Beyond The Realm Of Life
Beyond The Realm Of Life
4th May, 2019. 01:45 Hrs
Shri Guru Charan Sarooja-raj Nija manu Mukura Sudhaari,
Baranau Rahubhara Bimala Yasha Jo Dayaka Phala Chari,
Budhee-Heen Thanu Jannikay Sumirow Pavana Kumara,
Bala-Budhee Vidya Dehoo Mohee Harahu Kalesha Vikaara,
The Hanuman Chalisa went on in loop for last 15 mins in their mobile phones.
Two Hours earlier, 3rd May 2019. 23:40 Hrs.
“Welcome to the top news at this hour. Cyclone Fani is all set to hit the coast of Bengal and parts of Kolkata is also going to feel its effect….” buzzed the popular news channel.
“This will be very exciting. Remember the last time, in May 2009, how we were preparing for the semester exam and cyclone Ayla had wreaked havoc?” Jai and Veeru were deeply engaged in their discussion of cyclones.
“Well, let's celebrate the night than in the honor of Fani. Let’s have the whiskey on the rocks” Jai claimed. “Sure, we will”, replied Veeru with a smile on his face.
4th May 2019. 00:05 Hrs
The room was filled with music. Arijit Singh’s soulful voice could be heard in one of the late-night music channels. Jai and Veeru were happily chatting away. It looked sort of well-made arrangement. They had some chicken tandoori, chips n cheese and to help gulp all of it down, some fine single malt whiskey. Life – is – a bitch was the theme of their discussion.
4th May 2019. 00: 25 Hrs
“Looks like Fani has hit the street.” Exclaimed Veeru. “Let’s open the window and peek at the street”. The trees were swinging wildly in the strong winds and it was raining torrentially. The earth was letting the hot vapor that had engulfed everyone in the last one week. Visibility was less than a meter. Such was the tandav that was happening outside. The children’s park playing next to Jai’s house was muddied all over. It was a pristine sight for the unaffected bodies made of flesh and blood.
4th May 2019. 00: 45 Hrs
Sipping on the concoction with ice, it was a good time for the boys. (The men in their early 30’s liked to call themselves boys!). Veeru lit a cigarette. The winds grew stronger, making a howling and screeching sound as it cut through the many houses in the lane. The tv signal started getting distorted. “There it goes. We claim we are so advanced in science and technology and we can’t even stand a storm in the night” retorted Jai. He kept on mumbling something under his breath oblivious that Veeru was no longer paying attention to his nonsense. Dhoom – Dhoom – Dhoom. A strange noise could be heard. Jai went quiet. As he looked up, Veeru was already signaling him not to talk. A faint hollow noise could be heard. AUMMMMM…..AUMMMM… AUMMMMMM… the sound grew louder. “Is that someone moaning?” whispered Jai to Veeru. Veeru went still. He nodded faintly. DHOOM – DHOOM – DHOOM.. the earlier sound could be heard once again. Seemed as if someone was banging the wooden door against the wall in the adjacent room. “Did you hear that?” asked Jai. By then, he had all the hairs on his hands upright and straight. A goosebump moment for the boys. They could clearly understand it was all happening in the room adjacent to Veeru’s bedroom. The rains outside showed no mercy. It was pouring cats-and-dogs with lightning and thunderstorm. The tv was experiencing intermittent signals. Pzzzzzt… Pzzzt was all that was happening on screen for the last 15 mins or so. Jai, never so nervous in his life, thought it was probably the single malt which was making him hallucinate. ‘Let me make myself another drink and then probably I will go off to sleep’, Jai thought to himself.
4th May 2019. 01:05 Hrs
As he was making himself another drink, the bedroom door started shaking. Jai could see with his very own eyes. One of the wooden panes of the door was seeming to open by itself. The door was bolted from inside and it looked someone was pushing the door from the outside. Surely Fani was not blowing so strongly inside the house. Veeru clearly remembered, he had personally bolted all the doors and windows of his house – a chore he was regular at every night. AUMMMMMMMMMMM… the howling cry went off again and this time it was as if it was just outside the bedroom door.
“What the f**k is happening here. This is bloody crazy. Shit. Fu*k, Fu*k!!”, Jai exclaimed. They could not believe what they witnessed. Jai was already trembling. It was the most bizarre thing that he has witnessed in his life. Everything went quite again. It was raining torrentially outside. Thunderstorms could be heard all around. The television signal came back. But it not mattered anymore what was playing in it. It was a consolation that Jai and Veeru were not alone in the room. At least not otherwise, anymore. Dhoom- Dhoom- Dhoom, the door of the adjacent room was constantly banging on the wall. Yes, the winds were strong outside. But how could it possibly make the door room swing when all the doors and windows of the room were tightly shut. Same thoughts ran through in minds of both the boys. It was a spectacle of an experience.
4th May 2019. 01:25 Hrs
The half-eaten cheese, the almost finished chips and the untouched chicken tandoori all lay on the bed. Irrelevant they were now. It was a question of believing that what they were experiencing were not-to-be true. It was a good 10 mins now that neither the moaning sound nor the door banging sound could be heard. Mustering enough courage, Veeru got up from his bed and cleaned his bed. All the leftovers were packed and thrown into the waste bin. As he was about to get onto his bed, a loud screeching crying sound could be heard outside the bedroom - as if some old lady was wailing from an irreversible loss. At that very moment, the lights of the room started trembling and went very feeble. The tv went pzzzt pzzzt again. Within moments the bedroom door was banged loudly from the outside. Veeru had sprung into the bed with Jai already trembling and biting his lips. If you have ever experienced this type of a moment, you know at these times, it is only natural that one faces a strong urge to pee. Such was the revelation of the moment.
4th May 2019. 01:30 Hrs.
“Bhai, can you do…do something about this freaking thing now?” claimed Veeru to Jai. Jai, in his state of shock, could not think of anything else but the Hanuman Chalisa. He opened one of the music apps in his mobile and put the song on loop. Covering up themselves with a light blanket in the month of May, the boys – Jai and Veeru – prayed that their worst fears do not come true.
Rest of the night was peaceful. The rains died down at around 02:30 Hrs. It was all cool outside. Everything seemed to be in peace once more. The boys stayed awake for almost 4 hours and about 04:00 Hrs, they dozed off to sleep.
Bhoot pisaach Nikat nahin aavai, Mahavir jab naam sunavae….Was hummed so harmoniously in the background.
You must be wondering, how do I know so much about the night, about the boys. Yes, you are right. As you are thinking about me now, I now look back and wonder, why did I stop from entering their bedroom that night on hearing the Chalisa. Until we meet the next time, hope you memorize your Hanuman Chalisa by heart quite well.