119 Lake Terrace Ballygunge. A house like any other in a street like any other.
There’s our room, with the green shutters closed, on the top floor.
This is Shonkar. Cook, valet, chowkidar, odd jobs man, you name it. Faithful servant of the Dutt family these many years past. Shonkar came from a small village in Orissa, where his wife lives still. He fancies himself a ladies man, or so we’re told, and does have a sort of swaggering insouciance about him which we wouldn’t be surprised to find the chicks dug.
One evening Shonkar told a story in Bengali, translated to us by the lovely Keya, of the ghost of a woman in a white sari with a red trim who haunts the little lane at the back of the building.
We couldn’t follow him at all, except the part where the ghostly woman recognises him and beckons eerily to him “ Shonnnnnn-karrrrrr” !!! Also the bit where he stamps his foot twice “ doof, doof !” whenever he enters the back lane in an attempt to warn the ghost he’s coming and to scare her off,
Here is the haunted lane.
This may…or may not….be the ghost.
This gorgeous apparition calls men by their name, entices them into her lair and then jumps up and down on them, sits on them and drains them of their vital bodily fluids.
You would think that men would be forming a queue outside.
We wandered down to wish her a happy International Women’s Day but she must have been off luring another man to his untimely fate.