Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The House



'I got a buyer for this house.' Chinar told Karan, as he sighed and nodded at the cleaner he had brought along and nodded him to start sweeping the place.

'FOR THIS HOUSE?' Chinar's best friend Karan remarked looking shocked.

'Yeah!' Chinar said nearly laughing at the stupidity of the woman who was buying the property. The woman was living abroad and frankly Chinar knew many like that.

'Oh! Those boring people!' Karan said sighing, wishing he had some more clients like that. Such people who lived abroad and brought abysmally bad properties across the country, which no one here was willing to buy.

'That seems to a door to the basement!' the cleaning man spoke in a coarse voice interrupting the two of them. 'Shall I get down?'

'NO!' Chinar said almost horrified. 'Do not open it! It must be barricaded shut eight years back by the police.'

'Police?' Karan murmured to Chinar. The cleaner looked at the house almost scared as he rapidly walked away from there, walking to another room, sweeping the floor with an almost broken broom.

'Otherwise, this house has no option of getting sold at all. It has been lying in the burner for all the eight years that it was uninhabited.'

'Who does this house belong to, man?' Karan asked Chinar a little suspiciously.

'Professor Jaganath Oran.' China said quietly.

The house was suddenly quiet. Almost a sinister type of quiet.

'You shouldn't have done this Chinar!' Karan said finally.

'The woman does not know. She does not need to know.' Chinar said firmly. 'And probably, all this house needs is a change in name, Karan.' Chinar said sharply watching Karan. 'Then I am sure its fortune is going to change.'

Karan looked angry but he said nothing. Because as far as he was concerned what Chinar was doing was wrong. This house....this house was the reason, their otherwise calm city was in a mess about eight years back and all that was brought to an end literally with a bang.

Because since the fire accident eight years back, the house had had absolutely no takers. Professor Jagannath who was living in the house had drained his wife's money while he was pretending to invent 'the next big thing'. After the first few attempts, the wife had been sensible. After realizing that she just could not let her husband waste her money, she had taken her kid and left town. There were rumours that the professor was so engrossed in his work that he did not even know that his wife was not at home for the first two days. But then life definitely had a weird sense of irony. The professor had announced to the world on the third day in the morning that he had made the greatest breakthrough ever known to science. The papers all laughed at him. Many of them realized that it was nothing than a pathetic attempt of the man to get his wife back with him. And frankly that was all the attention the man's interview got.

And despite this, the evening papers were all full of him.

Because that evening, the entire house blew up. Literally. Along with everything and everyone inside it....

The police had put the entire thing down as the crazy man's stupid experiment and passed it off as an accident and forgotten it.

The press had tried to get an interview from the wife or rather the widow and had failed in that and had eventually forgotten about it.

But the people in the city did not forget it. No one came up to buy the house. It had always been vacant.....Until now, some rich woman abroad was making a blind purchase here.....

**********

'Thank you! I can take care of myself here.' the very foreign looking woman said taking the key from Chinar. And frankly Chinar was shocked and surprised. That the woman lived abroad was more than obvious.

And Chinar was shocked for obvious reasons. He really had not expected the woman to come. But she had and the woman looked like she would find out very soon about the history of the house....

And that made Chinar very unhappy.

Because he knew that he would be selling this house very soon. Just about as soon as the woman learnt the history of the house by talking to the people around her.

*********

The woman said nothing as she saw the hastily done paint job outside the house and nodded at the man.

Chinar watched the woman go inside the house and waited for a few seconds. Then he got inside the vehicle. The woman could call him, he thought in a surly fashion, as he started his vehicle.

The woman slipped the key inside the house and blinked. This house....She inhaled deeply as the scent of the new paint struck her. But that was not what registered in her head.

She waited for her dizziness to pass through.

She then opened her eyes. 'Daddy! I am home! I have come and I am going to make it right.' the woman whispered to herself as she walked towards the door leading to the basement.

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