It was Wednesday afternoon in Bangalore brilliant weather conditions, peaceful, calm, everyone were either working or sleeping. Rahul was looking out of the window from his bedroom sitting lazily with a dreamy look. He was looking at the trees which were waving as the wind blew. But something was missing. About ten years ago this same thing was blissful, joy but he couldn’t feel that way now, no matter how beautiful the setting was. He decided to take a walk. After like five mins, he came back with red bull lays and few other vegetarian and non-alcoholic stuff. ‘okay, let’s try now’ he said to himself. The red bull was good for a little while, the chips got over too soon and he watched the same sitcom for the nth time. When he felt lost he used to travel. It felt good for a couple of times, but not much surprise in it anymore. Rahul had maxed out on everything, except travelling in his own private jet to NewZealand or experiencing the street music in Spain or living in a palace like home with a trophy-like wife and illustrative kids who were ten times more good looking than him!
‘So if I am done with life, I guess I’ll start working’ he thought. ‘Okay, where do we begin…open gmail, facebook, youtube, outlook, music player and notepad’. He noticed he’d got a reply from one of his targeted client. ‘oh a business trip then, should be fun’ he thought. He was supposed to go to madikeri, a town on a hilltop, on the purpose of business. Madikeri is a tourist spot and known for its natural beauty, hills, vast coffee plantations and very pretty and bold girls. That kind of cheered up rahul. Perhaps this’ll give him the much anticipated bliss, joy. He arrived in madikeri on friday evening, checked in to a hotel which was suggested to him by a friend of his. He threw his luggage and himself on the bed, but ouch. ‘This is not the kind of bed that they show in movies, this is more like the ones in a hospital’ he thought. He looked around. It was OK, very clean, spacious, a tv on the corner. But he was a bit concerned with the ceiling(what?). It looked really thin, it was not concrete but some cheap material. He feared the fan or the whole ceiling might just fall on him.
Apart from that, everything seemed good. ‘Should I prepare for tomorrow’s meeting or should I just enjoy doing nothing, watching tv while eating and drinking’. The choice was obvious. He decided to go to sleep early so that he could get up early tomorrow. It was sharp eleven O clock when he turned off the lights. He was not used to sleeping this early, he was thinking about the meeting finally. Not really, he was imagining how life could be if he became successful Joy, bliss….what’s that? He could hear rats squeaking. ‘Damn you rats. Why don’t you go to sleep now and start playing in the morning?’ he thought. After a moment he heard a loud thug, like someone hit the ceiling with an iron rod. He got up now starting to slowly realize, but he wasn’t sure. He switched the lights back on and sat on the bed as if waiting for something to happen. And it did. He could hear someone walking around above the ceiling tap…tap…tap and the loud noises were recurring along with the rats squeaking. Just some rats could never make all of these noises, he was convinced now. He switched ON his laptop and googled for some info. He found an interesting WordPress blog about the ancient times of madikeri. ” Some five hundred years ago, a group of artists had visited a small village near madikeri to perform a drama. In those days, the wandering artists used to perform during nights which would extent till the midnight. The drama had started at 9 pm and only a couple of people were there to see the drama. The artists decided to perform anyway, but as it progressed into the night, more and more people had assembled. At about 12 pm, it seemed as if the whole town was there to witness the drama. But one of the artists found it peculiar that the crowd was very silent. They didn’t cheer, nor clapped, they didn’t even smile. He brought this to everyone’s notice and everyone thought maybe its their thing or something. There was a brief interval when all the artists were behind the screen preparing for the next act. This artist not able to curtail his curiosity, peeped out to look at the crowd. He could see each and everyone were sucking the blood of rats! The artist was horror struck. He also noticed their foot was was in reverse direction! The whole team of drama artists packed up and ran. When they inquired the next day, they came to know that the whole town was depopulated because of a deadly plague”. Rahul tried to be brave. ‘Clearly it can’t pierce through the ceiling’ he thought. But he googled for more information. He came to know that there are different types of paranormal beings: Some would taunt, some would enter into a human, some would drink blood, some would physically hurt and also some beings could change their shape and become invisible too. It was 12 pm now and he could hear sounds as if someone was sucking juice out of a fruit. ‘I don’t care if i die. Let me think of lord shiva, the lord of ghosts’ Rahul started muttering under his breath, eyes closed. He did this for a few minutes and then decided to watch tv. He started watching a creepy film, which kind of brought some relief to him. Now the sucking sound was gone. It was silent for a while. ‘Maybe ghost time is over’ he thought. And then the lights went off. And so did his courage. He started muttering again without break. After two minutes, the lights were back on. But there was no more noise.
‘I am still alive!’ he said. It was already 11 am and the tv and the lights were on. He looked up at the ceiling with disgust. ‘All because of this cheap material’ he said out loud. He noticed something though, there was a dent on the ceiling and there was a large gap where he could clearly see what’s above the ceiling. ‘Oh my god, I am lucky to be alive’ he thought. He decided to check out immediately. He went to the front desk and complained about the ceiling and the noises. The manager apologized and said that the rooms on the third floor are still under construction. Rahul asked “So has anyone stayed in that room before me?”. the manager replied “No sir, you are the first person”. Rahul said ” Oh, I see”. And then Rahul recounted what happened last night to the manager. Rahul also told him about the story he read on the blog. The manager said ” Oh, I know that story actually. It’s not fiction, but it has happened sir. Also, the artists didn’t flee from the backdoor but they switched the act and performed a play on lord shiva”. Rahul was amazed by this. The room attendant who had gone to check the room came back and said ” Sir, is this yours? It was all over the bed”. “What is it?” asked the manager. “It is the holy ash, bhasma, said to be the decoration of lord shiva”