The box that my grandmother conferred upon me in her will was undoubtedly brilliant looking — a mahogany-built. And on the base of the front panel was engraved —
Locator 1.6 ½
Manufactured by Quantum Inc.
It stayed in my room for years, empty, as I couldn’t find any good use for it. I went away to university and only visited home during vacations. One day, during the summer vacation, I did something silly — I lied down in the box, tucking my hands and legs just like a fetus, and closed the lid of the box.
The inside of…
A diamond was stolen from Princess Noor’s ring. The ring was still on her finger, with the prongs that held the diamond bent slightly.
“I don’t give a damn! I want it back at any cost,” said the princess, almost shouting in frustration, at the detective.
“Your highness, with all due respect, you must provide me with more detail,” replied the detective.
She understood what he was prodding at. Reluctantly, she revealed the name of her nocturnal visitor.
But it didn’t solve the case — the detective, after a meticulous investigation, concluded confidently that the lover was not the culprit.
We were on a boat crossing the Hooghly river when my cousin Imran told us about the Djinn who resided on the first floor of our local mosque.
It felt spooky — maybe because it was dark already — coming to know that the Djinn possessed flexible limbs that could extend to any length.
For a moment, all of us felt that the Djinn’s hands would come out of the water and pull all of us into the dark river.
But deep inside, I didn’t believe the story to be true.
My perspective changed only after the episode happened to…
The sachets of gutkha (a form of tobacco) lying in Amit’s handbag were mixed with a poison that would cause a cardiac arrest. He would die sitting on his seat, and his co-passenger would think he was just dozing off. The classified documents in his handbag would be extracted and sold for a fortune.
Of course, he was not aware the trap laid for him.
The man sitting across him introduced himself as an employee of the Port Trust of India. His name was Srikant. He was a jovial fellow, kept talking about his places of postings across the country…
My childhood was spent in the suburbs of Calcutta (Yes, Kolkata was Calcutta back then). Power cuts were quite frequent then. There was nothing good about power cuts except for just one thing- Jumrati Dadi’s stories (Dadi stands for granny in Hindi). She was very energetic for her age and narrated the stories with a conviction as if she had experienced them herself. Nearly all of her stories had a common element- the supernatural.
“This story was told to me by my uncle when I was nearly your age,” said Jumrati Dadi, beginning the story.
A hurricane lamp was set…
One evening, all the bulbs in the village started to flicker simultaneously. Manoj, the only electrician in the village, suggested that it must be due to the fluctuation of voltage in the cranky old transformer.
Suman, the eight-year-old daughter of the postmaster, had recently learned to decode Morse Code from YouTube. And she naively went on decoding everything that she thought could be decoded — blinks of her mother’s eyelids, bells of the temple, and so on.
This evening, she decoded the flickering of the bulbs too.
It said, “ SURRENDER OR DIE. WE ARE COMING.”
Then within an hour, they were all over the place. Aliens.
It was one of those nights in the monsoon of Bengal when the heavens go wild, locally known as Kalbaisakhi. The diesel generator of the building refused to start, probably because water had entered its alternator. Payel was checking herself in the mirror over the sink when the power went off.
She could now see her reflection only during the flashes of lightning, followed by a rumble of deafening thunder. She continued to stare at the mirror, enjoying the effect.
Then, during a flash of lightning, she saw someone in the mirror, sitting on the sofa behind her. It was…
The low ceiling of the restaurant was embedded with LED lights, throwing a vulgar shade of blue to the ambiance. My friend Aslam, who is about six feet tall, curled his neck to avoid rubbing his head with the ceiling while we walked towards our table.
The blue shade engulfed everything; even lipstick worn by ladies, mostly ruddy, appeared as charred blue. Some of them smiling, showing their brilliantly white teeth, and throwing a momentary glance at the newcomer through the corner of their eyes.
And suddenly, an apprehension crossed my mind. Are we in the company of vampires?
Or my hyperactive imagination is sending a false alarm.
Will let you know when I am ready with a perfect bio.