Amavasya Night in Janakpur
“Mom, how’s Anushka now?” “Is she fine, what has the doctor said?” My mother’s eyes filled up with tears when she said “ The doctor said her condition is getting even worse and we need to immediately admit her to the ICU”. I was cognizant of the underlying reasons for the prolonged delay in her admission to the Intensive Care Unit.” In the evening, I arrived home, reclined on my bed, and pondered the day’s activities and didn’t know how I fell asleep. The next morning when my eyes opened I saw my friend in front of me.
“Krishu, do you have any other commitments besides your cycle of eating, sleeping, and coming over to my house with that unpleasant body odour?” It was hard to believe when he told me that he was here to talk on an important topic. “So you are here to discuss which came first, egg or hen and maybe you’re gonna talk about who is better, Prachanda or Oli…I know these are your VVI topics to discuss. He said, “ Now you are mocking me, Aaditya, it’s too much. I am here to tell you that we can earn a million dollars within 12 hours”.I gently pressed my hand against his forehead to check whether he had a fever.
He spitted on my face for mocking him again, even his spit had that foul smell like his body. He was an example that humans really evolved from monkeys. I realised that pen and pain both disappear when you are with your friends. Also, I remember my sister Anushka who was suffering from serious heart disease. Then I asked my friend to tell me about his plan. He said, “The chief minister Mr. Saroj Yadav had offered a bounty of a million dollars to anyone brave enough to spend a whole night in the notorious haunted bungalow on the outskirts of the town, infamous for its spine-chilling tales.”
The bungalow was once a dwelling for King Janak’s courtiers in ancient times. However, it fell under the curse of an elderly woman, transforming it into a haunted abode. You see, my family was going through a severe financial crisis, and that million dollars could change everything for us. I decided to take the plunge and decided to face the fears and seize this opportunity. I gathered my closest friends, Sujit and Krishu, to form a team for the challenge. Sujit was always the logical one, and Krishu, well, he was known as Mr. Bean of Janakpur.
As the Amavasya night approached, we prepared ourselves mentally and physically. We brought flashlights, snacks, and our courage. The moment we entered the bungalow, a chill ran down our spines. It was dark, foreboding, and filled with an eerie silence that seemed to echo with whispers.”We can do it, my friends,” I said to Sujit, trying to sound braver than I felt. Sujit nodded in agreement, his eyes wide with unease. The bungalow was like a maze, there were a lot of rooms within it. It was more scary than we thought. There were spider webs, broken tube lights, ancient paintings of courtiers of King Janak and even skeletons of some animals, probably deer and buffaloes.
As the night progressed, the bungalow came alive with supernatural activity. Shadows danced on the walls, and strange, ghostly sounds filled the air. I swear I saw objects moving on their own. I heard the screaming of an old woman and it felt like she was asking for holy water of the Kamala river. Sujit and I huddled together, trembling with fear. But Krishu, fueled by alcohol, started to do the most absurd things.
He talked to the empty rooms, inviting the ghosts to join him for a drink. After two more pegs, he started dancing with a skeleton of a person kept in the hall of the bungalow. At one point, he even attempted a comedy routine, trying to make us laugh amidst the terror. His antics, though bizarre, brought a strange sense of comfort. It was as if his bravado was a shield against the unknown.
The hours dragged on, each minute feeling like an eternity. Our nerves were frayed, but we endured. As dawn broke, we realised we had made it through the Amavasya night. We had conquered our fears, and the million dollars were within our grasp. The following day, Mr. Saroj asked us to come to his office and handed us a fresh one-million-dollar check.It filled me with hope that I could now afford my sister’s treatment. Overjoyed, I headed straight to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, I noticed my mother wasn’t in her room. My aunt informed me that she had gone to the canteen for lunch. Without wasting any time, I reached out to the doctor and requested immediate treatment for my sister.
The doctor told me to settle the fees upfront, which amounted to 4.5 lakhs. I handed over 9 lakhs and told the doctor, “I’ve paid double the fee because I’m determined to see my sister in good health.” “The treatment had been completed by the time my mother returned from lunch. Tears welled up in her eyes when she saw that Anushka’s treatment was finished, and she was filled with curiosity about how this magic happened. I proceeded to recount the entire story of our night in the haunted bungalow, how I earned a million dollars, and how I used it to cover the medical expenses.”
My mother beamed with pride and embraced me, her eyes brimming with tears. It marked the first time I had shed tears after eleven years. Following my sister’s successful treatment, the doctor recommended cardiac rehabilitation. We returned home with hearts full of joy. I kept my promise to my three friends, dividing the remaining money equally among them. Life seemed to be going smoothly, and my family, friends, and the entire town celebrated my achievement.
However, my happiness was short-lived. A few weeks later, I began to sense eerie occurrences in my home. Nightmares plagued my sleep, and I experienced strange phenomena. From my sister Anushka’s room, I would hear faint whispers, ‘Please, provide me with holy Kamala water; I seek liberation.'”
– Aaditya Adhikari
Class – 10
Regent Residential School