A night in Siliguri
A short story
A Night in Siliguri
“A Short Story”
Till 10 o’clock, was everything fine. There was no sign of rain, as sky was clear enough, I could see the seven stars above, from the window. Till then, I was passing the time by watching the movie. Then the horror show had come on Zee TV with the mouse voice “meeaaaooooo” and background music of thunder storm. I switched off the TV, as I was afraid of this voice and I was alone too in the home at night, because of my father, who left me alone and went to see the Movie in the hall with my mother and elder brother (Amit), so I could become fearless by living alone. My father, who was a soldier in Indian army used to say “fear kills fear, my son”. He did the same thing a week ago for making me brave, when he took my mother, my elder brother Amit and me to the walk after dinner and left me at the middle of the road and told me to stand here for five minutes alone. There was dark everywhere and the insects voice.
I was crying and he was leaving the place with my mother and Amit. Suddenly my eyes went to the tree and I saw a white bed sheet hanging on the it, might be it was my imagination, but as it was flying, I was scaring more, but my father never looked back. Then my mother called me after seeing my tears, I ran fast and hugged her tightly “never leave me alone, Ma”.
I could expect that from the soldier but not this from my mother, leaving a shy 11-year-old boy alone in the home at night. They left me the mangos, which my father bought from the near courtyard from our house in Siliguri, a city in north west Bengal.
Home was empty without the family. I brought the two mangos with my myself and went to the balcony, through this, time could pass easily. I saw the street dog, which always barked to outsiders or at the mid night, might be, he used to saw things, it is old saying, that at midnight, ghosts come outside from their hiding place. I saw him, as he was doing call of nature on lamp post and I shout “come… come… come here”, he knew I always gave him chapattis after dinner. He came fast and moving his tale. “oo my ouchi puchi, how are you/”. His tale was moving more fast and he took out his tongue. I told him “wait, I am coming”. As I turned back, I saw curtain was flying because of wind. Door’s curtain was also flying. The room was empty, I was afraid to go inside. But, chapattis were the only thing through which I could keep him busy here. I told myself “yes, I can, yes I can”. Then I went straight to the kitchen and took out the two chapattis quickly. When I was coming back, I saw my late grandfather’s photo on the wall, above the fridge, I saluted him and said “be with me, always”.
I made small pieces of chapattis and started to throw towards him. But he was hungry and eating fast, same time moving his tale. For expanded the time with him, I started to give him pieces of chapattis slowly, after eating chapattis, he sat there on the ground. I took one mango and ate it slowly, during all this time, I was watching the Dog.
Suddenly, clouds started to come with wind. I turned back and saw the clock, which was showing the time, 10:23 pm. “no, don’t see the time, no” I said to myself. Some drops of rain had come on my shoulder. Before going inside the house and sat on sofa, my eyes went on the road for my family, but nobody was coming.
I was watching the grandfather’s photo, as he was the only human face there, that’s the other thing, he expired 10 years back. But from every angle, feeling like he was watching me. That was scary. I had the pain in my stomach. But that was for hunger for food. I knew food was in the kitchen. But I did not want to eat. For that, I had to go to the kitchen and faced its dusty window. Every time, my eyes went toward the TV, mouse voice “meeaaaooooo” started to come. I was afraid to see here and there. the window’s curtain was flying, I was feeling like somebody was there. I put down my head. “what can I do now? where are they left?” I asked to myself by watching the roof. I thought I should read my school books but I was afraid to go to my room. Curtain was flying again, as wind had come heavily. Then, I looked straight, ghost could come any time and kill me.
“aah haa aah haa, God help me”. I saw the clock, it was too late. They should be here, yaaak, no not again, I will not see the clock again”. “I hate my dad. I am alone here. Any time, any ghost can come from any side. It is 11 O’clock. One hour left for mid night. They will come soon”.
I went to the balcony. Heavy drops of rain were coming on my shoulder. Thunder storms light was scaring me “khudrrrr”. They were making me wet and I was feeling cold, but that was OK for me. As wind was become heavy, light also had gone. After the few minute, I decided to go inside. “fear kills fear, let’s go inside, let’s go, yes I can”. I went inside the home. I took the candle and match box from kitchen, lit it and put it on the fridge. Grandfather was still watching me, “be with me, always” and time was moving forward. “I cannot stay here, Aah haaa. Where are they now?”.
My body was trembling. I took out the bottle from the fridge and drunk the water with shaking hands. I was so scared of dark that, was unable to see behind my back. I went and sat on sofa. Raining was still coming with voice of wind “ssssshhhhh sssssshhhhh”. “oh God, help me”. The wind was so strong, that candle was extinguished. I stood up hurriedly and tried to lit it but match sticks became wet due to my wet hands. “where are you Ma? Come soon, haa aaha haaa”. “fear kills fears, I am not afraid of anything”. I shouted and motivated myself. “I can sit here, who said here? No, only I said, here, ya I said”. I was feeling cold. My body was trembling more and more. “haa aah haaa aah, where are they left? Movies don’t run this much long, come soon Ma, don’t look the clock, no don’t look it, see dog is not barking, it is not midnight yet”.
It was getting late enough to be worried. I once again stepped into the balcony and looked down. Except for a drenched street dog that was lying down miserably near the gate, there was not a soul to be seen anywhere. Rain water had puddled under the lamp post. A breeze ruffled the mango tree in the courtyard and a few twigs fell down and broke. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Did I hear a soft knock at the door? I turned back… I….. I …… saw nothing inside the home because of darkness. “Oh God, help me’. “who is there?” I asked in slow voice. “papa mummy, you are there isn’t?”. I went toward the door, “papa? Mummy? Amit say something?” I opened the door and saw somebody, voice came “Meeaaaooooo” “aaaaa haaaaaaaaa aah haaaaa, save me, God save me”. I went inside my room “haa aah haa who is there? who is there? who is seeing behind the window? Green eyes, don’t come near to me, aaaa…… noooo” and I died due to heart attack.
When my eyes opened, I saw a beautiful place, was standing middle of it. Everybody was smiling and had happy faces. There was a man standing behind the king’s throne chair. He said “don’t worry, you are in God’s place.
I asked him, “are you God?”.
He said “no, but he is”.
I said “I am not alive hmm? I am died”.
He said yes.
I said to God “why did not you come to save me from the ghost? You are God. You could easily save me”.
He said, he came to save me.
I said “I did not see you”.
God said “I was knocking the door”.
I was shocked, “that, was you?”.
God said politely by raising his hand “yes, I was behind the cat”.
He was lying, I knew, “you are lying, sorry for the words, but you are lying”.
He said “I came to help you. You thought he was a ghost. That was me”.
I could understand him properly “why you did not come directly?”.
He said “in that case, you would die in a second”.
I was again shocked ‘how would I die? hmm, you are God. You could come in front of me and should tell me, I am God”.
He said “no, things don’t run like this. Many times, I have tried in this way and every time people don’t believe me, some people laugh on me and that’s also on my face. They ask for the help. But every time, I go to help them, half of the people died.
Most of the time, I go in night. Because I don’t show myself to everybody, only to my followers. People who needs me.
I go slowly, sometime make the noise. I try to see my kids from the window, take out the curtain, but they all start fearing from me. Without seeing me or anybody, they start fearing. What is this man? I go to meet them.
I cannot go directly and stand in front of their eyes, they will die. I know. That’s why, I go in this way, in night, slowly slowly take steps, sometime, I try to persuade them to come behind me to the roof or basement, any lonely place. But they start to fear and die soon. Some people get shocked.
Fear is killing them.
Oh no, what should I do? Oh man, haa, had you seen anybody there”.
I said no.
I was not understanding anything. I was confused. He was right. I did not see anybody. But, what was my fault? I put down my head, thought, how is my mother feeling?
He said “I can show you, my son”.
I said to him” God, see My mama is crying, oh no. she has break her head by smashing it with the wall.
See God, she is crying, hah, see blood is coming from her head. She brought a toy for me. See, that monkey, it is so beautiful, mama don’t cry, mama don’t cry.
What the hell is this? Why he is crying? See God, my dad is crying, why? Just because of him, I am here”.
He said “he is your father”.
I said “really? You really think that, he is my father? Father always cares about their kids. They don’t leave them alone”.
He said “you Ma also left you and went for watching the movie”.
I said “God, listen, don’t say anything wrong about my mother, OK. She went with him, because of fear. He could beat her. It is earth. Normally husbands do beating, it does not matter, they beat their wives for right thing or wrong thing. She was afraid of him. that’s why she went with him.
See God, he is still crying. Like he is missing me. Those are crocodile tears. Do you know the meaning of crocodile tears?”.
He said “yes I know”.
I said “Good, you are God. You know everything and you have to”.
After few minutes he said “what do you want? Heaven or hell?”.
I said very politely “I want to go home, with my family”.
He said “chose between, heaven and hell”.
I said “my family is my heaven. what is the use of this heaven? Hmm, what is the meaning of this heaven? This place is just called heaven. What does it have?”.
He said “you will get everything, from fruits to flowers to every comfort”.
I asked “will I get my family?”.
He said “no”.
I said “then, what is the meaning of heaven?”.
He said “you will get only happiness here with beautiful scenery. Live here and enjoy all the comfort of this world”.
I said “if, I will live here, I will miss my family”.
He said “I can give you the heaven. If you are not happy, you can have the hell. But everybody asks for the heaven. you are the first human who is different. I think, you should choose heaven”.
I said “my family is my heaven. without them, everything is hell.
But I am afraid of dark, I think heaven is full of light. So, give me heaven”.
Then he sent me to the heaven and I have met you, Michael Jackson. So, my friend, through this I come here.
MJ said “at least you are in heaven”.
No, king of pop, no. My Ma is my God. She is missing me. See, she is crying, whenever she hugged me, it felt like the heaven, no fear no problem could touch me, at that time.
Good or bad, family is family. if, you have not any family, life is hell even in a heaven.
MJ said “ya, I miss mine too”.
I said “this question scares me, how will I survive here without family? and at the same time, I know I am immortal now, in heaven”.
MJ said “fear kills fear, boy”.
I twisted my mouth and saw him “really?”.
Till 10 o’clock, was everything fine. There was no sign of rain, as sky was clear enough, I could see the seven stars above, from the window. Till then, I was passing the time by watching the movie