The Hammer Lady is a work of fiction, please do not go further if you have issues with gore and violence.
Today the people of Kalibari have decided to have a small puja for lord Kali on the auspicious day of Kali Pujo.
Everyone is in a hurry. Kids are helping the elders arrange everything and get ready. People are in a hurry because they need to finish everything before midnight.
“ Sohan, go fetch some more flowers from Banerjee uncle”
“Sure maa. But why are we in such a hurry?” asked Sohan.
“I will tell you everything afterward. Now go fetch the flowers.”
Sohan did exactly what his mother had told him to do. After sunset, the puja went as planned and everything went great. After the puja was done people started leaving. Sohan and his parents came back home and had a hearty dinner. Sohan’s father later decided to watch an old movie that was being aired on television.
Sohan asked his mother “Maa, tell me the story behind Kalibari. Why can’t we stay there late?”
“Fine I will tell you,” said Sohan’s mother.
“Around 20 years ago, when your grandfather was a member of the village Panchayat an incident took place. The incident changed everything for us. There was a lady named Arumita who lived on the outskirts of Kalighat. She was shunned by the entire village because of her crooked body and scary face. Even at the age of twenty-three, she looked like she was old and had wrinkles on her face. The people of the ghat thought that she was a witch and she was shunned by everyone.”
“Even after her pleading a lot, the people with the help of the village Panchayat threw her out of the ghat. She was forced to live a miserable life because of the suspicion of being a witch. Sohan, you might be thinking that the people were wrong but everything changed. One day a young girl who lived at the edge of the ghat disappeared and she was not found until midnight.
“When a searching team went outside the ghat to search for she was found dead with a nail hammered inside her head. The people of the village were devastated to see that. A report was filed until one day two more young girls disappeared again and found dead with a nail hammered. Surprisingly Arumita was getting prettier day by day.”
“One day a young and brave boy Santosh decided to find out what was happening. He stayed outside the ghat and waited. He was then knocked down by a stick and taken inside a hut. It was none other than Arumita who was performing black magic on young people to regain her beauty. She was about to sacrifice and kill Santosh but she was stopped by the villagers and tied up and taken to the Panchayat.”
“The head of the village, being angry, decided to punish Arumita then and there. He ordered that she ]should be burnt to ashes. But the villagers, being angry got carried away and decided to do something even worse. They took the hammer she used to kill people, chopped her hands off, and placed the hands there. They then decided to place nails in her body and while she yelled in pain she was set on fire and burnt alive. She yelled in pain and cursed the people that she would take revenge and exactly at midnight she breathed her last. Everyone thought that things would get back to normal. But that was not the end.”
“One day a child was playing in the ghat. He saw a lady dressed in white come and ask him if he would like to play a game with her. The boy said yes. The lady then took out a ball and threw it. She asked the boy to fetch it and when the boy turned she took out a hammer and with one big blow she killed the boy. When the body was found the face was unrecognizable.”
“It was clear that Arumita was back from the dead and she was dubbed as the hammer lady. Many people who saw kids being murdered described the Hammer Lady as a person in white with scars all over her hand and she carries a hammer. People were very scared and they had to take a lot of precautions so that the children of the village would be safe”
“After being scared for a long period of time the people of the ghat decided to seek help and fight back against the Hammer Lady. They approached a priest who had sacrificed all the worldly pleasures and was living a very simple life. He said that they had to perform a 4-hour long ritual in order to capture the spirit of the Hammer Lady.”
“On the day of Kali Puja, they decided to start with the ritual. It did not go easily. The sky was dark, the crows were cawing. It looked like Arumita was not ready to go down without a fight. The ritual started and the priest had asked the people to bring out the dead body of Arumita. The priest started the ritual and forced the spirit to come back to its body. He then used a Trishul and stabbed her in the chest. The body was then burnt. Even though Arumita is not there we still believe her spirit lingers there.”
“So we still hide? “Yes, we do.”
About the Author: Ishaan Anurabh is a first year student at Manipal Institute of Communication.