(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Subramanian, a retired officer in the Indian ministry of defense, tells his listeners that he once knew a man who met a ghost and proceeds to relate the whole story.

When Major General Jahangir (“Jago”) Antia turns fifty, he begins to suffer phantom pain in his missing leg. Nothing relieves his suffering, and fearing that the pain and distraction will affect his command and cause the deaths of some of his men, he retires and returns to his boyhood home in Bombay. His parents are long dead, but the home is maintained by the faithful housekeeper, Amir Khan, who tells him that the upstairs rooms have been shut up for years and that he will need to sleep in the study. Jago Antia plans to sell the house but promises Amir Khan that he will provide for him.

Soon after he arrives, Jago Antia lies in bed musing about his successful career when he hears a muffled voice crying out. Strapping on his artificial leg, he starts up the stairs and hears the voice, a young voice, call out again, and he senses “a rush of motion on the balcony that ran around the outside of the house.” He hears footsteps approaching, and a flash of lightning reveals wet footprints on the hallway’s tile floor. The voice cries out again, low and melancholy, and Jago Antia slumps against the banister and slides to the bottom of the stairs.

For three days, the shaken Jago Antia paces the house in distress. His batman, Thapa, rejoins him and is shocked by his old master’s appearance. Jago Antia visits the real estate agent Todywalla, who tells him that the house is unmarketable because “There’s something in that house.” Mustering the determination to spend a night untroubled, Jago Antia beds down in the study but soon hears the ghostly voice...

(The entire section is 718 words.)


(Short Stories for Students)

‘‘Dharma’’ begins in a bar in Bombay, India, called
the Fisherman’s Rest. The young narrator, who
works for a software...

(The entire section is 1281 words.)