The final exam is over. Sayan has plenty of time. So, when his parents asked him to visit his aunty's home, Sayan agreed. He had two things in mind. He had never seen a village side forest and he would meet his cousin brother Deep there after a long time. Deep came to Calcutta 3 years back.
His parents also planned to go with him. They started on May 2nd. They reached Jaynagar station. It was 12-30 pm now. Though the name of the station was Jaynagar, there was nothing sort of 'Nagar '. It was a remote village station, Sayan thought. They went out of the station. A bullock cart was waiting for them. They came to know that the Jeep of Deep's father was on a breakdown. So, his father had arranged the bullock cart. Here there were no other means. Sayan saw this type of cart physically for the first time. Earlier Sayan probably had seen Bullock cart in a film or in History Channel, he could not remember. His father told him to get on the cart, '" It is a 4 to 5-hour journey through a jungle, we have to reach before sunset". The bullock cart started.
The path was narrow, but the scenery was beautiful. Long sal trees are standing in a row majestically. The jungle has its beauty as if an artist has painted the whole canvas with green colour. They were enjoying the beauty of nature and the fresh air of the forest. They could not remember how 3 hours had passed. They almost came to their destination. It is just half an hour's journey left now. Sayan saw an old big building, though wild vegetation has grown from the cracks of the structure, bricks also are visible. Sayan could understand that it is an abundant house, built many years ago. He told his mother," in a day or two we all will come to visit this building.". Before his mother replied, Budan Uncle, the cart driver, forbade him not to go there. "It is a place where ghosts live along with spirits." Sayan did not say anything but the curiosity in him remained alive. The Sun was about to go down, the birds were returning. Sayan thought that he had not seen birds in Calcutta for many years, except at zoos. After some time they reached.
Just at the end of the forest, Deep and his parents live in a government quarter. There are 2 or 3 other govt houses, after that the village starts. He saw uncle, aunty and Deep standing at the door.
Here there is no electricity. So, there is no TV either. Only there is a radio. But, Sayan was not feeling bad, and did not regret coming here. His parents had come to this place many times but for Sayan, it was the first time. So, uncle and aunty were extra careful if he was feeling any uneasiness. Dinner is over, it is bedtime now. It is only 9 pm. In this village, this is the practice. Though his uncle and aunty are the last ones to go for dinner. The whole village starts sleeping much earlier.
Deep and Sayan were sharing the room, though there was another room lying vacant. But both wanted this arrangement.
Deep reads in a college and is 3 years older than Sayan. Deep is a very bright student, he got a chance in Engineering. But he opted to study physics. Deep and Shayan engaged in chatting. But, Deep did not show any interest when Sayan had asked about that dilapidated building. He asked Sayan to go for sleep.
The next day Deep himself told him," Brother, it is nothing. That building is 200 years old. It is the place for owls, bats, pigeons and snakes now... Nobody goes there. The Government should renovate this building and give it for public use like hospitals etc. But who cares for the villagers?" "It is ok ", Sayan said. But what is the history behind this building?" Deep replied,"' At that time the Nawabs or Rajas built this building. Actually, it was their farmhouse. This building is the testimony of their feudal attitudes, oppressive nature and vulgar mindset. This building witnessed many murders, many suicides, many conspiracies, many heinous crimes. There are many anecdotes and stories, many of which are false. Now the villagers have been adding the narrative of ghosts,
spirits to make the story more complex and interesting. It is their favorite pastime now". Sayan told him that he would like to go to that building. Deep said that he could accompany him. But Sayan told him that he would go alone.
Deep said, " ok, but take a torch and bamboo stick along with you as snakes are there. But first, visit the village. Try to get to know the villagers. Then you can go. But remember, nobody will allow you. You have to go without the consent of our guardians and that too at night. But I shall help you to go out of our house." 18 years of age do not know fear. So Sayan happily agreed.
Next one day he moved around the village. He observed that the villagers are simple, honest and they have high respect and love for Deep and his family. He enjoyed their company too. If he had not come, he could not have experienced the other dimensions or perspective of life.
At night, the old wall clock rang 3 times. It is 3 a.m. Everyone was in a deep slumber. Sayan came out of the house. Deep told him to return within an hour or two as the villagers rose early in the morning, Moreover, that building is just 20 minutes' walking distance. Sayan noded.
As usual, there was no one on the village path. But the dogs suddenly appeared from somewhere and started barking. Probably the dogs could not recognise him till now. But he did not care. It was a dark night. Clouds were hovering over the sky. Deep had given him an umbrella also. In the meantime he entered the jungle. Now it is darker. Nothing was visible with the light of the torch. This is for the 1st time he was walking in a jungle, that too alone and at night. Squirrels skipped out from one branch to another, rabbits peeped through the hedges. The owls were calling their fellow members.
The howling of a fox at a near distance was breaking the silence of the forest. The different types of nocturnal sounds had made the atmosphere scary. He saw the fireflies moving here and there. After sometime he reached just adjacent to that deserted building. It seemed a long time he was walking. He sensed that someone was following him. He looked back. He could not see anyone. He started walking. Again the same sound he heard. This time he saw that a pig was coming. He then saw a widow in a white saree standing at some distance. He was astonished. After walking for a few minutes he realized that it is nothing but a eucalyptus tree. He felt that he was sweating. He now reaches just in front of the building. He tried to enter. He did not know where to go inside. He opted for different trial and error methods. In the process he made it but he fell down several times which resulted in some cuts and scratch marks on his body. But he did not give up even though some amount of fear had crept in his mind. After entering, he tried to see the whole building. He would have to solve the mystery if there was any. He sensed a strange smell. He heard someone whispering among themselves. He tried to locate the place where that strange smell or whispering sound was coming. He could not. It was not possible also in a building like this and that too at night.
All of a sudden, a storm started, it was just howling. Trees outside the building were trembling. Some of the trees fell on the ground, some bent in the face of a fierce storm. He felt that something cold had crawled over his feet. He was surprised to see that a black snake was slithering away.. He then heard a meowing sound but could not see any cat. Some bats flew over his head..Doors and windows which were still attached to the building, started opening and closing with mysterious sounds as if it would come out and would fall on him. It seemed that the building was vibrating.It would not be able to withstand this violent storm. Now, Sayan really got frightened and became nervous, neither he could go out nor he could stay there.Thunder crashed outside the building, one after another along with lightning. With the flash of that piercing light, he experienced the vast darkness. It appeared that someone or something was pulling him back, death was just a few steps ahead. He could not stand and resist. He fell on the floor. He fainted.
Now Sayan is not in this present world, had gone 100, 200 or even 300 years back. He could see that the dancer girls were dancing. He heard the sound of ghungroo. On the other hand, he also heard ladies crying for help and those cruel persons burst into laughter. They were asking someone to throw the ladies into the well of death. In front of his eyes he saw that those cruel persons were enjoying drinks. After getting drunk they started molesting the dignity of the ladies. One of the ladies tried to persuade them. But they did not listen. She then set fire on herself. He asked the lady not to do so. But the lady preferred death before disgrace and insult. Everything was coming before his eyes one by one just like a movie. Till now he was a mere spectator but he thought that his turn had come. He must have to act. He intervened and tried to take control of the situation.. He started warning them, " I shall not leave you. I shall inform the Police. The Police officer is a friend of Deep's father. Whoever you are, you have to be punished. I shall save all the people from you."
Suddenly, he heard, 'Sayan". The rays of morning sunlight and the water drops on his head revived his senses. He saw Deep was standing beside his head. He realized that Deep was coming out of mental trauma as Deep was heaving a sigh of relief.
"Let's go home, later punish the villains... If it is too late, we will be caught red-handed that we were not at home at night". They started walking. Sayan asked "what happened? How are you here?" Deep told, "nothing, It is the result of watching lots of horror movies and believing the wild stories of the villagers. No issue. It happens. You were getting late. I had to come and I have come". Sayan could not make out anything. Now, they just reached in front of their house.