The Quest for Justice in the Afterlife
The Quest for Justice in the Afterlife
You know sometimes I wonder that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are fighting to get justice through legal means in the last so many decades in our country. Now some of them have got justice after a long drawn legal battle, but the majority are still in hope of getting justice someday. The irony of the matter is many people leave this life without getting justice and it is up to their family and friends to carry on their fight.
My story is based on one such theme in which the main character is unjustly and cruelly murdered for material wealth but her soul is tormented and does not get rest until she gets justice. This story is a murder mystery but with a supernatural twist to it.
This story takes place in the remote village of Adhaura, some 250 km from the capital city Patna, Bihar where the only viable model of communication and staying connected with the outside world is through cell phones. The best part is you can see people sitting on tree branches trying to get better network coverage. It was during the winters when days were becoming shorter and evening and nights were getting colder when Bhulwa, a straight simple man was coming back from his farm after a long day’s work. He had to cross a lonely stretch of farmland to reach his home and it was slightly foggy also when as he walked past a particular stretch he heard a faint noise coming from somewhere behind him, he turned around but could not see and hear anything so he kept on walking. After a couple of minutes he again heard the noise and this time it was a bit stronger and it seemed that someone was trying to say something.
Again Bhulwa looked back but could not see anyone so he thought that he must be hearing things and he increased his pace as it was getting late. After going few meters he again heard someone calling and saying “Budiya ki koi madad kar do beta”. He stopped in his tracks and thought that this time the sound was louder than before and he decided to check whether someone needed any help of sorts or not. So he switched on his cell phone torch and went back to the spot where the noise was coming from but he could not find anyone there. So he decided to check a bit further and as he advanced further he suddenly saw that a few metres ahead an old lady was standing and calling out for help by saying “mujh budiya ki koi madad kar do beta”.Bhulwa was surprised to see that at this time why would this lady venture out into the farm and that would too all by herself. So he went near her and asked: “maai, Kya Hua, Kuch madad kar doo kya?” As Bhulwa approached near her a strange thing happened, the woman turned towards him and gave him a feeble smile and then slowly disappeared in the fog. Bhulwa stopped in his tracks and was stunned to see that a few seconds ago this woman was calling out for help and now no one was there. He turned around and looked for her but could not see anyone, he even called out to her but there was no response.
Bhulwa now was standing at the spot where he had last seen the woman and he started chills which made him feel colder than the temperature. He now got a bit scared and started walking back towards his house at a much faster pace and he was sweating also which was unusual in this weather. As he reached home his wife and children were surprised to see him sweating profusely and in a state of fear and anxiety. When they asked him what was the matter he did not say anything and just went to sleep without having his dinner also. The next day again Somu who was also a farmer also encountered the same lady asking for help and when he went forward to help her she simply vanished again into thin air at the same spot and he too was scared and ran away shouting at the top of his lungs.
This phenomenon went on for a few days where people encountered this old lady calling out for help and when they reached out to her she simply just vanished into the ether leaving some people bewildered and mystified, while others were scared and paralysed with fear. Rumors started spreading that a ghost or a witch has been spotted in the village and people were too scared to go out in the evenings all by themselves. The whole episode became a circus where tantrics, mystics and sadhus were called to save the village from the wrath of the entity. People started spreading rumour even into the city and eventually, the media got wind of it and started showcasing the village and its predicament. This small village had never got any attention ever before as it started getting famous by widespread media coverage.
Romesh Dutt was a mild-mannered man of 55 years but had a very sharp and analytical mind bent and also he was the well-known head of the India Para Normal Investigations Team. Well naturally when he heard of the phenomenon in the news, he decided to investigate the matter and gathered his team comprising of Surekha, Ankur, Ronnie, Rashmi and Vikrant. All of them were diehard fans of Romesh and were experts in their fields. Surekha was the only person who could act as a medium for spirits and entities amongst the group. When the group heard of the news they were all excited to go. So they reached this village and the first thing they saw that people were scared and nervous. The group could feel the tension in the atmosphere.
Anyways they were escorted to the village headman’s house and from here they decided to start their investigations from that evening only. The first night nothing unusual happened and the group waited for any sign of supernatural activity but all their gadgets remained silent. It was during the second night of their investigations that their devices started going haywire and all of them could sense a supernatural presence especially Surekha who started acting strangely. It seemed that as if someone had taken possession over Surekha’s body and she seemed to call out again for help by saying “koi meri madad kar do beta”. Before anyone could anything this situation only lasted for a few seconds and then Surekha fainted to the ground. Everyone rushed to her help and as she was brought back to consciousness, she only said that she could feel heaviness in her body and a deep sense of sadness at the moment.
Romesh then understood that this area was a hotbed of paranormal activity and one particular entity was very strong amongst the rest. It was further analysed through their gadgets that this particular entity, that of the old woman was trapped in a particular stretch of land and she could not travel beyond that zone. So the next day the entire team along with the village headman and a group of villagers went to that particular spot. Here they found that a circle had been etched into the ground on the same spot. Romesh then instructed the villagers to dig up that spot, at first the villagers were scared but when the head man told them to they started digging. After digging for quite some time they found that a deep trench had been made and in it were lying old bones of a what seemed to be of a human skeleton. It was evident that someone had been murdered and buried there, so Romesh called for the police.
The Police officer Inspector Brijesh Singh was as surprised to find the bones and promised to do get a DNA test done. It was found out that these belonged to that of a woman and her name was Shanta Mai who had gone missing nearly 10 years ago according to a report filed by her sons and daughters. It was also found out that Shanta Mai was very well to do and kind-hearted person and she was loved by everyone in the village. As she had grown old, her sons and daughters had moved to the city for a better life, she used to live alone. When Romesh and Inspector Brijesh started enquiring about her mysterious disappearance, people at first were reluctant to answer as if they were scared of someone. When Brijesh Singh promised that the law will protect the person, still no one came forward. Even when her sons and daughters were called in for questioning and were told of the tragedy they were aghast and were in deep shock and grief. They said that their mother was such a wonderful person who could have thought of murdering her. Inspector Brijesh and Romesh just looked at them with impassive eyes and said nothing. Romesh himself took an interest in this case as he felt for the old woman who was lonely and had been looking for some company to keep her happy and peaceful. He also felt it his duty to get salvation for her soul.
During investigation everywhere they turned they seemed to meet with a strong brick wall of silence. This was frustrating for the police and Romesh; as some village hooligans started harassing members of Romesh’s team, especially Surekha and Rashmi. When Romesh complained about this to Inspector Brijesh, he said that “I will try to find who they were but if you want my advice, you should leave this village”. Romesh was stunned to hear this but he persisted on staying and seeing the whole case solved. As days went by everyone’s patience started running out when suddenly one day a villager (Anand) gathered up enough courage and went to the police station to disclose what he knew. Both Romesh and Brijesh were excited and happy that after so many days someone had finally come forward to throw some light on the case.
Anand told them that since Shanta Mai had enough wealth and property there was this one guy who was after her land. His name was Pratap Singh, and he was the son of the village headman and also the ex-landlord of the village. Pratap Singh had an eye on Shanta Mai’s land for quite some time and after her sons and daughters had gone to the city used to visit her place regularly and try to persuade her to sell off the land. Anand further said that when Shanta Mai refused, Pratap Singh resorted to strong-arm tactics and used to try to intimidate her. When Romesh asked, “that why didn’t you go to the police?” Anand replied that “we are poor farmers’ sahib; we cannot afford to mess with Pratap Singh”. Based on this evidence they asked Anand that will he testify against Pratap Singh in court and he said yes.
As the saying goes that everything doesn’t go according to as planned, the day Inspector Brijesh Singh decided to arrest Pratap Singh, Anand went missing from that day. His family was distraught and hysterical and they said that since the moment he had decided to come forward they were doomed. Romesh and Brijesh Singh again got frustrated but this time they decided to go ahead put surveillance on Pratap Singh and his henchmen to catch them red-handed doing any illegal activity. Few days went by when they got a lucky break as one of the henchmen was caught stealing from a local shop and he was brought in for questioning. It was here that during questioning that he broke down and confessed that it was indeed Pratap Singh who had lured Shanta Mai from her house out into the fields and murdered and buried her there. He also said Anand was being held captive in Pratap Singh’s safe house. Hearing this confession it was very easy to get a search and arrest warrant against Pratap Singh and Brijesh and Romesh along with the police party went to raid Pratap Singh’s safe house and to arrest him. It was here that during the shoot-out Pratap Singh was shot while trying to escape and Anand was rescued safe and sound.
Finally, the case was solved and Inspector Brijesh and Shanta Mai’s sons and daughters thanked Romesh and his team wholeheartedly and the village itself showed so much gratitude towards them that everyone including Romesh couldn’t help being emotional. The next day when they were planning to leave the village Romesh had a strange sensation; as if someone was blessing him and thanking him for his help. Though he could not see anyone he could sense that it was Shanta Mai as now her soul could rest in peace. Finally, Romesh felt glad that he could deliver justice to Shanta Mai’s soul which had been in deep torment all these times. He felt so emotional that his eyes glistened over by the thought and when his team asked him what was the matter, he just nodded his head and they left the village. From that day onwards no one in the village ever again encountered any supernatural entity.