Back in 2015, I took a trip to my native village to spend time with my cousins. When I packed my suitcase for the trip, I did not have the slightest intuition with what memories and experience I will return. . Uncle and cousins were so warm and I never felt like a guest. It was so delightful to spend time with them. The huge courtyard was meant to have long chats, sharing experiences over dinner and playing games. Unlike the city, village life was so peaceful and in harmony with nature.
Days passed quickly and vacation was going to end soon. One afternoon it happened that I was all alone at home for a few hours, I decided to turn it into an adventure. There was a bicycle lying in the corner of the yard, no one rode on it at all. So this was the best chance. Within no time I was in the tiny lanes dodging the kids, the scent of the mud in the breeze blowing, the women gossiping in groups, all so fascinating. As I rode, I reached the outskirts of the village and what do I see a beautiful lake. Shimmering with its crystal clear water, the view was spectacular. There was huge tree beside the lake reflecting its image. I placed the bicycle against the tree and sat near the edge of the lake.
The most peaceful and serene place I came across after along time. I wondered, why my cousins never mentioned about this place. I got engrossed in clicking pictures. Suddenly I felt someone tapped on my shoulder, I looked back but not a single soul visible. I did not pay, heed as I assumed it must be the wind. Selfie with the bicycle was a must. As I approached the tree, what do I see the bicycle was missing? I was blank, searching here and there, to no avail. The sun was about to set, soon it would be dark. The whole thing was now giving me a creepy feeling. I decided to walk home increasing my pace, chanting all the prayers I recalled. I was walking faster and faster clueless about the missing bicycle. I halted for a second to take a breath. Suddenly from nowhere an old man comes standing near me with the bicycle. With a weird smile on his face, he asked whether it was mine. I just pulled it from him. He knew I was a guest at my uncle’s home. He had a bunch of letters with him, he handed me one to give it to uncle. I just nodded and speeded up on my bicycle. At a little distance I turned back, but he vanished as if the wind had swallowed him.
On reaching home, needless to add I had to go through everyone’s wrath. On hearing the incident, my uncle mentioned that the old man was the village postman. Some years back he had drowned in that lake accidentally. He had a bicycle which was very special to him. The same one which I rode on. Uncle had bought it from the postman’s son. He and some of the villagers had a similar encounter. So no one goes near the lakeside. I searched my pocket for the letter, but could not find it. Nobody would ever guess the terrible secret this village holds. I knew I was going to have trouble sleeping for several nights. Then came the time to say goodbye to all .The trip was over with fond memories and spine chilling encounter. Back home while unpacking my suitcase I found the same letter, with trembling hands I opened, it read “Thanks for the ride”.