by Mauli

They say the devil doesn’t come dressed wearing a cape and two red horns, he comes in the form of everything you ever wished for. Many had said it, lots had heard it, but Tanya saw it happen.

Living in the busy suburbs of the city that never sleeps, Tanya was filled with passion and zeal. Coder by the day, radio jockey by the night, nothing could stop her. Juggling through job, passion and family she was making it all happen. Her new show had just aired a few months back and the response she got was overwhelming. From callers, to post, to twitter, to text messages, people flooded the station with requests and Tanya soon became the talk of the town. Things she had dreamt of, things she loved, things that kept her happy, it was almost perfect. ALMOST.

DAY 10

“And we are back, the clock just struck midnight, and it’s a beautiful evening, let’s wrap this show up with a hauntingly beautiful track. But before that do remember, we are here to solve your problems, and what is the magical word for the problems?

YES, my favourite people, YES is the word. We do not say no to problems, we face them straight up. So last call of the evening, who is the caller going to be, Ring, Ring..!!”

Tanya: Hello there Stranger, what is your name?

Caller: Hey, my name is Aditya. I am thrilled my call got through finally !!

Tanya: Cool, How are you doing today Aditya?

Aditya: Well, now that I am talking to you, I am feeling much better, thank you.

Tanya: Wow, I am so flattered. So what can we help you out with? Tell me your story, or your problem, SHARE SHARE..!!

Aditya: See actually, in these 2 hrs that I drive back home, your voice is the only thing that keeps me company. I mean imagine the beauty of the Marine Drive right now and you together it’s such an amazing combination. I am so crazily addicted to your voice, it rings in my ears long after the show’s over.

Tanya: Yeah, Marine Drive is beautiful this time of the night, it helps me relax too, and to tell you I am glad we could keep you engaged. You are a regular listener, and I owe it to all my regulars. A big thanks to all of you..!!

Aditya: Yeah, It is like my happy place. So what I am really trying to say here is, would you like to go on a date with me sometime, I am an absolute fan, don’t think of me as a creep.

Tanya: Hey so good to hear that, but can I just say a polite no to your request?

Aditya: Umm ok, I thought you would say yes, I mean it’s just a harmless dinner, I promise you I am a safe guy.

Tanya: I really can’t do it. Rules, Rules..!!

Aditya: Ah, Would it kill you to break the rules just this once?

Tanya:  Sorry buddy, it just might.  I am kidding, I am so sorry I can’t. So anyway,  Is there anything else that you would like to share? Any song that I can play for you to make you feel better?

Aditya: Never mind, thanks for talking to me Tanya, will listen to you daily.

Tanya: You too Aditya, keep listening and Thanks a lot for calling Midnight Station. Ok Peeps, signing off with this amazing song “Sign of the times” especially for Aditya tonight.

“Someone has got a crush on you, Tanya,” “I almost feel sorry for the guy, he seemed earnest.” her co-workers teased.

“Give it a break, you guys. Let’s get going, it’s too late already.” Tanya said. And our sweet Tanya thought it was over. She was going to be so wrong.


Gear up every one, Last call of the night, get that phone ringing, tell me your problem or share your story, I am all ears..!!

Aditya: Hi Tanya,

Tanya: Hey there last caller, what can we do for you?

Aditya: Same as last night Tanya, would you like to go on a dinner date with me?

Tanya: I am sorry, I would be delighted but I can’t, thank you so much for calling and she broke off the call to avoid having a longer conversation.

This routine went on for a couple of days and Tanya had had enough. She told the producers to screen their calls, and avoid any from Aditya to be aired. “Don’t worry Tanya I will personally take care of it, you can relax now,”  Tarun told her coolly. Tarun had always been her best friend, he made sure none of the team members felt any discomfort during their shows; that was his best trait.


As soon as the last call buzzed in, her worries were back.  She looked at Tarun, who smiled and told her to go on. Reluctantly, Tanya asked who the caller was.

Caller: Hey Tanya, would you like to play a game?

Tanya: Sure, mysterious caller, can I get your name first?

Caller: Soon.. you shall know.

Tanya: Okay, tell me what game is this and what do I win?

Caller: Ok the game is called truth or truth Tanya. Since we are on the phone, I’ll ask u three questions, you have to answer all three, you can’t quit in the middle, whatever u choose, tell the truth, don’t say the wrong answer, don’t break the rules or you pay. The rules must not be broken. And yeah there is a very interesting gift especially for you.

Tanya: Ok truth buddy, you have it.

Caller:  Why do you sound afraid?

Tanya: Of course not, go on ask me.

Caller: OH, I almost thought you sounded like that, don’t worry it is an easy game. All the best, don’t forget, do not break the rules or you pay. We good?

Tanya: Mmm Hmm.. we are good. (she did not like this idea)

Caller: So tell me, Tanya,  Do you like to drive and listen to good music?

Tanya: “Absolutely, I love long drives, with unplanned destinations, and my playlist tells you I love music, I am sure.” Tanya said, relieved for once, that Aditya had finally come around and stopped calling.

Caller: Nice, I loved long drives too, not anymore.

Tanya: Why not? Tanya enquired.

Caller: My game, my questions Tanya. Next question, what is your favourite song, Tanya,

Tanya: Oh this one’s easy, these days it is: Sign of the times, I play it almost every few days.

Caller: Yes, of course, you played it five days ago, when I talked to you for the first time.

Tanya: Really, have we talked before??

Caller: Final question Tanya, be careful, you are doing very good, you may just win. Would you like to go on a dinner with me?

Tanya: Is this a joke?

Caller: That is not the answer

Tanya: I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS, Aditya, I am not playing this game.

Caller: That is not the rule, you have to say yes or no.

Tanya: No, I can’t go on a dinner with you for the last and final time, let’s not do this anymore ok?

Caller: Well, I forgot to tell you, the rules said one more thing: you can’t say no. You forgot you break the rules, you PAY THE PRICE, NOW YOU DIE.

Tanya:  I do not care about your sick jokes.

Caller: U are going to regret this, I am not going to let go so easily. The clock is Ticking, better count your time before it runs out.

And he HUNG UP. A chill ran down her spine. She jerked it off and played the last song without much of an introduction.

As soon as she got home, she was really anxious. Over the next few days, she stopped going out, stopped working and totally shut herself in. Her friends asked her to get help from the police, but without any substantial details to go on, they did not investigate much. This complete psychopath had turned her whole life around. Suddenly, she had an idea, she thought of calling and meeting Aditya, to let go of the matter, yes that will surely solve the matter. She acquired his number from her workplace.She called him over and over again, but couldn’t reach him.


She inquired with the company and they told her that this number was no longer in use. Another dead end, she had absolutely no way of coming out of this situation, Tired, she boarded a cab on her way home. Tanya felt helpless, and tears streamed down her face. Even the beautiful Marine Drive couldn’t help her calm down, She wanted to forget all of it, and asked the driver to put on some music.

As he did, she heard her favourite song play on the radio, “Just stop your crying it will be all right, it’s a Sign of the times, Welcome to the final show,”

“Does this song make you feel better, I arranged it especially for you, the drive, the song, your pending gift remember ?” the driver asked her.  And then just as she figured it, the cab crashed into a car ahead. When Tarun arrived at the scene, he was shocked, watching Tanya’s body being taken away, Tarun just broke down and felt helpless. Could it be just a coincidence, exactly as the caller had predicted it, but it happened to her, and he couldn’t believe it.

“It is really unfortunate” an old man from the crowd, was watching the whole thing.

“Yes, she was my friend,” Tarun replied solemnly.

“Oh, I am really sorry for your loss, this is so strange though, this is the second death here in the past ten days.”

“Second?” Tarun was aghast.

“Yes, Ten days ago shortly after midnight, a young man had met with an accident here in the same spot, exactly like this. Onlookers said he died, right here while he was distracted listening to the radio driving back home.” The old man replied.

“What did you say the name of the man was?” Tarun’s head spun, but it was as if he already knew.

“It was Aditya, and he was my son. They say that people who die an untimely death, remain stranded here for something that is incomplete. And the only thing Aditya wanted before his death, was to meet this girl, he had been obsessed with her. He wanted to take her away, and now he finally did.”


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Jyotika Sharma April 4, 2018 - 9:29 pm

Spooky and interesting… Loved it!!!!

Mauli May 28, 2018 - 2:38 am

Thank you so much..!!! love..!! watch this space for more..!!

Geetanjali Jain April 29, 2018 - 11:46 pm

Well… This story definitely kept me engrossed till the end (even this time also, i couldn’t rule out the climax 😋)… I just wish Aditya was not an Uber/Ola driver 😀😀

Mauli May 28, 2018 - 2:37 am

Hahaha, thanks, sweetheart.. and don’t you worry Uber/Ola is safe.. :*

Sapna April 30, 2018 - 8:02 am

Amazing and interesting Quicky. Wasn’t aware of this hidden talent of yours. 😘

Mauli May 28, 2018 - 2:36 am

Thank you so much Sapna.. keep visiting for more.. 🙂

Ruchika October 29, 2018 - 3:45 pm

Interesting ! I appreciate your thinking and writing skills, Go ahead Girl !


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