Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Booo Chronicles is back... :-)

For those who came in late (it all started here), Boo Chronicles is about one of the most amazing places in Kolkata, the 'Plaza Complex' (name changed, so no use googling it) where the living and the 'already-lived' co-exist harmoniously. Well, harmonious or certainly makes great food for thought. My friend N, who was the manager there, recently found some free time over the weekend to narrate some more incidents,which proved beyond a point that, forget us, even ghosts are touchy when it comes to personal space. Read on.


It was late, and N yawned. The clock read 1 AM. But he had to complete two sets of reports for the christmas season round the corner, and had to prepare requisitions for a whole lot of inventory and permissions for various vendors who'd set up their wares on the D day. He knew that the third floor of the house had a small one-room studio apartmentish kind of a guest room, which was reserved for his boss, when he flew in from Mumbai. He decided to spend the night there. He called home, informed his wife and sat down to draft the reports. An hour later, he stepped out of his office and trudged down the stairs. After a few steps, he thought he heard another set of footsteps, echoing his own. 'Clop, clop' and then immediately a 'clop'. He stopped and turned around. No one. He ignored the echoes and reached the ground floor, where the security guy sat. The uniformed man was slumped in his chair. At a glance, you'd think he'd been stabbed or something. The snore gave him away. N woke him up and asked for the keys to the apartment. The guy hastily pulled out the keys from his pocket and handed it to him. As N was returning to the flight of stairs, the janitor, who slept right below there, peeped out and called out.

"Sir, you're still here?"

"Oh, yeah..I had some work, so I decided to sleep over at the Boss' apartment. Why do you ask?"

The small wiry guy quickly stepped out of his bed and came to N.

"Please don't stay there sir. You better go home."

"But why?" N said and paused. Then he shook his head. "Don't tell me..."

The janitor nodded. "Yes, sir. They're there as well."

"Holy ghost," N muttered.

The janitor said. "And this guy is a tad more touchy than the other ones."

N waited for him to continue.

The janitor said, "You know I used to sleep there, on the 3rd floor, right outside the apartment, don't you?"

"Yeah, now that you mention it, I do remember that."

"Hmmm..and now I sleep here on the ground floor. Know why?"

"Enlighten me," N said, sleep slowly hovering over his eyes.

"Well, one night after my usual round of duties, I slept there, in front of the guest room. And in the morning, I found myself here, below these stairs."

N raised his eyebrows.

"Yes sir...and I don't walk in my sleep. Never have. I have been sleeping there for the last four years. And this happened about two months ago. That's when I suspect, the apartment might've had a new visitor."

N scratched his head. "Well, ok. We'll see. Maybe I'll find myself beside you here in the morning." He chuckled and climbed up the stairs to the guest room.

The next morning he woke up inside his car, in the basement parking lot.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lonely night...

Shireesh opened the door and stepped into the silence.

He clicked the lights on, walked over to the couch and slumped in it. He looked at the bottle on the center table and hunched forward to take it. His hands trembled and he slumped back.
He looked around the empty house, which a few hours ago, was filled with laughter and animated gestures. He and Sandeep had planned a perfect evening. Catch a couple of beers, have some chinese grub, and then walk down Brigades to Rex for the night show. He looked at the clock. The movie would've begun; in fact it would be well nearing intermission.

He looked down at his blood-soaked shirt, and dug his fingers into his breast pocket. He pulled out the two tickets he'd booked for the show. With his hand still trembling, he crumpled the tickets and threw them on the floor. He then fished out his cell and navigated to the Contact list. Neethi. Sandeep's girlfriend of two years. His blood-stained thumb hovered around the green button for a few seconds before he threw the instrument on the couch and leaned back, clutching his head. Then he broke down and let it all out for a half hour.


It was a first, for the cops. They found a guy, who would later be identified as Sandeep, with his neck slit. They knew it was 'Knife' Raju's trademark style. But what stymied them was, his own body was right there beside Sandeep's body, his trademark knife sticking in his mouth and out the back of his neck.


Monday, November 10, 2008

It's never too late...

He didn't believe in ghosts.

"What rubbish, ghosts are but figments of your terrified, primitive brains, working overtime" he'd argue with friends.

Even when they found him hanging by the ceiling fan one day, his suicide note read: "No one but I am responsible for my death. And please, for heaven's sake, don't think that I'll come and haunt you all as a ghost. There's no such thing as a ghost."

It's a different matter that a couple of days later, his friend Ashish, who lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment, choked on his dinner and died when this guy appeared at his dining table.

"Well, I just realized I was wrong. I'm sorry."