Tag Archives: Story

Another ghost story

Thursday evening was pleasant. I was back from office early that day and was planning on going out. I decided to take an auto. I walked the small distance through the alley where my apartment was. My muscles were spraining; I should walk more often. I reached the main road. Oddly enough, it wore a deserted look. The velvety brown of the evening sky was already fading into the blue silhouette of the moonlight.
There were no vehicles or human beings, or even dogs (There will at least be 3 stray dogs per street in Bangalore) in sight.
‘Oh dear, will I have to walk till Airport Road now to get an auto?‘, my lazy legs complained and my mind translated it to English.
I uttered a non-verbal spell (well! I didn’t utter in strict sense since it was non-verbal) to summon an auto. Even I was surprised to see an auto coming almost immediately behind me. I waved to him to stop. He didn’t seem to notice and passed me. Then the auto screeched to a halt about 10 feet ahead. I ran towards the auto.
The driver had a frightened look in his face. He looked at me, then looked down towards my feet, then again looked at me.
I too looked at my own feet, just by instinct. What was wrong with my feet?
‘Elli hogbeku saar?’, (Where to, sir?) he asked, anxiety resonating in every syllable that came out.
‘KR Puram’
‘I’ll go through the main road, is it okay?’
‘Okay’, I replied, not understanding what he meant by the last statement. I didn’t know of any shortcuts or alleys to my destination.

I got in and he started moving. He didn’t speak anything till we reached 100ft road. The looming silence instantly changed into ear-shattering din. I heard something like a gasp of relief coming from the driver.

He turned his head when we had stopped at a traffic signal and asked something like, “Kannada maathadubeka?” (Do you speak Kannada?)
I understood what he meant and replied, “Kannada gothilla” (I don’t know Kannada)
“Oh. Hindi is okay”
[ Rest of the conversation was in Hindi, mostly a monologue. Translated to English. Everything in italics is whatever I thought, but didn’t say. ]
Driver: I almost escaped from that ghost today.
Me: What?
Driver: A ghost. She asked me for a ride. Said she will pay 200 rupees. Scared the shit out of me.
Me: *Oh really?*
Driver: She came in a car, said she wanted to go to ***** (I didn’t get the name of the place when he said it.) Offered to pay anything. These lady ghosts…once they enter our body, they will never leave us. Ask us all sorts of things. They won’t go until you die. You will be doomed.
Me: *Duh*
Driver: I just mustered enough courage to say No and get the hell out of there.
Me: Oh. Was that why you were driving so fast?
Driver: Obviously….She wanted to take me to a deserted place and possess me. After that, I would have no control over myself. I’ll lose my family and kids and will have to go after her. She won’t let me enjoy family life as I would have to satisfy her always.
Me: *[Evil grin]* You looked at my feet.
Driver: I was checking whether you were human; whether you had feet.
Me: Hehe. *Muhahahaha*
Driver: No sir, I was so freaked out. Really. In my village, we take special amulets and all from the priest. We are safe there. But there are no such safety precautions here in city.
Me: *All ghosts migrated to cities now. Yeah, I can see*
Driver: I think she was a Muslim ghost. That makes it even more difficult.
Me: Why so?
Driver: Because Hindu mantras won’t work on Muslim ghosts. You need Muslim mantras from Quran for those.
Me: *Boy! This is getting better and better*
Me: What did she look like? Was she wearing white saree?
Driver: I don’t know. She came in a car. Her hair was loose and wildly bushy. Her face was white.
Me: You mean fair skin?
Driver: No sir. It was white color. Like white paint was smeared. Only her eyes were brown.
Me: And she was driving a car.
Driver: Yes.

I suddenly remembered the ghost from the movie “The Ring”. Then the thought suddenly hit me squarely in my mind..like a 10-pin strike. It might just have been some ordinary lady who was careless enough to go out without removing her facial. The poor lady was mistaken for a ghost! Imagine her perplexed face when the driver had sped from her at breakneck speed!
Hell of a ghost story for me!!

I didn’t speak much for the rest of the journey. He was saying something, I just kept replying “Mm.Hmm”,”I see” etc. idly without listening to what he was saying.

We reached my destination. I checked the meter and gave him the money.
“One and a half meter charge, sir”
*Bloody hell! This guy had the nerves to ask for more money even in this condition.*
I argued, “What is the extra half for? Your ghost story?”

The Vanity of the Mind #3: The Redemption

The story so far…
1. Anathema
2. A damsel in distress

The Redemption

He nears the house. He sees the door and the pitch darkness inside. The Black Hole. Only this time, the door looks circular. The black circle grows as it nears him. It moves towards his forehead.
He hears a cocking sound.

“BANG! You’re dead.”

He came back to his senses.
The lady was aiming the muzzle straight at his forehead. It was his own gun.
“What the…”

“Didn’t expect this, did you?”, she asked with a smile, “Didn’t expect me to be the anonymous assassin who is going to kill you.”
“But I was paid to kill you.”
“Don’t you get it? It was me who contacted your agency for this contract.”
“It was a trap, wasn’t it? A decoy so that you could get to me. But I praise your fortitude to plan my assassination with my own weapons.”
“I knew you are weak. A person doing this job should have no relationships. He should have no heart. You were so in love with me.”
“But why no weapons?”
“Oh come on! You would have known the moment if I’d carried any weapons. Besides, I wanted to prove that I’m the best in business.”
“So have you proved it?”
“I will, in due time.”
“Have you ever played Russian Roulette? How about playing it now? Too bad we don’t have a revolver. You hold the gun against…”
“SHUT UP! Don’t play games with me.”

The hitman laughed menacingly. She grew confused as her smile faded away.

“Good guess. I indeed was intending to play games. As a matter of fact, I did expect you to betray.”
He opened his left hand. The bullets were in his hand.

She pulled the trigger frantically.
Nothing but the sound of metal hitting against metal.

“Give the gun to me. I’ll teach you how to shoot.”
He grabbed the muzzle. She didn’t even resist. The cartridge was empty. It was a deadlock situation.

“How did you know?”, she asked.
“Our dialogue sounded like something straight out of a Sidney Sheldon novel. Sounded too trite to be honest.”
“Lets do something which is less of a cliche. Lets play Russian Roulette then”, she had to buy as much time as possible.
“Yeah. Lets.”
He pointed the gun on her forehead instead of his own.
His arced lips were becoming straight, “An assassin should never listen to her heart.”
She looked into his bared left hand. There were only three bullets.
She suddenly realised, “Shit!”

“BANG! You’re dead!”
The silencer served both the purposes.
It made a tranquil silence of the gunshot.
It silenced her.

The hitman opened the cartridge. There were 4 bullets in the lower slots. He put back the three bullets in hand into the top-most slots.

The lady lay in the linen-covered floor, an exact hole on the middle of her forehead.
It was over. He walked away with his paycheck.
The mind won the battle. The urban legend was redeemed.

Courtesy: Thanks to Sanjeev for the constructive criticism on the last chapter.

The Vanity of the Mind #2: A Damsel in Distress

The story so far…
1. Anathema

A damsel in distress

He was pushed to the back seat of a helpless moderator who was about to witness a heated debate.
The heart and the mind were arguing. How could he not listen to either one of them?
The mind. Cunning manipulator.
The heart. Excruciating torturer.

He came back after quenching his thirst. But his thirst for an answer was still not quenched. The curtains were open and the soothing lights from the moon were falling inside. The warm doona was glowing bright white in the silhouette. Under that was a beautiful face, no less than the face of an angel, because it was glowing with twice the aura as the moon. His gaze quickly went again to his silenced pistol kept in the bedside table.

Please…No…I can’t do this…
I love her.

Did I really ever love any one? Did I really care about any one?
Do I know what love is?

All I know is that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life..She is my sole solace from all the misdeeds I do.

Misdeeds? Or deeds? There is nothing wrong in taking life.

How can I take life when I can’t give life?

I don’t care. All I know is, this is what I’m good at and this is what I’m paid for.

But how can I? How dare I hurt such a person as her?

Because she asked me to.


Don’t I know?

The world then zooms to an alternate reality…what has already happened!
The assassin and his lady love are conversing. The heart and the mind are watching.

Assassin: I didn’t expect you outside so soon. You like parties.
Lady: I like to be in your company for as long as I wish.
L: Care for a smoke?
A: No thanks.
L: As usual.
A: We should stop meeting like this; these chance encounters make me feel insecure about myself.
L: Chance encounters? Heh. You have been hiding so many things from me.
A: Like?
L: Like what you do for a living.
A: You never asked.
L: I didn’t because I didn’t want to know.
A: Very well.
L: But I found out nevertheless. I’ve seen you hide that pistol of yours inside your tuxedo.

The hitman frowns.

L: I’ve known that the one the world thinks as an Urban Legend, is the world for me.
A: Still you love me?
L: Yes.
A: Why?
L: Because I’ve seen a heart of gold in you.
A: But I have a mind of stone.
L: But I see your heart in your eyes whenever your eyes see me.
A: Look. I’ve tried to tell you several times, but faltered every time. You should stay away from me. It is not safe.
L: How can one stay away from one’s shadow?
A: I am the shadow of the people I kill. I cannot be with you.
L: Then kill me.

The assassin frowns again. How the hell did she know?

A: That is the stupidest statement I’ve heard in ages.

A cheshire cat grin comes on her face. He senses her signal. He leans forward. He feels her satin-like skin. They hear the song played in the background.
I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky
I swear like the shadow that’s by your side

They kiss.

The heart and the mind come back to the present.

That is just a passing statement. Not good enough a reason for killing her.

It’s not finished yet.

They zoom to another reality.

The assassin and the lady are in the bed. He is lying on his back, facing the ceiling. She is lying sideways, her head rested against her left arm. Her other hand is caressing his chin.

L: Do you love me?
A: I don’t know.
L: That’s one honest answer.
A: But you are the only human I care about in this earth.
L: Then why did you come here to kill me?
A: What?
L: I know you are here to kill me.
A: I di…
L: I’ve seen the concentration in your face today. Today is the day you are going to make another hit. I don’t mind it being me.
A: I don’t get it.
L: I’ve been running away from them for so long. They want me dead. I’m tired. Tired from running. You see. I’d rather die in your hands than from the bullets of an unknown person.
A: Are you not afraid?
L: Not when you are around. I only have one request. Hold me close to you until I die.

The assassin doesn’t know what to say. He can’t keep his eyelids open. He feels sleepy.
What is happening to me?
He wakes up in an unknown place. He walks across the street, but this time it looks a bit familiar…The road laid with stones. The medieval buildings. He is back in his dream.

The Vanity of the Mind #1: Anathema

The story so far…



He woke up, startled.
He felt disoriented. He was gasping.
What was it that he just said? Who did he ask for help? Why did he need help from anybody?
What was it that he just saw? Do dreams have any meaning?
Questions! They come like bullets from a machine gun whenever they come, not giving time for you to answer, suffocating you. By the time you are ready to answer, they are gone.

He came back to his senses.

That was nothing but a bad dream.
No! Dreams have meanings.
A conflict of thoughts!

His .44 caliber Desert Eagle was lying on the bedside table, fitted with a silencer. It symbolized his gagged mouth. He had no one to confess to. His life was that of a solitary eagle, a cursed one.

He was the assassin.
He wasn’t sure how many people he had killed. But he was sure of something. If God existed…if heaven and hell existed…he had a sure seat in hell.
He killed for money. That was his food. That was his destiny.
“Destiny. A word coined by some prick who wanted to justify his deeds and explain his losses.”
“Who’s there?”, he shouted as he looked around.
No one! That voice seemed to come from inside him.

He checked the time in his diamond studded Rolex watch kept by the bedside table. He could afford expensive watches and suits, thanks to the handsome money he got for each contract.
It was 4 in the morning. He looked at his gun. Creases formed in his forehead. His eyes were showing hatred. Hatred towards his gun. Hatred towards his profession. Hatred towards himself.

“This is not hatred. This is confession. You are confessing to yourself, because you have no one else.”
“Who’s that?”
“I’m your heart.”
“What the…”
He got up. He needed some water. This was insane.
It was about to get worse, because someone else just barged in.

“Don’t listen to your heart. It will make you weak”

The Vanity of the Mind: Prologue

He walks across the street which doesn’t look too familiar. It is a crowded street, but the faces are blank. The roads are very clear, but the surroundings aren’t. It is as if someone has blurred out the borders of a picture. The road doesn’t seem to be asphalted; it is a walkway which looks an old-fashioned one with polished stones on the ground. The buildings too don’t seem modern; most seem to be festooned. They look blurred. Are they really constructed like that? Or is it a trick that his mind is playing?
His mind laughs cynically…”Fool!”

He then spots THAT building. It is not a separate standalone edifice, but still, it looks clear in the hazy virtual reality he is in. Why so? He knows not. It is a part of a chain of buildings which don’t seem to be separated, but continuous.

He turns towards the building. He senses the ominous artworks in the wooden roofs. He sees the black smoke rising out of it’s chimney. But he doesn’t see where it is going. It disappears into the infinite universe. He squints into the building through the open door. It is pitch black inside. It seems to have nothing; a black hole. Is it really a black hole? Is it true that anything would be sucked inside? Is it so tempting that anyone who passes by would go inside but never return?

He is tempted. Little does he realize that this is his last temptation. He has two choices. If he makes this choice, there may be no return. Still he goes inside. His mind resumes that cynical laugh. He doesn’t step inside; he floats. His feet doesn’t seem to hit solid ground. He frantically tries to get out through the door. But it’s too late. There’s no door. There is a sphere of darkness around him. For the first time in his life, he’s afraid.

Who said I couldn’t write verse?

Well. I did!
But looking back, I have to take it back. I see I can write. (Some people don’t like it because it’s not poetry in the right sense. But what the heck! That’s the maximum I can do!)

Here’s a snippet of one of my old posts. You’ll see the complete post here.

…The panda, as if reading my mind, started…

Why worry about the name of the dame,
When you still don’t know the name of the game,
You are lame coz you can’t take aim,
The guns, you can’t blame, it will be a big shame,
Why go after the dame who came,
When I am there, who’s so tame,
You’ll get it all the same,
And ‘t will be your claim to fame.

Then, without warning, he jumped on me. He clutched me tight however I tried to get rid of him. Even now he’s clutching me from my side. I say, “You’re not a Koala, you’re a Panda, Goddamnit!!”
Oh dear!!!

What happened to the quest of the stone??

Away went broken, the dame
And as she went, she proclaimed,
I will avenge you, O my flame!
The stone she found is now critically acclaimed!!
I lost the stone and the fame and the dame,
And I got an idiot who says he’s tame.


It was hell.
He couldn’t get a moment of peaceful solitude, because the mosquito was humming in his ears. Why does the mosquito always hum in your ears? How does it know where human ears are? Why does it hold this grudge to humans? A million unanswered questions.

He never knew about how annoying mosquitos could be until he visited Cochin. Of course, he had heard about the dreaded diseases like Malaria, but this experience was downright annoying… There was no other word for it.

The mosquitoes of Cochin were very smart. They knew how to live even in adverse situations. They had adapted to the growing threats that they faced. He realised that from the moment he landed in the bus station. He looked up, and saw a rain cloud in what otherwise was a clear blue sky. Rain cloud in the middle of summer? That was impossible. He looked up again. The cloud was nearing him. He suddenly was reminded of the artificially intelligent nanoparticles in Michael Crichton’s Prey. Then it happened. The cloud hit him like someone throwing several pebbles at him. He struggled and wiggled, but to no avail. The number of mosquitoes in that cloud would have exceeded the number of soldiers in the erstwhile Roman empire. He was enclosed in the cloud of mosquitoes until he reached near a garbage dump. Then they left him in search of a new victim. Talk about mosquitoes which hate garbage dumps. But as he recalled, the Cochin mosquitoes were different.

He finally reached his relative’s house. Inside he was feeling a bit suffocated and went towards the windows to open them.
Came the scream from everyone else in the house.
“Don’t open the windows unless you want to stay awake all night”

“What is it with the mosquitoes here? I’ve heard Cochin mosquitoes are unbearable; and had a first hand experience today too”
His relative started his epic monologue about Cochin mosquitoes…

Mosquitoes here are unique. They have adapted to the different condition here. They no longer travel in battalions; they travel in armies. There is nothing that can be done about it. In fact, the notoriety of these mosquitoes is so much that one can write a ballad.

Mosquitoes have given partial relief to the huge unemployment problem of the Cochin people. Nowadays people always will have one job — scratching their backs to get rid of that annoying itch caused by mosquito bites.
Even the tiger is afraid that it might be deprived of it’s National Animal status because of the mosquitoes.

Rashid, the lad who stays across the street had a nasty experience once. He was sleeping when he dreamt that he was checking his weight. His weight initially showed 70kg, then it came down, and down, and down until he was almost as light as a feather. Then he dreamt that he was flying; flying over the terrace. He was doing backstroke swimming in the air. Then somebody nipped him in his hand. He woke up, startled. But he was in for another shock when he realised that it was not a dream, he was indeed flying. A cloud of mosquitoes had lifted him over his bed, out through the balcony and all the way up to the terrace.

Chacko, our neighbor tried the latest Mortein mosquito repellent; the so called “Yama(God of death) of mosquitoes”. He plugged the repellent to the socket, only to hear a high-pitched, almost satirical comment from behind. “Thanks for the repellent, dude. We just love it’s smell.” The cloud was speaking!!!

So on went the epic until he fell asleep. It was then that the solitary skeeter came to disturb him. After sending in the army, was this the commando? Anyway, solitary mosquitoes seemed to be more annoying than the cloud. Just because they seemed to bite at places which were unreachable (by the hand), and at particularly difficult places to scratch, like the bare side of his feet. And they intimidated him with their pesky hum near his ears. They seemed to be very talented in evading his capture.

But he was not going to give up easily. After several minutes of grueling duel, he finally got a chance. The mosquito came and sat in his left arm. He waited until the mosquito burrowed it’s ugly snout to suck his blood. If that was done, he would get that extra time to kill it. He waited and waited, but the mosquito still seemed only to intimidate him. Finally, after what seemed to be an hour, it plunged it’s nose deep to sample his blood. Then he took his right hand and in a lightning fast move, slapped hard on his arm. Blood splattered. The mosquito was dead and was squashed beyond recognition.

He nonchalantly shoved off the dead mosquito from his arm. With a cruel satisfaction, he fell asleep again. He only hoped that Maneka Gandhi won’t sue him for the cold-blooded murder.

1. Thanks to Nadirsha, the parody singer for inspiring this post by one of his songs.
2. No mosquitoes were harmed in writing this post.