THAT NIGHT (Part 9)
This is the ninth part of Lakshmi Raj Sharma's ghost story set in rural India. Please Share.
Lakshmi's collection of short stories is available on Amazon on http://www.amazon.com/Marriages-Are-Made-India-ebook/dp/B0085COD1W/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kstore_1
THAT NIGHT (Part 9)
When Sonali showed Pran’s letter to Manoj, he didn’t know how to contain the fire that suddenly up-surged within him. Sonali insisted that nothing be done in haste. But Manoj lost his composure. He had to do something after seeing the letter written in blood. He just left Sonali near the Philosophy Department and sprinted towards Pran’s room. Sonali tried to follow him but Manoj did not allow her to accompany him. Within a few minutes he was there. Manoj banged on Pran’s door loud enough to make his hands seem made of stone. Pran opened the door and stood face to face with Manoj. Before a minute could pass Manoj had seized him by the neck.
‘Wait, Manoj, wait; stop it! Let us settle the matter more amicably.’
‘Amicably? You bastard after doing everything, you want me to spare you?’
‘You think you are right and I think that I am right. Let us discuss the matter and settle our quarrel through dialogue!’
‘First let me settle you with my hands, the dialogues will follow.’
Saying this, Manoj gave him a tight blow on his face. Pran fell down. He still had the presence of mind to talk sense with his rival, even as he sat on the ground.
‘Manoj, by fighting like a beast, are you trying to suggest that the one who wins a physical bout is the one who is right.’
‘I am not interested in that crap. I am trying to set you right. Get up you scoundrel!’
‘You are such a brute! You are no more than a hoodlum, a lout. Will Sonali ever be happy with you? What an uncivilized bloke! You are still living in the last century. You do not deserve a girl as gentle and well-brought up as Sonali. She is drawn towards your body at this time, but she’ll soon discover that you are no more than an animal that uses brute force to settle disputes. She will hate you when she gets to know what you really are.’
‘You are no saint to make Sonali love you. She already hates you. Whether she will hate me later is yet to be seen. Get up you bugger, you want me to believe that I am an animal?’
Sonali had rushed to me in the meantime and we both came running towards Pran’s room. I asked Manoj to step aside and let Pran get up so that things could be brought under control. But Pran was so clever that he tried to put Manoj on the defensive.
‘Look Sanjeev, this Manoj is so full of himself that he cares nothing for us. You are senior to him, even I am senior to him, we both like Sonali, yet he wants to have her all to himself.’
This statement embarrassed me and as I tried to find ways of clearing my position and my guilt, Manoj rushed down towards him and gave Pran two tight fists on his face. I tried again to separate the two, but my mind was no longer working clearly. Pran had awakened the dormant feelings that I had built up for Sonali and I had to work hard to try and prove that Pran was lying. Pran had clearly put me on the defensive. With one statement he had thrown me out of the race. After that day I found it difficult to face Sonali. I had to forget what I had once wanted. Pran was clever indeed. even in such a difficult moment he was managing to remove one hurdle from his path.