Looking to this strange behavior of Sarang and Khalia, "What is the matter"? Asks James since it was his shop he appeared more worried about that happening. "Nothing, but I think today something strange has happened!" replied Khalia. Sarang finally decides to leave that place as he was feeling very nervous, wanted to go away from that shop. On that night only Sarang had the vision of apparition of Hemant but it disturbed them all particularly when Khalia told them that somebody had patted on his shoulders even though apparently there was nobody near him as the other three were watching him doing inspection of all cupboards. Curious about that James asks Sarang about how Hemant looked. Sarang told him he looked exactly like what they saw him twenty years ago. Only the apparition was semi transparent as he could see the bottles behind him. While telling all this Sarang was profusely sweating on his face. His voice had become faint, from this they realized that they should trust his vision and be careful. Khalia was wondering about that pat he got on his shoulders. That was an unusual experience for him. On that night they decide to wind up their sojourn, prepare to move out to their home. Sarang in his frightful voice request them that any one of them please give him lift, he told he will not be able to drive home in this condition, they obliged and that night was over. Khalia had given him lift as they were staying not very far. While they were driving home Sarang was repeatedly warning Khalia that he feels that Hemant will likely visit them over and again. Khalia kept quiet, did not know how to react to the condition of his friend. They had only sympathies for him. They told him that he should better forget that. Only Sarang knew it was not easy to forget that vision of Hemant. Sarang asked Khalia, can he forget that pat he got on his shoulders? Khalia had no answer to it. None of them had ever had such an experience before.
While driving Khalia begins to recollect that fateful night.
That fetal night these four senior students were sitting on steps of hostel building where students were residing. While they were chatting and cutting jokes on new students who had begun there new semester. They saw Hemant a very frail looking young boy who had just joined that college he was coming towards them. They cut a joke on him, Hemant had come from outside and was already late so was in a hurry to enter the hostel. It was late night and there were nobody around them. Almost everybody had gone to their rooms and so Hemant wanted to be in his room before prefect notice him. Not realizing the temper of these senior students, he takes them lightly and answers them back in similar joking mood expecting that they will respond reasonable. However, it does not happen that way. His pat reply annoys one of them. They think it is infringement of their superiority. Bali hold him by his neck and beat him so hard that Hemant a very small and weak boy falls down without any resistance. They get encouragement from that and continue to beat him. Hemant repeatedly plead for mercy but they do not tolerate and continue hammering him all over his small body. Finally they realize that Hemant is not responding. They get panicky, look around and see that there is nobody to see them. Sarang tries to see if Hemant is breathing to his shock he realizes that Hemant has stopped breathing. Hemant was dead due to that beating. Now this was not expected by them; an ordinary matter had become a serious matter. They had actually committed a crime of killing Hemant. For a while they do not understand what to do. James suggests that they leave him there and quietly leave that place but criminal mind of Khalia and Bali suggest that they lift him and take him to the terrace and drop him on the other side of the compound of that hostel so that nobody will suspect anything. They without complain lift that mortal remains of young innocent boy who had joined the college with great expectation. Mercilessly and for no sensible reason killed by senior students. They go up to the terrace and for their luck, there were nobodies to see them doing that. Luck was in their favor as though. On terrace they take him on the parapet wall of the terrace and see down the line and see all quiet, nobody around, they wait for some moments and drop it on the bush trees under it. A sound of thud and that was end of a bright career of Hemant.
By that time Khalia had reached place of Sarang's house and stops his car. Sarang gets out of his car and slowly moves to his house.
Story continues in the next post,
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