Society & Lifestyle
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|by Seshu Chamarty|
That day I was commuting to my suburban place where I worked as a bank officer. I did not come across much traffic. No civilization worth the name existed on either side of the road. I parked my scooter under a large tree on the way side. Once I had eased myself behind the bushes, I walked back to my vehicle.
It was then I saw a lady sitting on my parked scooter. To my dismay, I discovered she had no legs. I wondered how she could get there in the first place. I did not see anybody around for that matter. What I saw next was even more shocking. Just a pair of legs dangled from the handlebar of the scooter. Yes, the feet turned backwards. I bolted away at that ghastly sight, towards deeper into the woods. After an hour or so of some mindless walking, I thought I was reaching my workplace after all. But to my chagrin, the forest was now getting denser. Did I choose the wrong path to the suburb?
My feet started aching. I wished I could examine them closely. But I felt someone was following me. I sprinted now, drawing all my reserve strength. But I slowed down a bit to check whether the bank keys were intact in my trouser pocket. Good, they were there. They belonged to the cash vault of the bank. As a manager I used them along with another set possessed by the cashier.
Ahead of me, I saw the lady once again. Now she was erect on her legs under a banyan tree. Her teeth shone brighter. I froze. Wasn’t it a ghost? I closed my eyes and began praying to a god who would keep at bay all devils. Soon I crumbled into a heap on the ground, with my legs turned to rubber. In no time I fainted.
When I came around, I was lying on my back. I looked at the sky with a stiff neck. I could sense someone was loitering around. I felt a cold hand touching my eyes. I was horrified. I saw her face clearly now. I shut my eyelids as closely as possible. Besides, I heard a familiar male voice. Yes, it belonged to the cashier. Had he been playing mischief of sorts to rob the bank?
Next I saw a couple of uniformed policemen hovering around me. I heard my cashier thanking them for locating me. After the police left, the cashier fellow walked me to a lady. He said she happened to be the new officer on a transfer from the city. He said she was the one to join us that day. Impulsively I looked at her feet, to see if they turned backwards.
I noticed she wore a pair of tight fitting pants. They were skin-colored. She replied, “How do you do, Sir. I was coming in a taxi to the branch along with my parents to get myself dropped at the bank. Seeing you park the scooter on the wayside, I sent my parents back. In fact, I wanted to ride with you to the workplace on your scooter. By the way, I was drying my pants on the handle of your scooter as they got wet by a drizzle. I waited for you to come back soon after you were done with whatever behind those bushes.”
She went on, “I was really at my wits’ end when you got so panicky for no reason. I even called the bank from my mobile when you ran away. The cashier was helpful, he advised me to follow you, and also promised he would call the police for help. ”
I was cursing myself for being such a fool. I gave her my hand. It was limp and cold nevertheless.
Note: Another version of my write is on the New Indian Express, published way back.
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01/14/2013 13:44 PM
01/14/2013 11:43 AM