Friday, January 15, 2021

Ghost story: Well of Death (Maut ka Kua)

In this Rajasthan village, if anyone went near this Maut Ka Kua at night, he would never return to tell his tale. City boy Hari also visited the place at night. So, was he also sucked into the well like the others?

In one of his assignments, Hari had to work in a remote village by the name Bandipura, in Alwar district of Rajasthan, on behalf of his NGO. He was in a project to assess the village population and literacy rate.

It was early February 2020 when he arrived at the village in the afternoon and was housed at a modest dak bungalow. In the evening, he took a tour of the village and ventured further into an area which had many dilapidated and abandoned structures and some abandoned houses. But since it was getting dark, he decided to head home.

At night, he was remembering his days in Bastar, when he almost befriended the entire village.

The next morning he went out to the village to conduct an initial survey to find out the literacy levels.

He interacted with villagers, got some information and came back to his bungalow for lunch. Before lunch, Hari saw a woman just outside his bungalow, but strangely before he went to see who it was, she was gone.

Eerie, he said to himself. “Who is this woman and why are the villagers so quiet? They only speak when spoken to.” It seemed that a black magician had cast his spell on the village and until he withdrew his curse, no one would be able to speak.

Although almost all the villagers stayed silent, one teen-aged boy came forward to talk to Hari. He was Girish, a 12-year-old, who studied in Class 7. Hari and Girish chatted whenever they met and soon became friends. They really liked each other’s company and went out for walks together.

In one of their strolls, Girish told Hari, “I will show you something tomorrow morning.” To this,  Hari replied, “Why tomorrow. We can go now itself.” Evening was approaching and Girish said, “No, not in the dark.”

That rang an alarm bell for Hari, who mockingly asked, “Why?” Girish just smiled, saying nothing.

Next day, Hari was taken to a well, which looked quite spooky even during the day. Girish told him that this is the Maut Ka Kua (Well of Death) and whoever comes here after dark is not spared and has to die by falling into the well. “Rubbish,” said Hari.

Girish told him that according to rumour, there was a man, ages back, by the name Manno, who lived happily with his wife Sajo and two-year-old daughter Mita. All was going well when one day a beautiful woman by the name Sailaja disrupted their family life. Sailaja, who was 24, came to live near the house of Manno, who was 45. Sailaja was attractive but a woman with evil intentions.

She came to know from her mother that Manno was a well off and hardworking man and wanted to target him. From the beginning, she smiled at Manno, whenever he passed her. Then, one day, she followed Manno and when he was walking alone, she approached him and started talking. Henceforth, Sailaja would look for such an opportunity and move around with Manno. Initially, Manno felt a little awkward, but soon he started enjoying her company. This way, he started liking her.   

They would now walk around the village holding hands, unaware of the gossip going around. And, when Sajo, who could sometimes turn impulsive, wanted to talk with him about the issue, he would turn violent and hit her.

One fine day, Manno came home drunk in the evening holding Sailaja’s hand and said, “She is my wife. You, Sajo, get out now with your daughter.” Manno pulled Sajo from the house and pushed her out, saying “Never show me your face again.”

In a fit of rage, Sajo took her daughter in her lap, ran towards the well and jumped. Manno suddenly realised that all was lost for him. He screamed and ran along with the neighbours towards the well. But despite all efforts, he could not save his wife and daughter. He also wanted to jump into the well but the villagers prevented him from doing so.

On hearing this, Hari lamented, saying, “Oh God, what a  tragedy.” Girish added, “No man is spared, if he comes here at night. This has left the villagers terrified and they just don’t want to talk about it.”

But Hari vowed to come back tonight. “Well. around midnight,” he said to himself but didn’t tell Girish anything.

Around  midnight, Hari was heading towards the well and thought he saw the woman again. He walked and around 100 metres from it, he suddenly heard footsteps and was sure that someone was following him. He turned back but alas! There was nobody around.

As he was around 40 metres from the well, he noticed that someone was forcing him to move towards the well. He wanted to go back to his house but could not do so because of the force. 

As he was just 5 metres away from the mouth of the well, he was shouting for help but in vain. As he came to the mouth of the well, he was being pushed into it. With all his might, he shouted, “I am not Manno, but just an unmarried man from the city.”

All of a sudden, he was pushed violently. He thought he had fallen into the well. But no. He was pushed out and had received grievous injuries on his head and leg.

“Well, I’m safe now,” he said to himself. While limping back home, he asked himself — was he spared because he said he was unmarried or did the spirit let him go because he was not Manno? Whatever it is, he vowed never to return to the well again. 

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