By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2016 Hiranya Borah
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Chapter I: LADY ON A TRAIN
Chapter II: I GOT THE POWER
Chapter III: AT THE COFFEE TABLE
Chapter IV: SCHOOL OR HOME
Chapter V: ON THE AIRCRAFT
Chapter VI: GIRL SITS ON RUNNING CAR
Chapter VII: LADY AT KHAN MARKET
Chapter VIII: KOREAN BEAUTY AT CASINO
Chapter IX: CONCLUSION
I personally never believe the existence of ghost or spirit because I have never met in my 54 years life. During his 54 years I had to stay alone at guest houses, ordinary houses, open fields in rural areas, jungles, small towns, cities and metro polis, but never met a spirit or ghost. But still I enjoy in reading or hearing a ghost story. All the stories are told to me when I was a kid less than ten years by relatives to deter me from going outside home at night. But at that time and today also could not scare me instead amuse me. With that background, I wrote these stories in my own language.
I am thankful to all my readers, family members for giving me feedback and encouragement to write something on different topics.
My First encounter with a ghost was a very nice experience, though it became somewhat scary afterwards for few months.
During my first posting at Giridih, in 1987-88, I used to travel from Kolkata to Giridih via Madhupur. For Giridih, a first class coach used to be attached to a train which was running between Kolkata and Delhi. The coach used to be detached at Madhupur Junction and attached to Madhupur Giridih Passenger train. The attachment detachment used to happen in the midnight as train from Kolkata used to start at 9-30 PM and reaches at Giridih at 4-30 AM. Normally, the TTE used to advise the first class passengers to bolt the coach from inside as no passenger was supposed to enter the coach till it reaches Giridih in the morning on the next day and the route was infested by antisocial elements. During my stay at Giridih for one year and two months, I had to travel by this train at least five times as our HQs was at Kolkata. In all my travels by this train, the coach was never been full and in one occasion I had to travel as the lone passenger in the coach as per the list pasted on the body of coach and the TTE also told me that I was the only passenger.
After train started moving, bolting the coach from inside I spread my bed sheet on my seat and went to toilet. While returning from the toilet, I found that the light was on at my adjacent coupe. I tried to peep into the coupe; but before that, the door was opened by a young beautiful lady. I was surprised and suspicious also. To see my perplexed face she said in fluent English, ‘Sorry, I had to board the train at the last moment. I could not a buy a ticket also. However, I had to cough up Rs.200/- to pay to the TTE for my journey. He told me that you would be the only co passenger.’
‘Ok, Madam. If you need any help, kindly let me know.’ I said to her and entered to my coupe.
Even though, I tried to be comfortable with the situation, from inside I was little tense. I was feeling somewhat insecure thinking I might be a prey to some nefarious design from outside or might be from inside. I bolted door of my coupe and switch off the light and pretended to be asleep.
After fifteen minutes the lady knocked at my door. Í opened the door to know what the matter was.
She, with a red night gown, was standing before my door.
‘I am sorry to disturb you. Can I shift to your room? As I do not have the habit to sleep alone, I am somewhat afraid.’ She told me.
I had to a take a quick decision, ‘If I allow her to shift to my room, I will be more vulnerable. If I do not allow, that will not ease out any of my problem.’
I took an immediate decision. ‘Ok, Come.’
She brought her bag to my room and arranged her seat for sleeping by spreading light blue bed sheet.
‘Are in service or in business? She asked to make some conversation.
‘I am a Central Government employee. Presently, I am posted at Giridih.’ I also feel a little conversation will ease out our tension. ‘Are you working madam?
‘You can call me as Shruti. I am Shruti Dawson.’ She introduced herself. ‘I am a student of IIM, Calcutta. I am going to join as an intern at New India Mica for three months. They promised me to accommodate in their guest house.’ After her detailed introduction, I was little relieved. At least she was not from any antisocial group as her words were convincing enough to realize that she was not lying.
‘I am Borah. Hiranya Borah’ I also introduced myself.
‘You must be from Assam. I am from Ranchi. We are from Anglo Indian Community.’ She told.
‘Most of typical Anglo Indians community are from Bangalore/ Mangalore only. Are you originally from Ranchi’ I tried to show my knowledge.
‘Yes, you are right. Concentration of our community is in Karnataka. We are also basically from Karnataka only. My father is a doctor and working in Ranchi.’ She told me about her family.
Already the atmosphere in the coupe was becoming normal. Jokingly I asked her, ‘Hopefully he is not working in the Mental Hospital.’
‘No, no, he is not working there. Actually he is an orthopaedics and working in the civil hospital.’ With a very sweet smile she said. ‘You have very good geographical knowledge!’
‘Thank you for your appreciation. But I am not that knowledgeable. Anyway, are you a doctor? I asked her.
‘No, I did my masters in English before I joined to IIM. Actually I am not comfortable with blood, breaking of bones, dissection etc. Further, I was bad in mathematics, so I did not take science stream.’ She explained.
‘Are you from science background?’ She asked me.
‘Yes. I did B.Sc. in Physics, Mathematics and Statistics as honours subject. Then I dis masters and M.Phil in statistics from Delhi University and finally landed as official statistician of Government of India. But I also like history. I always feel, I became a statistician by accident not for liking to the subject!’I told something which did not want to share with someone whom I did not know very well.
‘It is common thing in our country, a boy has to take a subject not because he likes it, but because of possible job opportunity. ‘She commented.
‘How about your family?’ I wanted to know whether she was married or not.
She understood my underlying question. ‘No I am yet to marry. As already told my father is a doctor and my mother is a housewife. My only brother is a medical student.’ She finished her family description.
‘I have a wife with a little daughter who is only three months old.’ Before she asked, I told her.
‘She must be very cute and you love her most!’She commented.
‘Yes, for me she is the cutest and I love her more than anyone on the earth.’ I replied.
Changing her topic, she said, ‘Nobody knows that I am travelling by this train. Even in Government record, I mean as per the railway record, I am not travelling by this train. If I am killed today and if my body is thrown to a gorge, my family member will never know, where and when I am killed. They will wait for me indefinitely with a slim hope that I will come back one day. Till my dead body or even skeleton is recovered, my family or friends think I might have eloped with someone.’ She sighed.
‘Do not worry, neither I am going to kill you nor I shall throw you to gorge. If necessary I shall drop you at your guest house. You give your father’s telephone number, I shall inform him about your where about tomorrow from my office.’ I assured her.
‘Thank you for your kind assurance. Now we can sleep.Do you want the light on or off?’ She asked me.
‘It is up to you! I have no problem either way.’ After a hectic day, I was feeling sleepy and therefore, I want to finish our as quickly as possible with he.
But she was no mood to let me off the hook, ‘I may again disturb you if I cannot sleep.’ This time I was little irritated, but I did not say anything.
She did not switch off the light.
I pretended to be asleep. From the corner of the eyes, I could see she pulled up her night gown upto her knee. I could not remove my eyes from her ivory coloured legs. The combination of her bed sheet, her gown and her ivory coloured legs was a killer one for a person who was only twenty six! What was her expected age? She must be below thirty!
‘How are my legs? Are they beautiful?’ She asked me as if she knew what I was thinking.
‘Yes, they are.’ I stammered.
“Do you want to see more?’With a tantalizing voice she asked me.
‘No! Thank you, madam.’ With a determined voice I said.
No, I do not want to say that being a good man I said that statement. I was worried, because that might lead to a situation from where I might not able to come back and then I might also be trapped. Further, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter from a beautiful wife only three months ago. Their smiling faces were flashed through my mind with a warning that I should control myself before I landed into troubled water.
‘Are you worried? I am not going to eat you up!’She made a venomous smile on her lips.
‘Yes madam, I know that, you are not going to eat me up. But, I have a wife with a little daughter who are waiting for me to come home safely. My wife has a belief that I shall never cheat her. If I cannot control at this moment, it might so happen, I shall reach a point of no return. I have to live with a guilty feeling for whole of life. So, kindly let me sleep and you also sleep.’ With a folded hand I told her.
‘So you are not only going to miss a golden chance to enjoy a full night journey with a beautiful girl, but also you spoiled desire of a beautiful girl for tonight. I seldom get an opportunity to spend time with a male on this train. I cannot fulfil my desire when more than one person is moving on this train.’ She said with a sigh.
‘I am sorry madam. I cannot betray my wife. Kindly forgive me for refusing you.’ Again I told with folded hands. ‘You kindly forgive me for looking at your legs pretending to be asleep. ‘
Then I turned back to her and tried to sleep.
I did not know when I fell in deep sleep. I got up from my sleep when some porters banged on my coach.
The girl who was travelling with me was missing. But where she could go? The coach was locked from inside. After opening the door of the coach, I packed my bed sheet etc.
While packing my luggage I found a neatly hand written letter inside a white envelope. At the place of address, it was written, ‘To, my dear co-passenger from Kolkata.’
As I had to vacate my seat to the passengers who were to leave for Kolkata, I hurriedly put the letter into my pocket and got down from my train.
As soon as I reached home, my wife informed me that my daughter was running with a high temperature. After taking my bath, I took her to a doctor, who gave some medicines which acted quickly to reduce her temperature. Dropping my daughter and my wife at our residence, I proceeded to the office.
Next day when my wife handed over the envelope which was in my pocket and forgot to read, I opened the letter to read. It was very long letter. As I was going through the letter, my face turned pale. Seeing my face turned pale, my wife snatched the letter and started reading. The content of the letter was like this:
Dear my co-passenger,
If you find the letter in a white envelope, I am thankful to you as my soul has been freed from all earthly love, affection and revengefulness. If the colour of envelope is blue, then I have to be here for some more time, but I am still thankful to you as you have facilitated me to free myself from all earthly love, affection and revengefulness. If however, you get a black envelope, you are only lucky person to be spared by me.
For last ten years, I am travelling everyday by this coach. Whenever, there is only one male passenger in the coach, I show my legs to him. Some of them want to see more and a very few refuse to see beyond my knees. Those who refuse to see beyond my knees, they are spared keeping a similar letter to them. Unfortunately, so far nobody got a white envelope and that is why, I am still travelling by this coach. Those who got an envelope other than white colour, have to keep their mouth shut about our meeting. If anyone dares to open his mouth to tell about our meeting, he will lose one of his sensitive organs, like eyes or tongue or ears etc.
Those persons who wanted to see beyond my knees were shown to them the reality of that part of my body. I show them my body which was mutilated by three highly qualified animals from so called good families after committing gang rape ten years ago. My beautiful body was cut into several pieces to make it beyond recognition before they had thrown my body to a gorge. After committing the crime they got down from the train at an unscheduled stoppage. The body, rather the skeleton is still at the gorge.
What was my fault? I was given my internship at a mica factory at Giridih. Due to short time, thanks to manual reservation system, though the bogey to Giridih was almost vacant, I was denied a valid ticket. I gave the TTE Rs.200/- to TTE to get my accommodation in the first class compartment. When I entered to the coach I found three well dressed persons sitting. Before the start of journey they were very polite. When we discussed about management of railway, I told them I did not have a valid ticket exactly same manner as I told you.
After half an hour, I wanted go to my coupe, one of them grabbed my hand and pulled me to his lap. I slapped him with a hope other two will support me as all of them were unknown to each other till boarded the train.
He told the other two persons also to join as they will also not going to get any opportunity to enjoy a young Anglo Indian fair girl.
To my surprise the other two also joined him and I was repeatedly raped for next few hours. I was in a semiconscious state.
The same person who took the lead in raping me, told the other persons, ‘we cannot leave this girl alive. She will complain to the police and all of us will be in jail. She does not have a valid ticket so let us kill him and throw her out of the train. Without waiting for the others, he suffocated me with a pillow and killed me within few minutes. Then with a torch he smashed my face beyond recognition. Finally, with a knife which he was carrying with him to protect himself from antisocial, he cut my body in such a way that even my body is beyond recognition. The other two was trembling with fear. On his instruction they helped him to throw my dead body out of the train and clean the coupe from blood stain. Though there blood stain remained, nobody cared at Giridih station from where blood stain had come and it was washed customarily by the sweepers at the station. The culprits had disembarked from the train long before arrival of their destination.
Flesh of my dead body was eaten up by animals and few bones were left under the sky. My skull and major bones of my skeleton is still lying in the gorge.
No missing report was lodged anywhere as no police station was ready to lodge the complaint as nobody knows wherefrom I was lost.
As I mentioned to you, I did not have a valid ticket, my family and friends did not know from where and when I was missing till date. My parents and my brother, who is a full fledged doctor now, are still waiting for my return.
After seeing my mutilated body, so far one had a heart attack and died. The person who died, wanted to rape me without any provocation from my side.
Two others had also heart attack and not in position to tell anything about our meeting. These two persons, tried to rape me just after seeing my legs.
Rest of the other four/ five person fainted and recovered after few days. These people tried to have physical contact after my seductive words. I spared them from my anger, as they may not be that bad persons. However, they were so scared, so far, nobody could muster the courage to tell what had happened on that night.
If you got a black envelope, you are not a good person but you somehow controlled yourself from an impending danger because somebody close to your heart, is very good person.
If you find a blue envelope, you are good man. But you are lack of ability to help others.
If you find a white envelope, then not only I shall be free from all earthly things but also, it will certify that you are a good man from core of your heart, you love your family and so far you have never betrayed your wife. You are also very helpful person. You are not swayed away by greediness. And above all, you are a god fearing man, always ready to help any person who needs help!
I expect you will get a white envelope because, I found you are eager to help an unknown person not like another otherwise good man who closed the door on my face and was not ready to help an unknown girl. In your case, you offered to help me when I was in a different coupe. Then, when I wanted to shift to your coupe citing my fear to sleep alone, you allowed me shift to your coupe. When I wanted to test your integrity by showing my legs up to knee, you are able to control yourself from indulging any unethical things. Then i wanted to test further by apparently tried to seduce you, even then you did not sway. Therefore, I think you may get a white envelope and make me free from all pain I had been bearing for last ten years.
I have a request for you, if, you have found a white envelope, please hand over the envelope to the police or to my family members to recover my skull for last rites. Address of my parents is given at the bottom the letter.
(only for white envelope receiver)
If you got a white envelope, I wish you all the best for your future life and hope, God always helps you.
Sincerely your unknown sister,
Shurti / Dr. Robert Dawson
B/64 Azad Nagar, Ranchi, Bihar
I was in a state of shock for minutes and then I discussed the matter with my wife what to do. If I go to police, I was not sure how they would react. Finally I decided to send the letter to the address of their parents.
Next day keeping a photocopy of the letter I sent the original letter to Robert Dawson. I did not give my address at the place of sender‘s name and address to keep my identity a secret.
I did not know what happened afterwards till I visited Ranchi on an official tour in 1991.
After reaching Ranchi, I could not resist myself from knowing what happened to that letter which I had sent to Ranchi from Giridih four years ago. After attending office, I went to the purported Dawson’s residence at B/64 Azad Nagar, Ranchi.
When I knocked the door of B/64, to my surprise, a young Anglo Indian lady came out. With a stammering voice I asked her, ‘Is it Dawson’s residence? I am Borah, an officer from Government of India.’
With an extremely surprised look she asked me, ‘Yes it is Dawson’s residence. Whom do you want meet? You do not seem to be from Bihar or Karnataka?’
‘Yes madam, I am from Assam and presently posted in Assam. Presently I am on a two days’ tour to Ranchi.’ I told her.
She invited to her drawing room and called her husband. A man of thirty came into the room and shook his hand with me and he saw to me question mark on his face.
‘A few years ago, I was posted in Giridih. During my stay at Giridih, I experienced an unbelievable incident while travelling from Kolkata to Giridih.’ I paused for moment to gauge his reaction.
Before I open my mouth again he exclaimed, ‘Are you the person who had sent the white envelope of Shruti?
He stood up from the chair and hugged me. ‘I am Shruti’s brother.’ He started weeping and said, ‘We all are thankful to you. From the letter, you had sent, we recovered the remains of Shruti. With the help of a senior politician, we pressurised the Government to make a enquiry of the murder case and all three culprits were caught. The case is still going on in High court. Let me introduce other family members.’
Robert Dawson became a devastated man on hearing the murder of his daughter after ten years. So was the case of Mrs Dawson. Both the old persons blessed me for a better future. This time I promised to keep a contact with them to know the court’s verdict.
Finally, court verdict came in 2001. The main culprit was given life imprisonment and others two got seven years imprisonment.
On 3rd September, 1995 at 1 PM, I was informed by my cousin, Rakesh that his mother, my closest Aunty, my mother’s younger sister had been seriously ill. I had the closest bond with this Aunty after my mother. In all practical purposes, she was my second mother. She happened to be my closest female friend till I got married and I was blessed with my daughters. Without wasting time, I took a bus from Guwahati at 3 PM and expected to reach her residence by 9 PM. But unfortunately, due to technical snag, I reached Biswanath Charali by 10 PM, the town of my Aunty’s residence. I could not get any Rickshaw to go the village which was about 2 KM away from the bus stand. So I had to walk down to the village.
By 10-30 PM, when I reached the village, I found the whole village was plunged into darkness due to load shedding in the entire area. However, due to some moon light, I could manage my way to my Aunty’s residence quite comfortably. While walking I had a feeling that someone was following me very closely. I looked around, but I could not see anything. I thought, it was my sense of insecurity that led to the feeling of something was following me.
Finally when I reached the entrance gate of Aunty’s residence, I saw my Aunty was waiting for me at the gate itself. She welcomed me, ‘I was worried, how you will come today from the bus stand, as most of the rickshaw pullers refuse to come to our village at night. I am happy that you reached the village safely.’ Then she led me to the Veranda and she told me through gesture to sit down. As we sat for a chit chat with Aunty, I realized she wanted to talk with me something special personally, which she did not want to divulge with anyone else.
With faint smile on her face she said, ‘It is quite normal not to have electricity at night. Rakesh and his children had already gone to sleep and as I was sure that you would be coming today after getting Rakesh message, I was waiting for you. Hope everything in your house (family) is fine.’
‘Yes, Aunty. Everything is fine. How is your health now? After seeing you, I am little bit relaxed. Otherwise, I was really worried.’ I told her.
‘Do not worry my son. Without meeting you, I cannot go. You are also my son, after your mother delivered you she fainted, you cried for the first time in my hands. I cleared dirt from your tiny body. Till today, I remember your first cry and the dirt what every mother wants to see.’ She sighed.
‘I know that! You have told me that episode many times. Even then, I like to hear it from your mouth again and again. I know you also like to tell me again and again.’ I said with choking voice as I understood, Aunty would not survive for long; cancer had already taken a toll on her body.
Before she replied something, I heard the sound of someone was moving towards the main door. The door was flung open and I saw Rakesh was standing before me. As soon as he saw me, he hugged me and started crying inconsolably. All on a sudden, I realized, Aunty was nowhere to be seen. I understood, with whom I was talking few seconds ago. For the second time, after Shruti Dawson, I had to talk with a spirit; but this time someone who had been so near to my heart. Then only I understood who had escorted me from bus stand to my Aunty’s residence.
I comforted Rakesh. Rakesh told me that when he telephoned me at that time itself Aunty had died. Before her death, she wanted to talk to me, but she had to leave before my arrival. That might be the reason; she was waiting for me at the bus stand, accompanied me to her residence and wanted to say something, but before saying something she had to vanish.
Her body had been kept in the hospital so that other relatives including me and my sister could see her dead body before she was put into the pyre.
‘Where she breathed her last? In the hospital or at home?’I asked Rakesh.
‘At home, in her room she died. Now, the room is locked. Antara (Rakesh’s wife) and children are wary to go to near the room.’ He said
‘Where is the room?’Is it cleaned?’ I asked Rakesh.
‘Room has been cleaned. But, why do you ask?’He asked me with some degree of surprise.
‘I want to sleep in that room tonight.’ I said.
‘We have made ready another bed in another room for you.’ Rakesh did not want to open that room.
‘The room must be used today. Otherwise, you will always have a fear, at least for the children to use the room at night.’ I tried him to see reason in my offer to stay in the room used by my Aunty till her death.
On my insistence they put a bed roll on the floor for me in Aunty’s room. When all went for sleep, as expected, Aunty again appeared before me.
‘I did not know, my little son became so brave! I am so proud of you! Do you expect me to appear before you?’She asked me with sweet old smile on her face.
‘I was not sure. But I wanted to meet you again and that is why I wanted to sleep in this room.’ I explained.
‘Don’t you fear for spirit or ghost?’ She asked me.
‘No, if it is one of my Aunty’s spirit or for that matter, anyone who loves me very much and I also love him or her, I do not fear at all. I know those spirits will never harm me.’ With a pause, I said again, ‘Rather, I want to meet all of them at least once.’
Then both of us talked many things about our past. Around 4 AM, she said, ‘Many people do not know, there is another world where spirits roam around like ordinary people which ordinary living people cannot see. Like, the world which all of you can see, where there are good people and bad people, in the world of spirit, there are good spirits and bad spirits. The exceptionally good spirits are eligible to leave the world of spirits to yet another world which is full of light and tranquillity. The ordinary good spirits have to find good wombs for their rebirth. Bad spirits have to take bad wombs for their rebirth. However, every spirit has to spend sometime in the spirit world. Length of their stay depends upon their deeds in your world and our spirit world. Every spirit has different power like power structure prevalent in your living world. Here, power is garnered as per the life he or she had spent in the world you are living. Here also good spirits are empowered more by the Almighty. I do not know how much power do I have; but I am told by some spirits that I have some power for my good works in the world which I left today. As you know, I lost my husband at a very tender age; but I did not marry and never had any intention to cheat my dead husband; and therefore, I got some extraordinary power. I understand, you have the guts to face any spirit and you have also habit to help others in their needs. Therefore, to give some safeguards from bad spirits, I want to give you something. Bhaity (my nick name), remember always, what I am giving you will protect you; so long you use your power to help others selflessly. If you use your power for your benefits or even for fame, you will lose your power and your protection gradually. Similarly, the more you utilize your power for benefits of others; you will be more powerful and will be protected more and more. A time will come when you will be able to call any spirit for benefits of others. So use your power with benevolence in your mind in future. Now take this ring, wear it in your ring finger. It will not be seen by others and the ring will never be lost till your death; but power of the ring to protect you will depend upon your deeds. You can see whether power is increased or decreased by pointing to a mirror on full moon day. The ring will emit glowing light which will increase or decrease according to the power it contains.’
Then she gave me the ring. I put on the ring on my finger. I know, the moment I put on the ring, my responsibility to safeguard the interest of the good spirits and humanity had increased manifold. Earlier, I used to share my encounter with Shruti Dawson with many persons; but now I cannot say anybody about my future encounters. Further, I must be ready all the time to help the good spirits at any part of the world. Thinking this, I felt tiredness for the first time since I left Guwahati.
‘Aunty I want to sleep on your lap for some time and you run your fingers on my hair like you did when I was young. You sing a lullaby for me.’
‘My child I cannot do that; because I do not have a body now.’ She said.
‘I know that. But still you can do that; because you are my second mother.’ I insisted.
She sat on my bed in such a way that her lap was placed on the pillow. I put my head on her virtual lap and closed my eyes. I felt her fingers were running through my hair.
‘Are you happy, my child?’ She asked with love in her voice.
I did not answer. I tried to sleep for the last time on the lap of my Aunty.
When Rakesh knocked the door in the morning, I did not find my Aunty. I saw to my ring finger, the ring was very much on my finger.
‘I heard whole night you were murmuring. Is everything alright?’ Rakesh asked me.
‘Oh, do not worry for that. Now days, your sister in law always complain about that.’ I told him with a big smile.
We all took our bath and went to hospital to collect the lifeless body of my Aunty. Most of the relatives arrived by noon to pay last respect to Aunty. My sister was the last to arrive. She also cried a lot though she was not that close to Aunty. By evening we took her body to the cemetery. When, Rakesh lit the fire, I saw Aunty was waving her hands towards me. I also waved my hand, someone present there asked me, whom I was waving. I did not say anything.
I can skip a meal or two but I cannot stay for long time without taking a cup of tea or coffee. When I was on an Australian tour with some of my friends for a few days, in October 2010, I used to slip from the company of my friends to have a cup of coffee at any roadside restaurant.
On the third day of my visit at around 5 PM when I dropped into a restaurant, I found the restaurant was full of customers. Except only one seat on a corner table, there was no vacant seat in the restaurant. Even on that table, a young lady, moderately beautiful from Indian subcontinent was sitting. I wanted to take a chance, ‘Is it vacant? May I sit madam?’
The young lady gave me a very surprised look and told, ‘Please sit down. Are you from India?’
‘Thank you, Madam. Yes, I am from New Delhi ( as now I am staying in Delhi for many years, I always say to a person on foreign soil that I am from Delhi instead of saying that I am from Assam). Are you also from India?’After sitting on the chair, I asked her. I want to be comfortable with the young lady as I did not have any alternative but to see her face as my seat was wall facing.
‘Yes, I was from India, precisely from Lucknow.’ With a vague voice she said. ‘But, I am surprised. How you are able to see me and make a conversation with me.’
Her answer clean bowled me; I was totally surprised to hear her statement. Before meeting the spirit of this lady, I met many spirits in India starting from my first encounter with Shruti Dawson. However, encounter with this lady was different from earlier encounters with spirits on many accounts. All my earlier encounters were taken place when no one present nearby me and after 9 PM only. But I met this lady in a crowded place and that too in broad day light. Further, I had never come across any spirit on foreign soil. That is the reason; her admission of being a spirit surprised me.
However, I understood the situation and quickly composed myself. Then, I said calmly, ‘Yes madam, I can see spirits. God has given me special power to see what others cannot. Probably, you may need my help and therefore, God has sent me to help you out.’
My answer made her very happy. In the initial years, I was little bit apprehensive, how to judge whom to help and whom not, how do I know who is good spirit and who is not. After two to three years due to my experience, now I think, I can judge which a fit case to be helped.
‘I am glad to know that you are in a position to help me. Anyway, I was Himadri Kashyap from Lucknow married to Manav Kashyap. Name of husband is Manav (human) but he is an Amanav (inhuman). It was him, who hired goons to kill me and coloured my murder as if it was a fall out of racial attack on both of us.’
‘What type of help I can provide to you in that case?’ I asked.
‘Police could not recover the murder weapon and so they could not pin point who were the attackers. Police finally closed the file as a racial hate crime.’ She tried to make me understand.
‘Can you elaborate the whole incident sequentially, so that I can help the police to nab the culprit and prove the crime before the court of law?’ I asked her to explain as I could not understand exactly how her husband organized the crime to mislead the police and other investigating officials.
She unfolded her story as given below:
Himadri, fondly called by her parents as Himu, was daughter of a very rich businessman of Lucknow. Though her parents were not in favour of pursuance of higher studies by Himu, her perseverance made her M. Tech in Information Technology (IT). In India, more a girl is educated; it would be more difficult to find a suitable groom for her. In her case also the parents, after a frantic search for a suitable boy for her daughter, they had to settle for Manav Kashyap, a B.Tech degree holder from an ordinary college of UP, having a modest financial background.
For their honeymoon, they went to Sydney and they liked the city. Both of them persuaded Himadri’s father to sponsor Manav for his Masters from Sydney University. Himadri’s father agreed to the proposal and they were sent to Sydney. Manav could arrange a job for him after he completed his masters. In the meantime, Himadri got a job in an Indian MNC and both of them settled down in Sydney.
Without showing any displeasure with Himadri, Manav hatched a plot to get rid of Himadri so that he could garner all insurance benefits and other properties in the name of Himadri. He contacted some underworld don through a friend to hire some goons to kill Himadri. During that period he was exhibiting extraordinary love for Himadri. Himadri was more than happy to get extra attention from her husband oblivious of her husband’s nefarious plan to kill her in cold blood.
On the fateful day, Manav took Himadri for sightseeing in the outskirts of Sydney. While coming back from the sightseeing two hugely built persons stopped their car and smashed the windowpanes of the car. Then, the goons attacked both of them. The goons first hit Manav and Manav fell unconscious. Seeing him unconscious she tried to cover him with her body to prevent further body blow to him. The goons then hit Himadri on her head. The goons did not stop hitting her till they were sure that she was dead.
After few minutes Police arrived when a passing vehicle informed about the attack. On arrival at the hospital, Himadri was declared brought dead; but Manav survived the attack. The attack was appeared to be racial one and police was investigating on that line. However, after two days police realized the killing of Himadri might not be due hate attack. One unknown eye witness over telephone informed police that though the attacker was wearing mask, he was talking with Manav after the attack. While looking at the medical report, for the first time police became more suspicious that the murder might not be a hate crime, but due to conspiracy hatched by her husband. The blow on Himadri’s scull was much more forceful compared to that on Manav. Actually Himadri got three nasty blows on her head which actually broke Himadri’s skull to pieces. On the other hand, the blow Manav got on his head was so light that the impact did not go beyond the skin of the head.
Police started investigation following the new angle, it might be a pre-planned murder which involved Manav. Manav was interrogated for hours but nothing could be extracted. They examined all his call records and asked Himadri’s family about any quarrel between Himadri and Manav. Himadri’s parent told categorically that Manav loved his wife very much and nothing unusual observed in last two years. According to them, both of them had excellent relation. Murder weapons or the attackers could not be traced even after two months of the murder. Finally, the police had to close the case as it might be a racial hate attack.
Actually what happened on that day and about the planning prior to her murder, only Himadri was able to know after her death. Manav arranged everything through his friend located at Lucknow. He arranged goons to execute the crime and he was supervising the execution without involving Manav at all. Even the goons did not meet Manav before and after the crime. They left Australia on the next day itself.
‘Now, you tell me, how you want to prove Manav’s involvement in the case?’I asked her after she finished her tragic story.
‘I know where the goons hide their blood stain clothes and the iron rod used in the murder case. By mistake one mobile phone through which the goons were in contact with Manv’s friend was left with the clothes. I shall give you the details of the place where they had hidden the clothes etc. From the mobile phone police can recover the call details of Manav and his friend. I am going to give the full address of his friend who is staying in Lucknow from where all of us hail.’
I appreciated her meticulous information to unearth the meticulous but heinous planning of Manav to kill her.
Before leaving Australia I posted a letter to police where details of the plot hatched by Manav, the place where the murder weapons etc. were hidden, full address of the friend of Manav who was the focal points for the goons and other details essential to solve the case, were elaborately written.
After three months I got a copy of a news paper where it was written that Himadri murder case had been solved and Manav was arrested. At the footnote it was written the problem could be solved because of a letter written by an unknown person. Now police is investing role of the informer in the case. I hope they will not be able to find out who actually helped them to solve the case.
She was a classmate of my niece Anita. She visited my home also a few number of times when I was in Guwahati. She was to appear Class-XII in 2004. But to the stress of the examination she committed suicide a couple of days before the examination had started. The whole family was devastated. As I was transferred from Guwahati in 2003, at the time of accident, I was not in Guwahati. Therefore, I could not meet the family to offer my condolence at that time.
She, Sangeeta was the eldest daughter of Mazumdar family. She had a brother who was two years’ younger and a sister seven years’ younger than her. Being the eldest daughter she was loved by her parents and other relatives also. Therefore, at her death, blame games started among many stakeholders. Many blamed her parents for high expectations, many blamed her school, many blamed her peer groups and some even blamed the tutorial house. But none could find out actually why she had committed suicide.
When after one year, I visited the family, they almost recover from the tragedy and as usual they started their forward journey. After half an hour when I was about to leave their house, spirit of Sangeeta called me, ‘Uncle, I want to have a talk with you! I know, you can hear my voice.’
I looked back; Sangeeta was standing behind her mother. I signalled her to follow me so that we can have a detailed conversation away from her near and dear. Sangeeta followed me as I said good bye to her family.
“Can we sit in a secluded place so that we can have a talk without any interference from anyone?’After crossing her boundary I asked her.
‘We can sit at the bank of Brahmaputra, though there will be lot of people, nobody cares who talks with the wave or on his mobile!’ She told with disgust.
I sat on a staircase leading to the river. Sangeeta also sat beside me.
‘I do not know why you have done that! Rather there is divided opinion on reason of suicide. You are the only person, who can tell me the reason.’ I looked at her face.
‘Uncle, I did not commit suicide!’She said with a void voice.
‘What you are saying! Police had already closed the case as they did not find anything suspicious and your family also never objected to that.’ I remarked.
‘That is the crunch. My family did not object because they were involved in the crime. Actually my father had killed me and my mother knew about it. She kept mum to save her husband and her married life.’
‘What you are saying! All know that you were very close to your father. Why he would kill you?’I was surprised to hear her statement.
Then I asked, ‘Is it a case of honour killing? But in Assam it is very uncommon.’
‘First, let me clear your doubt about my closeness to my so called father. He was not my real father, he was my step father. When my father became a martyr fighting with militants in Jammu Kashmir before my birth, his cousin married my mother to grab all the monetary benefits given to my mother. My mother was given a job in Assam police by Assam Government as a compensatory ground. Though similar offer was given by the Ministry of Defence, she preferred to join Assam Police.
My so called father is nothing but a parasite on my mother. Officially he is a contractor. Practically he does not have any income; but maintains a lavish life style on my father’s money. In public he always showed love for me as a father; but never loves me. But as I grew up his behaviour changed and he looked me as a prey for his unfulfilled desire. He started molesting me in some or other pretext. I told my mother about his advances, but she ignored it by saying that I was misunderstanding him.
Just few days before my final XII, he mixed some sedative in my supper and he raped me whole night. My mother also knew that. When I recovered from the ill affect of the sedative, I threatened him that I would tell my grandfather who stays at Dibrugarh. He disconnected our phone line and snatched away my mobile phone. Whole day I was under constant observation so that I cannot contact anybody. They had again forcefully given me some more sedatives and I almost became unconscious. On that very night I was hanged to death and deliberately had given an impression as if I committed suicide. The so called my father was emotionally charged before the public that all the people known to us were sympathetic towards him. Police were told that I was habitual drug user and I was under tremendous pressure due to examination and they also complained against the tutorial house that they used to give all the students unnecessary pressure for doing good results. As my mother is also working in police, it was easier for them to convince the police to close the case as a mere suicide case. Now can you help me to get justice?’
She was looking to me with lot of hope in her eyes. But I did not have a readymade answer to her query.
‘I cannot assure anything right now. I shall talk to Mriganka Choudhury, SP, fortunately for us he is a friend of mine. Please meet me tomorrow evening.’
Mrganka was my classmate and recently he had joined as Superintendant of Police, Crime branch. When I narrated the whole story on the next day morning, he told, ‘Who will believe your ghost story?’
‘I do not know, whether there is some truth or not in her story; but you can verify two things very easily, whether Mr. Mazumder was her stepfather or not and whether the wife of Mazumder was a widow of a martyr. These facts were not known to me earlier and many people may not know these two facts even today.’ I pleaded.
‘Ok, I shall inform you today evening.’ He promised.
As per his promise, Mriganka telephoned me. ‘Hiranya, you are right, Mazumder was the stepfather of Sangeeta. Sangeeta’s grandfather knew about the strained relation between Sangeeta and her step father. I have already ordered to send the file to me. Let us see what I can do?’
‘Please do not refer my name anywhere because that will reduce my power to communicate with spirits.’ I requested him.
‘Ok, your name will not come anywhere. But for that you will also have to promise me that you will help me whenever I find difficulty in solving some very complicated murder cases.’ He wanted an assurance from me.
‘I shall gladly do that. You may ask for any help any time to give justice to the honest spirits. I am blessed with the power to help others only; not for fame or for my own benefit.’ I assured him.
After few months, Mriganka told me that he made a water tight case against Mr. Mazumder in Sangeeta murder case. Sangeeta’s mother is also put under suspension.
As per my promise, I also helped Mriganka to solve two very complicated murder cases in last few years.
Travelling for the first time to USA is always exciting. In 2008, I was selected to attend an international meeting in Washington DC under the aegis of World Bank. I was given an executive ticket to travel by Air India direct flight from New Delhi to New York. The Airlines had upgraded my ticket to first class at the time of check in.
When the airhostess told me to take the window seat, I saw a young lady was sitting on my seat. On seeing me she stood up and she came out so that I could sit on my allotted seat. When I sat, she also occupied the aisle seat. I asked her if she would like to sit on the window seat, we could interchange. But she said she was Okay with the aisle seat.
The lady sitting beside me was about thirty year old. Her ascent was American one and she was having my height but with a very slim figure. When we were student, while travelling by city bus, we avoid sitting with a girl because we could not see the girl properly from the nearest seat. Now also I do not like to sit with an unknown lady fearing to become victim of misunderstanding during jerking of aeroplane or bus. But when such a situation arises I want to talk with the lady to normalize the relation and develop mutual respect.
After few minutes, the airhostess gave me juice but she did not offer anything to my co-passenger. I thought she might have already taken juice. However, the airhostess apologised to her and she wanted to bring juice to her also. The young lady waived her with a smile signalling that she would not like to take anything.
When the airhostess moved away the young girl told me, ‘Hope, I am meeting the right person to convey my problem!
Her oblique remark made me suspicious about her, ‘Why commented like that!’
Then my sixth sense struck, the young lady might be a spirit. But how it could be, she was seen by the airhostess also. I was more confused only.
Probably, she could read my confusion. ‘Do not be confused. You are right, I am a spirit only. I am little bit powerful than some other spirits. Therefore, though I cannot communicate verbally with everybody, I can make me visible as and when I like.’
Once my confusion was over, I asked her, ‘Do you want some assistance from me or just you want to talk with me?’
‘I want some help from you as I am able to communicate with you properly and you are not afraid of any spirit. Are you a magician?’
‘No, neither nor I am a professional in this line. I am blessed with this power only to help the deserving spirits. I always stay behind the scene, so that; my work does not get any publicity.’ I assured her if her request is genuine and deserves my help I shall help her without any return.
When I was talking to her, the same airhostess came to me to ask about my dinner. When she saw me talking in air, she was perplexed. Before giving any explanation, the spirit of the young lady started visible for the airhostess. Seeing someone visible from invisibility is always frightening for ordinary people. The airhostess about to faint, but I catch hold of her and eased her to sit on the aisle seat apparently occupied by the young lady. I let the airhostess to take a glass of water which was originally meant for me.
Comforting her I said, ‘Do not worry madam. Do not discuss the matter with anybody else as othewise people will start panicking. Even your pilots may panic which may in turn be devastating. Kindly behave normally to others. She will not harm you or any other passenger on our flight. She actually wants some assistance from me. God has been kind enough to assign me to help such spirits who need help. What I am talking should be between us only for all the time to come. If you do not follow my advice, you may be in deep trouble; otherwise you will never face any trouble from any spirit.’
I was worried if the airhostess started screaming in fear, there would be real danger for the safety and security of the passengers. Therefore, with a good intention, I used a carrot and stick policy to keep the airhostess mum. All along, the young ghost was smiling.
The airhostess took almost five minutes to compose herself. All the time, I was tapping on her back like an elder brother comforting his sister after getting a shock. She finished the water and said, ‘Sir, will you do a favour for me?’
‘Sure, madam, tell me.’ With a comforting voice I told her.
‘Tell your spirit, not to surface again before me till the flight lands at JFK airport and do not show her face again while coming back from JFK to Delhi.’ She pleaded.
‘I assure you she will not do that again. She is listening to you. She will go with me so that she gets her justice from the person who did injustice to her. I am sure; you had never harmed this lady!’ With lot of confidence I told her. Then I told to her, ‘This assurance from me is not from a gentleman, but from your elder brother.’
The airhostess grabbed my hands and told me, ‘Now I am assured of no harm. As an Indian, I always believe, sisters are protected by brothers even sacrificing their own lives.’ After utter this sentence she moved to her place near the cockpit with a confident note.
After she left I turned to my young ghost and asked, ‘Now tell me your problem.’
Her story is like this:
Her name was Isabella and she was from Washington DC. She was married to her colleague James five years ago. Just after one year there were some differences cropped up between them. In the meantime, James developed close relation with another lady. That was the ‘last nail on the coffin’ as far as their relation is concerned. They were at the verge of divorce.
But before divorce took place, when she was travelling from New York to Washington, she died in a freak accident. On that day, it was raining cats and dogs. When she was standing to catch a bus ferrying passengers to the aircraft she slipped and had gone under the rear wheel of the moving bus and died instantly. It was purely a freak accident which had been agreed even by the spirit of Isabella. However, she was not happy because all the insurance money, compensatory money given by the air company went to her estranged husband. Now he married to that lady for whom their relation soured and they were enjoying on her money. Her parents who were completely dependent on her had to live in pecuniary for last two years.
Isabella wanted to help her parents by paying her compensation amount which otherwise had been enjoyed by James and his new family.
When she finished, I asked her, ‘How I can help you in this matter? Will James agree to pay if I ask him to pay?
‘No, I do not think he will pay so easily. But if you help me, I have a plan. I shall accompany you to his house. I shall be visible to him; but as I cannot communicate with a normal living person, you can communicate on behalf of me.’
I agreed to her proposal.
On the next day, after attending my official meeting at around seven I pushed the calling bell of James’ residence which was at Maryland beyond Pentagon.
A strongly built young man of around thirty appeared before me. He asked me with a rude voice who was I and what Did I want.
I told about my identity and told him, ‘Personally, I have no business with you. I am requested by your late wife Isabella to negotiate some financial matter with you. ‘
‘What, do you think about me! Am I a fool to believe you that my late wife has sent you to discuss financial matter with me on her behalf! Even if she would have sent you, I am not a nut to discuss financial matter with a nuts like you.’ With a very aggressive body language he thundered.
He was about to push me out from his house immediately after uttering those words. But as soon as Isabella was visible to him, he lost all his energy and I was able to push him aside and enter to his house. Sitting on a sofa comfortably, I looked at his eyes. He was trembling in fear. He was a complete different man from the man who was standing before me few seconds ago.
‘See James, I am not your enemy; rather I am a friend of both of you. She has the power to be visible to you and your family. I understand your wife is on a family way. If Isabella show her body/ face to your wife, she may have to undergo some adverse affect. So sit down and try to solve your problem mutually.’ I told him calmly.
‘How much I have to pay to the family of Isabella and you.’ He asked with a trembling voice.
‘Pay entire compensation amount received from the Airways to Isabella’s parents keeping insurance amount with you. So far I am concerned; you can offer a cup of coffee which will be my fee for the negotiation.’ I finished.
To my surprise, he agreed to my proposal and I left his residence without getting my fee, a cup of coffee.
On the way, I told Isabella, ‘He agreed so easily, I am little bit suspicious about his intention. He may play another game. You better stay with me for my physical and other safety.’
She was also little bit apprehensive about James’ intention to agree my proposal so easily and assured me that she would stay with me till I board my plane to New Delhi from New York after three days.
I need not have to wait for three days to face the fury of James. He along with two police officers visited my hotel with a complaint that I threaten him for an extortion bid.
‘I know, you will play this dirty game. Therefore, I told your ex-wife to stay with me.’ Telling James these two sentences, I turned to the police officers, ‘I am a senior officer from Government of India, having an official passport, on official duty. Even two days back, I did not know about James and his ex-wife Isabella. Isabella requested me to help her in getting her money for her parents who are languishing a poverty stricken life. I do understand, you are not in a position to believe that Isabella has requested me to negotiate the matter with James on her behalf, unless you see her. In fact, spirit of Isabella requested me to help her in getting some amount of money for her parents.’
As I finished, Isabella became visible to all of them. James started trembling again. The officers were also about to run away from my room.
‘Do not worry; she will not harm you as long as you will hear her request with humility.’ I assured them
One of the police officers wanted to touch her in vain. Then I told all three of them, ‘You can agree to her proposal or otherwise her spirit will disturb you every day. Choice is yours. I am a guest of your country, whether you behave me properly or not, it is also your choice.’
The police saw reasons on my statement. All three went from my room without exchanging any further words.
Till I left New York, Isabella accompanied me like a shadow.
After three months, I got a letter from Deborah, wife of James. She thanked me for my efforts to get rid of money which was morally belongs to the parents of Isabella. Deborah was able to convince James to hand over not only the compensation amount but also the insurance amount to the parents of Isabella.
On my next visit to USA in November 2013, I could not meet Isabella but I had to meet James and Deborah at their home at New York on their request. They have shifted to New York from Washington DC after birth of their first child. James was a complete different man from the arrogant young man whom I met in Washington DC. This time, Deborah offered me my fee, a cup of strong coffee with a late fee of some snacks.
If you travel from Kolkata to Malda by car, you will come across a stretch of few KM without any apparent habitation. Many people, rather drivers, used to say that while driving alone in that stretch, a young girl used to sit on the side seat of the driver on the running car and she used to stay in the car for ten/ fifteen minutes and then she used to disappear into the thin air. Few drivers used to meet minor to major accidents as soon as the girl used appear all on a sudden in the running car. However, the incident had been so publicised that many drivers who were frequent to that route used to ignore the very existence of the spirit of the young girl. Everyone, who experienced the presence of that girl used to say that she had been harmless to everyone.
When a Bengali friend told me about that girl, naturally I became interested to meet the girl. After my frantic search for a driver who had firsthand experience of meeting the girl, through internet, I was able to contact one of them. He is a doctor by profession, had to travel by his car alone through that route once to visit a ailing relative when he met the girl. Though he was aware of the existence of that spirit, he was about to meet an accident when actually he saw her sitting beside him. Somehow he managed to continue his driving and she vanished after 10 or 15 minutes to his relief.
I wanted to meet this spirit to know if she had any intention to convey any message to someone close to her heart when was alive. ‘Or she also might have wanted to get justice from someone.’ I thought.
Before meeting the spirit I wanted to meet the doctor who hails from Kolkata. After taking an appointment, I visited the house of the doctor at Sealdah area . He welcomed me and narrated his story of meeting the ‘girl’ for 10-15 minutes. As he was aware of the girl who used sit near the driver, the doctor was driving at a very slow speed (around 40 KM per hour) so that he could avoid any major accident. His strategy came handy as the moment he realized that the girl had occupied the seat, his hands started trembling. With great difficulty he was driving the vehicle as his heart was pumping at an astronomical speed with deafening sound. As soon as the girl disappeared, he was relieved and he stopped the car at the next eatery.
The dhaba (eatery owner) asked the doctor, ‘Sir it appears, you have met the girl. Take water and tea and forget about her. She is harmless.’ The doctor drank two glasses of water before opening his mouth.
‘It was a horrible experience when a young lady sits beside you on your running vehicle and then disappears to the thin air without uttering a word.’ The doctor concluded.
‘Did you try to talk to her?’I asked the doctor.
‘Are you mad? I was speechless for next thirty minutes even after her disappearance.’ He rebutted me.
‘Do you want to meet her again? ‘I asked him.
‘Never ever I want to meet her. Many people met her and nobody wants to tell about her as they are still scared to tell about her. I muster the courage to tell my experience when you tried to meet me. I had lost many nights sleep after the incident. For two to three months, at night when even my daughter came to my room, I used to be scared and sometimes I screamed also. So please, do not ask me any more question, please.’ He wanted to run away from me.
I left the place thanking him for giving necessary and valuable inputs.
Then my immediate requirement was to get a car to travel alone in that stretch. Finally I rope two persons from my own service, who would provide me their cars for the purpose. As per the plan, I would drive a car alone to pass that stretch and in the other car, both of them would follow.
On the stipulated day, I drove the car through the stretch after 10 O’ Clock. It was a disappointment for me as the girl did not appear. I stopped my car at the dhaba where the doctor stopped the car after meeting the girl. After half an hour my friends also joined me and I told about my disappointment of not meeting the girl. We took tea from the dhaba and discussed the matter with the dhaba owner. After a thought the dhaba owner told us that probably, the spirit might be travelling in a different car during the period when I was also driving in that stretch. I saw reasons in his statement.
I told my friends to stay in that dhaba for the night and in the meantime I shall pass through the area, if necessary two or three times.
In my second and third attempt also I failed to meet the girl. Finally, in my fourth attempt the girl appeared on the seat beside me. I glanced at her and asked, ‘Why you appear and disappear to the lone drivers in that stretch?
With a surprised look she asked me, ‘Oh God! You can communicate with a spirit! After waiting for so many years to tell my sorrow to someone, finally I meet you who will be able to tell my parents what happened on that night.’
I stopped the car to hear her story.
On that fateful day, she eloped with her boy friend who happened to be the driver of their family car. But unfortunately, the car met an accident and she died on the spot and the driver fled to Mumbai from the scene leaving the dead body of the girl behind. As luck would have it, a leopard took away her dead body and on the next day though blood stain was seen on the car, no dead body was seen nearby. The driver did not come back till today and therefore the parent of the girl thought that the girl had eloped with the driver and never came back.
‘Do you want now; your lover should be punished for his misdeed?’I asked her.
‘I would have loved that. But God has already punished him by snatching his both legs in another accident! I just want, you kindly tell my parent that I was dead long thirty years back!’She sighed.
She gave her parent’s address which I noted on my note book.
When I went to her home some fifty KM away from Kolkata to tell about the accident thirty years ago, at first they were very angry and told me that they did not want to see her face again, thinking that she was still alive. But hearing that on that very day she died in the accident (car was towed to their residence on the next day), both started crying. They promised me that they would perform all rituals for the departed soul.
After few months, I got a letter from the dhaba owner stating that from the day I met him, no body used to stop at his dhaba for water and tea, resulting loss of his regular income from the scared drivers. At the end of the letter, he said the ghost girl was better for his business than me who came as a bad omen for his business.
I could not find any word to write back a letter to the dhaba owner!
For evening walk, I almost every day visit Khan Market, the most expensive market/ shopping mall of Delhi. It is only a KM away from India Gate, 500 metres away from UPSC building and Lodhi Garden, 2 KM from official residence of Prime Minister of India, 4 KM from Rashtrapati Bhawan and 1 KM from 10 Jan Path, official residence of former Prime Minister of India. Intentionally, I have mentioned the distance of Khan Market from different famous landmarks randomly without following any systematic manner. According to some surveys, it is the most expensive market in the world in terms of getting an accommodation on rent per square foot or to purchase one at a lumpsum amount.
How many people are coming to this market for shopping? It is a very intriguing question considering the fact that there are many famous eateries which are doing extremely good business. At any time after 6 PM till 11 PM, you may be in the Q for at least half an hour to get a seat at Khanchacha-a famous non-vegetarian restaurant. Deliberately I am avoiding any other name of any restaurant to avoid any controversy of omission and commission. If we consider taking dinner is also a part of shopping, then at least 50 percent of the visitors to this market are real shoppers. If we exclude them, then actual shoppers would be less than 10 percent. As I always try to follow the majority, I am coming in the 90 percent group who never shops at this market. However, I am not doing any window-shopping as well. Then, why I am going to this expensive shopping centre almost every day? I can share some of the reasons, for obvious reasons, some I cannot do (sharing).
Eighty percent of the visitors of this market are from upper middle class or from the elite class. Every day, you are likely to see at least one or two top politicians of India, one or two celebrities of different genre and a host of beautiful men and women of different ages, different regions, different cultures and different countries.
The items available in the market are only for upper and upper middle class except, perhaps, medicines. Earlier, it was the only market where mangoes were available in all the seasons. Fruits originated from different countries are available in this market, albeit at an astronomical price.
I like this market mainly for two reasons, one for the most beautiful gentry and their discussions on different topics, which I have to overhear without any valid intentions. For example, yesterday I overheard a mother was admonishing her child, ‘Beta, that (particular item) was available in Singapore. It is India, you can’t find it here.’ I do not know what child was demanding, but from her mother I was convinced, Singapore is a better place for shopping than India (I am yet to visit Singapore!!!!).
I like all the Indian girls talking in English finishing every sentence with a ‘naa’. In Hindi ‘naa’ means ‘isn’t it’ if it is at the end of a sentence. I like their dress codes, which may be either short/ too short or long /too long. And what about the beautiful low neck-lines!! Some of them may use to have taken long time before the mirror to look like careless or simple. Some of them are funky and some are serious. Sometimes, I want to say the serious youngsters ‘Do not carry the burden of the whole world on your shoulders, my dear child.’ But I do not say that, because they may not like to have any unwanted advice from a conventionally dressed middle aged (old) person.
Most of the boys are also in good/ expensive dresses. They are basically dutiful porters of their beautiful and smart partners after shopping. Many of them are also dignified drivers of their partners (like me). I seldom see two men, unless father and son or brothers, together, barring some exceptions in a group, though I see two or group of girls together. Being a gender expert (you have every right to ask my credibility or credentials on this), I have noticed, rightly or wrongly, this difference between the two genders from the very first day.
Sometimes, I see some elderly couple with their adult children, apparently happy in each others’ company. Sometimes, very old persons are seen with their adult grand children, cracking jokes. I always like those scenes, though with a heavy heart as my children have lost their grandparents (from my side) before they become adults. Even my youngest daughter was born after death of my father.
I see another group of persons who are overweight, lest to say. Many couples are obese, but I observe some couples with my intriguing eyes, when one partner is obese and another one is having a zero figure. Whenever I see those couples, visualizing their married life, many imaginary pictures pass through my mind. Yoops, I do not want to discuss those here!!!
Sometimes, I notice, young children from very rich background, fought with their young parents to get some expensive gadgets exactly in a similar manner when poor children use to fight with their parents to have cheap toys at a country side ‘mela’ (fete). Children are children, irrespective of their backgrounds!
Sometimes, I meet some persons whose parents are successful in their respective fields and being their children, these groups try to en-cash their parents’ popularity. Occasionally, I get a chance to talk some of them, in most of the cases I find them well short of expectations compared to their illustrated parents.
Every day, I find new set of persons, baring few common faces. I learn something new from their overheard conversations and make myself updated with latest trend in fashion industry. I also see some cultural paradigm shift among the high class society people-like young boys are abandoning the habit of smoking in public places: whereas some girls are acquiring that bad habit. This never hurts me, but rather amuses me.
What hurts me sometimes, being the most expensive market, visited by lot of foreigners, the market cannot be termed as clean as that of cities of South Korea, China, Australia, Europe, USA or even Bhutan. Probably, we have to think over it again and again how to deal with the cleanliness issue!
What other thing that hurts me (of course, I cannot blame the opulence of Kan Market for that), the very thinking of our more than six lakh villages in India, many of which are still short of minimum civic facilities for the common people. Is Khan Market a proverbial heaven for those under privileged people of our country? How long our country may need to make our fellow brothers and sisters eligible to have a taste of mango in the winter (by not taking a ‘maaza’ or a ‘fruiti’)??????????
All the percentages given above are my eye estimates only and therefore all the percentages are subject to corrections through scientific statistical surveys. Till then, enjoy your cup of coffee/ tea with your love ones at Khan Market.
The above description is general in nature about Khan Market. However, a very dignified lady of sixty plus age caught my attention for a few days in the month June, 2015. She must be from a very well to do family-I thought on the very first look. When I saw the lady for the second time at the same place, I observed that her eyes were telling that she was not happy. I saw the lady at the same place for next one week hardly changing her place of standing. Normally, in Khan Market nobody talks to strangers unless you are a vendor or sales person. On the tenth day, curiosity had overpowered my internal resistance for not talking to a stranger at Khan Market. But before, I talked to her a strange thing happened. A young boy was in a hurry and he was about to bump the old lady. But instead of bumping her he passed through the lady. On seeing that I became a totally confused person and I tried to find out, whether the boy was a spirit or the lady was a spirit or both of them were spirits. However, I did have to wait for long time as the young boy was grabbed by his mother from falling confirming he was not a spirit, unless her mother was also not a spirit!!!!
I approached the old lady and asked, ‘Madam, do you want some assistance?’
With a very surprised look she said, ‘Yes, I need assistance. Hope I meet the right person.’
I gestured to follow me to outside the market. She followed me and told me, ‘I had visited this market from my childhood and like to stay here now also. I died few days ago alone. I want to talk to someone and convey some of my displeasures to my children.’Then she narrated how she died:
She was gasping for oxygen. She was fragile and too weak to sit even without support of pillows arranged by a reluctant young nurse. The nurse was praying for her life, not because she loves her, but she wants her service to continue for few more days as she has been being paid salary at least three times more than the prevailing market rate. The old lady lost her husband a few years back, since then she has been all alone in this large house. She has three children who are ‘who is who’ in the high society. They all are millionaires and they have enough money to hire best of the doctors/ nurse to look after their old mother. But, unfortunately, they are so busy with their own works that, they do not have time to sit with their mother for a minute even. These are the children for whom this old lady used to sit whole night for even when they were down with a simple flu. She used to cancel all his official/ business meeting when they faced even very small problem in their studies/ business/ workplace. Today she is lying on a large bed, not capable of moving one corner to the other corner of the bed, counting her days. Like enjoying a tragic film, she was recapitulating her life, her love for his children, love between her and her husband and then her loneliness for the last few years after death of her husband despite of the fact that, she had still enough money to fend herself like a queen.
Finally her time of death had come and a fairy appeared before her and tells, ‘O, nice old lady. Time has come for you to leave this world. I am taking you to the place of eternal peace, some calls it, heaven. Before leaving this world, you may ask for a boon to help someone you love or a curse someone you dislike and I assure you, it will be fulfilled.’
The old lady gasping for her final breath requests the fairy, ‘If you really want to fulfil my wish then make my children more successful, healthy, happy and they live longer.’
The fairy smiled, ‘Your last wish has not surprised me, as I know you are a prisoner of love. You love your children without expecting any reciprocal love from your children. I find many like you, who believe in giving only and expecting nothing, not even mere praise nor love from the person to whom they are ready to give everything. You have given your money, health, happiness, your youth and everything for welfare of your children who abandoned you when you need them most. Even then, instead of cursing them, you ask a boon for them. Anyway, as promised, as per your wish, they will get everything what you have asked for them. But you may ask for another boon.’
The old lady with a faint smile asked the fairy, ‘they (her children) should get better place than me after their death! Only another one small help I want from you, I want to convey my displeasure to my children that I was not happy at the time of death with them for the treatment they had meted out to me.’
The fairy smiles again and told, ‘You have to wait for someone who will be able to communicate with you and willing to convey your message to your children. I do not know how long you have to wait. Only I can advise you to wait at your favourite market for him or her so that you will be in good humour in your waiting!’
After hearing her story I asked the old lady, ‘Ok, give the address of your children, I shall send emails to them tomorrow itself. ‘
She gave the email and postal address of her children and as per promise I sent the emails.
I did not get any reply from two children. One had written back with an abusive language that he would inform police if I send another email with full of rubbish.
After two days, the lady was in a very good mood and told me, ‘I am leaving this world for ever. I am thankful to you and that is why I am here today. All the three children, for the first time they realized that money is not everything, human touch is more important than anything else in life.’
‘But one of your children, abused me after receiving my email.’ I told her.
I hope he will tender apology to you as he already realized his mistake.’’ After uttering those words she vanished emitting a flash of light.
After two days I got a phone call from the gentleman who sent a abusive email to me. He told me, ‘I do not know whether you have met my mother after her death or not, but I shall always repent for whole of my life, why I had not met my mother before her death!
I have visited this beautiful country only once. The country has progressed in last few decades at a lightning speed. But during 2008-09, they faced the heat of recession like many other countries. During that period many of Korean middleclass had to suffer a lot on different fronts. There were many pitfalls for the middle class during turmoil time of a country. I have seen some Korean film on this backdrop. I like Korean cinema and music for its ability to touch one’s heart.
When I visited this beautiful country, I wanted to visit every major city, few villages and a few semi urban places. But due to financial constrain I limited my visit to three major cities and two villages of the country.
Seoul (pronounced as Soul by them) is the soul of the country. It is a very large and busy city with all the infrastructure of international standards. When I visited this city in 2012, I found the city was driven by honesty, cooperation, friendliness, helpfulness despite of language barrier. But for a short period during the height of recession, some of these qualities probably had been faded.
During that dark period a young lady lost everything including her life to some evil persons who had exploited her vulnerability. She was the only child of a small time businessman, studying in Seoul. Due to recession, she had to abandon her college and look for a job. Though she was looking for decent job, she landed to the flesh market. She thought she would come out of that dirty life once business of her father would bounce back. But it did not happen. Somebody advised her to put her hard earned money in betting in a casino. She followed her friend’s advice to earn some easy money. This time also her luck was not with her and lost all her money. The day when her father asked the young lady to send some money, she committed suicide.
On the second day at Seoul, I visited a casino which was at a stone’s throw distance. A beautiful lady escorted me to the reception where tokens were distributed against dollar or Korean Won. I exchange tokens for fifty dollar, a meagre amount for a amateur and almost nothing for a professional. With a smile with an expression of pity for the poor people, the receptionist gave me few low valued tokens.
‘Do not play gentleman, these are cheaters.’ Some female voice came from behind. I turned my face to see who was speaking.
I saw a young Korean lady was talking to me. ‘Why?’I asked her.
Instead of answering my question, she exclaimed, ‘Oh God! Someone at least heard my caution!’
‘Why nobody listens to you? Further, how Casino authority allows you to warn their customers?’I asked her with astonishment.
‘Because they cannot see me and hear me. All the machines are manipulated to show results in their favour.’ After hearing her explanation, I understood who she was. I wanted to talk to her confidentially in an isolated place. So I called her to the toilet.
She told me the story as I have mentioned above. She came to know why she lost money in the casino only after her death. I told her, ‘It is an open secret that always casino owners are the real beneficiaries of the casino business. Further, it is also true statistically that probability of winning by the casino owner is much more compared to any lone player.’ I tried her to see reasons in my statement.
‘I understand that, if I would have lost money in a fair game, I did not have a complaint. But after my death I could see, what they are doing. ‘She said with disgust.
‘Do you want any help from me by playing tactfully, or you want that I should not play at all?’ I asked her categorically.
Her face glowed for the first time. She told like a baby girl, ‘If you can do that, it will be best gift you can gift to me and my family.’
‘What is the amount you have lost? I asked.
‘It is around 50000 dollar. I shall be happy if I get back my money only for my parents.’ She said with a thoughtful mind.
‘That is a small amount in Korean standard. But how can I help you? Is there any plan for it? In many gambling houses in India if a player wins he is not allowed to leave the gambling house till he loses again. Is it here also? If so, how I can transfer money to your parents?’I asked her.
‘Here also the system is more or less similar. But to attract customers, every casino has different policy knowing that they will not going to lose as every machine, every tool used in the system are prone to manipulation. In this casino, every time you win, you can transfer 20% of your winning amount to your account. For rest 80%, either you play or have to purchase something from the shop attached to it where every item is sold at 400% of the market rate, or you have surrender entire amount. For that you have to give a local bank account number.’ She explained the position.
After taking her bank account number, I confirmed the procedures from the receptionist. She gave me a form where all procedures were printed with a surprised look as against 50 dollar, normally nobody asks for that form. However, I filled up the form and to test to procedure I gave them 10 dollar extra. Once the formality was confirmed I went to play.
As per our plan, I lost all my money in the first session. Then I purchased token for 100 dollar.
This time my young friend played the tricks what otherwise the Casino people play. I won 500 dollar. I immediately transfer 100 dollar (205 of 500 dollar) to the account. Next I put all 400 dollar, I won 2000 dollar. I transferred 400 dollar to my account putting another 1600 dollar on the board. This time I won 8000 dollar. By the time, many people surrounded me to see my strategic game. Within one hour I transferred 100000 dollar ( I transferred one hundred thousand dollar as 50000 dollar was her own money which she had lost plus 50000 as compensation to her family) to the account of the poor girl. Now I still have 400000 dollar in my hand. I told in loud voice that, ‘I want to give everyone including the employees of the casino one gift.’
Then I went the gift shop and started giving everyone a gift of his/ her choice. Even after that I had around one hundred thousand dollar with me. I distributed entire amount to the employees including the henchmen who would have after me. When they were in the process of finding out what actually gone wrong for the casino, I left the place.
The spirit of the poor girl accompanied me to the hotel and thanked me for my help.
Next day, there was a small news item in a local morning news paper, how the casino owner was weeping for the highest single day loss of five hundred thousand dollar in matter of one hour or so.
During last two decades, I have met hundreds of spirits all over the world out of which I have mentioned about only a few. God has given me a power to help some of these spirits with only one restriction; I am able to communicate with the spirits of female only though I can see both male and female spirits. I could not find any specific reason for that. However, I think a plausible reason may be due to my better communicating skill with females than males. May be, my thinking wave lengths are similar to that of the females. My closeness to my mother ( father was more closed to my other siblings), my closest Aunty who provided me the power , my sisters (against only one brother), my daughters (one son versus two daughters and two spiritual daughters) and in-numerable female friends ( against a handful of male friends) may tilt my power to the female spirits. I also enjoy the situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi. The book is about a fictional story of true love between Aroon Baruah and his two wives, Dorothy and Ramala; a vivid description how Aroon was seduced by Jetuki, Ramala’s own mother; Family bond of Baruah Family and finally emotional sufferings of the protagonist.
His earlier publications are:
1. Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
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This is a fictional narrative.During last two decades, the narrator has met hundreds of spirits all over the world out of which he has mentioned about only a few. God has given him a power to help some of these spirits with only one restriction; he is able to communicate with the spirits of female only though he can see both male and female spirits. He could not find any specific reason for that. However, he thinks a plausible reason may be due to his better communicating skill with females than males. May be, his thinking wave lengths are similar to that of the females. His closeness to his mother ( father was more closed to his other siblings), his closest Aunty who provided him the power , his sisters (against only one brother), his daughters (one son versus two daughters and two spiritual daughters) and in-numerable female friends ( against a handful of male friends) may tilt his power to the female spirits. He also enjoys the situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!