Friday, 31 August 2012

THAT NIGHT (Part 26)

Part 26 of Lakshmi Raj Sharmar's acclaimed ghost story based in India.


                                                                   "That Night" (part 26)

‘Why did you always come in my dreams, Sonali? You were never like Pran who could venture out of dreams and move about freely?’
‘I have been law abiding. He has done something for which he must suffer and burn in flames that seem to emanate from sulphur. He did everything wrong and continues to do so even till now. Do not remind me of him. He has tortured me so 
'Okay, please continue with your tale.'
'Please don't call it a tale, it is the reality.'
‘Okay. Let me know the reality.’
‘In my birth before this last one I was the daughter of the raja of Sipra in the then township of Jigna. Jigna and Gaipura were neighbouring areas. Then I was Suneeti, a young princess, and I was betrothed to be married to the Rajput prince of Gaipura, the kindly and handsome Kunwar Pratap Singh Chauhan. He was reborn as Manoj as you knew him. However, the son of the pujari of our estate, Gokul, who often accompanied his father to our prayer meetings was very disturbed by my engagement with Pratap. His father was the renowned pandit of this area and in matters of spiritual learning, considered the most accomplished among the priests of seven districts of the United Provinces, the then name of Uttar Pradesh. Gokul’s father was proud of his achievement and Gokul inherited his pride. He thought himself no less than a prince. He had been seeing me from the time of our childhood and began to nurture thoughts for me that were not proper for one of another caste as inter-caste marriages were not socially permissible. He would tell me about his love for me and that he would kill himself rather than see someone else marry me. Kunwar Pratap also visited us frequently with his family. We fell in love and our families decided that we would marry each other. I never responded to Gokul’s gestures of friendship as he was of a lower status though he himself thought that he was much higher. I only advised him to keep away from me. But that advice only made him furious and he created a great deal of tension for me and my family. When Pratap learned about Gokul he met him and told him to be careful lest he got into trouble. But Gokul dared to continue his antics. Their differences grew into hostility and that then changed into enmity.’

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