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Sarthak Pandit

Comedy Children


Sarthak Pandit

Comedy Children

Motu Patli

Motu Patli

13 mins 264 13 mins 264

Furfuri Nagar witnesses a nice resplendent morning.

Birds chirp soothingly and Motu requests a strong cup of tea with a good deal of cardamom. Her wife, Patli, emerges out from the kitchen and offers the cup of tea with today’s newspaper.

Motu highly appreciates this kind gesture of his wife and expresses his gratitude to god for blessing him with such a gentle and caring wife. He is in his customary red kurta and yellow leggings and Patli presents to him his ironed black waistcoat. He appears extremely delightful and promises to gift her a ‘benarasi’ saree soon. Patli teases him that she will remember this promise lifelong for she knows it is tough for Motu to gift something to his wife. The one she wears today, the yellow floral with a red border, is the only he has gifted ever- that too a forced ritual at the time of their wedding!

“Why do you take so much tension, darling, eat samosa and be happy!” Motu tries to swivel the conversation.

“Let us then go to the chai chacha and have samosas then!” Patli excitingly exclaims to reach there.

The couple reach the famous corner of chai chacha who serves the best tea with snacks like pakoras, samosas and bun maska. Chai chacha happens to be Patli’s uncle who knew Motu since a long time and was instrumental in their marriage. Patli almost daily taunt her uncle jokingly to have ruined her life.

“Seriously!” jokes chacha, “My son-in-law is so nice and good a man who better you wished for?”

“I had expected a prince charming like Hrithik Roshan!” Patli sulks comically.

“This is Indian man in full glory- those chiseled abs and muscles are all foreign material!” Motu is more than proud of his protruding belly. They all burst in hearty laughs. Teas and Samosas are served. Motu had always been like this; simpleton and truthful. Patli knows this and hence takes her dose of fun in life whilst passing such comments. However they jeer at each other or neglect one another, their love is not so subtle. They make an adorable and most indigenous breed of husband and wife.

The conversations commence and soon the locals join in too. Tuntun bua ji, the next door lady, join in and the talks of her plight at the bank soon blazed. A day or two before last Tuesday, while she was returning from the Hanuman temple after wrapping up her prayer, the trauma of witnessing the unpleased spirit had left her flabbergasted.

Motu and Patli were unaware of this tale being circulated. They were taken aback when told. Tuntun bua ji recites them in detail how being late to the temple but finishing her prayers while returning howling sounds filled the solitary road. The temple is situated beyond a thick growth of mango trees and only a little path cutting through the woods leads to the temple. She has even witnessed figure of Lord Hanuman within the temple. With no electric cables trailing up to there, the route has always remained dark and mysterious at night.

“But none of these incidents have happened before, why now, suddenly?” Patli enquired.

“Patli Bahu, do you have no idea? This is year marks the thousand years of the building of this ancient temple! And legends go that when this temple will be under grave danger, Lord will himself descend to protect his place!” Tuntun bua ji almost whispered in a spooky tone.

“Then that’s good if Hanuman will protect it himself; for we have to just relax and eat samosas!”

Motu’s comment gave everyone a moment of respite but soon Ghasitaram, Motu’s friend, arrives and recalls the tale of Kali Maa temple in his village in Bengal, where a similar legend has taken many lives due to the negligence of human devotees. A tense atmosphere pervades.

Patli on her way back to home, asks Motu’s take on the matter. He has had enough samosas, so his thinking ability increases. He proposes to take this matter to Dr. Jhatka. Both of them, went to Dr. Jhatka’s laboratory. Astonished, they find Ghasitaram present with Dr. Jhatka and discussing the same tale. Dr. Jhatka also is unacquainted with the incident. Since the past one month, such events of terror have occurred, told Ghasitaram. He also tells that people have now stopped visiting the temple late at night. The priest secures the gates of the temple with prayers and locks the gates at evening. Only a little window, possible only for five year toddler to creep in, is left open for anyone to pray. Though only a few had ventured to try this method, latest victim had been Tuntun bua ji.

Dr. Jhatka takes time to also mention the gadget which he last month crafted- a fruit enhancer. He shows the bottle of it. The spray was supposed to make fruits better in taste and strong smelling to attract the buyers, but his experiment was disastrous. The fruits and flowers drooped stale when sprayed. But what was extremely strange and mysterious was that he had experimented thousands of trees in the woods ahead of the same Hanuman temple!

“Udi Baba! Lord Hanuman is awfully angry with all of us!” Ghasitaram exclaims shockingly.

Patli disagrees from this point of view, rather finds it very absurd with all the supernatural forces involved. She believes human involvement and something evil cooking up. Ghasitaram coolly declares his 20 years of experience and expertise in supernatural forces. Motu is indifferent to it and develops zero interest in it.

Next day, a loud bang on the door, early morning, wakes Motu and Patli up. Ghasitaram requests them to hurriedly rush to the main square. They dash there and find loud drums beating and pamphlets being distributed. Motu picks up a pamphlet and reads it out loud. “FOUR DAY YAJNA TO PLEASE LORD HANUMAN AND WARD OFF THE CALAMITY FROM OUR TOWN” Motu reads and neglects, throwing the paper in the air. But just then, Patli catches it and reads the inner details that all the business and trade to be shut for four days.

“Businesses shut! Means no samosas for four days!” Motu finds ground beneath his feet vanishes. Without samosas, he goes crazy. He wishes to stop it all cost. Ghasitaram and Patli consoles him. They once again assemble at Dr. Jhatka’s lab and ponder over the issue. All mutually decide to look into the matter. Patli is advised by Motu to first collect and store all the necessary household before the town locks down for this prayer. Patli leaves. Now the men, especially pressed by Motu, choose to hunt the noises and the spirits. Ghasitaram is scared and is not interested in being stuck in this matter. Dr. Jhatka assures scientific beliefs and discards any supernatural being involved. Ghasitaram inquires Motu of the disbelief of divine and spirits. Motu doesn’t care for anything as long as businesses don’t shut and a constant supply of samosas and other eatables are maintained.

Dr. Jhatka presents them few night-vision camera and high quality sound recorders. Motu along with Ghasitaram pay a visit to the temple and plant those cameras and recorders at various spots near and about the temple and woods. The four sit in Motu’s living area and keep a close watch on the monitor. Slowly evening closes in and darkness seeps in. Night time, everyone watching becomes anxious. Suddenly, low pitch echoes shriek. Ghasitaram begins to sweats. Distant howling initiates and persists. The noises have begun and they keep on increasing. Darkness is increased too and no sooner than Ghasitaram was about to leave than the cameras begin to rattle! The pictures begin to quiver and Ghasitaram was more than biting his nails than before. Motu skips beats of his hearts and hugs Patli tightly and only sneaks on the screen. Dr. Jhatka tries to be brave but trembles with visible fear. Patli appears more anxious than feared and more buckled up for the result than the men and just then..... Few screens from the woods burst and get disconnected! A shriek of fright; louder howling and very soon all the cameras either burst or are tossed in the air!

They couldn’t sleep a peaceful night after that! The prayer had begun and the town of Furfuri Nagar for the first time was under a lockdown. The men go and pay their remorse for tangling with the divine decisions before Lord Hanuman. Patli with other women also join the prayers. While returning, she finds a recorder and two cameras on her way back.

The four locals closely examine the souvenirs brought by Patli.

“Waah! Patli Bhabhi! This will be very useful indeed!” Dr. Jhatka is jubilant and congratulate Patli for her presence of mind. Though Ghasitaram refuses anymore interference in the matter of gods. Motu takes the hat of the wise and explains the importance of decoding the mystery for the benefit of Furfuri Nagar and what if Lord isn’t appeased- indefinite lockdown! Indefinite distancing for Chacha’s samosas. Many locals have left the town and have pledged to return after the dissolution of the case. Chai chacha was one of those fearsome local. Dr. Jhatka too presses upon Ghasitaram to join them on their quest of truth. Dr. Jhatka finds many scratch marks on the camera. It seems as if someone with sharp nails snatched them from their location.

“Lord Hanuman- who else should have done this!”

This comment by Ghasitaram filled suspicion of godly presence the other night in everyone’s heart. They question their rationale if there really was Hanuman taking down their cameras at night. The next day, locals once more paid their attendance in the rituals. While returning, Motu finds a half-eaten mango on his path. He shares this piece of information with others. The others find it very usual until Patli observes the teeth marks- anything but human. Dr. Jhatka researches and find them to resemble those of monkeys! Strangely, the region had never witnessed any monkey since ages. The temple had been devoid of animals’ presence. Just birds nest there and none other species. These monkey teeth marks again suggest Lord’s arrival.

On the third day of yagna, everyone visited the temple and prayed for early departure of all the paranormal that exists and arrival of peace all around. The team tried to search for evidences but found none. While in the evening, Patli comes across a wild growth of vines entangling and diminishing the growth of rose plants which she had very dotingly planted and had been looking after. Motu is busy munching on samosas, chacha’s handmade which were preserved in abundance, and is casually reminded of Dr. Jhatka’s spray bottle which had adverse effect. He tells this to Patli and she finds it quite helpful to droop the wild vines down and preserve her rose plants. She leaves for Dr. Jhatka and requests him the spray. She returns with a bottle full and sprays it on the vines. Motu relaxes lazily on the sofa and watches a late evening telecast of an entertainment program. In the spur of a moment, Patli hastily rushes past him and leaves outside.

“I am going to the Hanuman temple, will return soon!” Patli slurs out and has left.

Motu, half-asleep, reacts utter slowly, “Okay, darling, you are going to return Dr. Jhatka’s spray! WAIT WHAT???”

Motu realizes pretty late but wake fully up. Patli has left for the temple this late! It’s the third day, last night before the expected tranquility, evil might be at its peak! He rushes to stop Patli, but the slim athletic woman had long vanished. The roads were desolated so none was to stop her. Motu felt vacant. What to do.....

Motu knocked at Dr. Jhatka’s doors. Apparently, Ghasitaram was present with him, for nightmares were scaring him and couldn’t sleep alone in his house. Motu spilled the quick tale. A gasp of horror and utter shock let out of their throats. Motu has to rescue and protect his wife. Ghasitaram, out of nowhere, mustered utter courage and in an instant arranged many items- sindoor, fruits, ashes and many more. He wore bands with matra written on them. He smears ashes and sindoor on his friends’ forehead and arms and ties those bands. Ready, they rush towards the temple. As the woods approach, Motu and Dr. Jhatka lose color of their skins while Ghasitaram’s eyes blaze with confidence. Howling, echoes and noises set from within the woods. Trees tremble and dance in a strange fearsome ecstasy. The men sweat and even think of returning. But knowing, Patli was there, they venture. The ambience was more than scary and the more they penetrate the more frightening was the atmosphere turning. Fog in the air begun in the summer months. Ghasitaram begins enchanting powerful mantra, expressing his 20 years of experience in witchcraft and divine appeasement. He walks with closed eyes and chanting mantra all along. Screeching mingle with the swift chills of the air. Visibility decrease too. Biting lips. They continued. The locked temple arrived. Motu and Dr. Jhatka couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

From within the gates, a huge figure of a monkey’s shadow loomed up menacingly.

“LORD HANUMAN! We’re sorry!!” Motu and Dr. Jhatka bowed saying this, turn about and took to their heels, screaming in horror, while Ghasitaram opens his eyes, sees this and faints instantly. Motu accelerates to top speed but suddenly hear a cry of calling by Patli. Immediately, he joins palms, hails Hanuman and returns to the temple for Patli’s sake. He reaches and calls out for Patli. From that little window for praying, Patli peeps from it. Motu is shocked to find her within the temple. He helps her come out from the opening and she assures her well-being. She is calm and relaxed. Patli is about to explain but Motu grabs her wrist and rushes out of the woods.

Next morning- the final day, after the prayer session, Patli requests all the local people to pay attention to what she intends to say. She puts forth the tale of her venture to the temple the previous night. She expresses no involvement of any divine presence or anger but this event is man-mad by none other than Dr. Jhatka!

Dr. Jhatka gets the shock of his life. Local people are dumbstruck as well as Motu. Patli presents the experimental spray bottle of Dr. Jhatka and tells that after spraying, Dr. Jhatka found that the fruits and all drooped and staled..... But!

“This spray works only under moonshine and effects vanish during the sunshine! Dr. Jhatka experimented with many trees around the premises. As the night befalls, fruits smell so deliciously that they invite monkeys from even distant villages after the evening. These uninvited monkeys howl in the ecstasy of food while arriving, swinging on branches, responsible for the quivering of trees. Trees are densely populated; responsible for loud echoes and noises. The little window left open allows the monkeys to enter the temple, scour the place, find eatables and revel!”

Everyone realized the matter critically, enlightenment dawned on them. But what of the image of Hanuman looming from within the temple and fog in summer months? Motu wished a little explanation there too. To this too, Patli has an answer. The fire of yajna made shadow of a monkey fall upon various walls to scare unintentionally. Also, the yajna is creating smoke which becomes very prominent when human activities extinguish.

Four day yajna had, indeed, been successful. Patli was much more to be thanked than anyone else. Motu meets Patli in a corner and happily congratulate on her victorious wit. He wishes Patli to explain how she discovered all this. To this Patli, tells him that on spraying the Dr. Jhatka’s chemical on wild vine, the vine grew lushly. This made her brain cells wreck and she thought of visiting the woods in the hope of finding similar positive result of the chemical on the trees. And so happened. Also thanks to her slim figurine that she could slip in the temple through that little window from where the monkeys were entering and scaring the men.

At last finally, lockdown was ordered to be undone and local men jolted Ghasitaram up who had been unconscious outside the temple since the previous night!

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