[Lost…! – Unusual Short Story]
Time flew gradually as we attended a music concert in Hampi, India’s one of the most famous historical places. But me and my friend Venu did not notice the time and now it was well beyond mid night. Adding to my disgust, there was not a single auto rickshaw at that time and I cursed myself for not coming on bike to a place which was so far from our guest house. With no other option around, we decided to walk our way to the guest house. The road was visible in the dim light of the moon and the weather was slowly changing. I am a big fan of Hampi since my childhood, not only cos of the beautiful architectures but also cos of the rich heritage it reflected. The night was not totally gloomy but it was dead silent with no other sounds except some crickets’. The coldness of the night is best known when experienced. We were walking without much talk. I lost myself in looking at those amazing buildings when the sound of auto rickshaw brought me to the real world. I was more than relieved at that time, nothing would have made me happier than reaching home in a vehicle. Fortunately, the autowala agreed to take to our place without much bargaining the fare.
I wasn’t in a mood to talk to anyone but on the contrary my friend got into conversation with the autowala. This helped me to return back to my thoughts again. Admiring the beauty of the once glorious Hampi which is now destroyed to pieces yet successful in explaining the richness which it once possessed. Though looted for six months continuously by the rival kingdom, it still managed to stand tall against the injustice happened to it in the past. It looked amazing even in that faint light. While I was engaged in these kind of thoughts, we saw an old man covered himself in shawl walking alone with a stick in his hand at a distance. He seemed to walk at a very slow pace and stopped to ask lift. Venu told the autowala to stop and drop the old man wherever he wanted. But the autowala did not heed to Venu’s words, instead drove fastly without talking. We both were suprised at his behaviour and Venu asked the reason for his unusual gesture. Then the autowala replied, with fear in his voice ” That was not any man Saheb but ghost, people come to Hampi not only to see these monuments but also for doing the last rites of their ancestors. I believe in ghosts and its not good to stop at any random person at this hour. Did you observe, it had no legs!!” Though I was shocked to hear this, Venu got irritated and said ” BS, I wont believe in all such crap. What proof do you have to explain this? “ Then the autowala turned towards us ” You should observe Saheb, observe carefully before coming to a conclusion. Look at my feet!”, he screamed. Goodness gracious, he had no feet..!! This was enough for us to faint and we laid there unconsciously. Next morning, we woke up and found that we were robbed! That auto driver was no ghost but a freaking thief.!