Monday, December 31, 2012


The graveyard was deserted.

          It is not that graveyards are always bustling with people but this graveyard was a really deserted one.There was no living being there, not even a caretaker. And why would there be one? The people in that village had all moved to some place where there was plenty of water after severe drought had struck the poor village. In other words, the graveyard was abandoned.

         It was more than ten years since anyone was seen, alive, in that graveyard. But on that fateful full-moon night ,he showed up. He was wearing a furry jacket, black trousers and a incredibly out of fashion hat. Lurking lonely for sometime near the gate, he decided to get in. It did not seem he was afraid to get in at all. He was so lost in his own world that he did not see where he was entering. He wiped his tears, pulled his drooping body lazily and looked for a place to sit. All he could find was tombstones bearing the names and birth and death dates of the people buried under. He just sat on one of them and kept gazing at the vast nothingness filled there. It was past 1 AM and it was absolute stillness everywhere. No owl or wolves howling, no sound of wind blowing, nothing. Just absolute silence. All this did not seem to bother our hero. He did not seem to even notice that he had entered a graveyard.

          A few meters away, the ghost was observing him. It had been a long time since anyone visited the graveyard.  Initially he hoped someone had come to see him, visit his tombstone but later realized that there was no one in the world who would care for him other than his wife, who was also dead, now lying as a skeleton in the grave next to him.  He chuckled at his thoughts. He wanted to talk to that man but since there was some change in the graveyard after a long long time, he did not want to scare the person away. The ghost just sat there and observed him.
Fifteen minutes passed by. The person had not stopped sobbing. He seemed to be deeply hurt. Every other minute he used to shake his head in desperation. The ghost first felt sad for the guy, thought he should somehow console him but then an evil idea crossed his mind.All his life he had been playing a goody-goody part  and now when he had an opportunity he thought of trying something naughty.He planned that he will take a human form, talk to that person for a while and then reveal the ultimate truth : That he was a Ghost. He look on that person’s face at that moment would be a sight to behold and then he could spend all his time in the graveyard telling stories to all his fellow-ghosts and have a good laugh.

              The ghost took the form of caretaker and approached the person. While he was quite far , he took care to make appropriate noises to ensure that the person had enough time to react and not run away in fear. He came to the person and sat on the tomb opposite  to the person.
They both sat still for some thirty seconds and then the ghost put a conversation starter:

“You seem sad, what happened”.

               That was all that was required.  He removed his hat and placed next to him and for the next fifteen minutes, the person shared his tragic life story and how he happened to keep walking out of despair now reaching a place which he did not know where, weeping uncontrollably as he did, all the while getting oh, uh and hmm’s from the ghost which acted as consolation in these bad times.

                The ghost was not interested in the story though. He had seen some bad days himself. All he wanted was to gain trust first and then at the right moment burst the bubble.

Both of them did not observe that the hat was moving , all of its own.

           After a lengthy story, the person paused. The ghost gave him time to recover. Gradually the person stopped sobbing. He seemed to be relieved. The ghost knew that it was due to the feeling that at-least someone heard his sad story, it would not matter if it was some caretaker of some random graveyard.

           Now that the person had returned to absolute normalcy, the ghost decided that this is the time he was waiting for. Just as he was about to scare the person with his truth, his wife called out. She did not take any form , just her voice was being heard.

“Whom  are you talking to ??”

   The ghost ,now concerned that all his build-up to this ultimate moment would go for a toss, if the person was scared out of a voice coming from nowhere, calmly told 

“That's my wife sleeping behind the tree” , even-though by now she was standing next to them near the tombstone , invisible, and shouted  at his wife( looking at the tree)


The wife who was standing next to him asked him not to shout and whispered to the ghost.

“How many times I have to tell you that this graveyard is closed from a long time, there is no one in this village and no one ever will dare to come in this route. You and your hallucinations . I wonder when will you come out of it. Now get up and come back to your grave”.

         The shocked ghost stared at the empty tombstone in front of him, got up and left with his wife, still not able to comprehend what had just happened.
The wind blew, the hat turned upside down and the free mouse ran towards its hole.