Who...??...??

It was early Ashwin mas(month of September),Saturday, darkness after full moon.Overcast with occasional drizzle throughout the day.Raju, was reading his texts, sitting near a window.His small house was situated in an insignificant remote village of Bengal. A kilometer away from a river brimful of flood water. A village road ran across in front of his house,from hat(village market) to burning ghat on the bank of that river. He was living alone,other family members went to a cousins marriage to another village. Raju couldn't afford to attend, for his en showing exam. Somehow he managed to pass the day by reading, cooking a little bit etc. etc.

Sometime in late afternoon,just when evening was stretching and rolling to got up and extort, a little left over refracted sunlight. Ssoohooh......sshoooh.....trrat...trrr..tat..a semi cyclonic storm along with initial blast of hail stones,rattling violently Raju's corrugated(iron) roof;crashed in. Rocking and shaking the creation to the limits of its end; for almost half an hour hail stones stopped,but the wind was still blowing with enough bite,and heavy rain begun.

Raju was at his wits end,failed to think anything logically. Aclinic line of darkness and twilight,rushed forward.Suddenly a thick pitch black darkness fall in. So thick even Raju could made a try to touch that.Helplessly waiting for some minutes,he slowly got up form his chair in search of his lantern. Groping to find the lantern, in dark only managed to cast it away from self,cracking the chimney.Any way Raju could lit that,but in a very dim state .To reduce disgorging of heavy black smoke due to cracked chimney. Out side nature was still ruffling her feathers menacingly and semi darkness inside,with nobody around Raju,had an weired feeling of eeriness. Stood like an orphan in the midst of his room. Adding to his eeriness,in the mean time he heard a faint slogan of funeral procession dopplering in slowly.He was thinking of 'who passed away'? Also feeling for the ill luck of corpse bearers, doing their duties in that evil weather. The procession came along the road in front of his house and left,heading towards their destination 'the burning ghat'.Their religious slogans dopplered out slowly and faded.

After some time Raju moved around his rooms slowly to took stock of the situation.Reviewing the state of his living cum reading room,stepped in to the kitchen and spread his arms to lock the back door of kitchen firmly.As his hands just touched the door, immediately frightened to the core by simultaneous attack from a huge clap of thunder and with vicious knocking of the door along with rough, aphonic distress call.

"Raajuu........Raaju......... open the door.....open the door..Raaju"

This put already frightened Raju in utter dilemma.Seconds after wakening from the reverie ,he asked.

"Who are you?
"You know me ,my boy.But open it up first,please.I am trembling with chill " the stranger replied.
Raju paused a bit and then opened the door. A thin long figure covered in a wrapper,fully wet rushed in,and immediately went to the darkest corner of the room and sat on a chair there.At the instant of his entry a foul fishy smell blown in, to fill the room,Raju could barely checked disgorging of the small lunch he had.Lastly he could gained some courage to ask the stranger, "Who you? Where from?"

Some good seconds of uncomfortable silence passed.Then Raju heard a deep painful moaning,the stranger was weeping with intermittent soliloquy.Holding his head between his palms.

    "Nitaaai...ohh!.....Neetaai...where.. you.. are? My ..son...come on ...Nitai..come..to ..your Dad..weep.I can't live without you Nitai,..come on Nitai come on."
Raju told"Don't know who you are,or what happened to you? I am giving you a towel, dry your self" talking so came closer to him,and told again"Let me bring the lantern,and will prepare a cup of tea for both of us.There after i shall listen to your grief".
  
   "No..Nooh my son don't bring the lantern here"commanded the stranger grabbing Raju's hand for some seconds. A hard ice chill palm shaken ed Raju.As if rigor mortise had set in to the hands hours before.
Again Raju asked "Who you"?

"I shall introduce me later.You tell me first have you seen my son Nitai?I lost him since three days,tell me ,tell me please"started weeping again."Raju do you know?Nitai can't live without me,and me too can't stay without him.So why this is happening?Three long days gone we are apart from each other?How?"

Grief stricken Raju answered "No Sir,i have not seen him."

In the midst of all these sounds of an advancing tumult was heard.Seemed a bunch of people were coming hurriedly and noisily Soon after a chorus of "Raajuuu, oopen the door" rammed in to his auditory nerves.
Leaving the stranger behind Raju rushed to open the front door.At once a group of frightened people hurriedly fall in to the room.There were some known faces  in the group also,but they looked bewildered and gasping.

  "What happened? Why you are so frightened? Raju exclaimed.
Samar the leader of the group replied"Haradhan Sir,you might remember Raju.Our sanskrit teacher, committed suicide  at forenoon to day.We took his corpse for cremation some two hours back.As we reached the burning ghat storm intensified,and we resigned to a shed near by, leaving the corpse behind.When the storm recessed a bit, we returned to the corpse ,but shocked and frightened to found only the stretcher lying there no corpse. Fearfully we begun to search near by,but couldn't continue as all of us begun sensing some ethereal bodies moving around us,and heard threatening grown form a pack of aggressive jackal. We couldn't stand any more and ran out of the scene.So sad of Haradhan sir ,Raju you might know, his only son Nitai died of typhoid :the day before yesterday.Since then he became almost mad,begun searching his beloved son in every nook and corner of the village.He refused to believe the death of his son.But his aged heart couldn't bear the pressure from such a deep sorrow and succumbed to it eventually."

"Nitai?.....Haradhan Sir?" Raju cried in utter disbelief.
Ran frantically to the kitchen, only to found the empty chair,wide open door, no trace of that stranger,suddenly stormy wind brought a faint sound.........Neeetaaaaiii...........

Raju was sense less for more than an hour.

Thanks spending so much of precious time.



Comments

  1. What an intersting story, Nirupam. Had me gripped throughout. Wonderful.

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  2. @Really Sulekha?This is first time I tried these sort of stuffs.My heartfelt warm thanks to you.

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  3. very well done. this would make a fantastic addition the the daisy lemmas riff. i have sent you a request to join the blog chroniclers group.
    i really like this story. it is a good one. thank you kind sir. the seen was livingness and envied too escape and search the void of lost. very power full. great writing. you have been a gracious host . thank you

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  4. @Roy,I can't believe on my eyes,while reading your comment.You heightened my responsibility to maintain standard and deliver better.
    No thanks but regards to you.
    Nirupam

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  5. Excellent story, Nirupam. There mystery and suspense. I love pieces that have a sense of completion but still has many unanswered questions.

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  6. @Sweepy, you may not know you echoed GURUDEV(great master) 'Tagore'.He gave an immortal definition to short stories, i.e."shesh hoye hoilona shes" means
    'finished but yet to be finished'
    Thanks a ton, come again.
    Nirupam

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  7. Very interesting Nirupam - I feel really bad for Nitai's Father. Poor man! And what happened to the corpse??? Is there more to the story?

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  8. Enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing.

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  9. Ooh - I have goose bumps all up my spine now. haha

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  10. @Kirti,'shesh hoye hoilona shesh' I can't violate it,so............??
    @Debbie, thanks a lot.
    @Anna 'goose bumps'? lolol. Any improvement from me?Tried to follow your tips.

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  11. This is your first try at this kind of writing?? Really?? I'm impressed. It had a little Poe influence and I love Poe. Very well written I hope you keep producing stories like this. This is why I have you on my blog as one I read.
    Jim
    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/03/anatomy-of-pitch-and-why-pitchers-get.html

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  12. @JP, you love me,so you mentioned great 'Poe', anyway I feel honored,shall try to meet your expectations. Thanks

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  13. I really enjoyed the Supernatural feel to this story...even the weather contributed to the essense of atmosphere. Jim is right...it has a " Poe" feel to it. If this were made into a movie, I would be hiding under the covers. I could actually feel the constant noise of the storm, the confusion..the hint of the funeral procession going by..it's significance yet to be shown. Very well done. I added your link to my blog as the next chapter in the Daisy Lemmas Riff....

    http://ravenmyth.blogspot.com

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  14. wah...Really Excellent but sad story....Enjoyed..

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