The Banyan Tree

They were all there, in that banyan tree. Safe in its wizened old trunk, their hands entwined with the hanging roots. Sometimes one could even find their belongings scattered around – the other day, little Murugan found a gold nose pin that had belonged to Shailaja. Poor Shailaja, she was raped and murdered by those city dwellers who had come to the village for a cinema shooting. But then it’s not so bad, you know. A week ago, exactly 13 days after Shailaja akka’s cremation, one of those city guys was found dead under this same banyan tree. The village health officer said he had some heart problem. But we all know that was not why he died. It’s the tree, you know. It’s haunted.

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