The House with the Burning Lamp

A work of Fiction


by Alex Vega

A few days back Krishna was passing by a village at night. Everyone was asleep at that hour.

Krishna was going back to his home in a village in Tamil Nadu, India. Ah, he had just finished his semester and he was running late. The bus which he rode had broken down and they had repaid the customers their ticket fees. Krishna couldn’t go back to his college as he had already crossed halfway. Walking home will take only 5 hours. So Krishna had no other way back home but to hit the road in the evening as this was the only bus in the day which goes to his village.

He had been walking for the last three hours. He was tired, eager to get to home and most of all very hungry. By now he should have had dinner if the bus had not broken down.

He felt his bag for biscuits and besides his clothes and a headphone all he could find was a pack of premium dark chocolates he had bought for his younger sister, Aaghnya. He could not eat those; she will be furious as she had been waiting for 5 months for him to bring those chocolates from the city. Their village did not have the luxuries of the city life.

Her name Aaghnya means Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity) and Indians do consider their mothers, sisters and daughters as a reflection of the Goddess so he cannot hurt her feelings. He decided he will keep walking. He started to sing a tune so as to keep himself busy on the way. He thought walking alone was the most boring task.

He was only an hour and a half walking time away from home. He entered a village. It was 11 at night. He heaved a sigh of relief to see some settlements in the area. Being born and brought up in a village Krishna was not afraid of animals but it feels safer around humans. Being a village only a few lamp posts at great distances could be found. He kept his flashlights on.

At a distance near the end of the village he could see a lamp was still burning in front of a house. He kept walking towards it. When he reached the house he could see the door was open. An old person came out and greeted him. Krishna was taken aback. How he knew his name. “How do you know me, Sir?”

“Among the many things I know, I know you are hungry and must be tired walking.”

“I am. But…”

“I was just about to have dinner and saw you coming when I came to close the door.

Would you mind to give me company while I eat?”

Krishna had no answer. He was just standing there.

The man reached out and pulled him into his house and showed him the way to his table.

Krishna murmured, “I have never been to this village and you know me.” The man smiled back at him.

“You are also feeding me. What if I rob you? Don’t you have fear?”

“Fear of what?” the man replied.

After they had dinner Krishna thanked him and left after saying goodbye.

The next day he told the events to his parents. They were very gentle people in their village.

They scolded Krishna for not asking his name. They wanted to invite the old person to their village festival the next day. So they all hurried and were accompanied by their Sarpanch, the head of their village.

Once they reached the place Krishna could not find that house anywhere. They asked around and everyone they asked answered only one thing. There was never any house there but an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva stands tall from time eternal.

~The End~

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actualevents is purely coincidental.
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