A Couple of Bones And A Scull
My elder brother was a funny character and was very jovial in nature who entertained one and all with his pranks and jumping-jack manners, though he cracked cruel jokes at times. He had a strong body and sound mind with a fabulous stock of wits which created a brilliant sunny weather in an otherwise dull, dry and drab atmosphere.
A few summers short of four decades back, he was in class- viii along with me because of his late-beginning due to his luxurious upbringing in our maternal uncle’s house since his childhood. His early days were funful, but without going into minute details, I shall hark back to just a single incident.
Our school was situated in a very secluded place out of human habitation extending over a radius of half a kilometre in all sides. It was surrounded by forest at three corners and a graveyard at the other side.Except occasional corpse-carriers, no one else was to be traced on the road in the evening times and after the school time was over. The school, of course, had a watchman staying inside the school campus with his family of his wife and two babies. One of our teachers with an elephant leg and bulging belly and posing himself as a poet of rare capabilities with copies of poems ranging from the medieval age to the modern age reciting as his own was, also, staying inside one of the school rooms close to the shed of the watchman.
My elder brother being my own classmate was my friend and both of us were preparing our studies together. It was but a coincidence that we competed with each other for the top spot in the class not only in studies but in school games and athletics, though always I outshone him in the both. Only in one area I was found deficient to him was in wrestling where he was outstanding and he subsequently became state champion for fourteen consecutive years.
On a fine chilly morning, we decided to prepere our studies in a serene and sublime atmosphere of the school moving away from the dim and bustle of the home-front and we had the nod of our parents and the Head Master for the purpose. Incidentally, the Head Master was our relative and a close friend of our father and the suggestion came from his side initially.
We reached the school with our beddings and books in a winter eve. The teacher who was staying there was happy to find two little companions whom he thought of employing as little servants. Sensing his mood, my elder brother had a plan and he executed it the very next night.
My elder brother had the inquisitiveness of visualising ghosts always and used to visit abandoned places in the night time. But this time, he decided to go to the graveyard and meditate there till dawn. He went alone with a book in the moonlit night only to come back with a human scull and a couple of human bones. He placed the scull and the bone in the room of the teacher with both bones crossed and the scull in the middle in the next night before his bed time. Then we came to our room, bolted from inside and slept. At about 11 pm, we heard the knock of the teacher and frightening roar, but we were firm and never opened the door. In the morning, the teacher was not to be traced and the door was locked up. The room was opened by the watchman the next morning and what appeared to frighten everyone were a scull and two bones.