One night, Mahendra was woken up from his sleep by a low moan close to his window. At first he put it down to a cat prowling around for mice. But the sound was too guttural for a cat. He resisted the curiosity to look out lest he should behold a sight which would stop his heart. But the wailing became louder and less feline. He could not resist the temptation any more. Lowering himself to the level of the windowsill he looked out at the white sheet of moonlight outside. There, not too far away, was a dark cloudy form clutching a bundle. Mahendra broke into a cold sweat and fell back on the pillow, panting. As he gradually recovered from the ghastly experience he began to reason with himself, and finally concluded that it must have been some sort of auto suggestion, some trick that his subconscious had played on him.
Mahendra got scared when he thought about the ghost story. Then, one night while Mahendra was in his deep sleep, he was awakened by the sound of someone crying. He thought that it could be the sound of a cat because the cats tend to roam here and there in search of mice during nighttime. So he tried convincing himself that it was nothing and tried to get back to sleep.
Again Mahendra heard the same sound, and it became harsher and seemed to be horrible. Mahendra wanted to look out of the window, but he had stopped himself because he was worried that he might see something terrible that could stop his heart. Later, as time passed, the crying sound became louder, and he concluded that it was not the sound made by a cat.
Even though Mahendra was in great fear, he could not stop himself from knowing what was happening around him. So he lowered his head nearby the window to see whether anything was there. In the moonlight, Mahendra saw something that seemed to be in the form of a dark cloud. The dark cloud seemed like a ghost holding a bundle in its arms.
Mahendra saw a ghost
Mahendra panicked after seeing the figure, and his face was filled with sweat because of anxiety. He started breathing heavily and fell back on the bed. After some time, Mahendra slowly recovered from the scary experience and told himself that his thoughts were the reason behind everything. Mahendra assumed that he had been thinking about the ghost throughout the night and that's why the thoughts in his mind had appeared in front of him like a ghost.
Meanings of the difficult words:
Moan Make a long, low sound expressing physical or mental suffering
Prowling Of a person or animal move about restlessly and stealthily, especially in search of prey
Guttural Harsh-sounding
Curiosity A strong desire to know or learn something
FelineAppearing or behaving like a cat
   6Clutching Grasp something tightly
Auto suggestionThe practice of suggesting thoughts to oneself
Ghastly Causing great horror or fear
Subconscious The part of your mind that notices and remembers information when you are not actively trying to do so, and influences your behaviour even though you do not realize it
Trick A cunning act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone
PantingBreathing with short, quick breaths; out of breath
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Moments. Iswaran the Storyteller– R.K. Laxman (pp. 12-18). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.