After Sarang recovered completely, Janaki told the two friends that it would not be proper to resume the ritual of calling Hemant for audition. Then she told Bali that they would come next dark night day. After reading the Hindu calendar she told them that that day falls on next Monday; therefore, they had better come on that day so that they can resume the operation. Bali and Sarang had no option but to obey that command. There were now only four days left to get Hemant away from them as Janaki had promised that she would lock up this spirit of Hemant on that inauspicious day. After that, he will never be able to disturb them.
They began their sojourn back their home. One thing Bali was satisfied about was that at last, they had come to something that could help them solve this problem; but at the same time, the way Sarang had betrayed the friends by joining hands with Hemant had disturbed him terribly. He could not understand how to react to such a blatant blunder on the part of his best friend! He could realize that if Sarang ask Sarang to kill Bali to save himself, Sarang may do that also to save his skin. Bali was shocked to get the idea that he is no safer in the company of his so-called best friend.
There was complete silence when Bali was driving the car. After some distance, they had passed; Bali broke that silence asking Sarang, what would he do if Hemant ask him to help him in killing him?
"Please pardon me for what has happened, I am ashamed of what I did but that I did because I was frightened". Sarang
"What do you mean by that"? Bali almost shouts on him.
"What has happened cannot be undone, as you can understand; now we should think on how to make him accept that he was killing us". Sarang began his advocate like talk.
"No body doubts it. We do not need any confession from him". Bali reacts sharply.
"We want him only to stop this carnage that is all"! Bali speaks.
They finished the sojourn without any more comments from both. Bali drops Sarang to his house but unlike other occasions, he does not go to his house and leaves that place quickly as Sarang gets out of the car. He does not even look back to him. Bali decides that thereafter, he shall not meet him under any excuse, even when an occasion demands that. This will save him from getting trapped the way James had.
Here at Sarang's house, he was feeling very much embarrassed that he actually helped Hemant in killing James. This was for the first time he had felt the guilt. There was no use in worrying over it. Nevertheless, that feeling of guilt he could not get rid of. As he enters his home, his wife begins to inquire about what happened at the place. Sarang was not in mood but as he was a very conscientious person, he could not refuse her that. He begins to tell her all that happened at Janaki's residence. She offers him a supper and after that meal, he goes to sleep. Sarang could not sleep even as he was mentally disturbed. Many years of good and intimate friendship with Bali, was at stake. He remembered the way Bali was looking at him when he asked him whether he had played with the break pipes. Sarang thought he should phone to Bali and give apologies as profusely as possible but he did not have courage to do it. Often he rose from his bed but again went back to bed. Luckily, for him, there was nobody around to see what disturbance he was suffering. He felt like weeping but for god's sake, he could not even weep a single tear. Sarang was in a very pathetic condition for the first time in his life. He began to remember those wonderful events, which together with James, they enjoyed. A screen was moving in front of his mental eyes in that all those events were captured. While he was wallowing in his bed restlessly and thus he slowly went into a deep sleep.
In that sleep he saw Hemant in a very ghastly form and he was pointing to him and saying, something but Sarang could not understand what he was speaking to him but from the gestures, he could feel that Hemant was warning him of something terrible. In that dream, Sarang appeared to be helpless and was on the receiving end as though.
Story continues in the next post,
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