Thursday, November 12, 2009
Diwali. October 09. Mysore.
I, my brother Murali, my cousin Phani and another cousin Aravind – all gathered at my place. After fireworks and dinner, it was bedtime. There was a lot of laughter as we talked about this and that… and finally we came to the topic of ghosts.
My cousin Phani has a penchant for running into ghosts. This time, it was during his stay in a room in Bangalore with his friends.
They were the three of them in this room on the first floor of this independent house in Ashoknagar near Vidyapeetha circle.
One of the boys was careless and the other two would rebuke him for being forgetful about various things.
After bathing, for instance, this boy would forget to switch off the boiler. After a few times of being told to be careful and after some scolding, the boy started being careful. But the problem continued. The boiler switch was found to be on! And the poor boy pleaded that he had surely switched it off!
At night when the boys were asleep, their blankets would be pulled off or misplaced.
One day, my cousin’s friends planned to go to the temple. The two of them woke up first, had their bath and started getting ready while my cousin was asleep. My cousin woke up in a while and entered the bathroom. When he was still bathing, his friends shouted goodbye to him and said they would lock the door from outside. My cousin came out of the bath to find that his friends had gone.
What he also found was that the door was bolted from the inside and there was nobody else in the room! That’s when his suspicion was confirmed.
The next day, he accosted the house owner’s son and made a few enquiries about his family members and who had stayed in the room previously. The boy revealed that he had an elder brother who had committed suicide and he used to live in the same room as these boys lived in now!
My cousin is a fearless guy and continued to live in the same room. Of course, they brought in pictures of Gods and hung them on the wall and all that, but if I were in his position, I would have vacated the place the same day. Freaky!
The discussion that night went on to other ghosts that my grandparents and other people had run into in our native village. My mother who had been sitting next to me asked us to stop the morbid discussion as it was quite late and we should not be going to bed with all that in our head. Moreover, I was going to be sleeping alone upstairs in my room!
But courageous as I am and not easily shaken by these things, I encouraged my cousins to share some more of it with us. And then we went on to discuss ghosts of presidents in the white house, ghosts of patients who died on the operation table in hospital corridors, this really gory picture my cousin had seen, this really scary movie which they had watched during broad daylight and got scared etc. and then there was the inevitable question “Do you believe in ghosts?”. All of us agreed that we did.
It was time to retire. I walked to the dark stairs and turned on all lights in a hurry. (Usually, I climb the staircase without caring for the lights!). I walked to my bed and sat on it. The windows behind me were all closed. Thanks. But one window on my side was open. I looked in its direction. It was dark outside. And quite still. I called up two of my friends and consulted them. I could have slept alone. I told you I am courageous. But then, what if I saw a scary dream and woke up in horror? What if I heard some sound and opened my eyes to see the tall figure of my father standing at the door?(He has this habit of walking around the house ‘making sure everything’s alright’ on days that he does not sleep well).
So I decided to sleep in my room downstairs. I did not dream that night. And the next morning we talked about more ghosts. Some very mischievous proven ghosts that have made people vacate their houses. The unstoppable ones that did not even care for exorcists who are scarier than ghosts. I will write about them later.
Last night (my place in Bangalore), as I woke up in the dark to drink water and groped my way to the kitchen, this episode about my cousin occurred to me and a chill ran down my spine. Having stayed in different places and for the last 2 years, all by myself, what with so many people committing suicide all the time, I am grateful that I have not run into a ghost!