The Mango Tree: Part 3 of 5

Then, on the morning of the sixteenth day, Hemaram was seen walking towards his house looking as if he had walked all night all the way from Shyamgunj. His appearance was dishevelled and unkempt and he smelt of liquor. Walking with great difficulty, he went straight to his house without paying any heed to the excited chatter of people who had gathered outside their house to talk about this scene. Once inside his hut, he bolted the door from inside and slept through the day. In the evening when he woke up, he was hysterical. He tore his hair and banged his head and screamed and cried till his lungs no longer allowed him to. By this time every man, woman and child in the vicinity had gathered near his house, shocked and scared. A warning was henceforth issued to every child by their parents never to be seen anywhere near this man for they were certain he was possessed by some evil spirit.

By the next day, it became known through some anonymous source: that the spirit that had possessed him was that of his father who had died a few years back and the unaware Hemaram could not attend the funeral. He even managed to anger the spirit furthermore by attempting to sell his ancestral property. The angered spirit decided to extract its revenge from Hemaram by driving him mad.

Later that night, the gardener hanged himself on the Mango Tree and died.


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