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A Jinn with a Dream

Veenu Sandal

Till he was almost fifty four, Ram Chariter lived a contented life in a small village in Bihar. He wasn’t rich, but he had enough fields to feed his family of seven: two aged parents, a wife whom he loved dearly, and three sons. They had cattle too, and they never had reason to complain that God or life had not been good to them. The sons were obedient, and did as Ram Chariter had envisaged. Equipped with a school education, they got jobs in the city, which was a milestone in the family. Nobody before them had ever been able to get a job in a town or city. Ram Chariter and his wife waited impatiently every week for the postman to arrive and bring them news from their beloved  sons. Soon, they began thinking of the time the sons would be married.

We have only one hut, they reasoned, so we must prepare separate huts for our sons and their wives. It gave Ram Chariter something new he could take up. He collected stones, he collected timber, but the bricks he found were too expensive. I’ll make and  fire them myself, he decided, and that’s when his life changed most unexpectedly. Dusk was falling, as he lined up the brick moulds, when suddenly he felt a weight descend on his back and felt somebody breathing down his neck. A thick guttural voice informed him that the hut he was thinking of building wasn’t good enough. He must go to town and earn money for it and he must leave the village before the day on the full moon.

Ram Chariter was terrified, but still managed to stutter and ask questions. He learnt that he was dealing with a jinn, who had been a human in this very village many centuries ago. Unfulfilled desires which death hadn’t been able to snuff out remained with him and over time, he took the shape of a jinn. But he had now got tired of floating around on earth. The only way he could break away from earth was through fulfillment on the strongest desire he had possessed in his life time, and that happened to be the same as Ram Chariter’s, to build a good hut.

Ram Chariter found over the next few days that getting out of the clutches of a determined jinn was not an easy matter. At an age when most people retire, Ram Chariter found himself beginning a new career in a city, as a night watchman, all because he had to earn enough to build the kind of hut a jinn wanted. “People ask me why I want to work at this age,” he told me, “but if I tell them it’s because of a jinn who wants a hut, nobody will believe me.”

It took Ram Chariter almost two years of  work  in Delhi to collect the amount of money needed to build the kind of hut the jinn wanted. He left the security agency he was working at and returned to his village, but was back within a month. The jinn was more demanding than before, and wanted a cemented roof for the hut instead of a plain wood and thatch one.

Once again, Ram Chariter collected the money, and once again he returned to the village, and once again he rejoined the security agency. This time, the jinn wanted a water pipeline instead of a simple handpump or well. The jinn also wanted an elaborate fencing around the hut. Ram Chariter was irked, but each time he consoled himself with the thought that in the end, it would be one of his sons who would get a swanky hut to live in. At last, there came a day when the jinn was satisfied that the hut which had been constructed was his passport to the next world. Ram Chariter and his wife rejoiced. But that was six months ago. Now, they are desperately trying to re-establish contact with the jinn who has departed, because they find that they cannot occupy the hut. They fall ill the moment they enter it and feel so restless in any case that it is not worth staying there.

“It turned out to be a bad bargain,” says Ram Chariter, “but there’s nothing I can do. The jinn got his hut, and I? All I’ve got is heartbreak.” •

© Veenu Sandal, Vedic Astrology.