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THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 6

Dear Readers and Listeners,


Welcome to the 75th episode of OBSCURUS featuring the concluding part of THE PHANTOM TRAIN. Having come this far in our beautiful journey is a huge milestone. Together, we have explored the realms of the unknown and the mysterious. We want to convey our heartfelt thanks for your constant support and encouragement.


As you may know, I run a spoken English training program for non-native speakers called SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS. This training program has helped thousands of students speak excellent English. Even if your understanding of English is elementary, this program can help you become a great orator.


I would be so glad if you could visit my websites, biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com. You will find tons of information about my creatives on these sites other than getting access to the OBSCURUS transcripts and chapter markers. Also, do visit and subscribe to my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@BiswajitBanerjeeAuthor for spoken English lessons, documentary films, personality development videos, video and audio trailers for the OBSCURUS episodes, and a multitude of other infotainment-rich videos.


We hope you will continue to support us on all platforms, including Patreon and YouTube.


Okay, it's time now to dive into the finale of THE PHANTOM TRAIN. Let's see what other surprises fate has in store for Prabhu!


Happy reading and listening.


With love and warm regards,


Biswajit Banerjee,

Author, Screenwriter, Podcaster, English Communication Trailer, Motivational Speaker, Musician, Filmmaker and Jurist.


The OBSCURUS Artwork represents the exploration of the unknown and the mysterious. Through these stories, the OBSCURUS community cogitates over the countless possibilities that may act as cues to our existence!
OBSCURUS ARTWORK

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INTRO 00:00:00


Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser-known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee.


HOST TALK 00:00:47


Welcome back to OBSCURUS, where we embark on the gripping finale of "The Phantom Train." I'm Biswajit Banerjee, and I couldn't be more excited to share this special milestone with you—our 75th episode! This journey has been nothing short of incredible, and it's all thanks to you, our devoted readers and listeners, whose unwavering support has made this podcast such a success.


As we conclude this spectral adventure, I'd like to remind you that those looking to improve their English can join our SPOKEN ENGLISH FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS course. Dive into more captivating stories and insights at biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com. Your support on Patreon and other platforms fuels our explorations and keeps these tales alive.


So, let's celebrate this 75th episode by unraveling the final mysteries of the phantom train together. Thank you for being a part of OBSCURUS and for making this journey so memorable.


THE PHANTOM TRAIN PART 6 00:02:21


Written and Performed by Biswajit Banerjee


Sometimes the places or things with which spirits are attached also develop spirit-like consciousness. Does the phantom train have such consciousness?
Does the phantom train exist? If yes, does it have an ego like a disembodied spirit?

00:02:46


A long spell of silence followed after I finished my account. She was the one to break the ice. "Interesting," Dr. Kakkar said.


"Do you believe I saw the phantom train?"


"I can only say I believe you are telling the truth."


Her reply disappointed me. "So, you think my sighting of the train was nothing more than a hallucination?"


"Well, yes, I do think so, Mr. Shekharan. There is no iota of truth in the legend of the phantom train."


"Just a while back, you told me you have a deep interest in the unknown."


"That's right."


"Then how can you simply dismiss the legend of the phantom train as untrue? As someone interested in the unknown, shouldn't you be open to the idea that the story may have some truth in it?"


"Probably, I wouldn't have dismissed the legend as outright rubbish if there had been even one credible account of the appearance of the phantom train."


"But Doctor, I saw the phantom train with my eyes. Don't you have any trust in me? There have been other strange occurrences relating to the train as well. The train killed ten people on the tracks. Besides, so many locals have reported sightings of the train. And what about Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar? He almost lost his job because of the phantom train."


00:04:19


"That's what you heard from your colleagues, right?"


"Right."


"How can you be sure what your colleagues told you is true?"


"You mean they lied about Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar?"


"No, I mean Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar lied about having spotted the phantom train."


"But how can you be so sure he lied? After witnessing the phantom train with my own eyes, I have no reason to think Mr. Kakkar lied."


"Listen, Mr. Shekharan, I know he lied, okay?"


"That's just your opinion."


"Well, that's not an opinion. That's a truth all of us know in the family."


"Sorry, I am not sure I understand what you are saying."


"Probably, you didn't pay any attention to my surname."


"Your surname!"


"Look, it's written over here." She pointed at her name badge.


"I don't have to look at that; I know your name – Dr. Sanghamitra Kakkar."


"Exactly, Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar is my paternal grandfather."


"What!"


"You heard me; he is my grandfather. Although he never told the truth to his office colleagues and those who conducted the inquiry against him, he revealed the truth to his family and close friends after he was cleared of the charges. I know what really happened the night he met with an accident since my childhood. Usually, I don't talk about it but my inner voice urges me to divulge the truth to you. The accident at Pahari Phatak that night was due to negligent driving. To tell the truth, he was inebriated when the mishap happened. Of course, after the accident, he got back to his senses, and though some scientists suspected him of being under the influence of liquor, there were no facilities available at Shyamalpur back then in the early nineteen forties to find out if he was drunk or not. So, the authorities had no evidence against him."


"So, Mr. Amarjeet Kakkar never witnessed the phantom train?"


"Never. He just used the tribals' legend to his advantage. The inquiry against him became the talk of the town. My grandfather's story was believed to be true by the tribal people, and thus, public opinion was in his favor. I am not sure how much the public opinion weighed upon the outcome of the case, but it must have had some effect on my grandfather being exonerated, I guess."


00:07:33


"But Dr. Kakkar, around fifteen years back, ten people died mysteriously on the Pahari Phatak tracks. Many believe that the phantom train ran over them."


"I was coming to that incident, Mr. Shekharan. Those people were not run over by any train. They were tribal folks killed by other tribesmen. There was some property dispute that led to the murders. The killers attributed the killings to the phantom train so that they could escape the clutches of the law. Since the legend of the ghost train is very popular with the tribal communities in and around Shyamalpur, their lies about the specter of the train running over the ten people caught the popular imagination."


"How do you know the real reasons behind the killings?"


"Well, I told you a while back that I am also interested in the paranormal or what you may call the unknown. I planned to write a book on this incident, and so I did some hardcore research into the sequence of facts preceding the killing of those ten people. You will appreciate that one with a strong interest in the unknown should try to unearth truths instead of believing in legends and tales. Any good paranormal investigator tries her best to separate facts from fiction. That's what I tried doing during my research for the book. What I am telling you is an essential part of my findings. No matter what people think about those killings, I have no doubt the phantom train had nothing to do with those murders."


"Do you have any explanation for my experiences, Dr. Kakkar? I heard the phantom train's whistle. Surely, you will not believe me, but I did see the specter and experienced it running over me."


"I believe you, Mr. Shekharan. But it was almost like witnessing a mirage."


"Mirage! So, you are trying to tell me that it was nothing but a set of auditory and visual hallucinations."


"I am sure you found it real, but my scientific temperament suggests it would be irrational to dismiss the possibility of your having had false visions and hearings triggered by a tired and frightened mind. But I respect your judgment and wisdom. So, I must say I am not one hundred percent convinced that your experience was simply a set of auditory and visual hallucinations. Maybe this experience was real!" She said. The smile on her lips conveyed she had the least respect for my convictions.


Our discussion ended there. I found her inferences rather disheartening but understood that a rational and intelligent mind had its own way of analyzing things.


***


00:11:02


After I was shifted to the general ward, I spent another four months in the hospital. Meanwhile, my parents and sister had come to Shyamalpur and rented a spacious accommodation close to the hospital.


The doctors had advised rest for a month. Thankfully, during this period of rest, I received my transfer orders back to Bombay. This meant I no longer needed to report to the Department's unit office at Shyamalpur. I would now be going back to Bombay with my family.


***


00:11:41


A couple of days before we were to leave for Bombay, Mr. Kumar paid me a visit. My experience spiced up the legend further for the likes of Mr. Kumar and Mr. Singh. When I told him what Dr. Kakkar thinks about my experience, Mr. Kumar outrightly rejected those ideas. "These supposed rationalists will always have something trashy to say. I am telling you, Mr. Shekharan, your experience was real. You know it was real, no matter what explanations people like Dr. Kakkar have to offer.”


Mr. Kumar also had an explanation as to why the ghost train didn't kill me.


"Mr. Shekharan, from my study of the paranormal, I can tell you that a disembodied consciousness or what you may call a spirit does not lose its earthly leanings. This truth is easily understandable from the conduct of the spirits or ghosts that make material appearances. The fact that a spirit is manifesting itself in the material world is proof of the fact that its earthly leanings are strong. From the hundreds of books I have read on spirit phenomena, I have inferred that a spirit that makes repeated appearances wants people to know that it exists – it craves for material importance and recognition. What I am saying essentially means that a spirit has an ego like a living human. Though the phantom train is not a human spirit, I guess it also has similar tendencies and desires – it wants people to know it exists. Probably, it respects those who believe in its existence. It is possible that it spared your life because it could sense from your psyche that you do not doubt its existence; rather, you are afraid of it. The ghost train may have been aware that many others would learn about its existence through you. My words may appear naïve, but trust me, there is substance in them."


"So, you mean it might have killed me if I hadn't believed in its existence?"


"Maybe, who could tell?"


***


00:14:20


I had an unexpected visitor the next day – Dr. Sanghamitra Kakkar. At that time, I was alone in the rented accommodation because my parents and sister had gone on a daylong sightseeing trip.


Dr. Kakkar looked through my medical papers again and observed that my recovery was near-complete and that I would be fully fit to join the Bombay unit after my return to that city. Then she said something startling.


"Mr. Shekharan, your experience at Pahari Phatak was probably not a set of auditory and visual hallucinations."


"What makes you say so, Dr. Kakkar?"


"Well, I did more research into the legend of the phantom train. I visited the Pahari Phatak several times, and my inference is …"


She was about to finish the sentence when the doorbell rang.


"I will just be back, Doctor."


"Yeah, sure." She said with a smile.


I moved up to the door and opened it.


Mr. Kumar was standing outside. "So, now you know I was right, don't you?" He said.

"What are you talking about, Mr. Kumar?"


"That woman, that non-believer, paid the price for her refusal to believe in the legend. The phantom train has an ego like any other ordinary earth-bound spirit. Didn't I tell you so?"


"I really can make no sense of what you are saying. Please come in first."


I moved back, allowing Mr. Kumar to walk into the living room.


"Dr. Kakkar was run over by the phantom train last night. She must have gone to the Pahari Phatak for rational investigations," Mr. Kumar said as he moved into the apartment.


"What! Are you crazy," I shrieked.


"The police discovered her body in the tracks today."


I turned around and found my medical papers neatly arranged on the table in the center of the living room. There was no trace of Dr. Kakkar in the room!


CONCLUDING REMARKS 00:17:00


Thank you, esteemed readers and listeners, for joining us on this extraordinary adventure with "The Phantom Train." This 75th episode marks a noteworthy milestone in our journey, celebrating the community we've built together. We've navigated through haunting revelations and spectral encounters, reaching a thrilling conclusion that challenges the boundaries between legend and reality.


Our journey together continues with more exciting tales, so stay tuned. Remember to visit biswajitbanerjee.com and obscurus.buzzsprout.com for more content and insights. Subscribe to my infotainment-rich YouTube channel for updates. If you've enjoyed our stories, consider supporting us on Patreon and other forums. Until next time, keep the spirit of curiosity alive, and let the allure of the unknown guide your way.


THEMATIC MUSIC – MYSTIC MOONLIT NIGHT, AN AI MUSIC COMPOSITION BY BISWAJIT BANERJEE 00:18:09

 

OUTRO 00:20:46


Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!

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