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Old Man of the Temple (मंदिर का बुद्धा)

This story introduces the talkative man. He joins his friends at the town square and begins to talk about the local driver Daas. While everyone seems to agree that Daas is certainly a wonderful driver and handyman, the talkative man insists that despite this he has a tale which will show good old Daas in a bizarre light. To prove his point he begins narrating a story of when he used to work in Kumbum – a town near Malgudi. On his way back from there he says he had used Daas as the driver. He was fast asleep when Daas swerved through a mud path and almost rammed the car near an old and abandoned temple. On waking up and inquiring about the incident Daas started telling the talkative man about how he was trying to avoid hitting the old man. On looking around the talkative man found no one in sight. Just as they were about to leave the place a relatively young Daas undergoes a weird transformation. He starts to talk and walk about like an old man who he claims was the builder of the temple they are at. He even starts to call himself Krishna Battar. This scares the talkative man a little but he keeps his wits about him. He continues to humor Daas (now in the old man’s personality) and extracts information on how he died 500 years ago while crossing across the forest one night.

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