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"Hey, mister, why did you stop?" the school teacher asked, breathing heavily.
The head clerk shut his eyes. "I am experiencing palpitations of the heart," he said.
The student stuck to his views. "I don't believe in ghosts," he said.
Sachin resumed the narration. "There was an eerie silence, not even the sound of a rustling leaf. As I have already mentioned, it was the dead of the night, and very dark. But, I find this hard to explain ... it was dark, but kind of illuminated darkness. There were neither lighted lamps in the room nor did the moon shine through the open window, yet the dressing table was clearly visible. It was as if I was watching a movie.
"I watched in a daze and saw a person sitting in the chair in front of the mirror with his back to me. I could see his face in the mirror; it was someone whom I had never seen before. A thick moustache covered his upper lip; his eyes were like two glowing orbs. He held a shining razor in his right hand, and .... he was slitting his own throat with the razor! Suddenly blood spurted out, and ... all at once, the horrible scene faded away.
"The room once again plunged in darkness and I heard someone's footsteps. Someone was walking towards me from the side of the dressing table. I could not bear it any longer; I sprang out of the bed, somehow managed to open the door, and was out of the room in a trice.
"Next morning, upon making inquiries, I learned someone had committed suicide in Room Number Three of that hotel. However, the hotel manager described the account as rubbish and said no such thing had happened in his hotel."
The head clerk, all of a sudden, slumped in his chair and began breathing heavily. "My heart is palpitating. I think I will faint," he said in a weak voice.
The school teacher and the student went to his help.
Sachin rose and said rather apologetically, "I should not have narrated a ghost story in his presence."
It was 9.30 pm. Sachin and I were sitting in our dark hole when a hotel attendant came and delivered a note to me. "It's from the manager," he said.
The note read: The occupant of Room Number Three has suddenly vacated the room. If you wish, you could move to that room.
Sachin smiled mischievously. "I knew this was going to happen."
I was surprised. "How could you have known?" I asked.
Sachin said, "Last time when I was in this hotel, I stayed in that excellent Room Number Three upstairs, which is to the right of the landing. When I peeped into the room this afternoon, I found that everything in the room was arranged exactly the same way as last time. The head clerk was now staying in that room."
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that you are an idiot! Haven't you been able to figure out yet that my story, with a vivid description of Room Number Three, was intended only to scare the head clerk and make him leave?"
"So, your true ghost story ..."
"It was nothing but a figment of my imagination."
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu