Twelve month wonder

That was a really weird dream”, thought Sanket. “ Maybe because I felt asleep reading that strange book. Talking of the book, I seem to strongly remember taking the book out when I was here the first time. “ But the book had been back on the table by the bed when Sanket had returned the second time. This was the 12th successive month he had come to this cabin in the woods on the full moon day. Somehow he had instinctively known that the cabin would be visible only on full moon nights. The cabin seemed to have a strange charm that seemed to attract him every full moon nights.

But he was not complaining. Ever since he had started visiting the cabin, his entire life had changed. From an unknown employee in an IT company, one of a quarter million employees, he had become one of the most powerful men in the country. All thanks to the magic of the cabin. All his dreams had come true. He was not interested in solving the mystery of the cabin. He belonged to the school of thought that believed ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’. He was not going to do anything to upset his extreme good luck. He never met Hanif ever again. He kept his visits to the cabin a secret from all his friends and even his wife.

As he lay on the bed he reflected how every visit to the cabin had improved his fortunes. After the first visit, he got a chance to make client presentations for the first time. Apoorva, the one who was the one who usually presented had had a minor mishap, but a costly one it had turned out for him but a fortuitous one for Sanket.

Usually one would take 2-3 years to become a client relationship manager. But then when George had to be removed from the company for his sales practices that went against the company values, Sanket was the only one who had sufficient relationship with the client to take up the role. Sanket had to thank himself for taking interest in the junior members of the team and educating them on the importance of company values. The whistle blower had apparently learnt the lesson very well.

And Sanket was not the first choice for the client relationship manager for the company’s most prestigious account – one of the country’s largest industrial conglomerate. But when the most preferred choice suddenly decided to resign to serve the society, Sanket was the only one available at such a short notice to fill in. So it came about that Sanket was rewarded for the noble thoughts he had awakened in the mind of his senior colleague. After all don’t good happen to those who do good to others?

A key to a succesful relationship is putting the interest of the other person before your own. And Sanket had been a very good relationship manager – he had put the client’s interests above his company’s. So much so that client realized that with an efficient IT manager, they could themselves hire engineers and get IT solutions implemented much more cost effectively? And who better than Sanket for the role of the IT manager?

Maybe the chairman of the group was genuinely impressed with Sanket’s initiative or drive or maybe he believed in the dictum ‘Keep your friends close, your enemies closer’. But whatever be the reason, Sanket soon found himself the executive assistant to the chairman.

In addition to giving an overview of the entire business, the position afforded Sanket an opportunity to interact with the chairman Mr. Agarwal on a personal level as well. This included getting to know his wife and only daughter Vaishaka as well. And Sanket the good Samaritan always willing to help others had made it his business to find out about her fiancĂ©’s dalliances with other woman and apprised her of the same. The match had broken and Vaishaka was left heartbroken. But then Sanket was at hand to fill the void in the heart of the damsel in distress. And so it came about that before long he found himself the heir-in-law to the country’s largest business fortunes.

As good begets good, evil begets evil. So it happened that Mr. Agarwal soon got his deserts at the hands of disgruntled workers of his tea estate. The poor tea estate workers had silently borne the exploitation for years. But luckily they had been awakened to their rights and the person who had reminded them of their rights was none other than their chairman’s son-in-law. Once the idea got into their minds they soon organized themselves and one day decided to approach the chairman to ask for a raise in their wages. Mr. Agarwal had got scared seeing the huge mob approach him. But luckily his son-in-law ever concerned about his safety had warned him to always have his revolver handy. His act of brandishing the revolver at them,  tipped the the angry workers over the edge and in their anger and fear, they had set the car on fire and burned Mr. Agarwal alive inside his car. And so it came about that responsibility of the country’s largest business empire fell on Sanket's young shoulders.

And to the cabin he owed all his good fortune. Sanket was always able to think clearly when he was in the cabin. He always got brainwaves after a good night’s sleep in the cabin, some kind of a divine inspiration it seemed like. And every one of these ideas had contributed to his advancement.

It was time for Sanket to return to the city. He had a very important meeting with members of the country’s biggest political party. He still had a long way to go. Though all time measuring devices stopped working within the cabin, Sanket always knew when it was time to leave.

Previous Episode: Return
Next Episode : To be Continued



The sun was blazing away in all its fury as if to boil all the seas and bake the entire earth into dry powdery cakes. The wind had gone berserk huffing and puffing in fury hurling the sand all around, scattering it all around. Under the combined onslaught of the sun and wind the land lay wasted. Wherever one looked, all that could be seen were huge expanses of sand. There was no sign of life to be seen anywhere. It was just the sands stoically bearing the pain inflicted on it by its tormentors. Amidst the swirling sands, one could trace a distant figure - A lone falcon in the sky.

The falcon braved his way through to the center of the sand storm. In the center of the storm, stood a strange four legged creature with a curved pointed snout, slanting eyes, square tipped ears, red mane and a forked tail. The falcon alighted on the ground and turned into a man with the head of a falcon. The beast immediately lunged at the falcon man. But the falcon man was an equal match for the grotesque beast. Man and beast fought on tirelessly. Neither seemed to tire! As time passed the fight grew more intense. Their fury eclipsed that of the sun and the wind.

The sun had actually toned down its intensity and the wind had become mild as if both were bowing down in respect to the true masters. The two were so evenly matched that it seemed the fight would never end. Unless there was some intervention, a divine intervention! And the intervention came in the form of a jackal -a ferocious looking one that was lumbering through the sands towards the combatants. When it reached the two combatants, the jackal struck its head on the floor and emerged as a man with the head of a jackal. With the coming of the jackal man to support him, the falcon man clearly had the edge and soon the beast was vanquished.

"You are now defeated, Seth. Stand up and face the punishment for your evil deeds, you vile creature."

The defeated beast now transformed into a man with the head of an animal with a pointed snout.

"You also want to be a God slayer like me, Horus? Come. Kill me. Avenge your father. Or would you want your bastard brother Anubis to do the dirty work for you?"

"You think you can trick us in to sending you to plague the world of the dead from the world of the living? That you shall not! Nor will your vile stench foul the world of the living. You shall be suspended for infinitum in the stasis between the world of the living and the world of the dead! "

Thus saying Horus seized hold of Set and began to drag him away, floating through the air. After what seemed like days, they found themselves in the midst of a dense forest. Right in front of them, they could discern a faint image of what looked like a dwelling lodged between the trees a few paces away. As the silvery beams of the full moon fell on it, the silhouette of a log cabin could be seen.

"This is the cabin of Anubis, the portal between the world of the living and the world of the dead. This is going to be your prison till the end of time. Your mind shall be bound on the side of the living and your body on the side of the dead."

Thus saying Anubis thrust Seth into the cabin and recited some incantations. Seth disappeared. Having accomplished his mission, it was time for Anubis to return to his half brother Horus.


One could see beads of sweat glistening on Horus' falcon beak. He looked very anxious. "Are you sure he is safe?"

"As safe as our laws allow. Seth's powers are limited to Anubis' cabin. He can have mental influence on the side of the living and physical influence on the side of the dead. The dead are beyond any physical harm and I doubt any human will ever come within the confines of the cabin to fall under Seth's mental influence. The cabin is visible to the human eye only on a full moon light. And on such nights, my devoted jackals will guard the cabin to keep humans away. So no way a human will ever enter the cabin"

"But what if a human does enter the cabin on a full moon night getting past the jackals?"

"If a human were to enter the cabin, Seth can communicate with the human, can influence him or even take full control of his mind. But the control will last only within the confines of the cabin."

Horus was still not satisfied. "This seems perfect. In fact too perfect, which you know if not allowed. Any creation must have a tiny flaw at the core of its existence as per the ancient and inviolable law of the ancients. So what is the catch here?"

Anubis nodded knowingly. "Well. If a human were to willingly carry the mind of Seth into the world of the living, Seth can have influence in the world of the living through the body of the person as long as he is alive. And on his death, Seth's mind will join his body in the world of the dead. However the human has to willingly invite Seth into his mind. So Seth cannot control the mind of the human and influence him to take him into his mind. So the minute Seth takes control of a human entering the cabin, he himself closes his one door of escape. Subtle, isn’t it?"


The door of the cabin opened. The young man had returned. The mind of Seth seemed to welcome him joyously. Perhaps his redemption was at hand. At last, the time had come for Seth to return.

Previous Episode   : Wish
Next Episode        :  The Twelve Month Wonder

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces