Sush or more precisely her wanton spirit loomed large over the residents of Mavilla Manors, the tony neighborhood of Kalyan, a distant Mumbai suburb.
Like an giant albatross it hovered over the lives of its inhabitants, controlling, directing, demanding, even dominating them with brute unbridled authority; an evil power, a devilish force let loose on its unsuspecting victims.
Little Harpreet stood out for special attention. The youngest of three siblings and that included two elder sisters besides a college professor father and a bank employee mother, Preet as he was lovingly addressed, had led a fairly cocooned existence until he was ten years old__old enough to be able to undergo the ten minute walk down the forested lane to where the school bus picked and dropped him; old enough to extricate the spare key from the inner pouch of his red Scoobie Doo bag and open the kitchen door and let himself into the sprawling five room house by the river; change into fresh clothes, and sit down for lunch that the maid would have prepared, and then proceed for his daily tuitions at Sawarkar’s, located six houses down the road.
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