Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.
Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.

Punyasloke Bose

Horror


3  

Punyasloke Bose

Horror


The Dark Night Drama

The Dark Night Drama

9 mins 171 9 mins 171

With a delicate hit on the yellow metal with a hammer and then directing the fire flame through a blower, the artisan looked at the product in front of him. He was giving the final touches to the gold jewelry that was in his hands. He was Chinmay or Chinu, a master craftsman working with the leading gold jewelers Sen & Roy. Chinu was very dexterous with gold jewelry and his work was respected in the market. But Chinu was not happy with the payment given by his employer although they knew that Chinu was the best in trade in the market available at present. The problem with Chinu was the absence of bargaining skills and the deficit in the art of negotiation. Although Chinu knew that with his immense skills, he could command a better paying job anywhere but he also knew that there were other benefits that he was enjoying that wouldn't be available elsewhere.


Recently he was hard-pressed for cash. As it is whatever he earned went for the upkeep of his family. But now two years into his marriage, Chinu found it particularly challenging to keep his monthly expenses in tune with his salary. Now, his wife was admitted to the hospital for surgery for the removal of gall stones. There was not enough cash to meet the hospital expenses. The surgery is done and now his wife who was well was waiting to be discharged. Chinu knew his employers would not help with a loan.

But it seemed that luck was in Chinu's side. A well-to-do client of Sen Roy had just mortgaged his family jewelry for a loan. Something to do with a real estate deal and the client would not be redeeming his mortgaged gold the next six months. All such mortgaged gold was kept under the accounting knowledge and custody of Chinu as he was the employer's most trusted employee. The employers trusted Chinu so much that they would never do a recheck into the custody. Only when Auditors visited for the yearly audit then all the gold in custody would be reconciled. But Chinu knew that as this was the Diwali festival and audit was still some months away. He thought up an idea which though seemed reckless and of betrayal but there was no other way out. He decided to remove a small part of the mortgaged gold jewelry for his personal use. Chinu had a trusted jeweler friend with whom he could park some gold and borrow emergency money. Because his employers though trusted him were not believers in giving out loan money to employees. Once the money could be borrowed, Chinu could bring his wife home. As for bringing back the gold and repayment of the loan, Chinu had to take some austere measures these coming months so that the money could be generated.

Very soon his wife was discharged and all the matter was settled at the hospital. But unfortunately, for Chinu, the client who had mortgaged the gold and taken the loan, came back a couple of days later and returned the loan money with interest to demand back his gold. The client cited that the desired real estate transactions didn't materialize. This put Chinu is a terrible soup. He had no answer and no clue as to how to return the gold because some of it had been taken away to borrow money.


Chinu feigned some systemic error in their locker system and showed helplessness in handing over the gold right then and as a solution asked the employers to make a request to the clients to return in a couple of days to collect the items when the system was restored. The client agreed on much to his relief and Chinu found that he must find a worthy solution within the breathing time he had received. Going fuzzy in his brain in search of a solution, Chinu decided to make himself absent from the scene of action for a few days and look for a solution.

Without letting anybody know not even his family, Chinu took a bus to his relative's place a few hundred kilometers to the north in the hills. Till now no one was aware of the theft. Chinu was worried that anytime soon his ugly deed would come out in the open and so many years of trust built up with the employer's Sen Roy would go down the drain. An immediate loss of reputation and trust deficit thought was eating into the conscience of Chinu. The bus he was traveling to suddenly came to a halt and everybody got down to find out the reason. Then, unfortunately, it was announced by the bus driver that due to repair work there would be a delay by two to three hours. Almost everyone came down and sat down on the road and under the trees to while their time. It was a lonely spot on the highway and only there was the sight and sound of not so frequent traffic.


Chinu strolled down the road aimlessly engrossed with his deep malady and in a little while moved down from the highway to a muddy track away from the busy road. After walking silently without any goal and objective he found himself in front of an old temple deserted by humanity. For many years it seemed that the temple had not been subjected to any repair. It also seemed that hardly any devotee visited this temple as the deity looked neglected and dusty. Chinu was busy with these fleeting thoughts and quietly entered the temple complex and sat down resting his back against a pillar of the sanctum sorum. The temple even seemed devoid of a priest. Then from the interiors emerged an old man who looked to be belonging to the class of priests. This old man seeing Chinu came up to him and said, '' This temple does not get too many devotees, and what desire has drawn you here? '' Chinu didn't answer outright and tried to weigh in his mind what reply he should give. The priest then further asked '' Do you intend to stay here tonight? Today is Chaturdashi I. E. Bhoot Chaturdashi the night before Kali Puja and Diwali. Many years ago this day a new idol would be brought in to replace the old one. But this practice has been discontinued for many years due to the absence of patrons. ''. The old priest trailed off absentmindedly.


Tired due to both physical and mental strain and due to the eerie solitude of the temple, Chinu dozed off and very soon was in deep slumber with high decibel snoring. None amount of mosquito bite could disturb his deep sleep. Only well advanced in the night did his sleep become light and Chinu was woken up by the ringing of the temple bell. Even then he was still not out of his slumber when Chinu observed a bright light deep in the temple. Now Chinu was wide awake and what he saw totally amazed him. There was bright light going off and coming on like the psychedelic lights of a discotheque. Although at the time of nightfall, Chinu had observed that due to many years of abandon the temple was without electricity. Then the next what Chinu saw took him absolutely above ground. He saw a deity probably that of Goddess Kali but with a deep malevolent look. The tongue of the deity was out and it was drooping down with full of blood dripping from it. The deity's eyes were fiery red and it seemed were directed straight towards Chinu with deep wrath with a diabolic intent. Chinu was now wide awake and all his body hairs were risen with panic and fear. The lights continued to go out and come on like in a disco and the effect it created was more diabolic in nature. Chinu was paralysed with deep fear. The look of the deity constantly changed with the changing of the lights. It took on an even meaner look after every light change. More blood came oozing out of the tongue and the eyes became more devouring and angry. It looked as if the deity was out in the battlefield fighting an army of fierce demons. She was hell-bent to remove all the evil of this world. The temple bells continued with their jarring tone and in the deathly silence of the night felt eerier and blood-curdling than ever. Chinu was wet with sweat from the fear. He was paralysed and immobile and was indecisive of his next move. He knew that he was made to suffer due to his past questionable actions and felt deep remorse and regret laced with guilt. All his life Chinu had painstakingly built his reputation of a good and trustworthy craftsman. Now after all this who would believe him with their gold and money. The feeling of guilt was eating away his soul. The deity became more and more ferocious and became unbearable for Chinu. With wide eyes, he kept on gazing at the idol with his mouth open and dry and without making a sound. Absolute fear had frozen Chinu still.


How long these histrionics continued, Chinu had no idea. When he finally came to his normal self , then he found himself waking up as the first streak of the morning sunlight was streaming through the broken balustrade of the old temple.

Then slowly Chinu's mind was filled with the events of the last night and again he was over himself with the feeling of guilt. A little later, Chinu again saw the old priest. This time Chinu could not contain his emotions and told the priest his crime and the frenzied show he had observed last night, the dark night drama. The priest quietly listened to Chinu's story and after quite some time opened his mouth to speak.

He continued '' This is that time of the year when the spiritual consequences are at its peak ''. He told Chinu that the Goddess had behaved in this punishing way was to let Chinu know that what he had done was due to avarice and it was wrong. Chinu must immediately take steps to condone his sins otherwise he would face even greater torments in the future. He advised Chinu to surrender immediately to the law and let the law take its own course. That was the best option available at present.


So on the priest's advice, Chinu went to the nearest police station and narrated his story, and surrendered. The police recorded his statement and as no case of theft had been recorded or circulated, the police were in a dilemma as to what should be done with Chinu. 


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