Who Was it?

Nilarka Pahari, Class 9, Young Horizons School, Kolkata

“Once upon a time, when there were no mobiles or other gadgets, I was a school teacher at Ananda Institution”, said my uncle Rajak. I was much accustomed to this sentence of his, all of his marvellous stories began with it. I quickly turned towards my uncle sitting on the sofa.

“…Yes, I taught the students physics and geography. There was a very studious boy Nitin. His extremely studious nature and curious attitude impressed me. One day I took him to our school’s old library, which used to be locked…”
The old library, as he enumerated, was always locked in the view that it was haunted. It was rumoured that the third headmaster Mr. Manik Banerjee had died in that very room and his soul was trapped there ever since. My uncle, being scientific, didn’t believe in such tales.

After a brief pause, he started, “Well, I had taken the library key for some cleaning and had purposely not returned it. I didn’t tell Nitin the spookiness of the place. Every day I locked him in the library after school ended and he read books until I let him out at 5.30pm. It was also said that the ghost appeared only after 6pm, just when our late headmaster fell down from his chair and died. Although I didn’t believe….. still made sure that Nitin wasn’t in any trouble. However one day…” But his sentence could not be finished. His face convulsed with fear and he started whimpering peculiarly. Then, before I could do anything, I saw the silver fade from his eyes and he fell down.

The doctor later said he died from a heart attack most probably invoked by something ‘terribly scary’. After witnessing such a horrific event, I was devastated. I was in a dilemma whether I would want to hear the rest of the story because it had cost my uncle his life. However his un-ended story made me more curious than ever.

After some search I found out his student Nitin. Nitin, being a good student, was working in a reputed company in Kolkata. When I told him about the death of his teacher, he came to pay his last respects to his teacher. He narrated the incident to me.

That day, it was raining a lot. Consequently, my uncle had quite forgotten that Nitin was there in the library. At 6 he remembered but was delayed by the torrential rainfall. Nitin had been reading all the while but a clock struck suddenly at 6 from nowhere and a shadowy shape started walking up and down the library. It took out several books and put in several others. Sometimes it paused for something but then hurried down the corridor to take out another book. It was obviously a ghost, although Nitin didn’t know who it was. While Nitin sat watching this ghostly phenomenon, the door creaked open and my uncle came to the rescue. Even he got terrified seeing the spirit doddering about in the library and then took out the even more horrified Nitin from the library.
I stood up and asked, ‘Really?”And a voice in my mind answered, “Yes, really.”


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