I was never passionate about studies since my childhood. This always made my parents worried. Now, since I had graduated their worry increased on daily basis and so were their scoldings. I was preparing for UPSC CSE and my dream was to become an IAS. But my concentration was not supporting me in achieving my goal. So, to help myself I started watching motivational videos on YouTube. A two-hour motivational video motivated me enough to study for one hour. After some days, the one hour reduced to 40 minutes and the time I spent on watching motivational videos increased. Days passed and the exam was coming closer. After so much scrolling on YouTube for topics like “How to study?”, “How to increase study time?”, “How to make my subjects interesting?”. I came across a video, which made some sense. The guy in the video recommended that living alone for preparation of exams will help. He said, “At our homes, there are so many distractions like the TV, computer, smartphones, sibling, friends and sometimes parents. If we live alone in a single room without any of these distractions, just with our books anyone can clear even the world’s toughest exam.” At that time this advice made a lot of sense to me. Told my parents about this idea, they found a room for me around 10 km away and all my belongings were shifted there, then I was blindfolded and dropped there so I won’t be able to find my way back(my idea). As decided I just took a small cellphone which was able to just make calls and as a deal, I would get the smartphone during the weekends for clearing my doubts.
My meals were going to be delivered by my parents or sometimes they would order at my place using any food delivery application.
The room was an extended part of a big bungalow where my landlords lived. My landlords were an old couple in their 60s having a son working in the US. They had asked their maid to clean the room as told by my parents but when I entered, it didn’t seem clean. There were spider webs in corner and lots of dust on the floor. I cleaned it myself. So the walls of the room were pale pink and one wall was half-covered with tiles maroon in colour with floral design same as my curtains. The room was unusually tall. As if extended later on. The wall was half brick and half wooden on the upper side as if extended later on. It had a small kitchen and a bathroom.
I started studying, wrote on board, wrote on the tiles with an erasable marker. The first day I studied 8 hours continuously!
My father came with dinner and asked me about the room and progress in studies. Hearing that I studied for 8 hours he was really happy and ignored my concern about the unclean room and the unusual height. After a day of hard work, it was time to sleep. It was around 11:30 PM when I started sleeping. I was disturbed by a sound knock probably at my door. When I came to my senses, I got confused that whether the knock was in a dream or real. The landlord’s had told me that they would close the main gates 10:30 PM. I saw there the keyhole, there was just darkness. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and opened my door fast holding the knife very tightly behind my back with my right fist. A spine chilling breeze blew inside my room through me. No one was there. Closed the doors and went back to bed with a knife beneath my pillow. When I was about to sleep my heart rate would fasten up and I woke up with a feeling that someone passed close to me. I thought probably this is because it’s my first day sleeping alone at someone else’s house and my heart is not feeling safe. I slept at 6 am as I was feeling safer during the daytime. Woke Up around 10, opened my door to get fresh air, saw my breakfast in tiffin lying near the door. As I went to freshen up, while sitting on the toilet seat, I noticed there was a space between the wall and the ceiling of the bathroom. A gap of around 2 feet. I was really curious about what was there, but there was no way to climb up there.
I started studying in the night and sleeping during the day time as it felt more secure. One night around 1 I heard a noise of an electric racket used for killing mosquitoes. The sound is basically like really small crackers bursting. Grabbed my knife and opened the gate to see who was there. It was my landlady! Killing mosquitoes of her garden which is in front of my room at one 1 AM! It was the first time I was seeing her, she was pale white, wearing a nightgown and somewhat healthy and lacked eyelashes. Suddenly she stopped and looked at me with her expressionless face. I smiled and quickly closed the door. I was unable to study after that. As I was lying still, I noticed a cockroach which was going inside my mattress and I was too late to respond. I uncovered my mattress and caught the cockroach and flushed it in the toilet. When I was to cover my mattress, I noticed a hole in it and saw that the fabric used in the filling was black. As I put my finger inside the hole to see what the fabric was made of, I realised it was not a fabric but hairs! I was horrified and called my parents, and dad said this kind of mattress is common, it might be a horsehair mattress. I asked him to get the mattress from my room.
As decided, I got the smartphone on Saturday. During the night time, I was face timing with my girlfriend, telling her about my new initiative and concerns about my new room. As I was showing her my room, I noticed a shadow moving towards my bathroom.
Me- Did you just see that?
she- See what?
Me- The shadow! near my bathroom.
She- No, I didn’t see anything, that might be yours or a glitch.
And then we started to talk about other things. As she was showing her new tattoo which was on her leg, I noticed a shadow behind me in my video. No, it was not of me! It was bald oval-shaped head and a really big body with no ears.
Me- hey, just see behind me.
Me- I mean the shadow. Can you see the shadow which is behind me?
She- No, and I think you are trying to freak me out.
Me- No, I swear I saw it.
She- I didn’t see anything, probably you are tired, get some sleep. We will talk tomorrow.
Immediately I called my parents. And told them that I saw a ghost in my video while taking a selfie with Snapchat(of course, brown parents won’t accept an unsuccessful son’s girlfriend). My father laughed it off by saying, “was that ghost getting the Snapchat filter too” and asked me to sleep. But how could I sleep or study now? To distract my mind I started watching porn.
Next day I woke up hearing a blast during the afternoon. Stepped outside to see what has happened. The transformer of my landlord’s bungalow had a short circuit and has caught fire. Everyone in the locality came to see what has but my landlords were nowhere to be seen. The society security guards started to throw sand on it to extinguish the fire. I got inside my room. Everything was working fine due to inverters. At around 10 pm there was a knock at my door. The landlady was on the door. She asked me to turn off everything as the electrician was fixing the transformer and to put that knife back.
During the afternoon I decided to see what was in the gap of the bathroom ceiling. Rang the bell of my landlord’s but no one came out. After 3 attempts, I decided not to disturb them further. As I was about to leave, the gates opened. She asked me what happened. I asked for the ladder as I need to clean my fan. I said I can take it by myself just tell me where is it. She told me to stop. And she brought it by herself. As I was taking the ladder from her, I smelt something. Something rotten, it was coming from her. I couldn’t handle that anymore. Quickly took the ladder and came to my room. It was a ladder made of bamboo. As I was climbing to see what was there. The bamboo stick beneath my leg broke and I fell. The planned failed with a wound. As I was putting the ladder in the garden, I noticed the maid was cleaning the veranda of the bungalow. I called her.
Me -Can you please clean my bathroom ceiling.
Me -I will pay you.
maid – I don’t enter the rooms of this bungalow.
Me – Why?
To Be Continued…..
Written By – Satyam Kumar Tiwari
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