Friday, 27 June 2014

WV-2/2


THE WHISPER VALLEY-2/2




Khushi felt very odd! She could feel someone's presence in the room but she was so scared that she could not turn her head and look in the direction where she suspected someone was present!

She tried breathing normal taking long deep breaths without alerting who ever it was! Her body went stiff with the sense of being intruded and fear was the emotion that she felt right then and overwhelmingly so!
It permeated through her body and made it shiver with a forboding feeling! Was the room haunted? Was it Willow Feathers! May be she did not like her occupying her room and bed!

Oh! Common Khushi! Thats all trash! Her logical self sprouted up!

But who could it be! There was a very subtle change then... she felt whoever it was drawing closer to her and she closed her eyes tightly reciting Hanuman Chalisa!
There was a slight sagging of the mattress as if some one sat by her on the bed and she for the life of her could not open her eyes,... as now she could feel someone sitting next to her on the bed and watching her! She tried her best not to make her eyes twitch! 
It was dark but you never know! If it was a ghost then she or he might have already guaged that she is not asleep!

Minutes ticked by... one...two... and then the bed moved a little as if the weight was taken away and she opened her a little and shilhoutted against the window was  a form! She closed her eyes in terror! What should she be doing! Raise an alarm!... but the door was locked from inside and the ghost or who ever it was,... was...was... in with her! Before people came inif it was a ghost, it would have a midnight buffet with her as the main course!

As she thought suddenly she felt the presence gone! She could actually feel that she was alone all over again!She lay in her room trembling with fear and absolute and sheer panic...
She slowly turned her head! Whoever it was... was not there!

But she did not hear any door open or close for that matter! where did it vanish! Into the wall? Khushi felt very very strange and scared! She wanted to switch on the bed side lamp but was too sacred to do so if the ghost o who ever it was, was still there waiting for her to make a move! She waited for ten whole minutes counting every second from the antique pendulum clock hung to the wall...and which was just opposite to the bed and was bobbing away making tick-tock sound and glowing radiantly in the dark!

After ten whole minutes she slowly moved and checked the bathroom door first and found it to be empty! She checked the slider that gave access to the turret! But where would anyone go from the turret! It was sealed and then she checked the door that led to the passage! It was locked! She collected her wrap and opened the door and stepped into the corridor to find a night light somewhere giving her enough light to tread softly on the carpeted wooden panelled floor and walked to the lounge that led to the base of the stairway! There was absolutely no one! Not even the trees moved as she could make out looking at the frost laden  French windows in the gigantic hall way below!
She retraced her steps and switched on the light in her room and gasped out loud!
Resting just by her pillow draped over one of the post was her scarf- that she lost in the valley! She went to her bed and fingered it gingerly and found that it was wet as if reminding her of her biziarre encounter with the valley and .... THE FOG! 

Khushi did not know how long she was awake but she was awake for a long time with the light switched on,... and did not realise that it was past seven thirty, until the housekeeper Rosemarry Sanders walked in with a tray wishing her a sunny " Good morning Sweetheart!"

Khushi woke up with a start and RoseMary clucked saying," Oh my my what a beauty and I am sorry if I annoyed you darling!"
Khushi immediately took a liking to the fiftiesh looking Anglo Indian who wore a lavender floral printed skirt with a plain off white top!Rose was a plump package of smiling face,short cropped hair... affable personality, absolutely generous nature and was friendly to the core!

Khushi liked her at the very first instance and greeted her saying Good morning...er...

"Rose! Call me Rose I am Rose Mary Sanders, the elderly lady told her and put the tray on the side table and said," Madam asked me to serve tea to you and here it is! Breakfast is at eight thirty my dear and take your time as I am going to ask the cook to make some sumptious parathas!"
Khushi smiled at the rolly polly lady who exuded warmth!

Rose turned and said," Whats this? You didn't switch off the reading light last night? Gone to sleep reading? Hmmm!! Thats not good!" 
She switched it off shaking her head and left after drawing the curtains back on the window!

Khushi stared at the beautiful room and also at the scarf that lay besides her! She got up and walked to the window by the reading table and she saw the lawns stretching into very wild and thick willows ! So thats why she could not see much through them the night before,she deduced! They would have been very dark with the fog and hence the entire thing made it almost opaque!
She looked at the scarf and shuddered at the experience she had the night before! Infact she wanted to ask Rose about it but thought the better off it and kept quiet! She did not want to rake up any controversy! May be it was all her mind playing tricks! But how and where did the scarf come from? Khushi! thsi is not your imagination!She told herself! She would have to find out eventually!

The Whisper Valley

"Aunty! Here! These are fine..." Khushi showed Rose a bunch of drumsticks that she held at the grocers and Rose beamed at her new assistant! Khushi and Rose hit it off well and at the breakfast Devyani after enquiring about her rest complained of headache and fever! Thats when Rose offered to take Khushi to the local market after making arrangements for lunch, having packed some for both of them in a picnic basket.

Devyani was too happy to allow Khushi to go and explore the valley!
" Bitiya! Hum... thoda ...tabeeyath humri theek naahi hain aaj! Kal aapko hum ghumaayengay!"She said apologetically.
( I am unwell child! I am sorry! Tomorrow I shall accompany you for a tour of the place)

" Koi bath nahi Nani ji! Hum tho likhnay aaye they yahan per... "
( No worries Nani! I came to write...)
Khushi could not finish when Rose Mary came rambling," ...you can write all you want in the evenings! The fog enevelops the place by three and thats when I shall make a hot cup of tea for you and you can write ok? You are young my girl! You must get out and explore the world "She said checking herself in the huge guilt edged mirror hung on the cove just to the right of the dining table!

Nani winked at her smiling and said," Tho aap inkay sath jaayiye aur dhyaan rahein teen bajeh say pehlay ghar pahunchna hain!"and retired to her room.
( Ok! So off you go with her and remember!... you need to return home by three)

Khushi thought Rose was too elderly for her to address by her name! They settled for Aunty and soon she foundd herself in the beautiful valley, in a market that was colourful and vibrant emanating the local flavour!

The Long Road, the main road at the valley was a haven for the tourists and the locals to buy anything and everything! From exotic spices and flowers to mundane household items, the Square was a market that had less of brick and mortar and more of hawkers offering their stuff on pushcarts and huge baskets either on cycles or on their backs!

Khushi was caught in the vitality of the mountain folk as fresh farm produce was being offered at throw away prices- for her who was a city bred, it was really an experience to have freshly brewed coffee which she shared with Aunty under a giant Mahagony tree!

"Wow! This is superb aunty!" She said sipping on her coffee pulling her beige cardigan's lapels together to ward off the chill that she now came to know was eternal and omnipresent in the valley come what the time of the year or day it may be!
"Yes my dear! This was  a no man's land and is ever vibrant!" Rose told her about the local history!
"What do you mean?"Khushi's writer's instinct sparked!

"Well...You very well know that, the English made a colony of India and so did the others! especially in the South India! The French and the Portuguese were as powerful! Whisper Valley luckily was a no man's land! It is to the leeward side of the Blue mountains the Nilgiris and was absolutely difficult to be approached by anyone so easily!
It gets it name because of the strange sounds made by the wind.... the wind escapes through the tall Blue mountains and blows in a criss cross direction making strange noise when coupled with the the tall oak and fir trees as well as the willows! It is usually said that you won't find this valley if you won't search for it she paused and took another sip!

"So...?" Khushi goaded her munching on her muffin!
"Well... You must be knowing the local legend?" Rose asked in her typical style raising her eyebrows!
"No aunty! I shall but go through it as soon as I can!" Khushi said earnestly!

"Ok! To make a long story short, This place is deep into the Nilgiri( blue mountain) ranges and cenruries ago a small human establishment came up as an ode to the scenic beauty of the place!In the 17th century almost to the 18th, William Feathers an English Major after a serious battle with the French lost his way and reached this place as his horse went berseck and brought him to the valley! It was actually named the Eden Valley... you know after the Garden of the Eden!" Rose went on!

"He took refuge with a local ruler and thats when he met and married Isabela Felleiro a portuguese lady whose family fled the then English army and made their home in the valley!The valley became their home!" Rose paused!

"Oh!... thats the legend everyone talks about!" Khushi mused out aloud wondering where did Willow Feathers figure in this!

"Oh! No no! This is the baseline of the legend of the Whisper Valley!
Will and Bella's daugter Willow is the central character in the legend!"Rose said.

"Oh! So she went on to become a legend.." Khushi completed the sentence for Rose!
"Yeah! Its a very interesting intriguing and heart touching story!" Rose said throwing her paper cup into the trash bin!

"Aunty please! Tell me the story!" Khushi insisited!
"I will! But right now, time to go back and give Madam her tea and make preparations for dinner dearie! Better still why don't you wait till I get you a copy of the legend from the local library! My mister is the librarian..."She winked at Khsuhi!

"Oh! Is that so?" Khushi was ecstatic!
"Yeah! Aron Sanders is the name sweety!" Rose said smiling at her.

"A Ms. Anne MacPhereson has written a wonderful account of the legend..."Rose supplied!

Khushi loved books and she simply said "Aunty where is the library?"
"Oh! Thats there!" Rose turned and pointed a vintage building to the left of the Mahagony tree standing proudly in the mid-day hazy sun of the Valley!
"Yay!Its quite near." Khsuhi said looking at the flat vintage structure that must have been a garrison of some sorts going by its odd quadrangle shape!"Tell you what! Do you mind if I walk down to it and collect the book myself?"Khushi asked her

"Ofcourse missie! Enjoy! But remember the distances are deceptive and the fog tricky at the Whisper Valley as we locals say!" Rose cautioned her!
"What do they speak here? Khushi asked!

"OH! We speak Tamil and English! A little French, Portuguese and Punjabi and Hindi too! Rose chuckled! All military mercenaries landed up here long back and the place is cosmopolitan!!
Ok! Aunty! I shall be back soon Khushi took leave an dwalked briskly towards the Library!

The Whisper Valley

Why did they have such huge gardens before every building in the ancient world? She thought as she walked a forlong into the gated compound to reach the library! She walked a good five minutes from The square to reach the gates and from there it was another three minutes! She walked on an erst while drive way which was lined with Fir and Pine trees that swayed oddly making an odd noise that Rose talked about.... that which sounded like someone was whispering!

she stepped into a very well amintained library and met Aron sanders! A stout man with a smile and a ponch! He was adorable and immediately placed her and said," Thats my missus! She might have driven you insane with her talk an dthe legend? It was borrowed recently and shoild be here somewhere..." He searched at the recently returned ection but could not find it!
May I take a look she said looking at the upper galleries! There were two more apart from the ground gallery of books at the centre of which, Aron sat along with two other staff members! 

Khushi finally caught the book in her fifth attempt!Aron sanders told her that, it was recently borrowed but could not find it easily! But here it was tucked away behind a hard bound," Battles of teh French in south India" 
Its been an hour later, that she found it at the third level perching on a foot ladder and felt like celebrating! The old book which was yellowed due to aging and was titled," The Legend of the Whisper Valley!"



Unable to contain herself she opened the book and started reading,... still perched on the ladder...

...Far away on the land of the willows and wisps of wind lay...


_________
Hope you are enjoying it...

18 comments:

Shubhi Gupta said...

First??

GoldenHaze said...

Oye Shubhi....yahaan bhi?

subani jayasinghe said...

What can I say about today's update?!!! Brilliant.. I cant wait to see next.
And I hope your feeling better now..
Tc
xoxo

Sri said...

Very impressive , I am eagerly waiting to know the direction of the story.

namendra shaz said...

Is this going to be a love story between a spirit & her? What with the presence at her bed & the return of the scarf....its not scary anymore!

Shubhi Gupta said...

Nice ud
Mysterious trilling woww
Loved it specially d room scene
Ud soon waiting

Shubhi Gupta said...

Yesssss;-)

Paramjeet said...

wow that was superb.. continue soon.. would like to know the story.. loved the update..

arnaushi said...

awesome update....how was the person who returned khushi's scarf back to her and was sitting next to her in her bed in the night....
loved the lady rose, who was very sweet and waiting to know more about the legend..hope it will clear some of our confusion!!

Charu Bhatia said...

The mystery deepens. Who came to Khushi's room? And now I suppose Khushi will remain in the library till late and the fog will envelope the valley. How will she reach home?

Lakshmi said...

Anu I love the way you are spinning this story.Perfect!!! Now looking forward to the legend ....

cuteazmi91 said...

Anu di u r great, fantabulous, the way u r taking this story is marvellous,the mystery which u has created about whisper valley is amazing looking forward to read the next part

Anu Reddy said...

Awesome update Anu!!!! Loved the update :-)

The mystery deepens and continues, who came to Khushi's room??

Loved Rose, she seems like a sweetie!!! Cannot wait to see where you take the story next!!!

Shalini_S said...

scarf returned.. interesting..

Siri said...

Awesome...loving the mystery so far

Shubhanjli Saxena said...

Sorry for commenting so late..

Awesome story. How your mind creates all that. last time also said.. Goosebumps.. this time also. Esp when that scarf comes back.. OMG.

Thrilling thrilling & thrilling.

Neha gupta said...

awesome story... very interesting

sweetygirl28 said...

Oh it was creepy scaring the wits outta her. And I am loving the description as though I am now present in an chilly hill station