‘When I threw a stone down the hole, it made no noise at all. Curious, I picked up a handful of stones and threw them, waiting between each throw to hear the sound it might make. Silence answered me. I threw one two three four of the stones in quick succession. A grating growl emerged from the hole. I moved backwards hurriedly and in doing so tripped over the pile of rubble just behind me. With a dramatic thump I sat down on the uneven ground, my legs comically splayed. As if celebrating and applauding my fall, the hole belched out yet another noise, loud and ugly, hungry and somehow triumphant.
The hole seemed darker, several shades blacker, and I stared at it. I knew I should be running away from the hole and the noise it held prisoner. I thought longingly of the friendly clutter and confusion and noise of my own house, of the newspaper lying folded on a little table, a bowl of fruits on the dining table and the smell of turmeric and onions in the kitchen. The growl sounded again, closer now. The grating sound continued in symphony with the growling, and the desolate ruin of the house resounded with it. Only a monster could make a noise like that. My mind summoned a picture to go with it. I saw something big and black and even with my heart thumping fit to burst, even with my throat closing shut with fear, I knew what it was. “It’s a Rakshasha!” my mind cried. “A cruel Rakshasha!” It was a mosaic of all the Rakshashas I had ever seen in the comics that I read, hiding them from Amma who thought they were trash and accused them of making me ‘waste time.’ A huge dark creature with horns and glowing red eyes. An angry Rakshasha, teeth sharp and eager, tongue long and pointy, climbing out of the hole where it had lain asleep till I woke it up with my carelessly thrown missiles. It was the same huge creature that defied logic to hide under my bed, salivating as it waited for me to fall asleep, so it could devour my toes. I knew this monster, had known it for years, and the thought of it climbing out of that dark hole was enough to get me up. I could hear it gasping as it climbed up the hole, and I pushed myself to my feet in a hurry.’