Gandhi Quiz


An Eerie Experience

A bright sunny evening, suddenly gave way to menacing dark clouds. The weather had changed dramatically. The sun could not be seen and the western sky was as black as charcoal. The atmosphere seemed to be charged. There was an eerie stillness around the place.
Young, Jatin was sitting on the patio, soaking in the view. His house was on a sloped mountain and he had a good view of his surroundings. His parents had just left for a marriage. They were to come back the next morning.
Jatin was eight years old. He was a brave and bold boy. At this tender age he could face problems bravely. That may have been the reason as to why his parents let him stay behind with his servant. His servant had gone to the market and should have been back.
Buddy was his favourite dog. He had been with Jatin as a puppy. A friend in time of need was what Jatin would say.
Both of them were sitting side by side and Jatin was amazed at the change in the weather. The mysterious nature of the mountains always intrigued him. Today he sensed that there was a terrible storm brewing. The birds had stopped chirping and the stillness around was stifling.
Jatin went into the house and checked the computer and television. He removed the connections, so that there would no mishap. He shut all the windows and pulled the drapes. Mother had kept the candles and matches ready in case the lights went off.
Having checked everything he sat down in his room to do his homework, when he heard a lightening strike the electricity pole in the backyard. This was followed by a loud, deafening thunder. The lights went out and the place was enveloped in darkness. He could not find his torch. Somehow he got to the candles and lit two of them.
He decided to sit by the window in the drawing room. He looked out. The scene outside took his breath away. Mother Nature's fury seemed to know no bounds. The stillness had been broken. The wind was wailing across the trees. The trees were swaying too and fro with all their might. The tunneling effect of the wind was sounding like the wailing of ghosts. Streaks of lightening would light up the place and this would be followed by a loud thunder which made the windows rattle.
The intensity of the storm started to worry Jatin. His friend, Buddy deserted him. He was scared of storms and decided to sit on the couch with his head buried in his paws. The servant not having come back was playing on Jatin's mind. He tried to ring his parents; but the phone was dead. He was totally cut off form the outside world.
As the storm raged on, he started to get nervous. Shadows on the wall started taking weird shapes. The light from the lightening threw eerie, momentary shadows. Jatin looked for his dearest friend. But Buddy was huddled up on the couch. He was shivering with fear.
For the first time Jatin started to fell scared! He had seen these storms. It was nothing unusual; but his parents were always there. His imagination started to work overtime. Small sounds seemed to get magnified.
Few seconds later he froze. He could hear something rustling. The candle had started to flicker and he could not summon enough courage to go and bring one more. He quickly ran and sat on the couch. He covered himself with the counterpane.
When he heard nothing, he started to feel stupid. But, again after a few minutes he heard the noise. It sounded as if something was whispering.
"Is it a ghost?" He thought.
He could feel himself shivering. He wanted to shout for help. But there were no houses nearby. He held on to Buddy and started praying.
The noise would subside. After sometime it would start again. In the dark night it sounded as if someone was saying "Whoosh! Whoosh!"
He could see something dark doing a jiggle.
"What is it?" he wondered shaking with fear. Jatin closed his eyes as if to block out everything.
All of a sudden he heard a loud banging sound. He looked at his watch. He must have dozed off. He got worried as the banging continued. He could hear somebody calling his name. He realized that someone was knocking on the door.
In the dim light he navigated towards the window. To his surprise the wind and rain had stopped. The moon had lit the place like a hundred watt bulb. He turned his gaze towards the door. His servant was hammering away at the door. He was drenched to the skin.
Jatin opened the door. Again, another miracle seemed to occur. The lights came back. The servant looked hard at Jatin. The boy was looking nervous.
"Baba! I got stuck in the storm. Sorry!" he said. "Why are you so nervous?"
"There is something in the room. It is making all sorts of noises," replied Jatin.
"Wait!" said the servant. He went to the kitchen and brought a stick.
They heard the rustling noise again. The servant looked under the chair. Jatin climbed onto the couch. A plastic bag was doing a funny dance. The servant slowly lifted the bag and burst out laughing.
Fear gave way to anger.
"Why are you laughing?" shouted Jatin.
The servant showed him the source of his misery. It was a frog, which had got entangled in the plastic. The hapless fellow had tried desperately to free itself.
Jatin felt sheepish, but could not help grinning. The humour in the episode caught up and he doubled up with laughter.
To this day Jatin never forgot that night. His servant would keep pulling his legs. It was an unforgettable experience. Jatin had for the first time realized that fear was also a part of life!

Prema Ganapathy

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