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A Flat Near The Railway Track


Not far from the railway track at Satyanagar, Hari took a small flat for rent. Having posted as bank clerk there in a commercial bank, in the city of Bhubaneswar Hari had many dreams to fulfill.  But above all he wanted to give marriage to his younger sister, who was living with his widowed mother at his village.

The flat, though horrible for any standard house hold, but was good enough for Hari. At least he had a place to live in the big city. Although it was noisy whenever any train use to pass by, but within few days he got habituated. The flat was on the ground floor` of the building and had two rooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom & Latrine. Hari did not know, who actually was the owner of the room, he got the room from the house rent broker of the locality, who had asked him to pay him the rent directly and it was just  Rs.1000 per month.



Getting up early in the morning, Hari had a habit of doing Puja after bath of  Goddess Sarala, of whose he had kept a laminated photograph, in the middle shelve of the bedroom wall. After puja he gets ready for the office, which was just about a couple of kilometers from the flat. Then after a daylong work in the busy bank, he returns to the flat.

Although few families, lived in the same block, but none had yet interacted with him or introduced themselves as his neighbours. In the evening, offering a little prayer to Goddess Sarala, he would switch on the FM Station in the mobile phone, cook food in the gas stove as he listens to the music. Then after dinner he sleeps reading a couple of pages from a book or a magazine.

Like any other bachelor, Hari used to remain immersed in his thoughts.  Sometime in such mood, he forgets many common things. like forgetting the wallet, forgetting to switch off the fan and even to put lock at the main door. After returning from office when he realizes the mistake, he bites his tongue and takes a vow not to repeat it again. Although he did not had any valuable items, that can be theft upon, but it is not good to leave a house unattended.

It was sometimes during mid of July, when city receives heavy tropical rain, one evening when Hari returned from his office almost wet in the rain, he found that he had repeated the same mistake again. He had once again forgotten to lock his door. When he entered in the room and switched on the light he found the electricity is gone. The room was pitch dark. The rattling sound of heavy down pour, made Hari feel heavy. He searched for the half burnt candle, which he had once lighted months back. After a desperate search he ultimately found it, behind the heap of the magazines near his bed in the inner room. He lighted the candle with a matchstick from the matchbox he had kept at his puja shelve. The room was then filled with a faint yellow flickering light. Mounting the little candle on the a safe place, Hari went to close the entrance door, as the wind from it was making the candle flame to flicker more. As he was closing the door his eye fell on the darkest corner of the room. He felt as someone is standing at the corner. He rushed to the other room and garbed the candle and shouted,

"Who is there?"

There was no answer at all. Only he could hear the sound of the heavy rain. Still holding the candle in his hand Hari, asked himself, did he actually saw somebody at the corner? Hari couraged to reconfirm.  With cat steps and candle in his hands, he enter the front room. Hari almost froze in fear. He found a girl standing at the corner.

With a voice filled with fear Hari asked the girl, "Who are you and how did you got inside?"

No answer. Hari said with an added courage, "Why don't you speak up?"

With a faint voice the girl replied. "Bhaina, don't be angry, I was on my way to the other side of railway track, and it started raining. I rushed to your room to get shelter from the rain. I knocked, but the room was empty, I entered your room." Pausing for a moment she again said, " See, it’s still raining, once the rain will stop I will go from here"

Hari, felt bit relaxed, and with a voice of concerned man he said, "Girl, you shouldn't, do like this, there are bad people around, they may take advantage of you"

"I know, there are bad people, but there are good people also", the girl said promptly.

"You stay nearby?" Hari, asked the girl as he kept the burning candle on a safe place.

"Yes, in the slum, the other side of the railway track."

"Then you know this place"

"Yes"

"I am new here"

"I know, you are new"

"How?"

"Nobody dares to stays in this house"

Hari, again felt heavy, his heart started beating faster.

"Why so?"

"They say, its haunted"

"Haunted?!!"

The flame in the candle started flickering. Hari rushed to cover it up with his hand. When he turned around to resume his discussion, he found that the girl has come near him. She was just at a  hand distance from him.

"Yes, Haunted" the girl said in a firm voice.

Hari, could see the face of the girl clearly. She had a beautiful face, but she was looking pale.

She raised her right hand said, "It seems your candle will, melt down soon, I have one with me, Light it. My mother had sent me to buy it from the shop on this side of the railway track"

Hari took the candle from her, and lighted the same from the melted one. The room became more, brighter with the other candle. Hari could see the girl clearly. She was a beauty. Must be in her late teens. She was wearing a pink two piece. 

"Why it is haunted?"

"Because Ghost lives here"

"Ghost?!!"

"Yes a girl’s ghost"

"Girl, you are frightening me"

"Do, I look like a ghost?", the girl started laughing fanatically. 

"Stop Laughing", 

"Sorry"

"Now, the rain, has receded down, electricity might come soon, once the rain stops completely, you may leave"

"I will............But you have used my candle"

"I will buy a new one and give it to you tomorrow"

"No, it’s not required, It has burnt a little, I will use the rest of in my house and there is no electricity in our house"

The rain has almost stop outside. There was a refreshing silence in the atmosphere. Hari, found out that he has forgotten to light incense stick near the Photograph of Maa Sarala. He went, inside the inner room, and lighted incense stick and murmured a prayer to the Devi.

As hari again came back to the front room, he found, the girl was gone. And the candle was still burning. He found that the door was open. As he scanned outside of the door, the room was filled with light from the electric bulb. And the candle kept on burning.



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Next Day, Hari straight way went to up to the rent collector and asked him the reason of the house being haunted. 

The Rent collector said, "That's absurd, who said all these to you?  Candle Ghost err Girl with the Candle, all these are stories. They must have told you, she offers her victims to light a candle for her, which she carries. And they also have told you that it the ghost of the the teenage girl, who was killed as a train ran over her, when she was crossing the track one evening. You seem educated....... You must be knowing how now days people are obsessed with Ghost stories and Movies"

Hari was Speechless. 

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Comments

sareeta said…
The end of the story sent jitters through my senses! Huh! Another unique story that ends intriguingly leaving many questions left to be answered. Great effort Gyan. Keep smiling and keep writing...
ok..normal story for habituated ghost story readers(like me) and "wow" for normal story readers.want your more and more efficiency in the thriller stories though the denouement is a little bit puzzling.
Rakesh kumar said…
i think this story were taken form one serial "aap biti" in Doordarsan chnnel.i remeber i was seen that time. but good one gyan ji
GYANRANJAN said…
Oh thanks Rakesh. All ghost stories seems alike. If it has any resemblance with any of such Serials it's good to know. But it's a original creations.
nrusingh said…
Great thrill, i think you are focusing more on these kind of stories. Anyway it frightened me. And it made me remembering another short story from an eminent author tittle The Balloon, long time ago.
Anonymous said…
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