My Dead Friend Haunts Me

My child was in no sleep mode. After all, his exam were over and he was in mood for some fun. I told him to call it a night but you know how kids are. That night he asked me to tell him a short story.

I told him a couple of them but it failed to catch his interest. I then thought to tell him a horror story “My scary friend”. It was December 2019. Bone-chilling winters had gripped Delhi and people were trying to adjust to the cold weather conditions which the city had not witnessed in the last 100 years.

I worked as a part of the maintenance unit in one of the high-rise edifice of Noida. It was a foggy morning. I went up to the 13th floor. My friend’s house was on that floor but he wasn’t in town. I returned to work after a 10-day break. As I reached the 13th floor to check the electrical wiring, I found the door of Rahul’s apartment half open. At first I thought there might be a burglar inside but, as I opened the door, I spotted Rahul confabulating with someone. He spotted me and came outside. He hugged me and we chatted for good 15-20 minutes.

Then I saw an identical Rahul. I was confused but he introduced me to his identical twin. He never told me about this. The two were sitting on the staircase and talking while I was doing my work. After my job was done I started walking downstairs. Right after taking the first step I heard the noise of a basketball. I turned back and there was no ball. Rahul also wasn’t there. I told my junior to fix the wiring and hand over the electricity bill to Rahul. He was shocked! “What happened?” I asked.

My junior- Don’t you know?
Me- Know what?

“Rahul committed suicide while you were away for a while”, my junior said. I initially thought he was joking but all told me the same thing and I just couldn’t believe it. I immediately took the lift to 13th floor. I reached there and found the door closed. I tried to open but couldn’t. I did everything to open the door but failed despite several attempts.

I turned towards the lift and heard the noise of basketball. I turned back and there was nothing. It all of a sudden became foggy at the 13th floor. I could see nothing, nothing at all except for the lift sign in red that was indicating the position of the lift. I stood there with my eyes closed and now I heard Rahul laughing. I again turned back and just saw Rahul’s eyes. He said: ” Won’t you come with me Sunny?”, and he disappeared. Somehow I entered the lift and as the gate was about to close a basketball hit me on the stomach.

I was hell scared. The next morning I went to 13th floor again. Today, I again saw the door half open and a shadow which kept getting smaller and smaller and vanished in few seconds. Now the sound of basketball was coming from inside the house and the door shut. I understood something was wrong here.

This was the end of the story, my son. Dhruv was a bit frightened. I told him its a real story but he was scared and turned his back towards me. I asked him to relax and went to the washroom. When I came back, I heard a laughing voice. The voice was of my friend Rahul. The voice was coming from my son. I held his hand and something hit me from behind. It was the basketball.

My son hugged me and I asked him why was he petrified. Without answering my question, he asked me to show him the photo of my friend. When I did that he told me I looked exactly like him when I finished narrating the story.

I sold the ghosts

This short novel is about a trick a person learns and then communicates with ghosts but how he sells them is something for the readers to find out.

Do read if you are willing to scan something out of the box. You will certainly give a thumbs up

I sold the ghosts by Shubhang Chauhan

The Horror Of My Apartment

I usually sleep around 11 pm but that night I was up till late. Don’t really know when and how I conked out. Around 2.30 am, someone rings the bell of my apartment. I did not get up at first thinking my mother would open the door as her room was next to the main gate.

I hear the bell again after 5 minutes. It was now 2.35 am. I got up to see who could it be at this point of time. Before opening the door, I saw the main entrance of my house from the small mirror glass. I did not spot anyone. As I turned to walk towards my room, I hear the door bell again. I spot my mother outside. I open the door in no time.

Me: Mom? Where had you gone?

My Mother: Rahul, I had gone downstairs. The cat in the parking lot is dying, get the medical kit quickly.

As I got the medical kit, my mother was not there. Someone that moment taps my back from behind. I spot my mother who looked like she just got up from sleep.

Me: How come you are here?

Mother: What do you mean? I was disturbed by the noises so got up but, what are you up to?

Me: Nothing really mom. I wanted to help the cat downstairs

Mother: Beta (son), go and sleep.

I went back to bed in a confused state. I was unable to sleep properly but…

Someone is trying to wake me up at 4 am. Son, get up, get up!

Photo by Pixabay on

Me: Who is it? Let me sleep. Beta (son), its me, your mother. My toilet is jammed please help me. I get up walk towards her room. Since I had an idea about the room, I could figure out things in dark. As I opened the gate of the washroom, someone held my hand.

Son, you are still awake?

Me: Mom, how come you are here?

Mother: Son, what’s wrong with you tonight? Are you okay?

Me: Yea, I am but you were in my room right now.

Mother: Son, go back to bed I suggest.

I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep until morning. I slept when my mother and sister were finally awake. Now I could get a peaceful sleep. I get up at 12. My mother and sister are watching television news. I sit beside them.

Mother: Rahul. My toilet flush isn’t working please fix that.

Me: Mom. Are you okay?

Mother: Yes, I am dear. I guess you are in sleep, you need some more.

As my mother started walking towards her room she turned back, her eyes were completely red. She was staring at me. All of a sudden the day time turned into night. She went inside her room and I heard a voice from towards the right hand side where I was sitting.

My mother was there. She again asks me to fix the toilet flush. This was getting crazier. Now, my mother again walks towards her room before entering the room, she again turns back and asks “Why are you still awake?”

This incident was making me go crazy. I took sleep medicines to calm my mind and don’t know when I fell asleep again. Again someone tries to wake me up. I see my mother, I see her red eyes. I am now petrified. And suddenly bell rings. My eyes are shut because I am scared of my mother. But the bell is ringing and ringing. I open my eyes and my mother is not there.

I walk towards the main gate and to my surprise, I spot my mother, sister and myself. I couldn’t believe what I am seeing. I looked at my mother’s room and she wasn’t there. I looked my sister’s room, she also wasn’t there.

Photo by Oleg Magni on

I opened the gate and shockingly, after my mother and sister, I also enter the house. The three are talking to one another and not me. I shake them but it had no effect on the three. I rush towards my mother’s room and I spot her. She says son ‘please fix the toilet flush’. I plead her to step outside with me. She did so but now the three who entered the house aren’t there. I turn back and even my mother is not there.

But from my mother’s room, I could hear the flush. I approach the washroom in a scared manner. The light is already turned on, the room is dark. As I come closer to the washroom…

My mother: Son, what are you doing here?

Rahul: I am here to fix the toilet flush.

Mother: What happened to it.

Rahul (Me): You asked me to fix it.

Mother: Son, you must have seen a dream. Go back to bed.

Before, I was leaving the room my mother says ” Son, were you dreaming or…” She laughs and then suddenly I see her angry face with red eyes. I run towards my room and jump on my bed.

Son, are you mad, jumping on the bed like a toddler. “And did you fix the toilet flush?” My mother asks me.

I Lost My Only Friend (Dog) Due to Coronavirus

Cute dogs

I am not giving ideas for short stories with this. It is a story about love, once can call it friendship love.

My journalistic career demands me to switch my mind and places in no time. While I was enjoying my time in New Delhi, my editor asked me to move to Mumbai for at least six months.

I couldn’t contain my excitement of moving to a new place. The vibe is completely different and I was looking forward to explore every aspect of the city. I rented an apartment in Mumbai and my journey began in the financial capital of India. I was adjusting myself to the new conditions in the very first week.

Weather conditions in Delhi were cold, while here in Mumbai the climate was pleasant and so laziness was at bay. There was a shop just outside the entrance of my society. I often bought household stuff from there. One day, it must be around 9 pm, I spotted a cute little homeless angel outside the shop.

Shop, outside my house

Image for representation

I tried to talk to him but he was quiet and just kept staring at me. The next week I just spotted him for one day but after that, I spotted him daily while I was returning from office. I played with him, cuddled him, fed him but it wasn’t enough to build the trust. This continued for around a month.

Once I just picked him up and brought him to my apartment. Like Mumbai was a different world to me, this angel was looking at all corners of my house. It looked like a foreign land to him. He inspected every corner just to make sure he was safe.  But I dropped him outside the shop after giving him food because I was concerned about his comfort. He found solace there. I knew some percentage of trust factor was still missing.

He would play with me for hours. I even took him for a long walk on a Sunday afternoon in Vashi. I fell in love with him. But suddenly a disease called Coronavirus engulfed the globe. Roads started to become empty. People started to migrate to their home town. Even I was asked by my organisation to do the same.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

While all this was happening, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdown in the country in no time. I immediately booked a flight for Delhi and went to meet my friend.  I had named him Doggo. He wasn’t there. I looked around but could not find him. I searched the entire area and asked everyone around by showing his photo but, no one had any clue. With a sobbing heart I landed in Delhi, thinking about my pet friend in these tough times.

Empty Roads in lockdown

Image for representation
Photo by Jiarong Deng on

The roads were empty. All the humans were confined to their homes. The poor child must be hungry and this thing kept bothering me all the time. After a month of lockdown, government eased restrictions. Now, I was asked to shift base to Delhi and hence, I had to fly to Mumbai to get my stuff.

I reached there in these testing times. Forget humans, I could hardly spot animals on roads. I did not spot him at the shop. After packing my stuff, I searched for him the entire day. It was getting hard to talk to humans because seriously, no one cared. Humans were hardly helping me and I don’t blame them. Doggo was nowhere to be found. All I wished for was his life and happiness. I could do nothing in this situation. I blame coronavirus for it because had it not attacked the world, doggo would have been with me today living life in a peaceful manner.  

The dog’s journey in my life was for a very limited time but I will never forget him and the cute face of the dog will be installed in my mind till my last breath. I hope someone must have adopted him.

Here’s How My Friend Wished Me Happy Engineers Day

I am a journalist and my life is very hectic as there is always a paucity of time in life to do other things. In fact, we often don’t have time to invest on our happiness and due to lack of time, I am not able to repair the minor issues in my house be it toilet flush or fridge or other basic things.

One day, a close friend gave me a surprise visit. I was pleased to see him after five years! We chatted for a while but then again, I had to rush for reporting. Life of a reporter is not easy. Most of the times you reach home at 1 am and the next morning you report to office at 8 am.

Well, coming back to my friend. I asked him to stay at home for a while and even he requested for the same because he had a flight to Lucknow in the evening. He didn’t belong to Delhi. I ordered food for him and promised to be back home at around 6 pm. I wanted to spend more time with him but it was an important day as Parliament Session was underway.

At 5 pm, my friend calls me-

Akshay: Yes, Arjun! I will be at home at sharp 6.

Arjun: Naah, I got to rush so I handed over the keys to your neighbors.

Akshay (Me): Why? What happened?

Arjun: Office work, will call you later.

And then he hangs up. I was today relieved on time since I requested for it. I went home straight seeking solace. When I entered home, it turned to out be completely neat. I was astonished looking at it wondering what had Arjun done. My toilet flush was working fine, my fridge was fine. There was some issue with television set and washing machine and that was also fixed.

Best part is the fixed things didn’t look as if money was put into it. It was fixed with some odd props. I immediately called my friend and told him that it wasn’t necessary and he was here to rest.

All he told me was Happy Engineers Day, friend! Arjun is an engineer. When I opened my closet, there was a surprise. It was a key remote. I called my friend again and asked him what’s this. “By this, you cal control all the electronic things of your house, sitting miles away,” Arjun said.

Arjun: I will call you back, working the new flyover being built.

All I wondered was, we always say how would life have been without friends/pets but, imagine how would life have been without engineering even so many computer functions wouldn’t have been available.

Real Hero: Filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput Or A Soldier

I am a former Brigadier of the Indian Army. As a retired person, I take care of my family, my house and myself. For me, it is always “Nation first”. This should be with every Indian.

My son Rakesh, a soldier of the Indian army, died last week in Siachen. There was a small article about him in the newspaper, a tweet from a news agency; some channels did pick it up but, the news was crushed by the ongoing investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case. It is a case that grabbed eyeballs across the world as the actor of Bollywood (Hindi Cinema), died in the month of June under mysterious circumstances.

Family of Sushant Singh Raput, the actor who left for heavenly abode, is fighting hard for justice and so are people and the news channels. You see the top 10 news channels of India, all have one thing to discuss, that is Sushant’s case. In India, people treat filmstars, actors as above everyone else.

Way back in 2014, at Delhi Metro station, I was with my son and there came a big Bollywood actor. My concern was that everyone rushed to greet the Bollywood actor but, not even one person came to meet my soldier son, who was in Indian army uniform. My complaint to the youth is treat actors as only actors and not real heroes or even a hero.

Delhi Metro underground station
They don't fight at the borders, they do not treat coronavirus patients. Posting a picture with flag on Independence day on Instagram is piece of cake but, celebrating Independence Day while guarding the borders of the country is real heroism.

When we boarded the Delhi Metro train, the youths were chatting, clicking selfies with the Bollywood actor but, no one paid attention to the jawan standing at the gate. It is really easy to write lines on Twitter for a military man martyred in the service of the country but the youths are failing to pay respect to the heroes. I am not saying youths should have offered a seat to my soldier son but I see CRPF jawas, BSF jawans and others standing at the train gate.

This hurts me because they are the ones keeping us safe and we can’t even give them comfort when they are not on duty. They give us comfort round the year and a filmstar takes away all the credit, why?

filmstars, filmsets

Yes, my nation did unite during Pulwama terror attack in which many jawans/soldiers were martyred but what about when one soldier dies, then people hardly pay respect or attention. If a youth follows a filmstar how would he/she consider a soldier successful?

I daily see on television that filmstars are successful, businessmen are successful but, according to people soldiers, who earn less then them, are unsuccessful. I feel so because no one talks about their success. Even I want Sushant to get justice but, what about farmers, soldiers who are dying on daily basis? When youths can’t offer a seat to a soldier, or regard them as heroes, how would he/she understand the meaning of life?

I am sorry but mentality of Indian youths is “Run for glory“. People will open, comment and salute on Rhea Chakraborty’s Instagram or Salman Khan’s but, how many youths have actually written a letter to a soldier, saluted or even clicked a selfie for Facebook? I know you don’t have the answer.

Justice for Sushant is a burning topics these days but how many tried to know soldiers/jawans killed at border, don’t include the border skirmish with China. You again don’t have the answer. People discuss about hardships an actor who was no part of industry faced. Do youths have any idea about the hardships of a soldier?

OPINION: The views offered by an author are imaginary and from the point of view of a soldier

My Coffee Teacher

I am a journalist and many other journalists like me crib about their extended work hours and thankless job. Despite all this, what is more excruciating is the low pay scale.

I often complained about my job to my family members, close friends and myself. I wish I had studied harder to become an engineer, doctor or IT professional. Apart from this, there was no spice in my life. Either I was doing field work, reporting for the entire day or doing desk job at home, with my window slightly open. This window was very important to me as whenever I did work from home, it gave me clean glance of the outside world from the 14th floor.

My building

Image for representation

On one fine day, while writing news articles from my room, I heard some not outside my window. After a few seconds, there was someone knocking. At first, I was discombobulated thinking who could it be? When I opened the window, I found a painter right outside.

Me: What’s the matter?

The painter: Can i get a coffee?

“Are you mad?” I asked.

The painter: I really need one.

Me: Go away.

I shut the window and continued my boring office job. After about half an hour, again someone knocked on my window. I knew it was him and it was clear his urged for a cup of coffee will not die easily. I opened the window and…

The painter: Can i get some water please? It is difficult to carry up here in these tall towers. I knocked many windows but some refused, while other did not open the window.

My house window

Image for representation

Me: Sure, hold on for a while.

I gave him water, he thanked me and the chapter was over.

The next day, I was standing at the window, smoking a cigarette and gazing at the world outside which looked nothing short of a race. And again, I spotted the painter. This time I thought to confabulate with him. The conversation spot was a bit odd. He was in the air on 14th floor, while I was inside my house.

The painter told me many things about himself. While I cribbed about my job which gave me an air conditioned office, and a few other perks; his job had nothing. He didn’t even know if he would get work after the completion of this project. I asked him to look for another job but all he knew was painting walls with colors.

My dream car

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It was obviously risky. Where I was unhappy with my profile, the painter had no complaints from life. While I wished to own a BMW, all he wished for is a good peaceful sleep. There was so much to learn from him. I always thought that my experienced senior could teach me but, they could teach me only work, not

Lessons of life”.

He had four days of work left here at my colony. Next day, I spotted him again and we both chatted for hours. I even gave him a coffee. By exchanging personal life notes, he got to know about my profession and requested me to highlight the hardships a painter faces. Honestly, I was thinking about it.

To attain glamour and money, we tend to ignore things and difficulties of others because frankly speaking, we are a world of mean people. His simplicity, tension free life made me wonder why can’t I be like him.

Our conversation for the day was finished and I promised to make lunch for him tomorrow. The next day, I spotted him at 9 am. He had to wrap up things quickly as it was his daughter’s birthday. I served him coffee and prepared lunch for both of us.


Image for representation

After lunch, I went straight to the market to grab a gift for his child. I always looked for expensive gifts but today, I looked for something with heart as my painter friend taught me the real value of life without actually teaching me.

I purchased a nice gift and was back home. I opened my window and spotted him painting the wall on the 12th floor. I told him: “Hey friend, coffee at 5 pm, my place”.

He smile and I turned back to do some household chores. I had taken only 4 steps and I heard loud noises from the window. At first, I didn’t pay attention but voices grew loud. I looked outside and saw my friend lying on the ground. All I could see clearly was blood. He was no more. An ambulance was here in no time. They took him away.

There was many thoughts going on in my mind, the lessons he gave, his smile, his everlasting happiness. There was so much to learn from him. I did not work for 5 days. On the 6th day, when I opened my laptop I heard some noise outside the window. There was another painter. He asked for water. I served him water and requested him to never knock my window again.

He might have thought I am rude but, my reasons were different. I closed the window which now might never open again.

I approached my editors with the idea of making a documentary on painters. All I got to hear was people want to listen about Obama, Trump, US elections, not a small-time painter. This is our fault because we only pay attention to glory and many such people die daily but who cares.