Vicky, Ronit and Rahul had been working together for as long as they remember. They were, as you might call them, birds of a feather who flocked together. But having worked for a TV show that screened news for nearly five years didn’t interest them anymore. In fact, they were planning on switching shows, perhaps, switching their jobs. One day, over coffee, they devised a plan.
“If we report about the routine floods and earthquakes, we’d drown into one someday,” said Vicky.
“Exactly”, retorted Ronit and Rahul instantly.
“Why! Let us do something, that will both fascinate Mr. Rao And the audience. Something which we too can enjoy!” exclaimed Vicky to which Rahul remarked, ” that sick old production head have had all kinds of experiences in his life. That monster of a man can never enjoy anything. We’d rather think of entertaining street animals.”
“Hmm.. that’s right! If he continues pestering us, I’m gonna quit anytime soon”, answered Vicky.
Ronit who was deep in thought, suddenly exclaimed,”I have a mind blowing idea guys! Why not bring out a horror show?! I mean, we can easily hunt down a horror house or such a location and document all the paranormal activities. Spooky as it sounds, it will attract the audience darn perfectly and will be a one time unforgettable experience for the three of us. Mr. Rao won’t be worried about the TRP stuff. You guys in?”
Vicky was a sport. He got influenced quite easily and his imagination raced. He agreed cheerfully. Sipping his coffee, he mustered, “we are going to make the no. 1 show in the history of mankind.” Rubbing his hands, he said, “I’m excited.”
Rahul haven’t considered the could-be or would-be of encountering the evil seriously. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded and that, he knew. One must have real balls to do that. Entering a different world meant risking their lives. Even professionals thought twice. If he declined, his friends, who had stood for him throughout, would be hurt. But they were silly and he could not fall for their ploy. His duty was to pick them up from their imaginative world and bring them back into reality. In spite of this, he too, was bored of turning mundane events into breaking news bulletins. He weighed every possibility carefully. He looked at his best friends, who had been his family for undying years.
“Why are you taking so long buddy?”, inquired Ronit who was unable to contain his excitement.
Rahul, slit open between life and adventure, threw a confused look at the two. They took it as an affirmative and gave out a joyful shout!
Mr Shashi Rao, the production head of Frames Pvt Ltd was a man of steel. He felt no enthusiasm while hiring or sympathy while firing. All he wanted was popularity and a balanced balance sheet. He was aware of the 10:00am news show starring the three journalists, Vicky, Ronit and Rahul was doing okay, if not great. To be precise, it hardly showed signs of profit. He had a plan crafted in his mind of designating them to other posts, only it would pay them less. He knew that the youngsters would have no choice but to accept what he had to offer. He looked forward to meet them.
Rahul was still unsure of his decision. On one hand he wanted to dive in into the fun of experiencing something new with his friends while on the other, his heart told him this was the most foolish decision he’d ever made. He still tried to dissuade his friends. “Are we serious about this? I’m talking about the two of you. Because I’m not.”
“Rahul, don’t be a spoiler. Think about it! Think about the fame and fortune that will come along with it. Think about the way we will talk about the incident later!” blurted out Vicky.
“You think about it Vicky. It’s so stupid of us to go to Mr. Rao and explain this to him. I’m sure he is going to show us to the door”, roared Rahul disapprovingly.
Ronit chuckled, “let’s see what the money digger got to say”.
Shiela, Shashi Rao’s Secretary, ushured them into his office.
“Welcome gentlemen, I was expecting you”, said Mr. Rao.
Confused, Ronit asked innocently, “Oh! How did you know about our plan, sir?”
“Shut up Ronit! How the devil could he know what we were planning?” said Vicky angrily shoving an elbow in his friend’s stomach.
Ronit cried, “you son of a ..
Mr Rao, now impatient of the chaos, ordered, “I’m not here to entertain a fight. Tell me whatever your plan is and get out of my office.”
The three men stood silently.
Vicky, confidently explained him their plan of documenting a paranormal activity and showing it on the television. Mr Rao’s face lit up. He had liked the boys from the very beginning. He knew how horror shows did, the massive impact it had on its audience and the huge revenue it brought. Recording a true incident with these young chaps would shake the ground from under the viewers’ feet. “Dang,” he thought “I can’t wait”. He asked, ” where’s the location and what’s your budget?”
They talked briefly about the details, the instruments that would be required, the location to be chosen, the crew who would tag along etc.
What they didn’t talk about was what if they needed help at the spooky hour of midnight.
The three emerged from Mr Rao’s office as professional Ghostbusters, feeling confident than ever before. The next task was to discover a location where forlorn spirits and phantoms dwelled. None of them knew of such a location. The handy thing to help them was the internet. Ronit flipped open his laptop and searched for the ghastly places nearby. The search engine gave information of people complaining about paranormal experiences once in their life but none gave a definite place where such things happened on an everyday basis. They came across an article titled, “Lotus towers, apartment 1504- house of the dead.” The article read, “Mr and Mrs James lived in room 1504 of Lotus towers with their two children. Due to a debt Mr James could not pay, the family poisoned their food and committed suicide. It is reported that residents who came to live in the apartment had jumped off the window and taken their lives. The apartment has been locked ever since. Residents of nearby apartments i.e. 1503 and 1505 claim that they have heard voices, laughter and cries from within while passing through the door. After the apartment was locked, nobody has been hurt or seen the spirits so far.”
The three men stared at each other. Then Vicky laughed heartily saying, “I’m sure they will run away after encountering us.”
Ronit laughed with him. Rahul didn’t.
After having a talk with the neighbours of room 1504, Rahul, Ronit and Vicky learned the use of various ghost hunting gadgets. Because they were handling them for the first time, it took them nearly a week to learn the use of all the gadgets efficiently. Their gadgets included EMF meter to detect fluctuations and erratic EMF levels at the haunted place, a thermometer, EVP(electric voice phenomenon) to record and hear ambiguous ghost sounds, ghost box- to detect the change in frequency, motion detector- that triggers a beam and sets of an alarm when a paranormal activity takes place, infrared wireless cameras, parabolic microphones, flashlights, night vision equipment, FLIR thermal imaging cameras and dowsing rods.
With mutual agreement, they decided the date of recording their first show on ghost hunting. Now, only a day remained. Excitement cheered but nervousness cried. Rahul pleaded, “let’s not put our lives in danger. Our families won’t be expecting this. Let’s turn back.”
Ronit mocked, “don’t you worry poor lad, when our families will see this, their expectations will change.” Vicky assured, “chill Rahul, if we see any danger coming toward us, we will run out of the building okay?”
That night none of them slept. The next morning they went through their plans and revised it. Feeling content, all of them called their families to have a normal chat.
Night had befallen and the best friends stood outside lotus towers reconsidering their decisions, the bare thread on which their lives depended. Each one wanted to turn and go home but no one wanted to admit that he was a coward. And so, they went with their bags packed, pride held high and confidence low.