Down Lane No:13 of deserted Tagore Street was nothing but what appeared to be a vast range of uninhabited houses. It was shunned by all due to the dark stories revolving around the series of murders which had taken place on this very lane. The number 13 was further ill-famed as the number is associated with supernatural dark powers and evils.
But nothing stopped the declining yet unorthodox Sen babu from taking his family to his ancestral property. No one resides there now, most of them were either dead or have moved away hearing the odd, mysterious stories talked about that place. Sen babu’s son was 18 and had moved away to England just like his father to pursue higher education, while their younger daughter, 9 year old Sushmita, lived with them. She was holding her mother Lara’s hands with a suitcase in the other hand.
As they passed through the various desolate lanes on Tagore Street, he speculated on his decision to hide the stories behind their abode, afraid that they would refuse to join him if they knew. Though unaware of the formidable spirit that approached them, the Sen family felt a sudden cold and strange feeling around them.
They approached the looming mansion which seemed wild and uncared for. Long creepers covered the white mass of their bungalow which chipped at various ends and was infested with bats and cobwebs. With several disapproving grunts from both wife and daughter and long complains about their servant’s irresponsibility, the exasperated Sen family decided to settle down in the unwelcoming new home.
The interiors of their house was even more frightening and unkempt than the outdoors. Cursing their servant even further for his irrelevant excuses not to enter this house, Sen Babu retired into the bedroom. He hoped for a peaceful sleep but that he was not destined to have one.
At around midnight Sen babu heard noises. Noises loud enough to wake him up from his deep slumber. He stirred but nevertheless crept through the long passage of his house. He searched for the source of the sound, leading him to his daughter’s bedroom. On entering inside the room he was horrified to see what was happening and ran back out. His daughter was standing on the bed, thrashing on the mosquito net and whispering in utmost despair ‘Dadu Dadu‘, her eyes firmly shut.
Next morning Sen babu with sunken eyes and a lot of disbelief edged towards the breakfast table. He was up all night fighting with his inner self, refusing to believe what he had seen the earlier night. His daughter seemed unharmed but he resented taking the decision to shift here and inadvertently have hurt his own family. He was jerked out of his thoughts by his daughter pointing to an empty passage and saying ‘Dadu‘ (Grandfather) as if he was present there. Although shocked, Sen babu had no time to respond as he heard a loud thump from the Verandah. On rushing to the spot, his heart dropped to his stomach.
Lying scattered on the floor was a hookah… His baba’s favourite one!