This is my third incident that I am going to narrate. This incident happened when I was in college. It was summer and I was staying home for my internship. Before I begin some background information.
We live in a Goan Village. The area where we lived is now developing, then we had only 5-6 houses scattered over hillside. Our house stood on angle of two roads at the foot hill. It's compulsory in Goa to NA the plots, also it is compulsory to built roads which would go up into the hills. Our village those days didn't have street lights or telephones. And in night when it became pitch dark you would see thousands of stars in the sky. And I love silence and dark night sky full of stars.
Now the incident...
That summer I was alone at home with my dog as my mother had gone for holidays. As I was alone without any kind of disturbance I used to sit in my terrace and watch stars every night. So it was on such a quiet night after switching off all the lights except one dim bulb, and I went on the terrace and sat on my favorite ledge of the terrace facing the road. Luckily, my two neighbors were not around so it was very quiet and peaceful. And my dog was not at home as we never tied him, was freely roaming in our area. Though we had made special gate for him to come home whenever it pleased.
I sat there absorbing the silence and watching the sky, lost in my own world. After may be half an hour or so I saw light on the road and silhouette of a person. We had people in our village who return home middle of night after couple drinks. One such man I had seen regularly, he lived on top of the hill. He was tall, very strong with blood shot reds eyes. He would be generally wear only shorts or Bermudas. He never wore a shirt. He had a special animosity with my dog. The moment my dog saw him, he would go on madly barking at him. Also my dog was never alone he was always accompanied by 2 -3 dogs. So imagine couple of dogs running behind a man barking madly. This man would in return throw stones at them, one day he actually ran to kill by dog with knife.
I thought it was him coming home. As he came on the road in front of my house, the first thing I saw was fire torch he carried that was strange as he carried a battery torch. On close observation I realized he was wearing only loin cloth. He had mesmerizing walk. I couldn't stop staring at him. He had walked a little distance ahead and he turned around. And I saw an very handsome man with bloodshot eyes starring at me with a smile. I couldn't take my eyes off him. We may have starred at each other for what seemed like eternity. And he said softly to me "come" in Konkani. I was ready to jump from first floor of the terrace to go that person. But suddenly thought came to me "where is my dog?" Same time I felt two paws on my back. A bolt of electricity flowed through me. The trance was broken and that person turned and walked away. My dog was behind me. I started to cry holding my dog. Strangely I was relieved. And I also realized he was not the regular villager I knew. Who was he?
For couple of days I kept thinking. It was week later talking with my neighbor a old village woman. She told me about "Devchar" a mythical being, forest dweller, allures people to accompany him and later they are found either dead or alive. If found alive they don't remember anything that might have happened to them. Also they could be found very far away from their homes. I didn't know whether to believe her or not. But I kept quiet.
It was many years later while visiting home, my mother told me about a tragedy. One of her school peon sister who was gone missing for months, her skeleton was found on banks of canal far away from home. The forensic investigation would not exactly find the reasons for her death. She had two month baby so they also thought she must have had postnatal depression. Whether there was foul play or had she committed suicide, there were many theories for her death but no confirmed answers.
I couldn't stop thinking about it. Something brought back the memories of "Devchar". That night as I saw lying down with closed eyes I saw the same face of that man. He smiled at me and he said in konkani "Me". Startled I opened my eyes, felt bolt of electricity passing through me.
My dog is dead now but I know he saved my life. Now I feel that there is truly no distinct line between real and what seems unreal or myth.