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Boxful of Stories
by Ramendra Kumar Bookmark and Share

Given below are some stories that were previously published on Bolokids.com


A Pact With The Sun by Padmaparna Ghosh

It felt like the end of the world. The night was dark, the street was empty but my heart was emptier. I was thankful for the anonymous cover of the night, glad that nobody could sense my agony and desperation. I wished the night would never end. It was a foreign land, no smiling faces, and no touch of comfort. Walking back to my desolate apartment, another void, I had no wish to live anymore. Life had rejected me, happiness had brushed me off; loneliness walked along with me, my only companion.

I had landed in the City of triumph three months back, with empty pockets and a heart full of dreams. After three months all that is left is an unfulfilled dream. I had been optimistic and refused to believe in the off chance of failure. I had shut my eyes to the countless hopeless wanderers like me. I had been full of energy but I was worn out now.

I had set off in the quest for a job, restless and raring to go. Confident optimism had turned to hope which then gave way to quiet concern, then to a nagging worry before finally collapsing into sheer desperation. I had been ready to give up and accept defeat when I had landed a job, enough to survive. I started my life again, started believing again. The job had been a tedious and boring one at a miserably depressing office. I had had a minuscule cabin there, where my endless fantasies lay buried now. Although it had numbed my mind with its monotony, it had always served as a foundation on which I could depend my dreams, keep them alive. Even that last beacon of hope had deserted me. I lost my job today.

I felt worst about my gullible parents who were waiting back home for an ecstatic long-distance phone call announcing immeasurable success and prosperity, ignorant and in the dark about the trials and travails I have had to go through. I come from a very humble background where I have had to fight my way through years of faded points of view and defeated purposes. I had taken up the challenge and had braved innumerable scorning faces and ridicule.

I was dizzy with exhaustion now as I climbed up the stairs to my apartment. I went out to sit by the fire escape, which was my only window to the world. I looked up and wondered where my sun was. What was I supposed to look up to? What was I to seek out in my sky? How was I to find my North, my South? I couldn't think anymore and was falling into deeper, darker places. My sun was put out and I thought to myself that if the sun comes up tomorrow morning then I wouldn't be able to face it. I felt safe and cocooned, and I started hallucinating, tried to convince the sun not to show up, not to make fun of me again. Let it be like this, let me rest. And I closed my eyes.

I woke up with a start to a jarring sound and the light struck my eyes like a sword. It took me some time to locate the sound. It was the doorbell. I walked to the door fighting a dazed feeling. It was my next-door neighbor handing me an envelope, he said, 'You came late at night yesterday, I forgot to hand it over. I am sorry.' He left and I tore open the envelope. It was a confirmation letter for a job I had applied to long time back.


A Friendly Solution by Reva Patel

Alien Tale by Sanchi Chhabra

"Take out your notebooks, aliens!”, our teacher said in an ascending pitch. As she spoke the last word of her sentence, we looked up and started giggling. We saw her face turned on the right in a horrifying manner .All the girls of our class VIII - E surrounded her as she was trembling with fear and was surely going to faint. She couldn’t speak so we could only guess what had happened but it was rather hard to believe.

She had seen aliens in our school, in our corridor.

We were excited as well as scared. Some of us who were adventurous stepped out of the class. We thought we were going after them but soon realized that we were chased by them.

They seemed like giant ants.

There was an order in the school that we should vacate the classes and go for the two exits and sit in the buses. As everyone was hurrying towards the two exits they saw both the aliens standing on the gates as if they were the guards. Everyone one of us headed back creating a mess which was hard to handle. The two of them suddenly put there hands on their heads and started taking them off. We soon realized that they were none other than our friends Rahul and George.


Incredible Horse by Sanchi Chhabra

“Eee uu, your horse is an eyesore to look at!!” said the grandson looking rather horrified,” he shouted and screamed as if to call the donkeys around.”

Two travelers had come to the forest to explore, one was the grandfather, who was called ‘Floppy’ by his grandson who was also present there.

“Does he have any talent?”, asked Floppy. “The shouting and screaming which sounds unpleasant is his hidden talent”. The horse owner replied confidently and astounded Floppy and his grandson. “You must have noticed his way of shouting is weird and very much rare. He has magical powers and calls every animal here sending them messages in their own ‘animaldo’ languages.

“Floppy,why is he talking so strangely?” asked the grandson.

“My dear grandsunny, he is just fooling us. Come , we should not trust him,” replied Floppy. “Wait, I can prove it,” said the owner. He moved towards the horse and was followed by the travelers .He spoke something in the horse’s ear and horse started clearing his throat. It was an unbelievable scene to see a horse clearing his throat as we humans do. He began screaming and automatically the fingers of the three went to their ears and ensured that the voice was not troubling them. It went on for 2-3 minutes and then stopped.

Floppy and his grandson wondered whether any animal will come listening to the 'animaldo' language or not. To their astonishment they saw many animals and one more explorer coming towards them through their binoculars and gathering as if for a business meeting. It was all truly amazing.

Floppy said, “Its awesome!!”

“I can’t believe my eyes, the grandson said. This is truly worth a reward able and I will give you Rs.5000 if you give this horse to me.”

“No , I am sorry I can’t give you that horse . It is very dear to me. It belongs to my ancestors,” said the owner.

“Ok,but can we come frequently to enjoy this creature?"

"Oh! Yes , ofcourse," the owner replied.

After this the travelers often made trips to see this horse and gave money for its upkeep to the owner.


Save the Gods by Umesh Kashyap

Once there was a small boy named Chandragupta, he was very good in studies. One day, he had nothing to do to overcome his boredom. He was just lying in the bed, then an idea struck him. He thought ‘’ there could be something special to magnets. They could complete my wishes”. He tried it and something terrible happened. He wished that he could fly. Then a demon came and said angrily “Hey, you fool you poor boy, don’t you know I’m the king, I have captured the gods. I was sleeping, you woke me up. I will curse you and you don’t know what the curse is, it is something terrible.” He chanted something. The boy just ignored him. He just chilled. Then, he remembered something, the demon said that I have captured the gods, is that true? He went out and was surprise to see that everything had changed. No cars, no houses, no roads, only a castle. He remembered that the demon said I will curse you and it’s terrible. “Oh man! What will I do now? It is very bad.” he cried. He looked back and he wasn’t able to see his house. He thought going to the castle is only the fair thing now. He went inside the castle and some soldiers put him in jail. He tried to overcome them, but was unsuccessful. He saw those who were in the jail. He saw many gods.

He got angry but he can’t do anything. He was in jail. He went to other gods. He asked “Gods, how did the demon capture you and your kingdom”. The god replied “In night when we were sleeping. They attacked us and in the morning when we woke up, we found ourselves in jail.” The boy was thinking there will be some or the other way to come out and save the gods. He asked them “We can take revenge like the same way they captured us” They replied “they never sleep.” The boy was busy thinking when an idea struck him. He looked back and he saw a window on the wall of the jail. He told them “We can change our faces, clothes and break the window to get out”. The gods said “Good idea.”

At 12 midnight they broke the window and got out. The gods knew how to fly so they went inside the kingdom by flying. The boy went inside the king’s room and pretending to be a slave. The other gods watched him. He said inside the demon’s room “All hail the king! Sir I have come to give you a massage. The boy was waiting for a reply and heard “Okay, come in my bed”. The boy’s plan was working safely till then. He didn’t knew what will happen if his plan did not worked completely. He did massage for some time and then took out a knife and cut the demon’s body. The king was not dead. It flied and chanted some mantras and the boy saw a beam of purple color light coming towards him. The boy was afraid and did nothing. He closed his eyes and after some time he opened his eyes and saw that a war has started between the demons and gods. He saw the gods fighting. At last the gods won and the boy was back in his home. He again tried to wish on a magnet. But this time the opposite happened. The gods came and said “Wish three wishes”. The boy wished and then his wishes were complete.


If You Have a Good Heart by Umesh Kashyap

We were refugees. We were starved. We couln't make it for one complete meal everyday. Now we live peacefully in the village. I will tell you how we got good luck.
It all happened like this
One fine sunny day, I went in search for food. I tried to catch some animals, but I was not quick like the animals. Then, I decided to catch fishes. I went to the fast flowing river. I heard some voices coming from the river. I saw a child crying for his life. I felt pity for him. I jumped in the river and saved the cute child. He had high fever. I decided to give him to my wife. I went to her. On seeing the first glance of the child she said, 'we don't have food to feed ourselves, how can we feed him'. But I said this child will be a fortune for us.

Everyday a lot quantity of garbage and paper flow throw the river. One day when I was catching fishes. I caught a fish which was covered with papers. On one paper it read as follows:
If you find this child, then please return it to the following address:

551 B, New Green Society Reward Rs. 100,000
I became glad. I knew that the child will be a fortune for us. I rushed to my wife and told her everything. She also became glad and happy and said, 'you were saying right that this child will be a fortune for us'. With my wife I rushed to 551 B, New Green Scoiety.

I knocked their door. They gave us hot Coffee. We felt refreshed. I narrated them the whole incident. And when it was time to leave they gave me 100000. We started living in the village and no one cares who we are. You all must have a good heart.


A Home Away from Home by Maitri Singh

'It was right here.' Lima muttered.Her eyes wandered everywhere.Scanning the whole place with her intelligent eyes.

'Where could the bus go??I surely didn't lose my way..'she thought almost in tears now.Lima felt helpless.How would she find her way now??She didn't even know the local language. Frustated she kept her bag down with a thud and sat on it with her head buried in her hands.

Lima was in her twenties.She was a college student studying in Korea.She had come to India to make a project report on the culture and heritage of the Himalayan people.She was a beautiful girl. She had green eyes that were wide like open windows…one could see innocence in those big eyes which were sharp and noticed everything. She was tall and thin and had an athletic figure. Her skin was pale and her pitch black hair always fell on the right places on her face making her look more beautiful. She had something unusual about her face, something almost magical; one could not resist seeing her face again and again. Anyone could like her instantly.

She sat there-motionless. Suddenly someone tapped on her shoulder startling her. She got up hastily and stared at the stranger who stood there staring at her in return. He was a lean fellow, with shabby hair and clothes that were on the verge of coming apart at the slightest pull. ’He was definitely very very poor” she thought. But somehow she didn’t like him. He looked so impish, something about him didn’t look good.

‘Didi app yahan kaise?’ the boy asked.

‘Uh??’ said Lima confused.

‘You lost?’ asked the boy and grinned an ear to ear smile proud that he managed some English.

Lima nodded and bit her lip in nervousness. Then she grinned back at the infectious smile in front of her; happy that he knew something about English.

‘Me Ramesh’.
‘I am Lima.’

‘Want help? I help you.’ He said proudly

Lima giggled and then said ‘Yes that is very kind of you.’

‘Where you want to go?’

‘Do you know Hotel Transcript??’ Lima asked crossing her fingers.

He nodded vigorously and then said ‘You follow.’

Lima nodded.

While they were conversing an old lady had been noticing them for a while now; her face alarmed at the sight. When she saw them go she panicked and hurriedly went over to Lima shouting something in her local language.
Lima stopped amid and watched the old woman as she approached them; Her reaction confusing her.

‘Didi she mad. Follow me. said the boy nervously.

But the woman didn’t look mad to Lima. She seemed so kind . Something was so sincere about her. There was a motherly feel about her that made Lima to not want to go and help the woman with whatever was troubling her.

She looked at the woman sympathetically.

The old lady now stood near them. Panting at the exertion of the sudden run she had made. She said something very harshly to the boy.

She was scolding Ramesh perhaps.’ thought Lima silently. She stood there listening then argue, she was growing curious with every passing moment but there talk continued for quite some time.

Lima couldn’t keep patience any longer. She said, ‘Any problem?’

‘No no.’ said the boy hastily. ‘She mad.’

But Lima’s gut didn’t buy his “she mad” excuse. Lima stared at the old woman for a long time and the woman stared her in response. There was silence, complete silence. But the silence conveyed so many things. At last the woman nodded at Lima once and then took her hand and took her with her. Lima didn’t protest. She seemed to trust her. She just followed her like a dog follows his master without any question. The boy was shouting something in the background. But nothing mattered , everything drained out as the distance increased. It was just Lima and the old woman walking hand in hand perhaps going to her house.

~*~

It was an old and small house , almost in ruins. Lima’s sharp eyes scanned the house from top to bottom. The interiors of the house were shabby and it looked like the old woman barely mad out a living. The house had only the minimum required for survival. ‘Poor her!’ Lima thought. The house was poorly lighted and it was dark inside.

The woman looked at Lima and smiled. Lima smiled back. The woman gestured and asked Lima if she was hungry. Lima nodded at once. The woman gesture Lima to sit on the bad near the stove and started preparing food for her at once. Lima sat down and stared at the woman as she worked. After sometime her eyes became heavy and in a matter of time Lima was in a deep slumber. When Lima woke it was already dark. Night had fallen and there was another person in the house. It was a girl, younger than Lima.

‘Your daughter?’ asked Lima.

The woman looked at her confused.

‘No. She my grandmother. ‘said the small girl. ‘No parents. They died……’she paused and then continued,

‘Grandmother no English. But I know. I go school.’

‘Oh’ mouthed Lima. After sometime she said ‘I am lost. I missed  my bus.’ explained Lima. ‘Do you know Hotel Transcript? ‘inquired Lima.

The girl moved her head in denial and said something to her mother. The mother said something back to her. The girl listened to her carefully.

‘Me Reshma. The boy in the day time was bad. Grandmother fight with him to save you. He robs people.’ She explained earnestly .

Lime smiles in gratitude and said, ‘ Thank you so much. But can you help me in any way?’

The girl and her grandmother had a discussion for a long time and then she said,’ We don’t know the way. But bus comes everyday. We leave you there then you can go.’

Lima smiled relieved at the solution.

The rest of the evening was spent in eating food and talking with each other. Language was a barrier but they somehow managed it.

~*~

It was a sunny day next morning. Reshama had gone to school. It was just Lima and the grandmother. Lima sat in silence observing the old lady weave her way in and out of a basket she was making. At noon the woman finally got up from her work and gestured Lima to get ready to go. Lima took her bags and stood outside the house while the old lady locked the house. She again nodded at Lima and took her hand and led her to the bus stop just like before . While Lima followed the old woman she felt a sudden  rush of emotions inside her.

‘That boy could have done anything to me and it wouldn’t have mattered to this lady in the least bit. After all who was she to her. No one. But still she had chosen to stand by her and even fight with the boy just for her. No one would have done that… not even her friends. But this lady had gone out of the way. She had given her shelter without expecting anything in return. She had given her food when she could barely manage to fill her and her granddaughter’s stomach. She and her granddaughter had slept on the ground so that she could sleep comfortably.

Who did that for a stranger??’ Lima asked herself.

‘This old lady has treated me as her own. She gave me love that no stranger would ever give. Even though they could not talk, even though language was a barrier… this old lady had conveyed so much through her actions and eyes. Words wouldn’t have done justice to what the silence had done. Truly a universal language did exist and love was that language. Love didn’t need words to be expressed. Its something which everyone understands. In 24 hours Lima and the old lady had built a bond deeper than any other. ‘Lima thought with tears in her eyes.
They had reached the bus stand and there the bus stood waiting for Lima. But her legs refused to leave this place, to leave this woman who had loved her so much… Lima sniffed back her tears but they fell like rain. Reshma’s grandmother frowned in disapproval and hugged Lima.

‘Thank you. I love you ma.’ Whispered Lima.

The old woman smiled and this time her smile was brighter even than the sun. they both seemed to understand each other, especially this one time.

~*~
‘India wasn’t that bad after all.’ Muttered Lima as she sat on her seat and waved to her new found family with a grin on her face. There were no tears anymore. There was a sweet  happiness to find a home away from home.

 

Broken Friendship by Suma

The girl was always engrossed in a book. She hardly talked to anyone in her class. She had newly taken admission to ‘GRS International School’ for 8th Standard.  Her classmates thought that she was strange and not willing to mingle among others. Everyone knew her just by her identity card. She never told them her name-Nita. Even her parents didn’t know the reason for her habit of not talking to others. They thought that her new classmates were not good, or something like that. Perhaps, they were all wrong, for she was just like them. Enjoying with everyone, she could talk to, but not in this school, her old school, which was the only school she had studied before she came here. No one knew what she read always. If only they knew it, they wouldn’t have differentiated between themselves and her.

***

“Nita, catch the ball”.
“No, Diya. I am just not interested to play”.

Diya was surprised. This was the first time she had declined to play.

“What happened? Why don’t you play?”
“Please leave me. I am hurt, truly hurt”.
“Are you hurt? Show me”.
“Diya, don’t talk like an idiot. It’s not a physical hurt, a mental one”.
“What happened? Who hurt you?”
“I just can’t say that. If I say that, you too will be hurt”.
“No, I am very strong. I have strong defence against hurt”.
“Diya, just leave me. I am not in a mood to answer your questions”.
“Won’t you tell to me? I thought you were a friend and would reveal everything to me”.
“Diya, please, I am really down. Don’t disturb me”.

The bell rang. Nita and Diya made their way to the class.

“Hey Nita, I have noticed something peculiar. Why you are not talking to Nikita? You never missed talking with her. If she was absent for a day, you would be sad like there is no one for you, even when you have so many friends, including me”.

“I just don’t like being with her. She betrayed me. I never thought she would, for she was so close to me. I don’t know what I did to her”.
“What did she do?”
The teacher entered the class.
“I’ll tell you later”, whispered Nita.

***

“Tell me now”.
“I will”.

***

Nikita approached Nita, angrily. She threw a paper.

“What’s that?”
“My rejected application”.
“Of what?”
“The poetry writing competition”, replied Nikita in anger, “It was your fault”.
“What did I do, Nikita?”
“Your poem was accepted and you will get a special prize tomorrow, whereas I got back only this piece of rejected paper. How many times have you participated in poetry writing, can you guess it? And you got a prize always. Not a single time your entry was rejected. You are so good at it”, praised Nikita, then angrily said, “Couldn’t you have given me a single chance to get selected? It has always been you. No one has been able to get the first prize, expect you. When you are so good at it and have got a prize many times, why can’t you give a chance to others? I have been trying from so many months. Each month I have come disappointed, holding the rejected application. Each time I am trying to better myself, but you are wasting my efforts”.
“Enough, Nikita”, said Nita equally angry.

This was the first time she had been angry. She was always a cool person. She would take everything positively.

“Is it my mistake that you didn’t get chosen?” Nita continued, “I have been following the rules. There is no rule that we shouldn’t submit once more, if we win a prize. Also, is it my fault that I am writing good poems? I am doing so, ever since I was a child. I am passionate about it. So, I have lots of experience in writing. I am not doing it just for the competition’s sake, like you. Try and try, you will also improve and one day, win a prize. And no one is wasting your efforts. No one has said you not to try again. If your poem is not good, it’s not my fault. I thought you were a good friend, but you proved me wrong. I am really grateful to you for making me realize my mistake of befriending you. Thank you very much”.

“I’ll tell you one thing. It takes a lot of time to improve myself and thus my schooling will be finished, by then. I’ll have to put a full stop to my poetry writing, then. Until you are there in this school, I’ll not be able to get selected a single time. You are the favourite among teachers. They love your poems and your character, too”.

“That’s my ability to write so well, which makes teachers like me. Unlike you, I don’t will to stop writing poetries after school. This shows that you are doing it just for a prize. I’ll assure you, until I am there here; I will not stop submitting poetries. I don’t know if I’ll win a prize or not, I will just not stop submitting them. If you are so willing to get a prize, you could have asked my help in writing. I would have done so, gladly. I would have even written a better poem for you than for myself. But, I never expected you to quarrel with me for such silly things. I really didn’t expect this from you. Good bye to you. Never talk to me again. I wish I don’t get to see your face, once again. Really, I am tired of explaining things to you, when you just don’t seem to understand them”.

“I, too wish that I don’t get to talk to you”.

Nikita walked off.  Nita burst into tears. How could Nikita betray her? She couldn’t believe that she did. She picked up the paper thrown by Nikita. She read through it, again and again. Her drops of tears wet the paper. She sat on her bench, holding it tightly in her hands. She knew that she couldn’t live without Nikita. But, Nikita was very rude towards her, lately. She hadn’t experienced such fights before. No one had quarreled with her, before.

***

“Do you understand now, Diya?”
“Yes, of course. Nikita shouldn’t have done that. It’s your right to participate in competitions”.
“I still have that piece of wet paper with me. I have decided to keep it with me forever. I just can’t live without her”.
“Still you think about her like that?”
“Yes. Today who I am is because of Nikita. I owe a lot to her”.
“What has she done for you?”
“Supporting me always, yes, that was what she has done for me. It was she who persuaded me to submit my poem to the competition. I was reluctant, at first. But, she submitted it in my name and because of her I got all those prizes. And there is a lot more, she has done for me”.

***

Nita picked up her pen. She wanted to write a poem on her and Nikita’s broken friendship.

‘Two birds were flying in the sky,
With love and compassion for each other,
When suddenly one of them,
Started disunity among them.
 
The other one fell down,
With grief and sadness,
 And with love for the other,
Dropped down dead.’

Nita read through the poem once, with tears in her eyes. Well, she wanted to submit it as well. She hoped that at least after reading the poem, others would be there for their friends and not be like Nikita. She hoped that Nikita, too would read it and maybe clear everything between them and become friends again. But, there was a hidden feeling within her that she shouldn’t submit it and Nikita should get a prize. She realized that Nikita too wanted a chance, just once, at least. So, for the first time, she didn’t submit her poem, though she knew that it was her best poem and even if it wasn’t, it surely was a significant one. She knew that she would preserve it in her memory and the paper, for long. She also knew that she would not throw away Nikita’s poems, which she had, when they were friends. She was sure that even if Nikita was not talking to her, she was really her true friend, a friend in her heart and her mind, a friend who had stood by her always.

“Yes…she is my true friend. I must agree to that even if I can’t”, she said to herself over and over again, “I should not stay in this school next year, even if this is my favourite school. I guess I can manage in a new school, a new school where there is no Nikita. If I change my school, Nikita can at least get a prize once. Yes, I should do that. I should give her a chance. I should really do that and I will”.

She took out a book and all of Nikita’s poems. She wrote it neatly in the book, because she wanted it. The pages were covered with beautiful handwriting and drops of tears. Even if she tried to restrain herself from crying, she couldn’t. She really couldn’t.

***

Nita stared at the book in her hands, a book which was written a year ago and was full of Nikita’s poems. If anyone had ventured near her, they would have noticed that she always read the same book, the same book which contained her Nikita. But, no one did so. They didn’t wish to talk to her, because she didn’t.

Nita burst into tears.

“Nikita, I am hoping that you already got a prize. If not, I wish that you get it soon. But, whatever let it come, you are always my friend, a true friend. No one can fill the void left behind by you. You will always remain in my mind and in my heart. I promise I’ll never forget you, never. You will be remembered forever, even if I don’t realize it, you will be hidden inside me. Really, I won’t forget you”, said Nita as she touched her tear strained face to the book.


The ghost by Suma

It was a cold winter night. I waited  for my train to arrive. I got pretty scared, because there was no light and the dogs were howling.

"When will this train arrive?" I said, angrily, looking at my watch.

I was relieved, when the train finally arrived. I boarded the train, clutching on to my bag.

I was surprised to see that there was only one passenger.

"Maybe, that's the fate of late-night trains", I said to myself as I sat next to the other guy.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" the man questioned, looking straight in my face.
"No. Why do you ask?" I said, laughing.

I was closing the window, when I heard no reply from him. I turned and was shocked. The man had just disappeared!

"Where did this man go?" the thought went round and round inside my head.

My stop arrived and I was about to get down, when something sent a chill down my spine. I, suddenly realised that the man was a ghost, because he had disappeared like one. Actually, I didn't know who were called 'ghosts'. I never believed in them.

The station was dark. I was frightened. As I searched for my relatives, who had come to pick me up, I turned back every second to see if someone was behind me.

Before long, I spotted them. I raced to them. We got into the car. My Aunt and Uncle were sitting at the front. I, alone sat at the back. The window was wide open.

I took out my diary from my bag. I wrote ' I usually do not believe in ghosts. But, today I met one next to me, in the train. I was truly shocked. I am still not able to get over the fear...'.

I continued to write, when suddenly a hand put itself in, through the window. It was covered with blood. "Aw...", I shouted.

"What happened?" questioned my Aunt and Uncle together, worried.
"There...there's...a hand...in...here", I was scared out of my wits.
"But, there is nothing here", my Uncle assured me.
"It... was there..., the last minute", I tried convincing him, but in vain.

I reached home. I, still was not able to think anything other than that.

I went into my room and closed the window and drew the curtains. I didn't want any ghost to enter. Now, I actually believe in them.

The night went on peacefully, unlike I had thought. I had a good sleep and was up early in the morning.

I opened my laptop, as I wanted to research about ghosts. I searched for photos of ghosts. All I got back was a blank page.

"How strange! There's not even a single picture", I thought, "Something's not right".

I used my mobile phone and got a great deal of pictures.

"Maybe, my computer is not proper", I guessed.

But, the next glance at the screen made me shiver. A dark ghost was right before me. It made me think that the ghost was not just on the mobile screen, but also in front of me. Had it been before, I would have said that the artist's imagination was brilliant.  But now, I don't have much courage in me to say so.

I opened my laptop to check if it had come back to normal. I was right, for it had. I once again searched for photos of ghosts. To my shock, the photos didn't open up. But the same didn't apply for other photos.

I feared that there was a ghost in the room. I couldn't stay in the haunted room, any more.

I rushed to my Cousin's room. "Priya, there's a ghost, there's a ghost in the room", I repeated anxiously.

"What's happened to you, Anjali? Is it what you learn in your school? Don't you know there isn't things such as ghost?" Priya mocked at me.
"But..."
"If you get so scared, I can share my room with you. Don't worry".
"Thanks, Priya".
"Hey Priya, that bungalow is so awesome. I've never seen it before. Have you?" "I see it daily. You didn't because you never entered my room".
"Oh! Who lives there?"
"An old magician. He does all sorts of magic".
"I am getting tempted to go there. Come, let's go", I said excitedly.
"Why on earth do you want to go there? Don't you have any other better work to do?" she spoke in a stern tone.

My wish didn't seem to be fulfilled. I, really wanted to go to the bungalow. It seemed to attract me, every time I looked at it. And there was also a secret desire in me to do magic and this seemed to be a perfect opportunity for me to learn them.

That night I slept, without bothering about anything else. Suddenly, someone appeared. I didn't know who. She chased me with a knife in her hand. I ran and ran and was desperately looking for help. But, no one was around. I felt tired and couldn't run any more. I fell down on the ground.

She held me in a tight grip and stabbed me in my stomach.

"No...", I shouted, as I woke up.
"Huff...just a dream", I was relieved, but was clueless on why such a dream occured to me.

I couldn't live any more. My life started becoming a living hell. Every night I had scary dreams. I just couldn't take it anymore.

That day, I made up my mind to visit the magician. I thought, at least, he could help me.

I slowly walked in, pushing the creaky door. The room was covered with dust. Spider webs had been formed all over the ceiling.

"It just looks beautiful from outside, but inside it is the worst place in the whole world", I thought, as I advanced.

The old magician was seated on the floor. His items, which he used to perform magic were scattered around him.

"Sir, please help me. I have come to seek your guidance", I said, respectfully bowing in front of him.
"What do you want from me, Child?" he questioned in a gentle voice.
"Sir, I was not believing in ghosts. But of late, I have scary dreams like someone chasing me with a knife and trying to kill me. Before that, when I came to this village, I met a ghost on the train and when I was in the car, a hand, covered with blood, put itself in through the window...", I explained my plight to him.
"Child, this seems like a serious issue. Come back tomorrow and I will figure out what has happened", he said concerned
"But Sir, please do it today. As I said, I get scary dreams everyday".
"Listen to me. This cannot be done today. It can only be solved tomorrow. Go away from here", he shouted at me.
"Sorry, Sir", I said, trying not to annoy him.

When I returned home, I do not know what happened to me. All of a sudden, the bungalow appeared before me. It was up in flames. I was shocked. The magician was burnt alive, inside. I felt numb and could not move.

But, the scene changed. I was again in front of my house gate.

The next day, I went to my cousin's room and stared at the bungalow from the window. It was half destroyed! It looked like it was because of a fire!

I went to my cousin.

"Priya, what has happened to the bungalow?" I was worried.
"Don't you know? Last night, an accidental fire took place. The magician has died", Priya sounded concerned.

Something struck me. A cold shiver passed through my spine.

"Then..., what I...saw...has turned...real", I froze.

I quickly made my way to the bungalow. I felt sorry for the magician, as he was no more. But, on the other side, I was clueless on who might help me.

I walked through the burnt building. The paint on the ceiling fell upon me. A silent recitation of a scary Ooo...played in my mind.

I continued on my way, until I stumbled upon an old book.

"Why did this not burn? Seems strange", I said, as I opened the book.

As soon as the book was opened, a thin beam of light touched the ceiling. I was astonished.

The first page of the book was blank. I turned to the next page.

It started like a delightful tale of two girls, who were close friends.

"So, this is just a storybook", I dismissed the thought that it was magical.

(The story)

"Nidhi, I have registered for the quiz competition, which is going to be conducted next week", Kaveri bustled with excitement.
"Oh, really? Good luck. I hope that you win. What's the prize?" I questioned, feeling happy for her.
"You know, I'll get Rs.5000 if I win. That will be a great help to me to continue my education", Kaveri explained.

That day was the happiest in my life, when Kaveri won the quiz competition. She was so clever, indeed.

She was leaving to the city for her higher education. I accompanied her till the end of the village.

As I waved good bye to her, a sudden feeling of jealousy was invoked in my mind.

"Kaveri, wait", I called her.
"What is it?" Kaveri questioned, politely.
"I need...a small amount of...money. Can...you...lend...it?" I hesitated.
"I'll be more than happy to lend you my money, Nidhi. But, it is for my education and I have already applied to the college", Kaveri spoke timidly.
"I am in urgent need of money. It is more than important than your education", I protested.

No matter how many times I tried to convince her, she refused to heed my word. The inner rage in me came out. I turned red.

The place was full of trees. A stream of water was flowing beside them. Bats flew furiously.

I picked up a sharp edged stone. I aimed it at her and was about to hit her, when she requested, "Please don't do anything to me. I will give all my money to you".

I don't know what had come over me that minute. I did not spare her. I guess I wanted to take revenge for all the insults she had heaped on me, before.

I hit her head with the stone. Blood gushed out from her head and she fell, unconscious. I repeatedly hit her with the stone and she breathed her last. I fled with the money.

That was the saddest day in my life. I didn't know that I would kill my friend for the sake of money. How could I do that?

***

"That Nidhi isn't good. She must die", I was furious.
"You are right, my dear friend", a loud voice spoke.
"Who is that? Who is that?" I turned around in shock.
"Don't you know? I'm Kaveri, your friend", the voice spoke with an evil laugh.
"How can you be my friend? I do not know you. You are a character in this book, aren't you?" I shouted.
"Of course, I am your friend, because you were Nidhi in your previous birth", it laughed.
"What!" I couldn't listen to that.

Suddenly, a whitish figure appeared before me.

A stone fell down from nowhere on to my head. Blood flowed out of my head. I fell to the ground. As I was about to take my last breath, I could see that Kaveri, the ghost was liberated and no more, a ghost.

 

The Super Detectives by Suma

Once upon a time in a village there lived a boy called Raj. His friends Rama, Sham, Bheem and Chutki. They called themselves as super detectives. They did it for fun. They would solve mysterious cases but would not demand money from anyone.

One day they were going to school together. As it was a village there were no transport facilities. They had to walk about 5 kms daily to reach the school. It was not boring for them as they chatted with themselves all the way to school. As they had walked a little distance a man came shouting that his cattle were lost and he wanted to find the thief. Raj discussed with his friends and they decided that they will take this case. Raj went up to the man and said we will find the thief who has stolen your cattle, don’t worry. The man knew that they were detectives. But he said I don’t have any money to pay you. Raj replied we will not demand money from anyone. We will do it for free. The man was happy.

Raj said we will come here afternoon and catch the thief. The man replied. By that time they would have escaped. Please do it right now. Chutki shouted we have school, we can’t come now. The man pleaded with them. So Raj convinced his friends. He said we have to help the man. It’s okay if we do not attend school one day. Sham said what if our parents find out? Raj replied I will manage it. Now let’s go. So all his friends agreed to go with him.

They came to a small shed where the cows were kept. The man informed them that he had five cows . The self-called detectives searched the whole shed but could not find anything. Suddenly Bheem noticed the footprints of the cows. He shouted come here I have noticed the foot prints of the cows. All rushed to the spot. In their eagerness to the see the foot prints Sham and Rama fell down. The footprints were erased. Bheem was angry. He started quarrelling with them. Raj lifted them and tied to their legs a small piece of cloth which had been in his school bag. Then he said to Bheem don’t be angry. Only little is erased. If we follow in the same direction we will surely get the foot prints. Bheem was convinced.

Then they went in the same direction. They got to see the footprints. They followed it and came to a forest . They noticed some dead cows. They were sure that it was the man’s cows. But one question remind in their minds – who could have killed them? It was as is a wild animal had devoured them. They took pity for the owner. They returned to the village and informed the owner about the incident. He was sad. But he offered them Rs 10 each for their hard work. They declined the money. Sham said we don’t need money. But the man insisted. So they accepted the money. Then they took leave of him. They were sad about the incident. But they were equally happy that their hard work had paid off. They went back to their school. After about one hour they reached the school premises. They went to their class.

The teacher asked them where they were until then. They told her of the incident. The teacher was happy that her students had served a good cause. The next day a fair was organized in the village. The friends went to the fair and spent their prize money on all delicacies and games. They went round in giant wheel and played many other games from now they decided that they will charge their customers a small amount ….

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02-Nov-2019
More by :  Ramendra Kumar
 
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