Where there is man, there is ghost. It is almost like the presence of fire behind smoke. If man is present, then ghost is his absolute future. Babul tried to explain the ghostly experiences of his life in the light of natural philosophy.
Thus he decided to spend his summer break in the jungle along with his Forest uncle; his eldest uncle who was a forest officer and Babul was taught to call him so by his granny who died long ago.
Forest uncle led a bachelor’s life in his forest bungalow as his wife preferred living with her parents in Kolkata for the greater interest of their one and only daughter Dew's study in a good school.
Babul was fond of Forest uncle and uncle too loved him very much. Babul became his uncle's all time company. Due to certain unknown reason, uncle didn't like to leave Babul alone in the bungalow. He used to take Babul in his office too.
Forest uncle didn't have any specific duty hours but he had to remain alert round the clock. Babul accompanied him in his normal forest round, snake capturing mission, chasing the herd of elephants and even conducting red in a secret hub of log mafias. Babul enjoyed his stay in the jungle from end to end.
Forest uncle's colleagues too loved and adored Babul for his simple and sweet nature and fourth grade staffs started treating him as their junior boss.
His uncle's life was full of real adventures; not like the adventure described in the books of literature. Babul didn't take much time to shift his aim in life; he decided to be a forest officer like his forest uncle.
One Saturday night, at around nine thirty, Forest uncle became extremely busy and active in constituting a rescue operation team, having received an emergency phone call from local police station, stating the encroachment of about three elephants in the civilians' residential area. Uncle was very much worried about the safety and security of innocent wild animals. Any delay in operation would cause havoc as civilians are no less than terrorists in such situations.
Babul too was very happy and excited getting a chance to be a part of such historic mission. But at the time of departure uncle asked Babul to stay back and deputed Daru Sing, his most trusted and faithful peon, as a guard and caretaker for his nephew Babul.
It was a bolt from the blue; he couldn't believe that his uncle could become so whimsical. He became thoroughly depressed and decided to stop talking with him and his colleagues as well.
Daru Sing was the most sincere and trusted staff of Forest uncle but after sun set his movements used to become very much unpredictable; Mr Biswas, the forest uncle, was aware about that but probably he forgot such silly things; may be due to tension.
Daru uncle said Babul, "Boss, take your dinner and go to sleep. I don't think big boss will return before morning. I am here in the veranda. You go to sleep. "
Daru Sing accepted Babul as boss in advance knowing all about his aim in life. Babul loved listening to such addresses but that night, out of frustration he shouted, “Who is your boss? I am no boss, I am just Babul. You just leave me alone."
Daru Sing felt sorry from the core of his heart but he couldn't become angry with his future boss. Thus without disturbing him, he removed himself from the angry eyes of Babul.
Within half an hour Babul got contented and getting nothing to do, he started dozing sitting on the sofa. In his dreamy state of mind, he heard Daru Sing asking softly, “Young Master, have you ever seen new moon at new moon night?”
Babul felt that poor Daru Sing had been trying to reduce his rage by being extremely humble and polite. Babul seldom takes time to forget his evil experiences in life. So in order to remove the ignorance of Daru, he replied, "No one can see a moon in new moon night as in reality it doesn't exist. "
"No sir it is visible only from a point in our jungle, do you like to experience it? The point is not very far from this bungalow." Daru replied with conviction.
Daru's confidence convinced Babul; he remembered the midnight Sun of Norway which is apparently impossible but in reality possible. So without wasting time they set out to witness a moon in the new moon night.
Within no time his eyes got adjusted with the pitch dark of the night and he started following Daru smoothly; it seemed there was a faint glow of moon beam, it was almost like thin twilight long after the sun set, Babul felt so. He was very happy and excited and he decided to provide certain advantages like providing extraordinary leaves or something like that to Daru when he would be working under him.
"Welcome! Master Babul, Welcome. Please stop there our army will give you head of honour. “Someone uttered from nearby bush.
Welcome note of a stranger made Babul curious and keenly observing the spot he found a group of people thronged together under a huge tick tree on the bank of a river. Two of them were approaching towards him. He wanted to gather some information regarding the hosts from Daru, but alas! Daru was seen nowhere.
"How is it possible? How can Daru abandon me in such remote jungle? “Babul thought without losing self confidence. Being cool and calm he said, “I think you mean to say guard of honour.”
The gentle stranger replied, "No Master Babul, there is no slip of tongue. Our army will give you head of honour. Commander, start. "
Almost all men who were thronging together under the huge tree took their heads in their hands and threw them into the sky and after some time taking catch of their respective heads placed them in their previous position. Had the tricks been shown in a magic show, Babul would enjoy that with pleasure but suddenly he realised that he had become a victim of ghosts again.
In the meantime the stranger, who seemed to be the leader of the group, shook hands with Babul and said, "You are welcome in this ghost colony and you are our chief guest for our new moon party. I am NRG. "
Being bold Babul asked, "May I Know your full name? "
"Oh yes, NRG stands for non residential ghost but they love calling me nowledgeable and resourceful ghost. "
"That means you don't live in this colony but knowledge begins with K. "
"Yes that rule is useful for human who are hypocrite by birth, as you know they say one thing and write something other but we are plain and simple, what we tell that we spell. "
"May I ask you one question? "
"Yes, yes I love answering any questions. Go ahead. "
"Why do I become the victims of ghosts all the time. "
"Very good question! You are neither too intelligent nor too dull, we like this type of boy as they can help us if needed but the real reason is that you are a bluff master, naturally our existence will remain hidden ; even if you share your encounters with us, people will never believe you."
"Why do you love hiding? "
"Once earth men become aware about our existence, they will trap and kill us like all other creatures on earth. Then we will become endangered entity in our planet. "
"Where's your planet? Can ghosts be killed? "
"Yes earth men can do everything; as far as destruction is concerned. Our planet is just three and half seconds away from your earth."
"I think we should start our day's business. “Another ghost with unusual long nose reminded NRG.
NRG responded, "Mr Babul meet my assistant, he is LNG, he is called so for his long nose; I mean to say long nosed ghost and he has the habit of pocking nose into others affair. So LNG, please keep quiet, I know my duty. "
It seemed LNG became angry with his assistant and naturally the atmosphere became grave and serious. To change his mood, Babul asked, "What is meant by the day's business?”
NRG resumed, "Babul, to enter into our planet, every ghost has to cross the river of Oblivion and to dip into that river is mandatory. Actually after that dip, we become fit for our ghost planet. Our past gets deleted for ever; naturally we become the happiest entity in the whole universe. We know nothing about our future. We have only present. Remember we have head but there's no memory card like yours. Naturally our happiness is pure and permanent. "
"In spite of that, why do you need help from silly earthman like me? "
"Good question. Recently a she ghost has entered into our planet without a dip into the river of Oblivion; as a result she remains sad and gloom remembering her son whom she has left behind on the earth. Now she is not agreed to go for a dip into that river before knowing the present status of her son. "
"How did she enter without a proper dip? "
"For this, again the earth men are responsible. Actually that lady died of corona virus; naturally like earth men our ghosts on duty too got scared in going near her and ultimately the mishap took place. If her problem is not solved, she will spoil the peace and prosperity of our planet. You only can help us. Please Babul, save us. Please bring the latest information of her son. "
"Where did she die? Can she remember anything about her past life? "
"I was a migrant worker; I was returning Bihar by a shromik special. I couldn't eat on the train for my illness. My son had all my food but I like to know what happened to him after my death? “A fierce looking ghostess informed Babul in her usual nasal voice.
"Babul, you have to solve her problem by next new moon.” NRG announced gravely.
"Don't worry, her death event became viral and I can collect her son's status via internet right now. "
"What is that? "
Without paying much attention Babul opened his smart phone and started surfing viral videos from different channels and found that easily and brought the News Clip regarding the orphan who was adopted by a renowned film star. Having seen both the videos, that ghostess set out for immediate dip being thoroughly happy and satisfied.
Being busy in his Smart phone, Babul didn't notice that almost all ghosts of that colony including LNG and NRG accommodated themselves in his little lap to watch the videos.
Videos being over, all of them took their own place and all of them expressed their gratitude to Babul for solving their problem. Babul too became very happy.
NRG resumed, "Thanks a lot, Babul, and finally our problem is solved. You must have enjoyed our sense of solidarity. I really feel proud of our ghostity."
Babul asked, "What is ghostity? "
NRG replied, "Ghostity is similar to humanity as on earth. There, people preach a lot on humanity, solidarity, universal brotherhood, fellow feelings and etc but they seldom practice them. "
It seemed NRG was fond of giving lectures which bored Babul as usual while NRG continued, "But in our planet, we seldom preach on ghostity, solidarity, Phanto-feelings and etc but we practice what we preach. In our planet problem is an occasional episode in the general drama of happiness and joy...........
In between NRG's long lectures, Babul primarily fell asleep and then went into a slumber.