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Horror Story: Magic Stage

Scientific Research Fellow in University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Magic Stage

'Never perform on that stage. You will never return'. Singer Deshmukh told these words to Singer Patel. The latter was discovered by the former. Once upon a time Patel used to perform on local stages and sang songs of Deshmukh. Then Deshmukh was at the peak of his career. Patel was struggling hard to make both ends meet.

Once Deshmukh was returning home after a rock performance. He noticed gathering on the way. 'Someone is singing my songs. Who is he'? He asked his driver. Jacky replied, 'Patel'. 'Do you know him'? 'By name only'. 'Ok, he is popular too. I will take care of him'. The following day he sent his personal assistant, Rao to Patel's residence.

Patel's wife, Shreya sold her gold ornaments to help her husband to fulfil his dreams. She belonged to a well to do family. Patel hailed from a lower middle class family. She was attracted by his voice. So she left everything for him.

Deshmukh guided Patel- clasping his hand Patel stepped in the Punjabi Film Industry. Within five years he took his boss's place and his boss became a composer. He was like his boss. He ruled like his idol and others hardly got any chance. Many became jealous of him. He had no base in classical songs.

Deshmukh never performed on the Magic Stage. Let me tell the reason. Long years back a Ghazal singer was performing on that stage. He was sweating profusely, though the air conditioners were working. He suffered a cardiac arrest. Some years back a Hindustani singer suffered the same fate. Deshmukh was superstitious. He refused the invitation as he never wanted to be the third victim. But Patel was desperate. He paid no heed to the warning of his boss.

The Magic Stage was located near the confluence of two rivers- Jhelum and Chenab. It was just twelve miles away from Patel's new bungalow at Jaypug. He purchased it with five crores. The place, where the Magic Stage was situated was Marburg. His wife drove the car to the destination. Patel was under routine check up. The doctor had assured, 'There is no risk'.

Patel performed the show well. He rocked the stage. He hardly suffered from any uncontrolled sweating or any uneasiness. Saline water and some local medicines were kept ready for the urgent need. After performing the show he went to the washroom. His wife too followed him.

They left Marburg for Delara, where Deshmukh was staying. He had his own bungalow there.

'We have come back'. 'But how can you enter my room? All the doors and windows are closed'! Deshmukh was sweating profusely. He was feeling extremely uneasy. He was suffering from chest pain. His wife was not present there at that time. She was in the market. Deshmukh was taking rest. He fell on the ground.

© 2022 Sankhajit Bhattacharjee

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