The Lake Lady

Gulshan was a typical ‘US Return’, as they called him in the little village of Shantinagar. He had come over for spending the summer, but most of it had been a bust. There wasn’t really anyone with whom he could spend time. His cousins were just so different from him, and they all were at the age where acceptance is hard to give out, yet they were all seeking for it.

He wasn’t really accepted in the inner circles of his cousins, so consequently he spent a lot of time browsing around the crumbling village that Shantinagar was. The older side of the town always had a wonderful new surprise waiting for him, and equipped with his father’s camera, he found that he did have a good time in that bit of the village; the one place in the whole village that seemed to be his own.

It was at this eastern end of the village, that he had stumbled upon the green murky pond. He remembered the wonderful ponds that were there at the perfectly manicured parks back home. A part of him, thus, had expected something along those lines as he drew closer to the murky pond. He was in for a shock, though. The steps leading down to the pond were broken and worn. The whole pond seemed green, unlike the pristine blue clear watered ponds that he was used to. However, it didn’t seem that the water was that dirty. One look at it, and he knew that this little body of water was a world of its own.

“It used to be much more beautiful than this before,” said a soft voice behind him, “the water was clearer, and you could see the fishes zooming around in the water.”

He turned around, and saw a beautiful teenage girl sitting a few steps behind him. She was wearing a simple white dress that seemed to glow amber in the setting sun. Her face glowed as the dying sunlight played its charm on it just before saying goodbye, and even the breeze seemed to smile at her beauty. She was covered from head to toe, and just her face was visible. She sat there, smiling slightly, while he just stood there gaping at her.

The smile eventually turned into a small laugh, and he knew she was waiting for him to stop staring and say something.

“Hi, I’m Gulshan. I’m sorry, I didn’t see you sitting there, I wanted to get a good look at the pond, and get a few shots before the sun went down.”

“I know who you are, I’ve heard about you. You’re Ranabir Babu’s nephew. My name’s Chhaya. I hope you’re enjoying the village life?” she said, with the same teasing smile from before.

“I don’t know how to say this, I’ve seen everyone is quite sensitive about the ‘precious’ little village of yours!”

“I promise, I’ll try my best not to judge you,” she answered. “So, what is it that you cannot say to everyone, that you’re so desperately want to say?”

“My vacation blows. I’m doing nothing here, I feel so completely out of place, and I miss my friends back home,” he thought aloud, and realized for the first time how much he missed everything back at home.

“Don’t worry, you’ll see them soon enough. Life’s very long, you’ll see,” she said, with that radiant smile again, the one that glowed amber with the sun, and he smiled along with her, in those final minutes of the day.


He was back to the pond the next day, and saw her sitting there again. Once more, he couldn’t help but keep admiring her beauty from the moment he had seen her, until she noticed of course. After that, he had a very hard time not to keep looking at her, lest she understand what was going on in his heart. He really didn’t want to scare her away…

“You know, there was a time when this pond was much more than that. It was a lake, a proper sized one too. See the other side of that ditch, where the fields are, with the buffaloes? That’s where the lake used to stretch to. I was a little girl when I first saw it. I’ve been hoping ever since, that someday, the pond would once more become a lake,” she said, with a faraway, wistful look on her face.

“Wow, you can hardly see till that side from here. Some sight it would have been too, in those days,” he wondered aloud, trying to imagine how wonderful the lake would have looked, in those last few beautiful rays of the sunlight, with Chhaya sitting on the bank, reflected in the clear water.

He couldn’t help but look at Chhaya once more, and this time, he didn’t really care that she had noticed. A tiny smile formed at the edge of her lips, and she asked him without looking at him, “What?”

“You’re Beautiful,” he smiled back.


They met almost every day after that, at that same spot. He would come to the lake, at that very specific twilight hour, and find her sitting there in the beautiful orange sunlight. He would rush every day to her, armed with the camera, and together they would sit there, and take many pictures. The gnarled branches, the birds, the pond, and the dilapidated huts they could see behind the fields, the lazy buffaloes.

He had brought a bouquet of flowers for her, but for a strange reason, he felt nervous giving them to her. He really wanted her to like him, and the flowers too. He had picked them out himself, spending two hours in the hot sun, choosing the best ones in the whole village that he could find.

When she gave it to her though, she couldn’t stop laughing. “Oh, I love the flowers! Sorry, but it’s just that – look around, Gulshan. I’m surrounded by the most beautiful flowers,” she said, with that familiar, beautiful smile back on her face.

“Wow, you’re right! How come I never noticed them before here?” he asked, although he knew the answer to that very well. In truth, he hadn’t noticed much around the place. It wasn’t really easy to focus on your surroundings when there’s as beautiful a girl as Chhaya in front of you.

“I got you a gift too, you know,” she said to him, with a hint of a blush on her face.

“You did? What is it? Where is it?”

“Well, it’s actually a silly little poem that I had written last night.”

“I want to hear it! Go on, recite it. I promise you I’ll like it,” he said, eager to hear the poem.

“Ok, but don’t laugh. Here goes.

“The hillside looking like an artist’s palette

The colors, the hue, the green, the blue

A freshly laundered day awaits

Two lovers walk, first steps in the dew

Hand in hand, heart to heart

They walk away from the eyes of the world

The look, the touch, the sweet promise

A gift of love, the flowers she yearned….

“I know it’s not much, and I know it’s a very silly, stupid poem. It’s ok if you don’t like it, really, Gulshan!’

“Are you kidding me? That’s one of the sweetest poems I’ve heard in a long time now,” he said, with all honestly. He really hadn’t expected her to have written a poem for him. “Although, there’s one little thing; how did you know that I was going to bring you flowers today?”

“I didn’t. I just hoped,” she said, locking her eyes into his, and smiling while the sun set behind them


It was his last evening in the village. He had never thought that there could be anything here that would make him want to stay on so much, as Chhaya. He knew that he wanted to stay here forever, to be able to meet her every day on the bank of the lake. He knew that he wanted to stay over forever, so that he could share the little joys of his life with her for the rest of his life. He knew that he wanted to stay on, so that someday, he could go up to her and say…

“I love you, Chhaya.”


“I said I love you,” he said again, “and I really mean it. All I want to do is stay with you, right here next to the lake. We can have a house right here, and live on forever.”

“Go on,” urged Chhaya, with a look on her face that said that she had been waiting to hear these words for a long time now.

“We would live in this village, right here. I won’t leave. I’ll work at the fields, whatever it takes, to be with you. And someday, I’ll see the pond become a lake, sitting right here, with you. I love you, Chhaya.”

“Say it one more time, Gulshan,” she said, with that same hungry look from before.

“I love you.”

“Oh, it’s been so long since anyone has said those words to me. Gulshan, you’re so wonderful. Of course I love you too. I’ve been waiting so long, for someone to tell me those words again, so many years I’ve spent waiting for someone like you, on these tired, old and worn out steps.”

“Chhaya, are you alright? You seem a little weird. Should I not have said it? Was it too early?”

“No, no. You’re wonderful, Gulshan. You just reminded me so much of my fiancé.”

“Your fiancé? You were about to be married, to another man?”

“A long time ago, yes,” Chhaya said, with a tired look on her face. A look that didn’t suit her at all, and made her look mysteriously old.

“Were you ever planning on telling me this, Chhaya? What happened to him?” demanded Gulshan.

Chhaya turned around and faced him, and said, “He killed me. He threw me into that lake. I drowned that day.”

Gulshan couldn’t speak for a few moments. Then, his senses came back to him, and he laughed, “You’re winding me up right? This is a joke, right?” he said, wanting his brain to believe that he wasn’t scared by what he was hearing.

“No, Gulshan. I’m not joking. I was killed by the man I loved, the man who I was set to be married to. 213 years ago it happened. We had an argument, and he pushed me into the lake. I couldn’t swim, so I drowned.”

“213 years ago? How can that be? You’re standing here, right in front of me! Are you telling me that you’re a ghost, Chhaya?”

“I don’t know what I am, Gulshan. I really don’t know what I am; but I do know that now, we are in love, and we shall be happy together, won’t we?”

And she took her hand, and gently touched his cheeks – only now, her hands were not the same beautiful hands that Gulshan had seen for so many days. Now, they looked deathly white, and bloated, as though they had been underwater for days. When the hand touched his cheek, he could feel the cold, clammy wetness of the fingertips right to his bones.

Gulshan turned and ran back to the village, screaming like a madman.


Mahesh wanted a Love Story.

Sowmi wanted a Poem.

And I wanted to write a Ghost Story.

Another long one, I hope you guys had the patience to read it through. The second ghost story I’ve written ever; the first one was written back in 1993. I hope this was a better attempt at it.

Image Courtesy goodonpaper

62 comments :: The Lake Lady

  1. Your fictions are as always amazing man...

    loved it...

    take care... cheers...

  2. hehehehe.. ! nice twist.. ! the story had all the mirch masala it needed.. didn't feel too long :) good job!

  3. Arnav

    First of all thanks for considering my thoughts and writing a Story on the lines of Love...

    yaar.... Love story kam aur zyada ghost story lagaa... :P

    Chalo koi baat nahi, mujhe tumhara spontaneity at the attempt, achcha laga..and ofcourse the spice it contained..

    Keep writing

  4. Lol, the best part of the story was -

    Mahesh wanted a Love Story.

    Sowmi wanted a Poem.

    And I wanted to write a Ghost Story.

    It was really funny to read this part.
    M a new reader on ur page and this is ur first post m reading, but m so sure tht m gonna enjoy reading ur page a lot.

  5. Whoosh!! This was not what I expected!! Loved and loved it!!!

    :D :D

  6. hi....
    Dude.. its amazing.. u hv written superbly..
    sorry i hv missed ur some post as i was out...

    hmmm..seems nw u r constantly changing ur writing style..heed up..i m loving it... :P


  7. @ Arv... Thanks man. I hope the trend continues ;)


  8. @ aastha... :) Hope the Mirch Masala was the right amount. Good to know too, that the post didn't seem too long. Thanks for the comments...


  9. @ Mahesh... You're most welcome man. Thanks for giving me the idea in the first place.

    I tried to keep the Ghost Story bit only for the ending, did it really seem that way? Never intended that actually... don't know how that happened.

    Thanks a lot man... keep reading, as and when I keep writing. Cheers...

  10. @ Tensor... Welcome to Technicolor Collage :)

    Nice to know that you enjoyed this one. The last bit was something that I enjoyed putting in the post as well. It's really thanks to these guys that this became what it was. I had quite a different idea in my head, for this week's story :P

    Thanks for reading. Do read the older stories too. Cheers... :)

  11. @ Winnie the poohi... You mean the twist was a success?? Yessss!!! :D

    Thanks for the comments, and an even bigger thanks to Mahesh and Sowmi for giving me the idea to write this one :)

    Cheers... keep reading, and blogging.... :)

  12. @ Pallav... Nice to see you back here man. No worries about missing the posts, they're all still there. Read 'em as and when you get the time, and hopefully you're gonna enjoy 'em too.

    Thanks for reading man, and for sticking by... cheers...

  13. I like it..
    the beginning wasnt gripping enuf..and the ending too predicatble..girl's image that you created could either be in dreams or as a ghost..
    but i guess the story line was good :)

  14. The build - up was real were the moments between Chhaya and Gulshan.

    But somehow, I was able to predict that she is a ghost. ;) But trust me, it didn't make me like the story any less. :P


  15. never expected that twist..


    you are a good in these kind of scripts

  16. This is like when they say, Don't stop for the woman in a white sari, asking for a lift. Lol.

  17. @ Niti... Thanks for liking it. I know the beginning wasn't gripping enough, somehow it doesn't happen with my stories when they're even slightly longer... wonder why that is.

    I see you noticed the few hints that I scattered throughout the story... nice! :D

    Thanks for dropping by... cheers.. :)

  18. @ bondgal... Nice to know you enjoyed the build-up, and the moments between Chhaya and Gulshan. But I'd like to know how exactly you guessed that she is a ghost...

    Also, it's great as always to know that you loved the story! Another one coming up next weekend... cheers :)

  19. @ Chriz... Does that mean you're impressed? So it means that I've got a bigger chance to be the script writer for your movie?? :P

    Thanks man... cheers...

  20. @ Ping... Well said man :D

    Thanks for dropping by. Keep blogging... cheers :)

  21. Its not gripping enough, because you start with a long weary dreamy setting..with a long description..and suddenly come to the topic, abandoning the description entirely. so the reader is like taken from one point to another abruptly and not subtly which bothers me as a reader.
    try keeping the description consistent all over or skip it entirely.

  22. @ Niti... I read over the starting bit of the story, and I noticed that too. You're right... I think it would have made a little more sense to have abandoned the initial bit altogether... thanks a lot for the tip, I'll keep it in mind for the rest of the stories :)


  23. The poem was lovely, the ghost twist was awesome, though kinda predictable but that's perfectly fine..However, frankly I didn't really think this is a LOVE story.. Or may be my definition of LOVE is either weird, different or worse, sweeping.. But then that's what love is, or so I think..

    Anyway, like always I loved the story. I 'd like to read the one written in 93, if you have it to yourself and feel fine in sharing it, why don't you publish it?

  24. @ Netika... Thanks for liking the poem. I'm not really into that anymore, can't write 'em...

    It's not strictly a love story, true. I couldn't really make it one, till the end. Like I've said before, I really can't work love stories that well :D

    The one written in '93 was for a class project, when I was in 3rd. Unfortunately, I submitted the only draft there was... but I'll tell you that it was NOT well recieved at all! :P :D hehe

    Cheers... and thanks for reading. Keep blogging, take care...

  25. Arnab..u r beautifully expressed...esp d way u described d gal..n d village...jus loved it.

    Really...I luvd it :)

  26. try the consistant approach...will be a good change for u always want it. :)

  27. hi =) first time on your blog. really liked the story.and i love your descriptions! good job =)

  28. i call it paisa vasool

  29. The end could have been a bit sharper but I really enjoyed reading this one! Especially the description og how her hand felton his cheek. :)

  30. @ Satyu... Thanks a lot :) Keep blogging, and hope that I can continue writing things like this over the weekends to follow... cheers

  31. @ Niti... Hmm, I'll give that a shot, in the next story that I write. Hope it turns out alright...

    Thanks a lot for the comments for this one :) Cheers... keep blogging...

  32. @ drama queen... Welcome to Technicolor Collage :) Hope you had a nice time on your first visit here, do read the other stuff too. Thanks a lot... cya around, cheers...

  33. @ dont ask my reason... Hahahaha!! Good one :D Cheers man...

  34. @ Ki... I hope the end didn't come off too sloppy here. I was a bit too intent on merging the two concepts, rather than focussing on the other bits of the story. I'm not gonna do that anymore :P Thanks for your honest views, and I'll keep it in mind for the next stories that I'm gonna write.

    Cheers... :) keep blogging...

  35. I wonder how you can entwine all the emotions of love,horror, deception and nature in one story... :)

    Talent is what we call this in the REAL world...

    I almost wished that Chaaya was a ghost at one point of time in the story and it happened... :)

  36. Ah ! Brilliant !!!

    Loved the way you spun it around maestro !

  37. @ Harshita... Thanks so much :) And did you really hope at one point that she would turn out to be a ghost? How come??

    Feels good to have a dedicated reader such as you following the blog :) Cheers to you... keep blogging... take care.

  38. @ Cinderella... Thanks a lot :) Glad you enjoyed the story... keep blogging, cheers...

  39. Now see that is difficult to digest.. You see can back myself on this.. :)

  40. @ Netika... What is hard to digest? The fact that the story was not well recieved? Well, I wish you could have asked my teacher, and what exactly she had felt when she read that one :P She was quite scandalised on reading it... hehe.

  41. Hmmm... scary. But I guess it was funny at the same time.

  42. @ Govind... I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks man... welcome to Technicolor Collage. Keep reading... cheers...

  43. Arnab..

    THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH for considering my request and sorry for the late comment. I liked the poem and the poem scene is familiar to me.. the way she says the poem and the way he praises her and the way of her being modest :)

    The name CHHAYA is the apt one and I liked Gulshan.

    Ending could've been better than Gulshan running away like a mad man :) I loved it

    Thanks again... what more can I tell now??? huh???

  44. Arnab..

    THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH for considering my request and sorry for the late comment. I liked the poem and the poem scene is familiar to me.. the way she says the poem and the way he praises her and the way of her being modest :)

    The name CHHAYA is the apt one and I liked Gulshan.

    Ending could've been better than Gulshan running away like a mad man :) I loved it

    Thanks again... what more can I tell now??? huh???

  45. Can i also have a farmaish?? :)

    A happy ending? :)

  46. @ Sowmi... You're welcome. It was fun trying to incorporate the poem into the story, didn't really know how well it would fit here. I hope it did fit...?

    Thanks for the awesome comment :) Keep blogging, cheers...

  47. @ Serendipity... Duly noted. I'll write one with a happy ending soon, but it might take a little bit of time to get it done though. These few weeks are going to be very hectic, so I don't really know how much I'll be able to write...

    Cheers... and I hope I can write that soon enough. Keep blogging :)

  48. I dint have much time in my hands, my train is just a few hours from now, and I was browsing through my blogroll. Well on the first glance I felt the story was too long and I wont have enough time, But u see I have finished it now. :)
    Just dint know when I finished the whole of it. The wonderful Arnab flow along with the master twister twists! I will miss them all truly!
    But the flow seemed to me a lil predictable, as I compared the terminologies, the title with the wish for the pond to be a lake again! It was beautiful though along with the mysterious name 'Chhaya'... Shadow!
    I will really be missing this, I want a love story but after I return please, but the worst part is I don't know when i`ll be returning!
    take care, bye.

  49. @ Diya... I hope the post didn't make you late or anything for your train :D thanks for taking the time out, and reading the whole of it. I know it was a bit on the longish side...

    Glad you liked the name. It came to me almost automatically as I thought about the plot of the tale.

    Thanks a lot :) happy journey, hope you have fun wherever you're going... and hope you did manage to catch the train too. I'll see what I can do about the love story, been getting a lot of requests for that one! :D

    Cheers, and see ya...

  50. brilliant :D

    though i dunno y i read the P.S. first so i almost knew wat was happening :D

    and the narration was fab :D

  51. brilliant :D

    though i dunno y i read the P.S. first so i almost knew wat was happening :D

    and the narration was fab :D

  52. Awesome blog man!
    I'm hooked and ur blogrolled in my gareeb khana.

  53. @ Richa... Thanks :)

    Even I didn't understand why you read the last section first. I hope you still enjoyed the twist at the end of it... :P

    Haven't had time to write anything recently, hoping to get something done soon for the blog. Cheers...

  54. @ Mahul... Thanks man. Welcome to Technicolor Collage, hope you have a good time reading through the stuff out here. Haven't had the time to update it for the last few days, so that would give you the time to go through the older stories too :D


  55. Chaya Chaya Nahiiinn!

    I was expecting the twist now that I'm used to the groove of your writing.
    Which isn't derogatory by any means, kudos to you rather :)
    Your saving me a fortune in books \m/

    Keep 'em comin, mate!

  56. @ DPhatsez... Hmm... I thought the Twisted style of writing, so to speak, has somehow become my signature style, hasn't it? :P That's a reason why once in a while I try to change this style of writing... hehe

    And I didn't know that my writings had such a significant financial benefit that comes with it. Awesome! :D

    Cheers man...

  57. ok..cant say i didnt see that one coming..i did..but dont just super brill wen it come to cheese :P..

    Abt ur writing, loved the flow. very powerful narrative. detailing it was swell!

    keep em coming :D

  58. @ Mon Espace... Hmm... so your guessing the plot of the tale was all about your brilliance with "cheese", and it wasn't 'coz the plot ws predictable?? *phew* :D


    Thanks a ton, for that amazing comment... and you know I try my best to keep 'em cmin, but then again, sometimes stupid things (like office work or college work) get in the way :P

    Cheers... keep blogging...

  59. when are u publishing ur book Arnab?
    no.. seriously.. when?

  60. @ Shruti... :D With requests like that, I really have to start thinking about it pretty soon.

    Thanks so much... :)

  61. As usual .. grt going !

  62. @ Ruch... Thanks a lot :)