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Waiting... Flash Fiction
|by Ananya S Guha|
My father bought our house in Shillong, in 1952 from a British lady. My father came to Shillong in 1948, and he was one of the oldest doctors in town. Those days the Welsh Missionaries were active in the Khasi hills and they founded the Welsh Mission Hospital, where I was born. One of the doctors who was Welsh, told my mother: 'Your son looks like a Brit'.
Brit or no Brit I was inducted into a Christian Missionary School, run by the Irish Christian Brothers. I loved the school, its premises, its quaint buildings, the swimming pool, which was used during the second world war, the school hall and the chapel.
My house continued to look like the bungalow it was, as used by the British. When I was in class seven, my father extended the house and converted the verandah into the dining room. I grew close to the house. It whispered in my arms. But sometimes I heard knocking at the window panes.
One day as I was in bed, I saw clearly someone crossing the bed room door. I also had 'visions' about my uncle who died in a train accident, sitting in front of me in a Buddha like posture.
I loved the house like as I loved myself.
When I was at the university, things in Shillong changed. There were ethnic riots. Now, I would hear at night, a horseman going by the main road. Don't you know, my brother said, this is the restless soul of a British horseman. I could hear his soft horse footfalls. And the British lady, my brother said died after selling the house. She regretted the decision.
One day I was in my study room writing something for my Masters dissertation , there was a thud and a rap on the window. I looked out, there was no one there. Then, I heard the slow footfalls of the horse. I told my friends, they laughed.
Today, the house is sold. The new owners say, that one of the rooms is haunted. How is it I asked. When I sleep in it, I feel presences, he said. One day a photo stand just fell. Maybe, the restless soul of the British woman, long dead, still lurks around. Ghosts? I asked. The man nodded. I still wait even today to hear the clatter of the horseman and those hooves...
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