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The House With No Address

The House With No Address

15 mins 511 15 mins 511

Ashish, Umesh, Harpreet and Arif were close friends. They lived in the same neighbourhood in old Gurugram and had studied in the same School as well so yes you can call them lifelong friends.

While Ashish completed his Engineering from MNV College in Tikri, Gurugram recently; Umesh, Harpreet and Arif completed Graduation from Government College on Railway road Gurugram last year.

After completing college they were high on dreams about their future.

Umesh, Harpreet and Arif had secured a job at Megus Marketing in Saket.

Ashish had an offer from an IT company in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram.

Ashish was the daredevil kind of the group, he was always game for adventure activities. He would always narrate and boast about his adventurous life.

Ashish hailed from a well off family so every summer vacation his family would always go to some exotic location. Umesh, Harpreet and Arif were from humble families and their vacation story usually revolved around visiting their relatives. Compared to their vacation stories, Ashish’s stories did sound more adventurous and thrilling.

It was a game of truth and dare along with bottles of Kingfisher Strong that were keeping them awake late at night. The occasion: Ashish's’ Engineering completion party. Venue: Ashish's home in Sector 9, Gurugram.

Ashish's parents were away so they owned the place for the night.

The day started with partying at Ambiance Mall during the day time and freaking out at Cyber Hub in the evening. It was ending on a high note with a game of Truth and Dare. The game was in full swing; it was Ashish’s turn to spin the bottle. The bottle stopped pointing towards Arif.

“TRUTH, TRUTH, TRUTH……” shouted Ashish.

“Ok… let’s go,” said Arif sipping some beer and placing the bottle beside him.

“Tell us about the first time you took Saima for a date to Garden of Five Senses?” asked Harpreet with a crooked smile as he high fived Ashish.

“You son of a…..” Arif said as he got up to take the hot seat. Ashish, Harpreet and Umesh looked at Arif with anticipation as Arif sat on the hot seat. Hot seat was basically a broken chair in the courtyard.

“Ahhhhh,” Arif cleared his throat as he found three pairs of eyes hooked on to him. “Stop staring you guys, you are making me nervous,” said Arif blushing.

“Well, it was a pleasant December morning when we went to the Garden of Five senses,” said Arif. “Awe,” said Ashish caressing Arifs’ cheeks as Arif removed his hand off his cheeks.

“We were both excited as it was our first date outside of the college,” continued Arif.

“The place was full of couples looking for a cosy corner. We walked for hours across the park, hand in hand,” he said was dreamy eyes and visualised holding on to Saima’s hand.

“Finally we were able to identify a cosy spot near the Sun Clock and laid down the blanket,” said Arif as Umesh coughed. “Shall I treat your cough?” said Arif as he got up to catch hold of Umesh's’ collar.

“Peace brother, peace,” said Umesh folding his hands.

“I mean, you took a blanket to Garden of five senses? What were you guys planning?” he continued winking towards others as he got up to run and Arif followed him.

Arif caught hold of him and threw him on the ground and gave him some friendly punches as others rushed to Umesh's aid.

“I don’t want to narrate anymore, you guys will make fun of me,” said Arif indifferently making a face as Harpreet helped Umesh get up.

“Come on buddy, I won’t laugh,” said Umesh requesting Arif.

“So, we made over selves comfortable on the blanket, and I took out the fruit basket……,” he said Umesh broke out into huge laughter.

“That’s it,” said Arif as he lunged towards Umesh.

“Enough of truth, let’s have some dare,” said Ashish as everyone looked at him.

“You are on buddy,” said Arif as he rushed back.

It was Harpreet’s turn to spin the bottle and it stopped pointing towards Ashish.

“You have to finish the remaining bottles at the haunted house,” said Arif as everyone’s jaw dropped.

“What???” said Ashish as he gulped in fear.

“Scared? Haan,” said Arif taunting him. “Scared, who? Me?” replied Ashish clearing his throat.

“Let’s go,” he said confidently picking up the crate of beer bottles.

“You guys are joking, right?” said Harpreet.

“No I am serious, are you joking?” asked Ashish inquisitively hoping that Arif might actually call his bluff and say that this is indeed a joke.

“I am serious unless someone is scared,” said Arif turning his eyes towards Ashish who was expecting a different reply.

Ashish quickly gathered himself.

“Absolutely serious,” he said pretending to be confident.

“You guys know that Chaudhary and his entire family vanished overnight and that place has been empty for the past 25 years now,” said Harpreet who was literally pissing his pants off at the idea of spending a night at the haunted house.

“They say his entire family was killed by another family member somewhere in the house itself. They never found their bodies,” he continued biting his nails.

“No one has ever dared to venture into the property at night because they never found their bodies,” said Harpreet as he turned towards Ashish who shrieked as Harpreet finished his sentence.

Ashish pretended as if something was in his pants to hide the shrieking sound he made. “Must be a mosquito or something,” he said shaking his pants.

“So, are we going?” asked Arif taunting Ashish.

“O, we are definitely going there,” he said looking Arif in his eyes.

“It’s ok with me if you don't want to go,” said Arif.

“Haaaa, we are definitely going. Come on guys,” said Ashish.

The haunted house was located on Pataudi road near Sector 10. It was a massive property covered with a tall wall all around.

There was a huge garden around the house, which now looked like a jungle.

No one had lived there for the past 25 years so there was a lot of vegetation around the house.

They all looked through a huge gate covered with creepers.

‘Chaudhary Niwas’, engraved on top of the gate was barely visible due to creepers all over the gate and the wall.

The house could be seen through the gate. It stood tall amongst a jungle of trees and shrubs that had grown around it over the past 25 years.

They stared at the big rusted lock on the gate.

“Let’s go back guys it’s locked,” said Harpreet as he shrieked in fear.

“Rohan, my cousin, had once told me that this property doesn’t even have an address because even the Patwari is too scared to come near it,” he continued.

“The house with no address,” said Harpreet as they all looked at the house.

They all cowered in fear as an owl hooted somewhere near-by.

By the time anybody could say anything further, Ashish had already jumped over to the other side and started walking on the path towards the grand house.

“Ashish, what the hell man, I was joking,” said Arif trying hard to keep his voice down.

“Joke? I will show you how brave I am,” replied Ashish turning his head towards Arif while still walking towards the house.

He raised his hand with the beer crate.

The path was covered with thorny bushes so Ashish had to walk over them ensuring that the thorns didn’t hurt him.

His heart was pounding fast as he walked on the narrow path towards the house.

He could barely hear his friends trying to stop him as the entire area was buzzing with the sounds of insects and critters having a ball in an abandoned property. To a scared heart, this was maddening as Ashish tried to cover his ears to block the sound.

Though on any other day, he would have ignored such sounds but being inside the House with no Address was creepy in itself.

“You have to do this otherwise they will think of you as a scary cat,” he mumbled as he closed his eyes moving forward.

As he moved ahead he could see the now dry fountain midway.

"Must be beautiful during old days," he said admiring the fountain. Large bushes had grown around the fountain now.

As soon as Ashish passed the fountain, others couldn't see him anymore as he was now behind huge bushes around the fountain.

Ashish again surfaced at the door as he started climbing the stairs of the house.

He turned around to wave at others He was trying hard to smile.

He kept the beer crate down and tried his luck with the door; it was locked.

He looked around and found an open window by the side. He picked up the crate and walked towards the open window.

He peeked inside and saw some furniture lying around covered with white sheets.

Though it wasn’t much but the squeaking sound of the lizard coming from inside the house was scary.

The window curtain was flying high because of the wind. He caught hold of the window curtain and tied it to the side of the window.

“This is officially creepy,” he thought as he looked around.

“This must be the drawing room,” he mumbled as he entered the house still shaking.

He was startled as the window closed behind him with a loud noise.

“Must be the wind,” he mumbled followed by a nervous giggle.

“You are brave, you are brave,” he said patting his heart as he moved ahead.

He moved around carefully as the floor was quite slippery due to dirt all around.

“Where should I settle down?” he mumbled as he looked for a safe place to spend some time.

It was a huge drawing room with stairs leading to the first floor at the end of the hall.

It looked like a house right out of Bollywood horror movies.

Being an old house the ceiling level was quite high, it had huge windows all around with curtains flying high due to the wind, the white sheets covering furniture were covered with dirt as the place hadn’t been cleaned in a while and moonlight trickled in from one of the windows.

As he looked around for a safe place to hide, he found a spot in the corner to his liking.

He was sweating profusely and wanted to end this as soon as possible.

His safe spot was the corner of the room which would give him a clear view across all the directions. Also, it was away from all the windows.

Basically, he wanted to hide for about an hour or so, and then leave victorious carrying the empty beer bottles. He had of course planned to throw away the beer and not actually drink it.

“Damn, I am smart and brave,” he thought appreciating the brilliance of his plan.

He pushed a wooden table to the corner. He wanted to hide behind it. With a screeching sound, he was able to push the table.

“Easy there Ashish, you don’t want to wake up…,” he said gulping and looking around. “… the ghosts,” he continued pushing slowly in order to avoid making any sound.

As he got the table in the position he started looking for a place to throw the beer.

He opened all the bottles one by one and placed them on the table.

“Forget it, let’s just throw it here. I mean, who the hell is going to notice beer spilt in a deserted house?” he mumbled picking up a bottle getting ready to spill the beer on the floor.

Suddenly he was startled by what looked like movement on the other side of the room and he dropped the beer bottle.

He was taken aback and he held on to the table tightly.

“Who is it?” he mumbled as the voice somehow got stuck in his throat.

He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating.

Mustering courage he again asked: “WHO IS IT?”

“I am warning you; I am armed,” he said picking up the beer bottle from the floor.

There was silence, no response from the other side, just the lizards inside, critters and insects chirping, squeaking, and clicking.

Ashish held the bottle in the attack position over his head as the remaining beer dripped over him.

Startled by the beer dripping over him he looked up and said: “Who is it?”

He looked sideways towards his shoulders to check what was dripping over his shoulders.

He touched it and looked at it closely.

“Must be saliva,” he said shaking badly and sweating profusely.

He looked up at the ceiling scared.

All sorts’ of scary pictures of ghosts walking upside-down on the ceiling were playing through his mind.

A particular scene from ‘Conjuring 2’ was playing fast in his mind where an old guy’s ghost walks upside-down on the ceiling.

He was scared as hell and fell on the floor dropping the bottle when he noticed someone standing in front of him.

He crouched backwards and hit a table. The white covering sheet from the table fell over him and he struggled to remove it.

“HELP….,” he shouted as he struggled badly.

He got up with his face still covered with the sheet.

As he ran around, scared, he firstly banged into the couch and fell on the other side.

He got up again struggling to remove the sheet off his face as he banged into a huge wooden Almirah hitting his head and fell on the ground with a huge thud.

“Ahhhhhhhhhh,” mumbled Ashish as he tried to open his eyes.

“Let me sleep some more, mom,” he mumbled again covering his eyes with the pillow.

“Let me sleep will ya,” he said irritatingly as someone tried to wake him up.

He threw the pillow; “LET ME SLEEP, GO AWAY,” he shouted.

He was startled as he opened his eyes, stared at the ceiling and then turned around to see a bunch of staring eyes hooked on to him.

He was in a hospital room and Umesh, Arif and Harpreet along with his parents, a Police Inspector and a Doctor were all staring at him.

“Are you all right beta?” his mom asked as she sat beside him.

“I am all right, just this nagging headache,” he touched his head which was covered with a bandage.

“What happened, son? What were you doing in Chaudhary’s bungalow at night?” his father asked looking concerned.

“Are you guys into drugs???” he continued as Ashish looked embarrassed realising that he must have felt unconscious last night.

“No, no, we don’t do drugs it was just a game of truth and dare…” replied Ashish sheepishly.

“… how did I get here?” he continued.

Harpreet narrated…

“We were waiting for you outside and got concerned when you didn’t return even after an hour,” he said.

“Around midnight we heard a few people coming towards the gate with lights and sticks shouting; “THIEVES, THIEVES…” he continued.

“We all were scared, we tried to start our bikes but they got to us,” he said.

“What are you kids doing here?” one of them asked.

“We were just fooling around,” replied Umesh getting off the bike.

“Has someone gone inside?” asked an old guy pointing his stick towards them.

“Well, sir, we were playing a game of truth and dare when…,” said John as Arif stopped him.

“Wait a minute, how did you guys know that we were here?” asked Arif.

“This is a disputed property,” replied the old guy uncovering a court installed plaque with a Court notice on the gate. It was covered with creepers.

“There are cameras installed everywhere by both Chaudhary brothers to monitor if anyone enters the property illegally,” he continued pointing towards the top of the gate where a CCTV camera was installed.

“Chaudhary brothers?” asked Arif.

“Yes this property belongs to Chaudhary family but both brothers have been at feud because of ownership of this property after their father passed away 25 years ago. There’s a court case going on and no one comes here,” replied the old guy.

“They both monitor the CCTV feed and saw some movement on the cameras and they both called me to check if the other brother was trying to enter the property illegally,” he continued.

“All this commotion just for a game,” said the old guy in anger.

“Damn it, our friend is inside,” said Arif hitting his forehead.

Umesh, Arif, Harpreet went inside along with a couple of other guys calling out Ashish's name.

“ASHISH, BUDDY WHERE ARE YOU,” shouted Arif as they entered the drawing room from the window.

They searched for Ashish as the torch lights ran all across the room.

They found Ashish lying on the floor behind the wooden Almirah covered with the sheet from the couch.

The old guy called in for a vehicle and they immediately carried Ashish outside to the vehicle and then to the hospital.

“What the hell were you guys doing there?” asked the Inspector.

“We were playing a game of truth and dare and…” replied Ashish sheepishly.

“So you thought you could enter someone else’s property?” his father asked angrily demanding an explanation.

“We are sorry sir,” said Umesh.

“We are sorry,” this time all four said together.

“Thank god they reached on time otherwise…” his mom said.

“But how did you fell and hurt yourself?” asked the inspector.

“I slipped and fell. Because of dirt on the floor was quite slippery,” Ashish replied sheepishly.

“Ok, no harm done; I will take your leave,” said the inspector shaking hands with Ashish's father.

“Thank you, officer,” replied his father.

“I’ll go and check with the doctor if we can take you home,” his father said and left the room.

“We have the footage from the CCTV,” said Arif with a crooked smile sitting next to Ashish as his mom moved to the chair in the room.

“The Chaudhary brothers found it really amusing and shared it with the inspector, who intern shared it with us. Your parents haven't seen it yet,” he continued.

“I am going to murder you guys,” said Ashish pressing Arif's hand.

“Ouuuccchhhh,” cried Arif as Ashish pressed his hand further.

“What happened beta, are you hurt as well?” asked his mom.

“No aunty we are just playing around,” replied Arif with a painful smile.

2 days later…

Ashish's’ eyes were wide open as he looked at the CCTV footage on Arif’s phone.

A camera was installed in the drawing room with night vision.

Everything right from the time he entered the house to the time he spilt the beer to the time he spotted someone on the other side of the room to the time he hit the wooden Almirah and fell was all recorded and clearly visible.

At first, he felt embarrassed but then laughed out loud when he saw beer trickle through the bottle, he was holding over his head, and dripping on his shoulder. He visualised the scene from ’Conjuring 2’ and laughed.

He laughed out loud when he saw the other person he was scared off.

It was his own reflection in a huge mirror across the hall that had initially startled him.

He giggled as he saw himself hitting against the Almirah.

“Ouchhhhh,” was his reaction when he saw himself fall on the floor.

“Looks like my minds projector was working overtime scaring the hell out of me,” said Ashish smiling.

“No more bravery stories from me,” he said as everyone burst into loud laughter.

After a group hug, they broke off to live their respective adventurous escapades.

.

Our mind is a projector and it projects whatever it is that we think. Our mind has the capacity to bring to life everything that goes around in it. If the mind chooses to do so then everything in our mind, even our worst nightmares, can become a reality.


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