The usual calming evening breeze had ceased to blow. It was unnatural he thought and shrugged his shoulders. He could hear the river flowing nearby, the hissing sound of the water made him thirsty. He made a move in that direction but stopped midway. Tales of the hunting expeditions rang in his ears. River banks were the perfect spots to hunt down animals as they assembled there at night to quench their thirst.
Thanking God for gifting him with a sharp memory, he heaved a sigh of relief and continued walking. The sounds in the forest are disturbing especially if you can’t figure out the sources. The man was now frightened. The stories that they narrated at the chowk, always seemed fascinating to him and he always dismissed them. But now he was beginning to lose conviction in himself and in his rational behavior. Could the stories be true?
There was no end in sight, he could feel his calves cramping but he did not dare stop. When, suddenly he heard his name being called, he almost tripped in his tracks. He couldn’t place the voice but it was strangely similar, he cursed his memory and felt a hand on his shoulder. He shut his eyes and started chanting the chalisa, “Vishnu!” he heard it again, the fingers dug into his flesh as he felt the grip tighten; there was an urgency in that voice.