Raju Singh was an Atheist. He neither believed in Gods, nor in ghosts!! He was happily unmarried and went out on his own to go on a solo trips. He hailed from Bihar, but was working in Kolkata with an ad agency. It was around mid-November that after a long time he got his weekend off, thus, he packed his bags and stepped out for the hills. This time, Lepchajagat. One of the beautiful places on earth, where the sun kisses one with her radiance. With the thrill in his heart and thirst in his eyes to see the mountains, he safely reached New Jalpaiguri railway station. There he was picked up by Rohit, a sweet, ever smiling Nepali driver. -"Hello shaabji! Good morning. It's very cold today, but you have come at the right time, u will get a clear view of kanchenjangha. Give me, let me carry your luggage." -"Oh thank you. We are going to go to Lepchajagat and you will put me up to a good hotel. Isn't it?" -"Certainly yes sir. Please come." On way to Lepchajagat, they gorged onto some delicious chicken momos and hot cups of tea. Again the car started and took the winding ways.
Raju spoke, -"You see Rohit, I have an adventurous streak and love to explore the unexplored. And as you can see my DSLR, I love capturing moments. What about you?" -"What about me, shaabji.. I am a poor man. I have a family, my wife, 2 kids and my widow mom. I am the only earning member, so you can well understand, my kind of adventure!" Saying this, he started laughing. -"Hmm.. so how did your dad pass away?" -"Oh, that's a long looooong story, shaabji. Precisely to say, he drove some tourists to The Tiger Hill and while coming back, he couldn't control the speed of his car and fell off the cliff!!" He sounded morose. -"Oh ho, I am really sorry Rohit to hear about this." -"No sir, it's completely okay. It had been 10 years I have lost my father and earning bread and butter for my family since then. It doesn't bother me anymore, it's just that I miss him. Anyway, shaabji, how many times you have been to the hills, Darjeeling!" -"Hahahah, dont say how many times, say what's your address of Darjeeling. Hahahaha" Rohit a little confused, still smiles because he did not want to be in bad books of his client.
Raju -"I have been so many times in Darjeeling, u can say, that it's my home.!" Now quite relaxed, Rohit said, "Okay, this is the matter!" Both laughed, talked, giggled, shared stories and clicked pictures. Finally coming to Lepchajagat, Rohit went to a homestay and made arrangements for Raju. Raju, went inside and was overwhelmingly happy with the view from his room. Upon Waking up, as he would open his eyes, from the window he could see the snowcapped Kanchenjunga and the sunrise behind. "Oh how thrilling it is!" Raju thought to himself. It was around 1:00 pm when Raju entered Lepchajagat. So without delaying much and completing his lunch quite fast, he was off to SIMANA along with Rohit. SIMANA is the border between India and Nepal. Raju was mesmerized with the inexplicable beauty of Simana. He had never seen such a beautiful view. Half a cloud, half a light, it was somehow very intoxicating and hypnotic. Whatever, they had to return and the next day, Raju decided to go to the Tiger Hill. Accordingly, Raju told Rohit to be there at the hotel, the next morning, at around 3:30am.
Rohit -"okay shaabji! I will come. Just be safe. " -"From what?" -"Just like that. You are a good human being." -"And that's why no spirit can take a toll on me and I will be in high SPIRIT! hahahhaa.. dont be late tomorrow. " -"Yes. Good night shaabji!" The night was still young and Raju was excited about the next day. He took a peg of whiskey and a cigarette in his hand and stood in front of the mirror looking at himself, "Oh God, you made me so handsome. Hahaha". Then he went by the side of the window and stood for sometime. In the distant he could see a white light constantly moving up and down. He was quite surprised to see a white streak of light in a no moon and no star sky. Suddenly, he felt someone was watching over him from behind, he just couldn't fathom, what was happening to him.
He perspired from inside, turning around suddenly he asked, "who's there!" No, no one was there. He made a sigh of relief. Raju came back and sat on the couch. Mobile network was not working as well. The next day, the hotel was supposed to wake up Raju, so by around 3:30 am, his door knocked. Though he was a little drunk, he could recognize that it was knock made by the hotel boy as was asked. He got ready and came out of his room. But to his utter shock, there was pin drop silence in the hotel landing, and at the reception, boys were sleeping. At the reception, Raju asked a boy, waking him up, "Why is it so silent all over? Isn't anyone ready to go for sunrise? They hesitated and said, "Sir, you go to the room, please!" -" Why? I will watch the sunrise." - "That's right sir, but it's just 2:30am and there is time for sunrise.!"
Raju was petrified at this and saw his wrist watch. "Correct its 2:30am. Then, how come this wristwatch only showed me it's 3:30am. Even the wall clock too. Am I excessively drunk!!" Thought to himself. -" Sir, never answer just knocks at your door. Now, kindly go to your room." Raju couldn't believe his ears. He walked inside his room. -"Shit, there is still no network in my mobile phone." Brooding on all these thoughts, he slept a little. He was awakened by a call from Rohit informing that he is waiting outside, in the lawn. It was 3:30am. Raju was now a little scared and thought to himself, "I have been coming to the mountains for such a long time, but never had such eerie feelings!" He went outside and saw everything was normal, 1 hotel boy got up and was sitting. So, now Raju was quite confident and went outside the lawn.
After meeting Rohit, he was relatively relaxed. -"What happened sir?" -"Oh don't ask. Ever since I came to this hotel, stupid things are happening to me. Last night saw a white light moving up and down, felt someone was inside my room, standing behind me. Then at 2:30am somebody knocked on my door." By now, the voice of Rohit has changed a little. "Don't worry sir. It's just the spirits. You should be careful enough." "Oh stop your rubbish." "It seems you dont believe in spirits." "No, of course not." Raju was looking outside and clicking some impeccable photos while Rohit sternly looked at him through the looking glass. Rohit, "Sir, are you sure you don't fear ghosts?" Raju suddenly looked into the looking glass and saw a distinct change in the face, eyes and voice of Rohit. He had a cut on his forehead and his eyes deep red. Voice got huskier.
Raju panicked and asked "Wait. How did you get me through phone, it was out of network and still is. Moreover, you call me shaabji, but now you are calling me sir!" Rohit told Raju, "Madhav, the driver met with an accident on this road around this time, and died with all the other tourists. Do u want to see him?" Raju- "What?" Rohit - "Turn around and see, he is sitting just behind you...." Raju with a shock turn back and saw no one was there. When in utter shock, fear and anger Raju looked ahead, saw that there was no driver in the front. He shouted in fear and eventually fainted. When he gained back his senses, he saw he was surrounded by doctor, Rohit and the hotel manager. In a dubious eye, he saw Rohit. Rohit was saddened and told him, "Shaabji, I told you to be safe. And I am really sorry." Raju shouted at him and told him about the incidents. Rohit almost cried, "I am sorry shaabji, it was my fault . I should have told you beforehand, that today is my father's death anniversary and he keeps coming back on this day!! And please do not utter anything about spirits. Please." Raju was awestruck. Doctor - Mr. Singh, in nick of time, you just narrowly escaped. Now you must take rest. Manager - We tried to stop him from going outside, but all in vain.
He went out and it was as if he was talking to someone. Then only we realised, that its Madhav!" Raju, "MADHAV!!" Rohit, "My father! Please shaabji, u leave today in the evening for Kolkata. This is no more a safe place for you. Please sir." Doctor, "Please Mr. Singh, pack your bags." Manager, "Now we shall take your leave. Take rest." Raju was sitting confused. He got out from his bed and lit up a cigarette, stood by the window. It was around 10:30am. He saw the lovely blue sky and the radiant sunshine. Children playing in the park. He thought as if it were just a nightmare. He smiled to himself. He went near the mirror to see his injuries. But, What is this!!! Going in front of the mirror, he could not see himself, but only the smoke of his cigarette. Only a prominent shadow could be seen in the coils of cigarette smoke. Then, where is Raju?......