I was a fresher then , it was my third night at the hostel. Since we were new we had to face some ragging every now and then. It was almost like a trend , and that night was our final night , the last day of our ragging period. But who knew that on the last day i would be facing the most Dangerous and angry Senior “Rahul Khosla”, everyone knew that name around the campus and he was well known for his special ways to deal with juniors.
It was almost seven in the evening when i was called in his room. I stood still in front of him. He was tall and had angry eyes as that of a prison warden. I was tensed and afraid because i knew if i couldn’t please him, i would have to face his wrath, and i really didn’t want to be in that position. It was the tradition of almost every engineering hostel in India that the junior had to perform a specific task the senior appoints, and to my bad luck i was appointed the most horrifying task that one could be asked to do in our college.
‘Fill a bottle from the water cooler on the far end of the campus’. That part of the campus was not in use anymore, and no one wandered there, and the reason was pretty good. That part once housed the old civil department building and a tragic incident happened there ten years ago. There was a fire which started from a faulty electrical wiring and an old college professor met his demise there. A painful way to go. It was rumored that one can still sometimes hear the professor giving his lecture, hence no one dares to go there even during the day and us first years were strictly forbidden to go there. Everyone knew that a visit to the water cooler beside the abandoned building at night meant that your life would change for ever. But i couldn’t deny the task given to me by my senior, and at that moment i was more afraid of the senior than of a ghost story.
So , i took the empty water bottle , gathered my courage and started heading towards the other end of the campus. At first i had to cross the huge football ground , the walk past the mechanical dept. building and the cross a road which went through the borders of our college campus. It was rainy season and there were puddles here and there in the field.
As i walked slowly across the field every now and then I stepped on little puddles and the sound of the water splash a made me feel like something was pulling my leg inside the puddle. But somehow i carried on grasping the bottle tightly. There was an unusual silence in the air that night and the sky was cloudy so it was a bit hard to see, and the only source of light was the small lamps lit on the borders of our college grounds and the street lights along side the narrow road.
After a while i finally crossed the college grounds and finally reached the mechanical building. I turned around and in a distance i could see the light from the hostel rooms. The sound of people talking had faded away and there was nothing to be heard other the occasional sound of water dripping from the leaves into the small puddles. I slowly walked past the mechanical building and reached the road. I could see cars and sound of horns in a distant. The sight of human presence gave me huge relief and i once again went towards the cooler. I reached the cooler finally and started filling the bottle. The cooler was really close to the abandoned building which no one dared to come close to. I took a look at the building and in the faint light from the streets i could see the broken window glass and the marks of burns in the building.
I had somehow reached here and accomplished my task , but the only thing that was bothering me was i had to walk the same distance yet again, and that was the spooky part. As the bottle was almost filled i closed the bottle cap and as i was about to start walking towards the hostel what i saw almost made my heart jump out. I froze for a moment , it was as if i was paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t scream or shout and somehow i managed to gather my strength and started running towards the hostel. I did not dare look back and i ran for my life. I crossed the road and the mechanical building and crossed the football ground and finally reached the hostel and to the room where the seniors were waiting for me. I handed him the bottle and Sat down on the ground trying to catch a breath.
The seniors looked at me with amusement and laughed. The Rahul asked me to stand up and tell my name my fathers name and where i was from, with a shaky voice i said “i…..i am Saa..Saameer kumar singh and my fathers name .. is Santosh Kumar singh”.
Rahul looked at me with a smile and asked,”Are you from Patna?”.
I nodded. He stood up gave a pat on my shoulder and said ,” Ah, why didn’t you tell me you were Santosh uncle’s son…I have known him for years , come you will stay in my room tonight.” Saying this he took me with him. I was kind of pleased as being friends with the most respected and feared senior in college had its own advantages.
It was almost eleven at night now and we both were lying in our beds , i was still shaky from what had happened earlier. Silence had once again reigned the night, when suddenly there was loud knock on the door. I got up frightened, Rahul rose up from his bed and said,”don’t worry little brother i am here , i will check..”, saying this he went towards the door and opened it and looked outside.
There was no one in the corridor. He got back inside and went back to bed claiming that i might be someone who was just trying to frighten me . After about ten minutes, as i was about to close my eyes there was the loud knock again. We both got up, Rahul looked a little angry this time. I got up and said ,” wait let me check.”. I went and opened the door , but there was no one there. We didn’t hear anybody run away after the knocking so the person who was knocking must have been around here. I was looking around the corridor when i suddenly heard Rahul screaming inside the room , as i went in what i saw took my breath away. There in my bed across the room was sitting another me. He was smiling at us, Rahul Jumped from his bed and came towards me.
The person on the bed then said,”hello rahul , don’t worry , i was just knocking to make frighten you.”.
Rahul was really freaked out , he grabbed a hold of my hand started running towards the stairs. As we were running further away from i turned back and saw the door slowly close behind us and in between the gap of the door i could figure out the pale deadly face of myself smiling at me. Just we were near the stairs a gust of air came from no where and pushed Rahul away and he fell. Then a door on the side burst open and rahul saw me being dragged inside. Before he could see anything the door closed. Rahul was shaking with fear,
He came the door and started banging on the door and shouted , ” Sameer , open the door ! Sameer.”.
That room belonged to Rahul’s Classmates Nikhil and Sanjay. With the constant banging disturbing their sleep, Nikhil opened the door. Rahul rushed inside and started looking around the room speaking in a trembling voice,”Where is sameer? where is he?”.
Nikhil and sanjay were both really annoyed and they thought that Rahul was just drunk, So they grab hold of him and started taking him towards his room. They laid him in his bed and as they left the room the door automatically shut behind them. Nikhil and Sanjay were spooked , and they ran to their rooms. Rahul lay in his bed shaking with fear and then somehow decided to call my cell phone. He dialed my number and the phone rang, and then suddenly someone picked up the phone and a coarse voice came from the other side saying,”Do not try to contact the Dead..” and this was followed by an evil laughter.
Rahul freaked out and ran out of his room, it was almost dawn, he ran out of the hostel and towards the other end of the campus until he reached the end of the football field and there he sat down on a bench and tried to gather his thoughts. Meanwhile he didn’t realize when he had fallen asleep. After a few hours Rahul woke up to the sound of sirens and people talking, he got up and saw a huge crowd gathered beside the water cooler. He went there and pushed his way into the crowd , and as he reached the middle what he saw made him scream.
Beside the cooler lay the body of his junior Sameer with a filled water bottle in his hand and his eyes and mouth wide opened as if he had died from shock. Rahul did not know what to do , he turned around and started running towards his hostel room. His heart was beating faster and faster and everything was slowly fading in front of his eyes. He was almost at the foot of his door and he fainted.
Now you must be wandering that since i am narrating the story i must have survived, well when the postmortem report came it showed that Rahul died from a heart attack and the time of death was seven am and which was 10 hours later after the water cooler incident. I still visit the cooler every now and then , but its really lonely around there. No one comes here after that day. It’s just me and the old professor.