I was there in Karauli to attend a lunch at Mehndipur Balaji (a temple) hosted by my colleague in office. It was in December and it was pretty chilled that time. It was barely impossible to keep palms out of pocket. After a long persuasion, my boss conferred me a one day leave. It was a three hour bus ride from the town where I worked. I had reached Karauli a night before and I was staying in a guest house. I left early the next morning for the temple as he had asked me to help him out in the arrangements. The temple was 4 kilometers away from my guest house. So, I had rented a bicycle for a day.
The temple is hugely famous for paranormal activities. People around the world have experienced myriad incidents that are whimsical and baleful at the same time. The road to temple has a 1 km long stretch of bridge with deep valleys on both sides. It is advised that one should not walk through that bridge after sunset.
The lunch got over by five in the evening. By the time we were done with submitting the issued temple material like utensils, tables, chairs etc. it was almost seven. My friend was quiet an effeminate and cowardly person. On realizing that it is quiet late to leave the temple premises he had booked a room in the temple’s guest house which was right beside the temple.
I needed to join office the next day. The leave was over and my job was at stake. I explained my situation to him and decided to leave for the guest house in order to collect all of my belongings and catch a 10:30 pm bus. Though he had warned me but I was out of options.
I started my journey back. As soon as I reached the beginning of the bridge, the Tyre got punctured. I was relying on the ploy of cycling at my top speed to cross the bridge. Now it was not even on the charts. I was shivering due to cold and fear both. I started walking on the bridge. I had hardly walked for few minutes when I heard crackle from my bicycle. When I stopped to look at the problem I was startled to see a headless man standing right beside me. I yelped but the sound didn’t come out of the throat. There was no point in running as I knew I cannot out run him. I started walking again without paying heed to things around me. I could hear the footsteps of the person walking beside me. I was drenched in sweat.
I used to smoke that time. In order to divert my attention I took out a cigarette from the pack and lit it. Suddenly, I heard a voice asking for a cigarette. I was perplexed and petrified to find out that a person without head was talking. My hands shuddered as I offered him the one I was smoking. But he asked me to give a new cigarette from the pack. He annexed that the one I have offered is a trifle to him.
I brooded on this fact and decided that I won’t fulfill his wish. It might be a big gaffe. I kept on walking. Whenever I took out a new cigarette I heard the same voice asking for a cigarette. But I offered him a cigarette only after I have lit it by myself. This went on for a while until I reached the end of the bridge.
As soon as I crossed the bridge the sound of footsteps stopped. I heard a voice that succinctly told me that my act of not sharing a genuine commodity saved my life. Also, I was warned that I should never return else it might be my last journey.
I was tormented by the time I reached guest house. I was knackered and I slept. I knew deep inside that I have lost my job but that didn’t bother me. I was annoyed by the fact that I can’t share it with anyone. I will obviously be considered a cretin.
It took me three days to reach an equilibrium. I was there in the guest house and was without a job.