rising sun behind me, beaming, showering his golden blessings…

— Kunal Rane —

Posted in Stories, Village


Our story-teller called regularly but she wasn’t into ghost-tales anymore. Her husband didn’t come for many days after telling ‘the story of the house we lived.’ He must have been told off by his wife for telling it. When he finally showed up; I asked him about that banyan tree and he started something about the house across the street but stopped suddenly; realizing his wife’s glare. I really wanted to know about it so I tried to ask him again; but the wife altered that subject quite skillfully every time I tried.

I was having trouble sleeping at nights for some time. Any distinct sound gave me a start and I could still hear the sound of an axe sometimes. But I couldn’t talk to my parents because they would have told me ‘there are no such things as ghosts or spirits.’ So instead I told myself the same thing. Days passed by and my fears faded eventually.

One day it had been raining cats and dogs all day. Morning started windy and it transformed into a thunderstorm before evening. We had to eat dinner in candlelight as there had been a transformer failure. I went to my room early that night and was lying in my bed listening to the patter and crashes outside for a long time. When I had just started to feel drowsy I heard someone sneeze. The sound didn’t come from the next bedroom. I was sure it came from the attic. My heart was pounding hard against my ribs. I stayed in my bed for a long time; petrified, eyes and ears wide open. I could only hear the patter of the rain. Around early hours of morning I fell asleep.

Next morning the rain stopped but my school declared holiday as there were reports of property damage all around. A branch of a mango tree had dropped on the right corner of our roof and had damaged some tiles. My father hired two men to repair it. When they were working I managed to sneak up on roof and peek inside at the attic from a patch of tiles that was removed to be replaced. It was full of scrap but otherwise there was nothing unusual.

I had become used to the noises at night they didn’t bother me anymore.

One Saturday my friend was at my home for a sleepover. Around one in the morning we heard the sound of an axe. I had already told him about it but he hadn’t believed until he heard it himself. After a whispered guesswork about what it could be we decided to go out and check for ourselves. We sneaked out of my room, Listened at the door of my parent’s room if they are asleep and tiptoed along the veranda. As quietly as possible we opened the front door and crept out of the front yard to the gate.

I was quite nervous and my friend was rather jumpy. Fear building as we walked very slowly towards dull thuds. Half the distance we covered shivering and then stopped. I asked my friend if he was sure and we should go near that tree. He considered it for a while then said ‘we have come this far, lets just go and see.’ We started again, but as we neared the tree we realized; dull thuds of axe had stopped. Everything was quiet except gentle rush of leaves. We didn’t make any noise just stand there staring at the tree. No one was around and no sound came.

We turned and very quietly rushed back inside the front gate, across the yard and into the house. When we locked the door and crept back into my room we heard again the thuds of axe. We tried to deduce again what it could be and finally dozed off.

We kept talking about it for a few days then finally I told myself there IS no such thing as ghosts and even if there are they don’t trouble you for no reason.


                                                                The end……

Posted in Stories, Village


When I woke up that morning I asked my mother if she had heard any noise and she said she did and we must get rid of those rats. That reassured me and I dropped the subject and forgot all about it in a few days as I didn’t hear any more noises.

My school hadn’t started yet and I didn’t know anyone in village; also there was no cable network there; I spent my time wandering around. The houses around were fairly distant from each other. Opposite our house on other side of the main street a little further on was a big old house, too old in fact but not as old as it’s inhabitants. A husband and a wife, they must be at least a hundred years old. Hedge around the house had become a thicket you could hardly imagine there could be a house at first glance. That was the last house on Main Street and right outside where that property ended was an enormous banyan three with its hundreds of aerial roots, a few of them not aerial anymore but had found their way back in earth. Further on both sides of street were only fields, woods and bushes. Sometimes in the middle of the night I heard slashes of axe like someone cutting a tree from the direction of the banyan tree but the tree was whole whenever I saw it.

Soon my school started and I made some friends and as soon as my parents acquainted with some villagers, we heard quite a few stories about different people of village; whom we didn’t know yet, and some other stories of various parts of the village, ‘the usual village ghost tales.’ Our regular story teller was a tall; broad shouldered; solid woman who dropped by nearly every evening, some times accompanied by her husband who contrasting to her was a short and stout man with a squeaky voice, since our house was on the way to their farm. No one in my family believed those tales, but then one evening a story told by the husband while the wife tried without success to hush him turned out to be the most exciting one. It was concerning the house we were living. The tale was, ‘The house owner’s wife died in that house; and she didn’t die a natural death; and her spirit still dwells in the attic’, The attic which was always locked; for the owner said he kept his old furniture and kitchen utensils, ‘people says they have seen her after her death’… even if my parents didn’t believe it, I wasn’t sure about not believing the tale. So I asked one of my friends in school and he said he had heard the stories but didn’t believe them either.


                                                            To be continued……