It all started that morning. I was sipping a simmering cup of ginger tea peacefully when our maid made her way inside the kitchen, sulking. She was mad about something, and the best way to anticipate it would be the booming sounds of platters and vessels hitting the sink when she washed them.
“Sangeeta,” she sulkily turned towards me with a raised brow.
“Is everything alright?” I asked.
“Madam, a woman committed suicide last night in our street. She jumped into the well we used water from”
I stared at her, mouth hanging open. My failed attempts at speaking something surely made me look like a fish gasping for water.
“Oh, so you want water?” I asked.
“Because if you do, you can take it from our well” she shook her head.
She mumbled something under her breath which I am pretty sure was a very colorful curse.
“She jumped into the well, which means no one is ready to walk past the street after 6 in the evening or well up water saying the woman who jumped in might pull them inside or come out of it, crawling”
Speechless, I stared at her again like she’d grown two heads. Seriously, aren’t superstitious beliefs in India just awesome? They don’t leave the dead either. Please note the sarcasm. Sangeeta sighed heavily.
“The owner is asking us to leave the rented house too, but it has a completely different story to it,” I hummed in response.
Wow, that was almost and first normal news I had heard since morning. ‘People die and then turn into white ghosts’ was the traditional thought pressed into society’s brains.
“The neighbors say they hear a woman mumbling something at night and that she might come out any moment to grab them,” she chuckled, “They think she stands outside the common toilets to grab them in the aftermath of their toilet doing,” she laughed softly shaking her head mumbling something under her breath.
I chuckled. Kids go in groups of 8 to 10 whenever they want to use the washroom. They wait for their turn, and the last person stands facing the opposite direction and mumbles the Hanuman Chalisa.
“Aren’t you afraid?” she laughed like I’d told the most hilarious joke in the history of jokes.
“What is there to be afraid of? The woman is dead and gone, probably taken birth as some insect somewhere,” she said thoughtfully.
I hummed, not knowing what to say, and she continued rinsing the vessels. She stopped for a minute and looked at me, contemplating whether or not to speak but then she gave in to the temptation.
“There is Amavas Raat (no-moon night) on the next weekend, and I presume most of the people, including all the grown men, are going to either stay somewhere else for the night or lock themselves inside their houses,” she said.
This time, I burst out laughing. As weird as that sounds, it was hilarious, the way she spoke animatedly about the ordeal. It was amusing to see her so cheerful that people are scared of someone who just died in their well. Well, I guess it’s just the not-so-horror-story type of a horror story. I continued to sip my tea, smiling.
Originally posted 2015-10-30 14:33:59.