The Truth about Ghosts in English Short Stories by Kishore Sharma Saraswat books and stories PDF | The Truth about Ghosts

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The Truth about Ghosts

The matter is quite old, or rather say, television was not
invented at that time. In the countryside and far-flung small
towns, the means of entertainment used to be old tales, stories
and concocted, but interesting, matters of chatterers. In the urge
to listen to the story, it was nice and pleasant to request or do a
work of old grandparents, granny or sometimes even elderly
people living in the neighborhood. Like the seasons of the Rabi
and Kharif crops, tales, stories and gossips also have their own
different season. The duration of which used to start from the
beginning of the third month (Jyesth) till the first half of the
fourth month (Asarh) of the Hindu year. There was also a
specific reason for this happening. Children get free time from
school for summer vacations and villagers from agricultural
work. Children would be busy in sports and recreation and the
elders would be engrossed in playing cards and taking a nap of
sleep. Wherever see, there were crowds and assemblage of
people everywhere.
After having lunch, Mangal put his cot on his head and
went to rest in the adjacent field, under the shade of a mango
tree. A group of children from the village was sitting very
eagerly waiting for his arrival. As soon as they saw him, they
shouted in exultant words, ‘Grandpa has come ....... Grandpa has
come.’ Mangal also didn’t feel bad with them at all, but he used
to be in need of a good crowd to tell them his gossips. In the
whole area, there was talk of Mangal’s ghostology. He used
witchcraft, exorcism and was famous for getting rid of deranged
people of the demons. Be it the ignorance of the villagers or the
conservative ideology or the eloquence of Mangal, this business
of him used to go on with full fervor.

Reaching under the mango tree, Mangal took off the cot and
placed it on the ground, and then looking at the children, he
‘My dear children, today Grandpa is tired, let me rest a
‘Why Grandpa, have you had an encounter with some
ghost again?’ All of them spoke in one voice.
‘Just think like that. What should I tell you, he was so
heavy and powerful, that the wicked shook every part of my
‘Is it true?’ This word spontaneously came out of the
mouths of children.
‘Yes, do you think, am I lying?’ He replied, looking at
them with full confidence. So, with a view to listening to the
horrific tale of Mangal, children gathered together close to him.
‘Grandpa, there was no fun in such a thing. Explain it in
detail.’ The eldest child said pleadingly. This is what Mangal
wanted; otherwise, it was an excuse for exhaustion.
For the purpose of concocting his story, Mangal stared at
the sky with an angry look and then weaved a tale of thoughts in
the same posture and spoke to the children:
‘Really the incident is very frightening and heartbreaking,
don't you be afraid to hear it?’
‘No …… no …… no …… we will not afraid Grandpa,
because, you are with us.’
Hearing such a loud voice of children, the elderly people,
sleeping nearby, woke up and started scolding those children
saying babies of monkeys and donkeys.
This was the daily routine. The elderly picked up their
cots, walked a little distance, and went under a peepal tree,
grumbling. Now the ground was clear for Mangal and his
audience. There was no one left there to create any disturbance
between the speaker and the audience. The patience of the
children was being shattered due to the eagerness to listen.

Every single moment was overshadowing them. Therefore, they
said by holding the hand of Mangal:
‘Grandpa, now everybody has gone under the peepal tree,
so begin your talk.’
‘Alright…..alright, what are you telling me. I’m not afraid
of them. If they would have made the protest, I would have got
them beaten by the ghosts one by one. My name is Mangal.’ He
said twisting his mustache.’
‘You are right, Grandpa.’ The children chorused.
Hearing his praise, Mangal became very proud. There
was no one brave there to challenge him. He, the king of
without crown, smiled looking at the children, and then using
his fanciful intelligence started to narrate further:
‘This is the matter of yesterday’s morning. I was still
asleep. At the same time, three or four men from the village of
Tanakpur came to me, hurriedly. Everyone's faces were looked
sad. They pleaded, ‘Baba Ji, save the life of our child, we will
not forget your favour for a lifetime. The innocent is struggling
in between life and death.’ I advised them to have patience and
also asked them about his disease. They told me that some devil
has cast a shadow over him. He talks as if he is out of his selfcontrol.
Sometimes he starts tearing his clothes and sometimes
he runs after someone else to punch him. We had brought a man
from the nearby village to treat him, but he said that it was
beyond his control. So, we were sent by him to bring you.
Once, it came to my mind that I should refuse them.
People start wandering here and there first. When the matter
gets out of their control, then they come to Mangal Baba. They
too may have understood this. They pleaded with folded hands.
Seeing their helplessness, I took pity on them. It was a walkway,
so by noon, we reached Tanakpur. The poor fellow was lying
unconscious on the bed. As soon as I sat on his feet side and
started chanting the incantations, the ghost started showing his
heat. He gathered both legs backward and then joining his both

foot hit my chest with full force. I fell back on the ground. This
blow was an open challenge and insult to my ghostology. My
ego woke up. This wicked has so much power, giving me a
challenge? I said; tie him with a rope to the bed. After that, I
started beating the ghost with a stick, which then started
screaming and apologizing. Where was I going to agree? I only
stopped after causing him to run away. It was the time of
twilight. So, for me, it was very important to get back to my
village before dark.’
‘Grandpa, it was just such a thing, and then nothing was
fun in it.’ A boy from the audience said.
Hearing these words, said in a frustrated tone, Mangal
again turned his eyes towards the sky to concoct the tale and
then thinking over the matter said:
‘My dear child, don’t be so much hasty. The real story
will start now. Yes, I was saying it was too much time. To get
back to the village, I chose a short, but very difficult and
dangerous route. This path passed through a very narrow ravine,
with high hillocks on either side. In the dark of night, I was
slowly, steadily, and steadily moving forward. When I reached
near the cat door, suddenly I heard a terrible roar. The voice was
so fierce that I got frightened.’
‘Grandpa, what is this cat's door?’ A child interrupted.
‘Oh! Speaking in between made the whole thing fun.’
Many boys spoke together.
‘Never mind my sons, be patient. Grandpa is here. He is
not going anywhere. He also has the right to know the answer to
his question. Son, in the middle of that rivulet, at one place, two
huge rocks are standing face to face. Between them, there is
only so much way that a man can barely pass. The same place is
called the cat door.’
‘Ok. So this is it. I thought it would be a cat’s home.’
Other boys started laughing at his innocence. When their
laughter stopped, a boy said:

‘What happened then Grandpa?’
‘Hey! What was it to happen? As I looked in front, a huge
body was standing by blocking the door. Having long-black hair
over the entire body like a bear. The nails of the hands were like
the claws of a lion. His teeth were like a dog and big mustache. I
was still thinking in my mind that what is this evil spirit? Then
he roared and said, ‘Mangal! Where will you go today by
escaping from my clutches? You were feeling very happy by
driving me away. Just come here, I take your account. Before he
could hit me, I remembered my tutelary deity and then pushed
the stick, I was holding in my hand, into his stomach.
Sometimes he used to pull the stick on his side and sometimes I
used to pull the stick on my side, in this struggle two hours
passed. The ghost sweated profusely. He breathed hard. His
throat got dry due to thirst. His face became ruddy due to
shame. After all, I took pity on him. I said, go wicked, this time
I spared you. But if I see such wickedness again in the future, I
will not leave you to show your face. Then he heaved a sigh of
relief and said, ‘My master, I will be your slave for life.’ In this
way, he saved his life and fled from there.’
This thrilling and magical world of Mangal was liked by
children very much. But its adverse effect had also made its
place in their mind. Fearing ghosts while walking alone in the
noon or in darkness had become one of their instincts. Now in
the darkness, the bush was also seen by them as a ghost. After
all, summer vacations ended without even wanting. And like
this, the assemblage of Mangal and children became deferred till
the next holidays.
Ramanuj was older than all children in his age. He was an
eighth-grade student and studied in a government school in the
city. The distance from the village to the city was about eight
kilometers. The road was not there, so the footpath was the only
means of transport. On the way, there was a huge rainy river,
with small hills full of thorny bushes on either side. One day an

arrangement was made by the school administration to show an
educative movie to the students. In his eagerness to see the
movie, Ramanuj also forgot that he had to go to the village too.
When the show of the movie ended, the darkness had become
dense. There was no place to stay in the city, so going to the
village was the only option. Fearful and worried Ramanuj
walked towards the village. When he reached the bank of the
river, by that time, the moon had also appeared from behind the
hill with its milky brightness. Finding the company of
moonlight, he had had the support to walk ahead. But this
moonlight also brought a frightening moment for him. As he
reached the middle of the river, he saw a black, tall, fierce figure
coming towards him. What is this? Today, I was confronted
with the real ghost. He panicked badly. He had heard that one
should not be afraid of ghosts, because as long as the man is not
afraid of him, he can not hurt him. In such a situation, running
back was not apt in any case. Therefore, after a little hesitation,
Ramanuj started moving forward, meditating 'Hanuman Chalisa'
in his mind. When he got a little closer, the figure started
becoming clear. It was having long-slim body, long black thick
hair on face and head, dirty torn clothes on the body, red staring
eyes, and a big axe on the shoulder. A shudder erupted in
Ramanuj’s body and he felt as if ground began to slide under his
feet. How crazy people are too. They don’t believe in Mangal
Grandpa's words. They say that he is a chatterbox. Now if they
were here, then they would see what is the evil spirit in front of
them? Possibly, this is the same ghost that encountered with
Grandpa. It was also good. If something bad happens, I will
threaten him by calling Grandpa's name. This thought put some
courage in him. With a little difference, that figure started
walking ahead of Ramanuj. Ramanuj slowed down his pace so
that the distance between them increased a bit more. Ramanuj's
luck was good that the figure didn’t turn back and see him;
otherwise, it would not take long to stop his breath. Reaching

the other end of the river, that figure left the straight path and
turned to the top of the hill. Seeing this, Ramanuj heaved a sigh
of relief. He stepped forward with sharp steps, without looking
towards him. From a distance of about one hundred meters, he
turned and looked back, panicking. The path was absolutely
The matter of this ghost, met to Ramanuj, spread like a
wildfire in the children of the village. Everyone started praising
his bravery. Some even went on to say that when the time
comes, Ramanuj will be four steps ahead of Grandpa. After all,
they decided to take this matter to Mangal Grandpa. On Sunday,
all the children reached Grandpa with their full force. Grandpa
also became happy after seeing the children, who suddenly
came after a long time. He started thinking that today the
meeting will be held satisfactorily. But today the children were
having the edge over him. They wanted to say themselves rather
than listen to something today. The incident of the ghost was
narrated to Grandpa, exaggeratedly.
‘My naive children, you are so innocent. What was the
power of Ramanuj, who could have escaped from that evil
ghost? It was the miracle of your Grandpa that he reached home
safely. In fact, the ghost knew that Ramanuj was from Grandpa's
village. That’s why he didn’t dare to say anything to Ramanuj.
That ghost came to me and told me this thing the other day.
Right now Grandpa could not even say his whole thing that
Ramanuj also reached there. Seeing him a boy said:
‘Ramanuj, say thanks to Grandpa, otherwise that day the
ghost would have harmed you.’
‘Which ghost? What kind of ghost? He was not a ghost.
My father told me that he was Ram Kisan, a mad man, who
often roams in the night like this.’
The children turned around and looked at Mangal
Grandpa with questioning eyes. The poor fellow was sitting
with bent eyes due to shame.