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Iswaran: Iswaran is the servant of Mahendra. Iswaran cooked for Mahendra, washed his clothes and told stories to his master at night. When he told Mahendra about ghosts, Mahendra called him a crazy man. He was a good storyteller. Most of his stories were full of suspense and thrill. His stories affected his master so much that Mahendra started feeling afraid of ghosts and left his present accommodation.
Mahendra: Mahendra was a supervisor in a firm. The nature of his job moved him from place to place. He adjusted in all types of dwellings. His servant entertained him with stories. He did not believe in ghosts initially. But after listening to Iswaran, he too seemed to experience the existence of ghosts. Once he was so frightened of a ghost that he decided to leave the present accommodation where he was staying. He appears to be a man who can easily give in to fear of things like ghosts.
Iswaran was Mahendra’s cook and was like an asset to him. He was dedicated to his master and followed him uncomplainingly to all his postings. He would cook for him, wash his clothes, and also chat with him at night. He had the ability to improvise cooking material even at the remotest place and cooked delicious dishes in a very brief time.
Iswaran was fond of reading popular Tamil thrillers. Their imaginative descriptions and narrating styles would fascinate him. He became a master storyteller by adopting the art of storytelling from these novels. He would always add suspense and surprise even to the smallest incident and could make up innumerable stories on different subjects. While describing, he would get so involved that he would jump about on the floor. He would narrate the story in installments and would purposely leave it unfinished midway. On returning, he would not pick it up right away till Mahendra reminded him to. In this manner he would involve his listener too.
Every day, Iswaran would recount a new story filled with adventure, horror and suspense. Mahendra loved his stories and listened with rapt attention even if they were unbelievable. Iswaran thus entertained Mahendra just as TV does.
Iswaran enjoyed his job and would not sit idle when Mahendra was at work. He would use that time to tidy up the shed and wash clothes. He was also religious because he would mutter a prayer throughout his bath ritual.
This character displays a shade of comedy as well when he teasingly asks Mahendra about his reaction at having seen the female ghost.
Mahendra used to work as a junior supervisor in a firm which offered on hire supervisors at construction sites. His work involved moving from one site to another. He was unmarried and a simple man. He was quite accommodating and adjusted well to odd conditions that he faced at different places. He was a disciplined man and would get up early in the morning. He would leave for work after breakfast and carry lunch with him.
Mahendra was very fond of his cook Iswaran whom he considered to be an asset. He relished the food cooked by him and enjoyed listening to his stories. He was a good listener and never interrupted Iswaran even when he exaggerated. He was very patient and would wait for Iswaran to return and complete the unfinished story. He was also curious as he would insist on knowing all the details.
Mahendra was a rational man and did not believe in ghosts or spirits but could not help getting influenced by what Iswaran told him about the female ghost. He tried to ignore the strange sounds at night but got scared when he saw the apparition. However, his rationality made him forget the previous night’s experience.
Mahendra’s faith in Iswaran was very strong. He was convinced about the presence of a female ghost when Iswaran told him that he had heard sounds at night.
This character appeals to the reader for his qualities as a devoted worker, a kind-hearted master and a trusting man.