Monday, July 30, 2012

Let The Stranger Alone II


The house has been in existence for some time, the oldest among the villagers remember it from their childhood. Its edifice is strong they say, though parts of it crumble and then mysteriously rebuild in time. How old is Madan Bhai? They can only speculate; the fellow did not belong to Badolgaon. He was brought in by the owner they say. Who lived in that house, you ask. They say, ‘Oh! It’s been lying unoccupied for a long time.’ There is a small hut not too far from the mystery house where Madan Bhai lives. Madan Bhai appears old but in that weak frame he has an agile body. The beady eyes shine in anger if you ask anything about the house.  Not even booze makes him talk about the house; seems like the ban on the subject has seeped deep in his subconscious. Besides Madan Bhai keeps himself busy in that house, seldom comes out for social interaction. Nothing changed in its appearance as well, so the villagers say. There are trees around the house but none tall enough to obstruct its maleficent fa├žade. Even though the house looks in prime condition, the space around it remains untended. This contrast only adds to its overall deathly aura.

The legend of the house spread across the country. Curious visitors would come and pass by without venturing to trespass its foreboding portal. There is a story of an adventurous visitor forcing himself into the house. People waited for him to come out, somebody came out, it wasn’t him the say and the fellow was demented. Well, you can take that story with a pinch of salt. The villagers here are prone to tell stories out of their fancy imagination. The aura of the house kept growing with the passage of time. It’s secret if at all there was one, rested in the mind of laconic and pugnacious Madan Bhai.  Several stories abound, the primary being it was built by some reclusive Angrej Sahib. The Englishman, a rifle slung over his shoulder, would stomp the jungle, hunt the wild animals that abounded there. The villagers were terrified of him although he did not interact with them. The man married a local woman as it turned out that the woman was a Bakki….. 

to be contd.....

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