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Introduction My (Ahona’s) earliest memories of the supernatural blend with memories of hot rice, white steam like spirits rising from my plate, the sounds of shakha-pola (bangles) on Dida’s hand clamouring as she approached with a ladle full of dal and the words from Dadu’s stories taking on strange shapes and colours, as the ghosts … Continue reading Editorial: Childhood “Prets” and Other Premonitions
I am telling a friend about an incident back in school. He is not even listening to what I have to say. I start narrating, nonetheless. I cannot recall what prompted me to begin. Maybe need to get his attention. Or, just say something interesting to enjoy his company for a few more minutes. So, … Continue reading The House of Rizwan
Dr. Krishnendu Das Gupta Teacher and Scholar We Bengalis have a tradition of ghost stories. Compared to the occidental vampires and werewolves or the genie of the Middle East, ghosts, ghouls are part and parcel of Bengali rural life. They are very many in number and their ghost class depends on their nature of death, … Continue reading Inexplicable
Manisha Naskar is a well-known freelance animator and illustrator from Bengal. Her work includes illustrations for famous Bengali children's stories like Satyajit Ray's Pagla Dashu for Pratham Book's Storyweaver and an animated adaptation of "Mr Shashmoler Sheshratri" (A Strange Night for Mr. Sashmal) as part of her diploma project . In this interview, Manisha opens … Continue reading B for ‘Bhoot’: In Conversation with Manisha Naskar
By Payal Priya “Paya I ate ....now play round and round.” My 3-year old niece Myra came running with my phone in her hands. YouTube can make her do anything; she can eat while listening to CoComelon, she learns rhymes and alphabets from Shafa/ Vlad and Nikki , she dances to the tunes of Chak … Continue reading The Cult of the Great Tree-Witch
আহাভূত , বাহাভূত Sujoy Kumar Das একেবারে শিশুবেলায় অখাদ্য খাবার খেতে না চাওয়া বা অন্য কোনো বেয়াদবি'র অব্যর্থ টোটকা ছিল ভূত পেত্নীর ভয় দেখানো। বাড়ির সামনের উঠোন ছাড়িয়ে, অদূরের ওই জমাট অন্ধকার বাঁশঝাড় মাথা দুলিয়ে সন্ধ্যা থেকেই ভয় দেখানো শুরু করতো। উপরি পাওনা হিসাবে ছিল, সন্ধ্যে থেকেই শিয়ালের তার সপ্তকে উচ্চস্বরে বিলাপ ক্রন্দন, – হুক্কা … Continue reading Aha Bhoot, Baha Bhoot
By Asmita Bhattacharya Many of us today may not be staunch believers in God. But how many of us can truly, confidently deny the fear of ghosts? As a child, pre-teen, and well into my teen years, I was a scared atheist. I didn’t know any chants or all the lines of any prayer to … Continue reading Yet Another Convent Haunting
By Saundarya It is often the fear of the unknown that lies at the core of a horror story. The element of horror is mostly used in order to keep the dust under the rug. This maintenance of the status quo may look like a piece of cake but believe me, it does not taste … Continue reading A Tale of Murkatta, the Headless Monster
I meet them in the bazaars, in the house of the store keeper, in the walls of the attic, in my history book, from my balcony, while going to school, at father’s new office, in the newspapers, in the temple fairs, in the looking glass, in letters and in the library. They are neighbourly like the trees of the square grounds that obstruct sun rays inclining them to the veranda of Mrs Bakhsh’s flat --- so that our clothesline misses the sunny wink and mother gets invective in early morning housekeeping. They can talk, laugh, sing, frown, gossip, sneer and think; I know some nine billion eight hundred fifty four of them, tomorrow there would be more, so I keep counting. I like to read them when in a hurry, they run like the frogs ---- ‘splotching’ on the rainy floors when Kalbaisakhi and wet showers hit office hours. They are concessions to recognition --- in this 'amnesian' world, where we keep looking for the specs, forgetting its use as a hair band atop the skull and that it keeps hairs in place better than wandering eyeballs. They are ill at ease with personalities, ears, nose, eyes, lips – they stick like cheese, though similar in the whole, their individuality is not amiss. Call them faces, if you please.