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Jane and Jeremy, a middle class American couple came to
to realize their dream wedding. It was not going to be a big fat Indian wedding but it was their dream nevertheless. They had about a week’s time for the wedding and wanted to go around. They hired a tour guide cum driver Taposh Ranjan Das. To say the least, they were simply floored by his humbleness and honesty. For three days, he took them around to various places across north India including Taj Mahal. Jeremy wanted to know things about India that back home his friends didn’t know or had not been to, so he requested Taposh to show them some places which not many people know about or visit. India
Being the true Indian host and humble guide, Taposh agreed. They had been traveling on a lonely road for about an hour now when the vehicle broke down suddenly. Both Jeremy and Taposh’s experience with vehicles put together didn’t help to start the vehicle. It was almost dusk and they were but curious to get going. Taposh went ahead to look around for help, the couple didn’t want to be left back. Jane realized that if they were to be kidnapped and killed here it will take people weeks to find their bodies. She shuddered at this thought and hurried to catch up with Taposh.
They spotted a building and when they approached near, they realized it was a forsaken railway station. There was no one around, the counters and the benches empty. Dust and cobwebs formed such thick layers that one may drown in it. The railway tracks were rusted, it should have been ages since a train passed on his track. The place was full of stench and the couple wanted to get back to the safety of the vehicle. So did Taposh. When they turn around to leave, the couple let out a shriek and fell down to the floor. Standing behind them was a lady. When did she come? They hadn’t heard footsteps, how did she land up behind them? Taposh was shivering all about. Her dark eyes with an overload of eyeliner, her ear lobes which were adoring hundreds of earrings and the weird bangles she wore made her look terrifying. She was catatonic with pronounced limp and when she spoke it was a coarse voice filled with urgency .
She said “Why have you come here? Is it your death that called you? Don’t you know this place is cursed? The mother and daughter will not let you go from here. You are finished”.
Taposh knelt down before her, his hands folded, still shivering he said ‘O holy mother, please forgive us. We were looking for help and we stumbled here’.
Jeremy didn’t want to be seen as a coward by his future wife. He manage to stand up and asked the old lady ‘Who mother and daughter? What curse?’
She changed her gaze to Jeremy. Jane thought this lady was the from the horror show she was watching yesterday night.The old lady replied "Years ago, a mother tried to escape the rituals of Sati system with her 8 year old daughter. The girl was married to a 50 year old drunkard who died soon after marriage. The girl was to be burned alive with her dead groom. The mother wanted to save her daughter, so they escaped and were about to board a train to run away when they where caught and burnt alive, here, in this very railway station. Ever since, they have been haunting this place. No person who passes through this place will lead a happy life ever. The couples won’t have children and others would die of mysterious diseases."
Now Taposh was shuddering and shivering more than ever. He said “Please forgive us, we will go back and never return. Please save us from this trouble oh holy mother, give us a solution”
There was absolute silence for about a minute and it seemed like ages, At last the lady spoke “You people should not be here. Get going. Give me money; I will perform prayers to ward off the evil and to keep you safe. Give me the money and get going."
Jane chose to speak at this moment "How do we believe you? What if you just want to cheat us and this story is a lie”. There was silence again and after some thought the lady closed her eyes and spoke slowly “You aren’t married are you? You come from a land from the far west and you are here to get married. Ain’t I right?” the couple nodded, she continued without opening her eyes “You have come here to be betrothed into the sacred marriage and your vehicle broke down and that is why you are here”. Taposh started prostrating before her and said “You are right your holiness. You are right” He then addressed the couple “She has mystic powers and I am sure she can ward off the evil. Please give her the money she asks for”.
The couple was still doubtful. The lady opened her eyes and started walking out of the railway station towards the vehicle. She placed her hand on the vehicle, closed her eyes and asked Taposh to start the vehicle. The very instant Taposh pressed the start button, the vehicle roared to life. The couple was convinced now. Jane ransacked her purse and handed over 300 dollars to the old lady “This is all we have now. Please pray for us and bless us for our future wedded life”.
The catatonic lady accepted the money and blessed them; the vehicle moved on. After traveling a mile or so, Taposh’s cell beeped. He had a message; it read “Next time onwards, get better customers”.
A smile spread on his lips and he replied back “Ok Mom. See you later tonight. Keep my share.”