“Iswaran the Storyteller” is written by R. K. Laxman. The story is about a junior supervisor named Mahendra, and his cook, Iswaran. Mahendra had to move from one place to another as it was the nature of his job. He was a simple man, and so were his needs. Moreover, Mahendra had the company of Iswaran, an excellent cook and storyteller. Iswaran was fond of reading thrilling Tamil stories during his leisure time. Those Tamil thrillers influenced Iswaran because he would narrate the stories to Mahendra by giving expressions and bodily gestures even for the smallest incident.
The first incident Iswaran narrated to Mahendra was about a mad elephant. At that time Iswaran was studying in high school. One day, while the students were playing on the ground, a wild elephant entered the school campus by breaking the walls. Children and teachers ran to the roof of the building to save their lives. Later, Iswaran took a stick from one of his teacher’s hand and went near the elephant. After approaching the elephant, Iswaran gave a sudden kick to the elephant’s third toenail. As a result, the elephant became unconscious and fell to the ground.
On a full-moon night, Iswaran started talking about ghosts. He said that the place where they were living was once a burial ground. Iswaran told Mahendra about the spirit he had seen on a full-moon night. The ghost carried an unborn baby in her arms. This terrified Mahendra so much that he could hear a crying sound of a woman outside his window while he was sleeping. He looked out in fear, and there he saw the spirit of the woman holding a bundle in her hands. He thought to himself that it was his subconscious mind playing all kinds of tricks. The next morning Iswaran started asking Mahendra about the sight he had seen during the previous night. But Mahendra was too frightened that he didn't let Iswaran complete his conversation. He hurried off to his office determined to resign from his job and leave the haunted place the very next day.