Tuesday, March 24, 2015

*1983 - Journey of Horror*Lalthan Village

Location: Lalthan Village (approx. 113 Kms from mumbai)
Year: 1983 (Incidentally my birth year)
Village Population: 9 Houses (landlords & farmers) + Approx. 20 hutments of local tribal's (adivasis)
{This incident was described by a very close relative, have attempted to narrate it in the best of my capacity}

Lalthan is located in extreme interiors of Maharashtra. Its hard to imagine, such an extreme country side, within the proximity of city. 'Extreme' simply means the village lacks electricity supply intermittently, water is drawn through well which appears to have a matted green flora, frogs survive with harmony & poison-less green snakes sprawling in peace, dwelling besides age-old mango tree. The village is located near the footsteps of range of mountains, rocky terrain and dense forest. Reaching this village through a stretch of stones & sand-built, so called road, itself is a horrendous travelling experience.
Adivasis (considered to be of lower caste and intelligence) were used by Hindus to run errand, help in farming & irrigation, domesticate cattle's and milk them in early dark hours.
Bhaleram's (Occupation: Farming) brother Surya is walking towards the gloomy village. He had to walk approximately 3 kilometers, There is no direct transportation due to terribly rocky and worn-out road. There was nothing new about the journey since he's been visiting Lalthan atleast 3 times a year. Surya was carrying a heavy bag filled with clothes, extra torch, biscuits etc,. He is accompanied with his wife Rakhi, while its pitch dark, Rakhi is anguished due to thick dark bushe's towards left, steep slope towards right descending in serene river, dark deserted road sloping up and down and mystical noises of myriad creatures. It was 7 pm in the evening and Surya is torchlighting his way, thinking village is on the brink of his reach...

Cold weather in the month of March manifests a short day causing darkness earlier than traditional day cycle. Rakhi in her turquoise sari, following her husband, holding an oversized purse in one hand and lightly holding the belt of the bag Surya is carrying. Rakhi is in a state of belie (i.e. in contradiction with), though she is in anguish, she cherishes the moment while being with her husband. Journey is silent; Rakhi persistently thinks about all the beautiful days Surya and she spent, thoughts took her away from the fear of shivers due to darkness. Suddenly they hear a sound of “hiss” with a great pace, crushing heaps of dry leaves...
Surya cautiously diverts the torch light towards the sound and torch dies out abruptly, Rakhi holds him tightly, Surya loses the grip of the torch and his bag, both fall down and dissect. Rakhi shouts with muffled voice and holds Surya firmly; barely able to see him, she gets terrified. They hastily manage to cater the dissected items from the bag but torch. Surya tries to calm Rakhi who displays her discomforted state of mind by not leaving Suryas arm. Surya bravely pacifies her, hiding his own underlying fear and gives her a steady hug, only to realize her heart beats were literally thumping his chest.
Surya tries to fix the dismantled torch but in vain, while holding his wife’s hand, he tries to dig into the extra torch which was handy as contingent, in the over-occupied bag, only to find that the torch is not lighting up. Surya tries his wit to conquer the dim-out (i.e. - darkness resulting from the extinction of lights), while he’s trying to get the extra torch working, Rakhi is at a standstill.
Surya quotes: “This is my village; I don’t need a gadget to reach my home, hold my hand with trust and we shall reach home safely…”
Rakhil quotes: “I trust my life on you…”
Surya interrupts: “we shall walk towards the faded lights and shall reach the destination”
They continue walking on the rocky road which stretches far beyond their destination (lalthane), there pace is considerably reduced due to unavailability of light form.
Lalthane village is located few meters away from the road towards left, had a ‘dry well’ just besides the road along with a rusted metal board embossed “lalthane” in Marathi language. These distinct identifications would be sufficient to affirm that they have reached their destination...

While darkness continues to be a hindrance, Surya and Rakhi continue walking; they presume, they have at least completed 2 km’s of the total 3 km journey. Rakhi continues to hold the belt of the heavy bag Surya is carrying; they focus on their path and observe silence, after walking few more meters the faded lights of Lalthane village were advert & visible. They continue maintaining silence but ruffle up; increasing their pace, due to the rocky terrain, and uneven road, breaking there rhythm, Rakhi abruptly tweaks her leg and thud!!! Falls down, manages to stabilize the fall, balances her with hands leaning completely down, plucks off one of the belts of Surya’s bag, and avoiding flat fall. Surya instantly holds both her shoulders, while he is bending, and screams Rakhi!!!
Rakhi shrieks (i.e. sharp piercing cry): “My palm…”
Surya lifts her up, touches her palm, and feels its wetness, due to a thin blanket of blood flowing through her palm, quotes: “let’s reach home and sister in law will treat it in blink of an eye” and binds her palm firmly with his napkin.
Rakhi once again hugs Surya, she assures him she is fine, and they continue walking, restricting their pace. Rakhi slightly limps for few seconds but gets geared-up immediately, now that they are about to reach their destination...

They continue walking; the walk which has always been regularly comfortable, appears painstakingly long…
Rakhi asks: “How far are we?”
Surya replies: “Let’s continue walking towards faded lights, almost there, as soon as we see the deserted well, we’re…”
Rakhi (quickly interrupts): “ohh!!! The well, it’s…”
Surya: “No that’s not really true…uhhh, actually part of it is true but…”
Rakhi: “I’m glad you’re with me, won’t be afraid of the legend…”
Surya: “Villagers have traditional thought process, have created a disgusting rumor, height of idiocracy…”
Rakhi: “life in village is slow, they blindly believe in both god & demons”
Surya: “I know you are not worried about demons or ghosts but serpents and rodents…”
Rakhi: “well, what worries me more is the fact that your brother ardently believes the legend to be true…”
Surya (frowning): “It’s bizarre & gives me creeps, my grandmother was not insane, and she got baffled due to prolonged sickness, survived in pain…”

{As they speak they continue walking}
Rakhi: “Do you really think she committed a suicide, jumping in the well, and deterred the illness or…”
Surya: “It was certainly not possession; she was tired of prolonged illness, lack of treatment and deteriorating age”

Rakhi: “Then why did she scream ‘did you hear them, they are tearing my ears, someone discipline them, make them quite…’
Surya: “Sure there is a medical reason for that, after all she was 79 years old and…”
Rakhi (interrupts): “Sister in law (Damayanti) quoted ‘she had almost lost her eyesight, still refused to operate for cataract, her room was scratched all over with unidentified symbols, she used to murmur something all the time, touch forehead of kids and villagers scaring them to death’…”
Surya: “Villagers have methods of exaggerating things, including our family members who crave for attention…”
Rakhi: “Damayanti had also quoted ‘she used to get-up late night, scream disgustedly and bang her head on the door (literally sounded; thud-thud-thud-thud-thud) making monstrous impact, she scratched and bite people who tried to control her, she sometimes left house at midnight only to return at dawn, she was in dreadful condition, stopped taking bath and were stinking’…such a pity…”
Surya: “That doesn’t mean she should be confined to a room for entire day which actually aggravated her state of affairs…”
Rakhi: “That’s true, maybe that was one of the provoking aspects since she decided to shed her own blood by banging her head on wall…”
Surya (stone faced, pauses): “May her soul rest in peace now, the extent of her disturbed phenomenon actually made her pluck-off own ears, she was unconscious in a blood of pool and excruciating pain

Surya (stone faced, pauses & quotes): “May her soul rest in peace now, the extent of her disturbed phenomenon actually made her pluck-off own ears, she was unconscious in a pool of blood when my brothers son (Kapil) saw her shivering in excruciating pain, got her hospitalized…
Rakhi (interrupts): “only to realize later, those disturbing voices continue to haunt her from within, she decided to perish her life and achieve salvation…”
Rakhi (hesitantly): “are you particularly convinced that wicked well has nothing to do with her death? Did anything dwell inside it? Were there any ridiculously blown-up rumors about the well?”
Surya: “No, am equally unsure why the well turned dry unto today’s date, preceding grandmother’s death episode…”
Surya (pauses and continues): “The 'so called legend' continues to affirm, that she still haunts the vicinity of unblessed well…”

They continue walking, the journey appears to be never ending, and faded lights of the village still appear to be distant, Surya wonders why they have to rub their feet for such a long time!!!


Rakhi: “it’s incidental, those faded lights (which for a moment aren’t visible due to steep ascending slope) are like rays of hope”
Surya quotes “Trust my sight & intuition, we’ve certainly not crossed our village, the identifications are remarkable and cannot be missed”
Rakhi: “I trust my life and my soul on you; we realize the importance of light (happiness) only when it follows the darkness (Sadness), what really makes a difference is hope…”
While they are ascending gradually towards the top of the slope, on the never ending road, almost on the edge, Rakhi visions something towards her right, she twitches (Jerky Motion) towards her husband on her left, just before she swifts left, she pants, almost out of breath, holds her husband with such a force that it sucks-out all his strength, he drops his bag which rolls off the slope…
Rakhi (continues panting): “Girl…Nude…River…”
Surya (attempting to loosen the tension): Rakhi!!! Uhhh… Are you... Are you?
Rakhi (suppressed scream): “Don’t look towards the river!!!
Surya (roughens up): “Rakhi, which girl...”
Rakhi (suppressed scream): “Don’t talk, just walk, where…where is the bag, where is the bag? Don’t utter even a part of a word, this place is doomed, but where is the bag?
Surya simply utters “Hmmm” with a sigh of confusion, both of them desperately try locating the bag, it was imperative. Surya rationally observes that the bag may have slid down the slope and they somehow manage to find the bag, they rub-off the dirt and almost start running. The sudden twitch on top of the slope earlier along with her swiftness causes jerk in her thigh, she doesn’t confide to husband and brisk-up. They cover bit of distance; their breath was speaking more than their minds, they continue to walk in pace until Surya mortifies silence, the language of breath..
Surya (stops, holds his back with one hand, and continues breathing heavy): “what’s going on, why are we running, what girl in the river are you talking about???”
Rakhi (pauses): “I never said girl in the river"
Rakhi (continues sounding stern): “you saw her, you saw her right?
Surya (holds Rakhi’s arm firmly): “I tried to tell my mind, it was just a harmless apparition”
Surya: “I did…I did vision her dark & nude physical aura, her hair distinctively long and dense, she was like a rogue…I don’t want you to be afraid, every individual is responsible for its own destiny, what I ardently know is no one can harm you, no one dare harm us, have faith in lord Ganesha the savior”
Rakhi (while the tears gush off her cheek, Sighs): “I’m scared!!! Am tired!!! Our journey is disgustingly long…”
{Both continue walking, Rakhi continues to hold Suryas arm…}
“I’m in a state of confusion, unable to grasp the situation, where did she arrive from? How did she illume in darkness and ecstatically made herself visible? She immersed herself in cold water mystically? Did she commit a suicide or was it a lost soul? Or…
Surya: “She was far beyond our understanding!!! Saving her was out of question, even on the mouth of river, due to sand rigging business, the waters run deep…”
Rakhi: “Her turbulence and boisterous state disturbed me; dense hair reaching her calf, her dark aura has gripped my mind, I saw her for split of a moment, this moment would haunt me throughout my life, it’s a feeling of being enigmatic…”
Surya: “The moment is over now; the evil has vanished, we need to move on, demons lay within, they exist only if we think about them, like you said ‘after darkness follows the happiness’ it’s time to go home now…

{Rakhi walks silently; she reconciles Surya’s statement. The gloomy lights still appear to be distant but visible. Darkness continues to grip time; they walk with desperation and cover some distance again, both certain, they have covered more distance then required to reach their destination. Rakhi altercates…}
Rakhi: “We have crossed miles, transitioned from mild evening to fall of night; we are still walking, making buffoons of ourselves, knowing our destination lags behind…”
{Before Surya tries to pacify Rakhi, they see something which terrifies there soul, there heart clogs and they shiver to glory of hell…}

they get petrified!!! Rakhi tries to dampen her tone, but fails, screams loud with intoxication, breaths laboriously while Surya is stone faced, he feels choked due to adrenaline rush in his heart. Rakhi wobbles and whisks on the turf due to extreme fright. Surya deflates the adrenaline before Rakhi could fall down, manages to grasp the bottom of her forearm as she swirls due to imbalance. They managed to erect there posture in haste, Charged towards the mystified light…
On the run, Rakhi screams with steady lungs in husky voice “Help!!! Help!!! Help!!! Someone…
Help!!! Help!!! Help!!! Help please Help…
Her outcry continues, Surya fetches for help too, he assumes rhythm in running and shouting for help, for a miniscule second, he thinks he would actually receive acknowledgement for his plight but only to his dismay, an impulsive thought. They continue running and screaming for help, cover herculean distance vainly, by now sure they’ve, way surpassed their destination...

They continue running and piercing there voice in air for help unto their bodies renounce strength. They eventually halt, blatantly grab each other and try to discipline there agony through silence and aggression, they breathe out continuing to be vociferous for few moments…}
Rakhi (almost passes-out, manages to stand with sheer courage. Continuing to pant): “That’s brutal, that’s vicious, stupendously horrifying, and that’s barbarism!!!”
Surya (breathing heavily): “What we saw again was beyond our rational understanding; they appeared like slaves of devil in enchantment, performing an atrocious ritual...”
Rakhi: “That was agonizingly real, my breath appears to quit, you saw her and you saw them, we witnessed events which will intoxicate our minds in fear forever…”
Surya (Sighs. Appears in disbelief): “They…uhh…all of them nude, maybe 17 of them, dark hue & faintly visible, gruesomely rolling over, like human waives, with laced (tied) hands, tumbling down, into the hotbed of gothic river, it gives me creeps to even describe about their ferocious hair & muffled cries…”
Rakhi (screams): “We saw a stack full of witches!!! Like a flock rolling over, one-by-one, and perishing them, drowning themselves into the river. This is not true…This cannot be true…Our journey is a farce…its journey to insanity”


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