Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ghostly Experience of Shaniwar Wada (Continued1)

Raghav looked upwards and with a deep sigh started narrating the story in a low tone "After Panipat war Peshwa dynasty had suffered alot . Their crown prince Vishwasrao and Peshwa's brother and Commander in Chief Sadashivrao Bhau died in the war. After listening the news of humilating defeat of his army , Shrimant. Nanasahib Peshwa too passed away of shock. His son Madhavrao succeeded him and ruled for quite some time . Raghunathrao , younger brother of late Nanasahib was appointed as a regent to the young Peshwa, but he tried to interfere with the administration. He soon fell out of favour with the Peshwa, and even tried to conspire against him by joining the Nizam of Hyderabad against the Peshwa. The alliance was defeated and Raghunathrao was placed under house arrest. After Madhavrao's death in 1772 his younger brother Narayanrao a 13 year old succeeded him. Raghunathrao was released from house arrest. He then became the regent of Madhavrao's younger brother Narayanrao. Together with his wife Anandibai, Ragunathrao plotted to arrest his nephew Narayanrao , he sent a letter to royal gaurd Sumer Singh Gardi in marathi to arrest Narayan rao , the message was intercepted by Anandibai his wife and she replaced the word word "dharaa (धरा)" and make it read as maaraa (मारा) or 'kill'. The miscommunication led to the Gardis killing him in the presence of Raghunathrao.Thus Anandibai went down in history for changing ‘dha’ to ‘maa’ and abetting the killing of the young prince. On seeing the guards coming after him the young prince fled inside the fort towards his Uncle’s place Badami Mahal crying “Kaka! Mala vachva!” (Uncle! Please save me! His uncle stood and watched Narayan Rao being killed. Narayan Rao was hacked into so many pieces that it had to be carried in a vessel through the door.
After listening to this story a chill ran down my spine. "How sad!!" exclaimed Jahnavi . I looked at the wrist watch "Its 7:00 pm we should get back to work now" and we came to our desk. I performed health check. Aditi's call had ended so she wanted to go out for a break but it started raining. Aditi came at my desk , I was telling Jahnavi about our daily activities and project plan. Aditi asked "So how is it going?" Jahnavi replied "God.There are so many applications and so many scheduled jobs to monitor , I don't know how I will be able to do it" Just then whole floor flashed in a lightening "Thuddddddddddddddddddrrrrrrrr" somewhere outside the building the lightening had struck. With the thundering sound of lightening Jahnavi startled "Take it easy" Aditi said and patted her.

"Anyways , Is anyone coming at the canteen? I want to have a coffee" said Aditi. Vishal said " Are you crazy? In such a weather you want to go down? Bheeg jayegi. Better have coffee from vending machine and its 8:00 PM already , please wait for 20-25 minutes , it will stop raining or we'll call up canteen and place the order" "OK fine" Aditi said. Raghav finished his work and came at my desk.

Aditi and Jhanvai went to coffee machine and retrurned with mugs. Aditi brought some biscuits , she offerred us and said "Chetan , Vishal and me are in your cab tonight. Cab vendor called me when you guys were out for tea and asked that other cab has gone for repair" "Fine , even Jahnavi will have a company" I said picking up one biscuit. "Hey bye the way where do you stay?" Aditi asked Jahnavi "I stay at Ganesh road, its close to Shaniwar Wada" Jahnavi replied and politely refused the biscuit "Thanks for the biscuit but I can't take it, I am fasting today you see its Pitru Amavasya......"

"I stay at Ganesh road, its close to Shaniwar Wada" Jahnavi replied and politely refused the biscuit "Thanks for the biscuit but I can't take it, I am fasting today you see its Pitru Amavasya......"

We started discussing about our job and office politics. I asked Raghav and Vishal if they would like to join me tomorrow for outing. Vishal agreed but Raghav denied as he had other plans on weekend.Suddenly I remembered Raghav's story about young prince and said "Hey Raghav , Shaniwar Wada is on our route, its also an amavasya today whats the chance if the ghost of young prince appears today ?" at this Aditi started coughing terribely , the biscuit had choked her throat and she was breathing heavily. Jahnavi gave her water bottle. She emptied the whole bottle and snarled at me "Forget it. I am not coming with you , I will call vendor and he will arrange separate cab for me" "Comeon , Aditi don't act like a child , you know we have just one cab tonight and we won't let you go alone , you know how risky it is for woman associate travelling alone in late hours" I tried to persuade her "Alright , but don't go from that Shanivarwada route its haunted , today is newmoon day and spirits are likely to be seen either on newmoon day or a fullmoon day" She said in trembling voice "And yes, today is Pitru Amavasya , so its damn sure young prince will be waiting for us" said Vishal teasing Aditi. Jahnavi was surprised
and said "So you also know about Shaniwarwada haunting?" "Ofcourse I know it" exclaimed Vishal "Everybody in Pune knows it , but I haven't come across any such spirit till now" everybody was now listening him "I had been to Shaniwar wada and seen its light and sound show , the fort is almost in its ruins , a fire broke out in 1818 and nothing left inside the old fort" "Still people believe it haunted" Raghav said. "People believe anything , as long as I don't meet a ghost, I won't believe these stories" Vishal said firmly , I backed him "Yes same goes with me".

Suddenly the lights were gone , due to heavy rain it was lightening. "Satyaanash! maine abhi abhi job chalaya tha , ye light ko bhi abhi jana tha" Vishal asked in a disappointed tone "Ye generator bhi chalu hone mein ghanto lagate hain" It was 8:45 PM , Raghav said "I have called in the canteen , they will be delivering the food on our desks" he looked at Jahnavi and said " I have orderd potato chips and lassi for us" . It was still dark only 2-3 lights were there as they were backed up by generators , my desk was in dark so I couldn't do routine checks. Food arrived and we had our dinner together. Just then support cell rang it was Avinash , Vishal picked up the phone "Haan bhai bol. Kya late ho jayega?" Vishal spoke to him and then informed "Avinash had called and said that today they will late as the new driver has arrived for pickup and also it is raining heavily" "Yes , abdul had informed us that there will be new driver" replied Jahnavi.

Lights came back and we started our routine healthcheck monitoring jobs etc , 2 hours passed and next shift people arrived "How is everything today?" Avinash asked me "Arey jab Chetan bhai shift mein ho kya darna? have fun Good Night!!!" Vishal said urned to me "Mujhe naye driver ka miss call ayaa hai , inko HandOver de do mai niche ja raha hun" Avinash said "I am feeling sleepy yar is everything OK with the system?" I given him proper Hand Over and he went to his desk he saw Jahnavi and greeted her "Hi Jahnavi" "Hey Hi Avinash" replied Jahnavi. "Jahnavi" said Aditi "Am going downstairs , Chetan is also going down , come we are already late today" "Ya , ya coming!" said Jahnavi and rushed towards us. We took our seats in the cab Raghav had already leaft as he came with his bike. "Aye Please driver bhaiyya , shaniwarwada ke pas se mat lena" pleaded Aditi to driver Tukaram. I asked him "Do you know the directions?"

"Aye Please driver bhaiyya , shaniwarwada ke pas se mat lena" pleaded Aditi to driver. Jahnavi started her prayers. Vishal said jokingly "Matlab aaj bhoot se mulaqat ho kar rahegi" I laughed , Aditi got irritated at this "Shutup both of you" She said angrily "Vishal kabhi to serious huaa karo , hame 20 kms jaana hai aur mausam kharab hai" I looked at Jahnavi she was engrossed in prayers.There was silence in the cab no body spoke. We had reached the university circle , just before the e square , I saw driver was not in his senses we were about to collide with a divider , just then I pushed him. "Hey" I screamed , he opened his eyes and on seeing the flyover divider he stopped the car by pressing the lever with his legs. Car stopped with a screech. "What nonsesne?" Aditi shouted at driver "You were sleeping , abhi accident ho jata to?"
"Sorry madamji wo jara aankh lag gayi thi please aap meri complaint mat karna" driver was frightened on looking Aditi. "I will drive the car , you go and sit with Vishal" I said and came on drivers seat "Aao brother" said Vishal to driver "jara ghadi to ghadi jhapki maar len" "Isko har waqt majak hi soojhta hai , abhi driver se majak kar raha hai abhi accident ho jata to?" asked Aditi. Jahnavi was shocked too "Are you sure you will be able to drive in such a stormy weather? Should I call Avinash? He will arrange separate cab for us?" She asked worriedly."Don't worry I have drived in worse weathers , this is cakewalk for me" I replied. I started the headlights and pulled the handbreak. I started the car and applied gear. I turned on the radio. We were heading towards Shivajinagar ST stand , just then we heard announcement in radio that Dengate bridge and other bridge are submerged under water and river mutha has crossed the danger level. "Bad news folks" I said. "It means that we now have to go from Shivaji Bridge and pass through Shaniwar Wada" Vishal said

"Shittttt" both the girls shouted. "Sirji raat mein wahan se jana thik nahi hai upar se aaj kali andheri amawas ki rat hai , bekar mein risk mat lo" driver tried to dissuade us. "Kya naam hai aapka?" I asked the driver "Tukaram" he replied "Haan to tukaram, hamare sath ladies hain itni raat ko inhe lekar kahan jayenge? Inke ghar pe log pareshan honge" I explained him our condition "Wo to thik hai Sir ji lekin jaan hai to jahaan hai , abhi sare pul pani ke niche ja chuke hain, Shivaji bridge bhi pani ke niche chala gaya to kya kar loge?" "Shubh Shubh Bol" Vishal said angrily and exchanged glance with driver. Driver got quiet at this. "Please Chetan" Pleaded Jahnavi "Man jaao" "No way , my uncle is heart patient, he will worry for me if I don't return home" I changed the gear and accelerated the speed. "Tell him that you will be coming tomorrow, call him right now" Aditi suggested. "No use" said Vishal showing his mobile "Network is gone. we don't have any other option but to pass through Shanivar wada" We had crossed the Rahul Cinema and were heading towards Sangam Bridge road , just then I saw some bikers coming from opposite direction , I slowed the car , they approached towards us , I lowered the glass window "Don't go forward the river is flowing over the bridge" "But we have to cross the river we have to go home" said Vishal "Take right turn and proceed through Shivaji Maharaj Road , we are going on that way, you may follow us if you want to" said those strangers. We agreed and I drived following them. We were now approaching towards Shivaji bridge . Just then I applied break. Car stopped with screeching sound...........
Car stopped with screeching sound. "What happened? shouted all "Nothing a black Cat just came in the way" I said we saw a black cat with ferocious yellow eyes crossing the road. "Its a bad omen" Jahnavi scared "Lets go back Chetan" "No need to worry dear we are following the bikers I turned towards her and said , I turned back and saw that those bikers were waiting for us on the otherside of bridge. They were waving hands as if they wanted to convey us something. I started the car again and moved towards bridge. As our car was passing through bridge we saw a water column rushing towards us. "Sir ji , Press the accelarator padel with full force , baadh aa rahi hai , kisi bhi waqt pul pani ke niche chala jayega" I was dumbstruck at the the sight of rushing water and my left leg pressed the accelerator padel , the car zooomed and with in few seconds we were standing on the other side of bridge. As soon as we crossed the bridge we saw water column devouring the bridge. Shivaji Bridge had gone under water . We escaped within few moments. "Thankgod" we said "Mujhe to laga tha ki yahin jalsamadhi ho jani hai" Vishal said "Shutup Vishal" Aditi scolded him "Aren't you guys feeling cold?" Jahnvi asked shivering . We experienced that the September night was as cold as December. "Really" said Aditi just then I heard Tukaram calling me from back "Chetan sir where are those bikers by the way, it seems we have missed them?" all turned to face Tukaram. We were shocked to saw that we were hardly 50 meters away from Shaniwar Wada
"Chetan sir where are those bikers by the way, it seems we have missed them?" all turned to face Tukaram. We were shocked to saw that we were hardly 50 meters away from Shaniwar Wada "Chetan lets go its so cold out here" Janhvi reiterated then Aditi came forward her eyes widened with terror , She was trembling with fear "H..Have yy..you ggguys noticed?? We are standing in front of Shaniwar Wada?" She holded my left hand tightly and shouted "Lets get out of here" "OK , OK Aditi we are going but we have to see where those bike riders have gone" I answered her "To hell with bike riders , I am feeling damn scared lets get out of here" Aditi was about to cry. We approached towards car and taken our seats , Tukaram sat on drivers seat and was sitting besides him. He turned the key in ignition , a security key flashed on the dashboard , started cranked slowly and its exhaust pipe smoked , this happen 2-3 times. "What happened?" I asked "I will have to look again" replied Tukaram. He tried again and car started we felt relieved , he took a left turn and we entered in alley , Shaniwar Wada was on our right side. Just when we were passing through alley the car wobbled and Tukaram applied brakes with full force. "Sir Tyre is punctured" We got down annoyed , we were standing on lonely road besides Shaniwar Wada. The eeriness of traquil moonless raining night made us uncomfortable , we were wet and shivering. Girls were sitting in the car,I and Vishal had opened the dickey , Tukaram came there and pulled out the jack and spare tyre. He began replacing the tyre.He said "Sir I will do it , you don't worry" Vishal was searching something in his pockets , I asked "what happened?" "Cigarette ke liye machis dhund raha hun" replied Vishal "Sir ji gadi mein padi hai le lo" Vishal extended his hand and took matchbox. "Stay away Vishal" Aditi warned him "I don't like smoking"
"Stay away Vishal" Aditi warned him "We don't like smoking" Vishallooked at her angrily and said "Tukaram bhai aap in ladkiyon ke sath yahin tuk ruko , jab tyre replace ho jaye to hame bula lena , ham zara sutta mar ke aate hain"
"Jyada dur mat jana sahab" Tukaram said in concerned voice . We began walking , Vishal offered me one , I lit it and took a puff , we saw a bike lying on the ground , we gone there and I realized "This is the same bike those guys were riding ,I remember the vehicle number its MH12 ET 9448" "Ya man" Vishal replied in a low tone. We saw two men on the otherside of road sitting and they had made a temporary fireplace. They had covered themselves with a shawl were wearing turbans. They were appearing like Old villegers. We reached to them "Have you saw two people passing through the road , they have left their bike" I inquired. "We didn't see any" replied one with a chilling voice. We stood there for a moment thinking how to react just then the second person asked Vishal "Who are you? What brings you here at such an unearthly hour?" "We are employees of an IT company we were coming from work , we were late due to bad weather" I narrated our situation and pointed finger towards our car "and now our car has broken down , driver is fixing it" "I see" said the old man.

"Sahab , jack kharab ho gaya tyre badalne mein aur time lagega , andhere mein kuch dikh nahi raha " Tukaram shouted. Vishal replied "Theek hai". This worried us as we might have to wait longer.

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