Based on a true incident.
Chapter 1: Where the Mind is Without Fear
Adam was telling us a good story that day.
“So you are telling me that you can climb our hostel wall?”
“And how exactly are you going to do that?”
“Well, I climb like any other things I can climb. I climb walls as well as i climb trees.”
“Don’t pull my legs. Bet you can’t.”
“Oh! Really? Let’s see.”
Nobody could imagine anyone will be ready to climb the hostel building from outside for as much as 10000 rupees or even a bit more. The hostel A building is a 3 floored building, each floor as high as 15 feet. Climbing 45 feet without a ladder was totally insane.
Adam was totally insane.
“I’ve done it before. I can do it again.”
And there was the mada, setting his foot on a place where no man dared to go before. He was ready.
We peeled our eyes to see what this nut case was doing. He was actually climbing the wall.
He finished the first floor with no sweat at all. Then carefully he inched his way up …..
He shocked everyone in the hostel! He had done it! He had climbed to the top of the building!
This was a long time before strange things started to happen in the night in our hostel.
Chapter 2: The Ghost at Room No 130
The guy had come back after a good meal in the Mess. He had had a dozen idlis that night and was mighty sleepy. This ‘cool guy’ was VS Vinod.
He went to his room. He opened his door and went inside. He locked the doors and windows and went to his bed. It was 12.30 am.
At 2.30 am, strange things began to happen.
He woke up with a fright. He saw the lights were on. He felt as if someone had bitten him on his arm. He looked up, and then at the window, and then…
THE WINDOW WAS OPEN!
Suddenly, the window retracted back into the close position, as if a ghost had pushed it back! Then there came the most horrifying thing of all. The window banged again and again!
There was a sad cry that could be heard.
And VS, he ran and ran, he ran for his life… till he reached some other room. And there, he promptly went to sleep.
That was the night the ghost at room no 130 struck for the first time.
Chapter 3: To Catch a Mocking Ghost
The next day and the following day, VS did not sleep in his room. He slept in Deepak‘s room. It was too scary for him to sleep in his own room. The phantom could come again. But then, he did go back on the third night and the same thing happened. Finally, he went to the temple priest in our college for help.
“Father, I’m deeply troubled,” said VS.
“What is it son?” asked the temple priest.
“I … I am being haunted by a ghost. The ghost … it comes every night and wakes me up and bites and scratches me and…” and he broke down.
“Son, I know what you should do. Take this Prasad. Learn this mantra … Om…” and he taught him a mantra to ward of evil spirits. The priest also gave a tantric lemon to him to keep in his room to save his soul from ghosts. Now VS was sure he could catch the ghost.
That night, he waited till 3 am for the ghost, but finally he could not resist anymore and went to sleep after making sure that the window was closed. Deep in his sleep, he heard the banging again. He sat up as if someone poured ice-cold water on him. He fumbled till he found his tantric lemon. He was ready.
“Why are you torturing my soul? I haven’t done anything against you. Please leave me alone, O’ Noble and troubled soul.” And he began the mantra.
But the banging increased. And the window suddenly opened. VS ran out of his room, not to return for a month to sleep here.
And suddenly from the window emerged Adam, who could see Bhandaru below the bed, giggling away.
Chapter 4: The Mistake
The next night, our dynamic duo had no intention of climbing down 2 floors(VS was now sleeping in Deepak’s room) to disturb the Chitoorian again. They decided that it was time they changed the victims. That’s where they went wrong.
“Let’s try Swaroop. He’ll be really scared.” said Bhandaru.
“No. He knows that I climb walls and trees with ease.” retorted Adam.
“Hey, why don’t we try T Sundeep?”
We can recall that Thirumuru Sundeep is the smartest guy in the joint (Crap Weekly#1).
And then, that night, they started banging his door.
T Sundeep woke up with a start. He never believed in those ghost stories. He knew someone was there outside is window. He shouted, “THIEF! THIEF! THIEF! ”
The duo ran for their life! Bhandaru joined some people who were sleeping on the terrace, while Adam ran into a toilet in the first years’ wings. But T Sundeep saw him running inside, though he didn’t see who it was clearly.
By that time, a group of people, or shall we say, investigators had gathered. Siva Krishna is a character we should watch closely in this story.
“I saw him running inside that bathroom. Let’s get him.”
And our hero lies in perils, in the misgivings of his complicities.
Chapter 5: Trapped in the Toilet
As our investigators entered the bathroom, Adam had already ran inside one of the toilets and locked it from the inside. The investigators came in, finding only one toilet closed and stuck from inside.
“The rest of the bathrooms and toilets are all open. Only this one is locked!”
“I think he’s inside this toilet.”
“What a nerve! Hiding inside this toilet! Let’s break this door down and see who the hell this guy is.”
Siva retorted,”Maybe it’s a dog.” Everyone looked at him, and at that moment he realized that if they were not chasing a thief, he would have been laughed at.
The problem now was, was anyone inside or not?
Siva said,” I know. Let’s take a stick and sweep it below the door around the floor. If indeed there’s anyone inside, it’ll get stuck.”
They found a stick and swept it across the floor. But they didn’t hit anything. Adam had climbed the water pipes.
“You know what? We’ll go and call the security and fix this case once and for all!”
“Yeah. Let’s do it.”
“But one of us has to stand guard here while the others get the security. Who is it gonna be?”
None of them said anything. If the thief came out after they had left and if the guy standing guard was ‘assaulted’ upon by this thief, he could be dead before they returned.
“I have a better plan. Lets lock the bathroom from outside. Then the sucker will never leave.”
Everyone agreed and they locked the bathroom from outside, using an old lock as a hook around the latch.
They went and shook the security awake. There were two of them. They had heard about the thieves at night. This was exciting.
They came back and opened the bathroom. They went inside and broke into the toilet.
There was no one inside.
No one was in the mood to talk after that.
Chapter 6: Loose Ends
At 11 AM, the deputy inspectors from Kalapet Police Station had arrived, bringing with them, the least of things you would expect to catch a thief. A stick that policemen usually carry and a polythene bag. They arrived in a gray Suzuki and carried with them the aura of people who knows nothing about catching thieves and are more interested in afternoon siestas and rasam rather than thieves.
Rama,the Hostel Supervisor, greeted them. A crowd surrounded the Police and the Hostel Supervisor.
“We’ve been at the site.” The first police officer said. “You people were right. We’ve got solid evidence.” And the police took out a bidi and some coins which they found at the terrace.
“This confirms your suspicions. There are thieves coming to your hostel at night. Maybe two or three. We’ll .. er .. take the ‘Evidence’ to the police station. Call us if you find or catch the thieves.”
The Police left. Among the crowd, Adam was smiling inside, “You guys aren’t policemen. You guys are clowns.”