The clock showed 3 am. After an exhausting day, I had turned in early last night. Here I was, wide awake at an unearthly hour. I looked out of the bay window. It was a beautiful moonlit night. Instead of tossing and turning in the bed, I got up and made some coffee.
With a cup of coffee in hand, I eased into a deck chair in the balcony. The Gulmohar trees covering the Christian cemetery right next to my condo were in full bloom. The flowers wore a dull shade of orange. The white tombstones glowed in the moonlight, giving a nice contrast to the orange. The Arabian Sea at a distance had a silvery hue. The city was quiet, yet the lights spattered across miles, gave it a festive look.
“It’s a lovely night, isn’t it?” I was startled to hear a voice and turned in that direction. I saw a girl standing in the balcony of a flat in next building, few meters away from mine. She wore shorts and a white top. I couldn’t see her face clearly, but her long straight hair was quite lovely.
I said, “Yes, it’s beautiful, such clear nights are rare in Mumbai.”
I had never seen anyone in that flat before. I couldn’t hold my curiosity and asked, “Have you moved in recently? I haven’t seen you before?”
She didn’t answer my question, instead she said, “You live so close to the cemetery, aren’t you scared?”
“Well, Mumbai is such a crowded city, why would someone linger here even after death? Wouldn’t they go away for some peace?”
She gave a hearty laugh and persisted, “Seriously, aren’t you scared?”
I said, “Well, I haven’t ever seen a ghost. I don’t believe in what I can’t see”.
“You are seeing one now!”
The balcony was empty, she had simply disappeared!