August 1990. Police HQ Tirumalgherey. Unexplained huge fire occurred. Within fifteen minutes the whole building was engulfed in it. Everything destroyed. Each police official present was burnt alive to death.
Present day scenario. New Police HQ is in function from past two and a half decade. It’s not that the old one has been forgotten, it’s just that it has been converted to a memorial.
During day time people come and go to see it, some go there to study the case and some enthusiastic people go there to find out some missed leads of the mysterious fire occurence. Most of the time the family members and the friends of the deceased police go there to make offerings. The whole building is left the way it was after the fire cooled off. The marks of smoke and destruction by fire are visible clearly. One can make out the situation and power of fire and very well imagine the situation of the police personnel present inside at the time of incident.
I remember reading in a newspaper about the place, once. Daytime it looks all is well but after the dusk, no one ventures even near the spot. They say with the sunset it turns spooky around there. First I thought it’s all because the reason for the fire has not been discovered yet and such a strong mystery gave birth to such feelings, which on its place is right.
Some days back I met a friend of mine who was visiting her parents in the same locality as the Police HQ. When she with her husband, who is not a local, was crossing the place, told the sad incident to him. He wished to see it. They both went to the old HQ, leaving their car in front of the main gate. When my friend looked at her watch, it was half past four. She hesitated but when her hubby forced she agreed but said they will come out in half an hour.
They stood under the main porch of the HQ and looked around and climbed the three steps to enter the main hall. It was a huge lobby and from there the stairs went up to the first floor. To her right was a window from where sunlight from the evening sun came and made patterns of the ground in front of her. Tube lights were on and a high ceiling fan revolved in slow speed. They moved ahead and found a big cabin, which might be of the Police Commissioner. He alone escaped the fire that day as he was in the Home ministry, to brief the security arrangements for the religious processions which were to be held two days later.
The cabin was so dusty and everything there was under a thick layer of dust. Webs were hanging here and there. They came out after observing everything in that cabin. Then saw some other cubical type sitting arrangements. But these all were clean, and organized. Then they went upstairs and were amazed to see a well preserved corner. Infact, the upper floor was like it’s being cleaned daily. Don’t know why but it seemed bit strange to them.
She looked at her watch and was shocked as it was six pm. She urged her husband that they should leave the place but before he can say something they felt a gust of wind, as if any window was open to let the fresh air in. They ignored this and went downstairs. They felt something was different but what, they could not figure out. They heard a muffled sound of sweeping from the upper area but thought it was the gust of wind again. While they were crossing the big hall they felt the constant presence of someone or some people moving about the place. It was not to disturb them but as if some one going through their routine work.
My friend and her hubby came out safely. She told me that it was hair raising experience for them but not fearful. It was like the untimely dead wanted to tell we are present and doing our duty.