I share my room with Mr.Dayal, we guarded a graveyard near a river in suburban Calcutta. I can’t walk, for I had lost my legs in the war against China. I was employed to take care of the paper works, which I did well enough to hold my job for ten years. We lived in a single room; with windows on both sides, and a front door which had a fondness for Dayal’s forehead. Dayal was a tall, sturdy man in his early forties. He had a look of a corpse, an expressionless face. Dayal’s bed was on the window side facing the eastern side. I occupied a table facing a broken window, gazing out into the graveyard, looking for a dead man to come alive. There was a clear view of the path that led to the gate from our room.
Our trapezoidal graveyard ended in a dirt road, had high walls built around it to avoid wild animals into the graveyard. Our room was at least a quarter a mile from the main gate that led to the dirt road.
On a chilly moonless winter night, someone knocked at Dayal’s window. We were not expecting a visitor at this time, a time when all those wild animals made irksome noises.
Dayal covered his head with a bright blue shawl, and opened the front door only after his forehead had its usual meeting with our short door.
I saw the stranger through the broken window; a man in his thirties, with a long beard, wearing a muddy suit and a torn shoe. His suit looked out of place, I had never seen such a suit in a long time, and the wet mud on his suit made him look like a stone age man wearing a trendy suit.
"Who are you" enquired Dayal.
“I’m a murder convict, for a murder which I never did and that never occurred" replied the stranger.
"What do you mean? How can they charge you for a murder that never occurred? How did you end up in my graveyard?" beamed Dayal.
"It’s a long story, but you must help me to get out of this graveyard. These walls are too high to escape"
"Then, how did you get in?" asked Dayal.
"Oh! A few hours ago, the police were chasing me; I made it to the top of a parked van and leaped across those huge walls"
"Yes, that was my master’s van! On the western side?" asked robin
"No, not on the western side, the sun was just moving down"
"What? There is only a river on the western side" replied robin
"I was too nervous, may be I saw the moon" joked the short stranger
Dayal led him through the shortcut possible path to the main gate, through the graves, where they were sleeping an eternal sleep.
As they started walking towards the main gate, the stranger queried
"What do you think of ghosts, I’m scared of them, I feel a prison would be a better and safer place to live than your graveyard. I feel nauseate."
"That’s a terrible opinion; I’ve lived here for fifteen years and never had any sore experience"
The stranger did not reply. A thin wind blew on Dayal’s face, carrying the howls of wild animals.
"Nobody has proved the existence of ghosts, and why should I fear a non existent thing"
Dayal unlocked the gate, and moved away to show the way to the dirt road.
"Neither the existence of God" said the delighted stranger.
The stranger walked away, through the dirt road into the dark woods.
Dayal returned to our room, confused and utterly maddened by the thought of the queer stranger.
On the next morning, a grave on the eastern end remained open, with a fresh scent of a corpse.
The cross above the grave read "Roopan Patel", a murder convict, dead a decade ago.
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