I remember it quiet distinctly. It was dead dark up in the sky. The street lamps had been glowing eerily all the evening. Not a soul fluttered in the city. Not a vehicle purred. Fallen leaves crawled as if a zombie’s hands. The breeze brushed past, in silence, cutting like a steel, drenching everything in the stench of death. It was dead quiet – as if someone’d just farted….
We all stared at Heroine’s face in disbelief. His fat, sagging, baggy, tired but sly face. He had just told us about a notorious song called Gloomy Sunday, aka the suicide song, and how it has caused a thousand suicides in the past and how it was banned from radio and everywhere else and whoever listened to it never saw another day. It was a late night bantering that had now turned into a session of paranormal yarns. We were discussing how goddam scary the horror comedy Vikral and Gabral was when Heroine started talking facts and told us about Gloomy Sunday.
“One of my friend’s friend told me this. I swear it’s true. “He started. We all knew about his friend’s friend, who was some kind of omniscient twat whose sole purpose of existence was to fill Heroine’s mind with all sorts of crap. He once told Heroine that Aishwarya Rai had a nude scene in a Hollywood movie, and this poor chap skipped school for the next few days and rummaged through seventy four porn sites and Wikipedia and even asked it on quora. By the end of his campaign, xvideos sent him their catalogue with various premium packs and alluring discounts, which he furiously trashed. Also, a few quora guys called him a pervert.
Now it was some shit about gloomy Sunday. I looked beyond his shoulders, far into the branching streets of SOP lit by a row of isolated streetlamps, and the vast emptiness surrounding them. The world couldn’t be any sadder. I wondered if people would really die after listening to some Hungarian harp rather than witnessing something gloomier, things like poverty, murder, or their Maths result. Rana was already busy googling away as the rest of us decided which side to take on. We had our own qualms, but we were kind of sure we would not die. But when I was a kid, one of my friend’s friend too was pretty sure he would not die.
“People are stupid. It’s so shallow I can see tortoises running down there. “He pointed at the notorious green pond of the village. Then he jumped in and died.
“Here, Ravish. Download it. “He said.
Now, people, whenever I’m in a group, I tend to project myself as a modern man who doesn’t believe in superstition. I give all sorts of rational, logical, scientific arguments and show people how ghosts and shit are things embedded deep into their psyche rather than being real things. Then I go home and google five ways to protect yourself from a succubus.
“I think the person who claims should download it. And cmon Rana, you are brave. Don’t tell me you think it’s true! “I said, as if I was on a social awareness campaign.
“Of course I don’t. “Rana replied even more emphatically, and added, “but I am yet to enter IIT and get married and you know. Plus you are a commerce student. Nobody gives a shit if you die. ”
“Yes. That’s true. “Said the rest of them.
And so I set it to download. A few minutes later, others started downloading it too. We all took up Prince’s room, closed the door from inside, switched on the light and put on a curse on whoever tried to switch it off. Then we waited patiently, counted as the song slowly oozed into our phone’s memory.
“It’s done. “Rana said.
“Yes. “I said.
And then, we played it.
It was our last night alive. “Half a dozen teenagers found dead in a hostel room ” – I could see the newspaper titles. We had no reason to commit suicide but millions to justify it. Poor marks, no girlfriends, aimless and pathetic life glutted with porn and chronic masturbation. I was feeling sad before even it had begun.
At first, we couldn’t make out anything. It was so low as if composed in infrasonics.
“Do people kill themselves because they can’t hear it? “One of us asked. We shshsh-ed him.
And finally, it hit our ears. Oh. My. God. What. An. Overestimated. Piece. Of. Shit. It was like, like, that fat lady song which results in the shattering of window panes and which highbrow, suited people listen to anyway. It’s the song that ruins dates and shoots global noise population levels by a million and scares aliens away. It was more annoying than it was scary or sad. I’d die faster listening to Barney song rather than this crap.
“Why didn’t we die? Does anyone feel suicidal? Are we going to sleep together? “They all began to ask, and I wondered what if it was a cursed song and what if we were really going to die. The mind is always delusional. I was scared when one of my friends called. He said hello and suddenly a girl started laughing in my ears. I shrieked and dropped the phone. Later, he clarified that it was his friend and he had no idea why she was laughing.
“Enough shit for a day!! “I said as I hung up and went to my room. I researched more about Gloomy Sunday and realised it was indeed a very sad song.
The next morning, I woke up with a fine air, and thanked the heavens for not pulling my soul out of my body. I reminded myself of all the goals and dreams and places where I had to have sex and deleted the goddamn song before starting my day.