“This is all I know about the incidents” I told my cousins who’d been all listening ardently to this old local tale. Though I’d been only 10 years old at that time, I remember watching, with increasing curiosity, the entire drama unfold.
A few weeks hence, as I was sitting at a tea shop on the outskirts of the town on my way back from my evening-time stroll, I was joined by a man. His name, I discovered, was Kumar and he soon got engaged in a conversation with the tea shop owner. Just as I was making to leave the shop I overheard him say the name of his village: Shyamgunj. I froze. Shyamgunj. The word sent a chill down my spine. I immediately turned towards him and asked “Then you must know about Hemaram?”. “Hemaram?” he pondered upon the question a little “Naturally. I would have been 15 or so at the time of his death but I remembered it well” the man said.
I suppressed a desire to laugh. This man clearly knew about no Hemaram if he in his middle age was claiming that he had been 15 year old at the time of his death, which occurred only 13 years ago. But he seemed to be in full mood to narrate a tale and I was in no hurry to return home. Thus he began: