The incident dates back to quite some years. Set back in the “City of Joy”, Kolkata in India, when it indeed was one. Like many settlers arriving from the suburbs in search of better pastures of progress the family of the Bhattacharjee’s moved into the city. They left their ancestral property back in their village under a lease agreement with another of their relative.
The family of five consisting of Mr Bhattacharjee and his wife and three children all aged between twelve and seventeen, moved into the house that stood in the middle ofRussel Street
. A double storied building with large spacious rooms and high ceiling. The family was thrilled not only with the experience of coming into city life which was and is yet considered a mark of status and progress. They were also thrilled at the airy atmosphere which resembled their village premises to a great extent. The children immediately settled down into their own rooms with the eldest brother declaring rights over one room for sole and single occupancy in the ground floor. The three other siblings were contended with sharing one room of spacious dimensions in the ground floor itself. The parents took up the master bedroom that was situated on the upper floor.
After the initial euphoria and sibling related skirmishes concerning who lost the others running watches, had eased off they all settled for the night, to sleep. The silence that ensued was suddenly broken by a shriek from the eldest son’s room and his rushing out into the common hall shivering and white eyed. The rest of the family too rushed into his presence. In between his yet chattering teeth he mentioned that he had experienced a girl in full bridal make up asking him to leave the room.
The rest of the family laughed at this narrative, Mr Bhattacharjee was very cross with his son, that fear could ever be a part of his son was unthinkable to him. The eldest brother was not to be convinced though and he shifted into his siblings’ room.
Next morning the broker who had arranged for the house for the Bhattacharjee’s, arrived to collect his percentage from the deal, as well as to collect rent on behalf of the actual owner. Mr Bhattacharjee narrated the incident of his eldest son from the night before. He narrated it as a matter of sharing humor with the broker. The broker heard it all and then was hesitant in collecting the cash that Mr Bhattacharjee was offering him against the deal that had been agreed upon. When Mr Bhattacharjee asked of him the matter, he stated that the previous occupant of the house of the house had a daughter who had passed away due some natural circumstance just the day before her marriage.
Mr Bhattacharjee drew back the hand that held out the money, the broker also looked quizzically and they both silently agreed that the house should not be lived in. To this date the single house on Russel Street yet remains unoccupied and no one is sure the exact reason why.