The other day, I was late from work. My boss was here and I had shit loads of work to do, so as expected, it was 11pm when I left my office for home. No cabs, no rickshaws. So I decided to take a walk.  Since my place was just four blocks from my office, walking was not a tedious task. It was a full moon night and the cool breeze was blowing, autumn was here but it made city looked dead at that time of the hour. No life, no traffic only long roads, unending roads. 

My belief in ghosts and the darkness made it worse.

I was crossing this dim-lit street with a lot of vegetation. I had always heard stories about this ghostly figure that was seen there. I was walking fast (just in case). Just when I thought that maybe today’s not the day, that the ‘ghost’ might just be sleeping in it’s humble abode and I was safe, I saw a girl coming from the opposite side of the street. She was walking on the wrong way, but that was the least of my concerns. 

I tried to avoid looking at her. But she was walking right towards me.

With each step, the distance between us was decreasing and my anxiousness, increasing. I was hoping it to be a nightmare, just a part of my imagination but everytime I looked up, I saw her, coming towards me. I pretended to be busy on my phone to avoid that stare, that ONE stare.

But she stopped, right in front of me, and asked me in a cold and hushed voice
“Excuse me, what’s the time?”

I froze, I couldn’t move my hands, couldn’t move any part of my body. I wanted to run as fast as I could, but couldn’t. I seemed to be rooted at that spot. 

She repeated her question.

I looked at my phone and replied “11:17.”

Still rooted, my heart skipped a beat as I answered her question, it might be a trigger to something I would regret saying all my life, I thought but said it anyway. I just wanted her to leave, the entire scene to be far far away from reality. All of the horror stories I have heard were coming back to me, my life flashed infront of me, and I thought of how my parents will never know how I died, how I will go missing and no one will know, and what all I wanted to achieve in my life. She looked at the moon and then at me, and she smiled.

“Thank you”, she said and started walking again. 

Dark circles, messy hair and lost. I walked away, as fast as I could. They told me never to look back if I manage to escape a ghost. Ufff! my curious mind did lure me to at least look back once, I did. Ah hell!! She was not there.

Oh my God! Why didn’t I learn Hanuman Chalisa when mum told me to do so. Please, God save me today and I will learn it, pakka promise…please..please!! , was all I had in my mind. Stop laughing, even you would have done the same.

So, I just Ran like P T Usha and locked myself in my room and went to bed immediately, forgetting the whole incident, or at least trying to but my mind wandered, going back the same moment, again and again, her hushed voice and that dreadful look. 

Was this finally…my dreaded encounter with a ghost??

Could have been, but my mind brought back the tiny detail of a book I saw in her hand, it was a  JEE ADVANCED book. And I wondered,” What a ghost has to do with engineering?”  Phew!! She was an engineering student. Lost and looking for coffee ( I suppose). 

Dara diya yaar!!! 😉