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Me and A Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories

 

 

Me and A Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories

 

****

 

By Hiranya Borah

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 Hiranya Borah

 

Shakespir Edition

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank You for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorized retailer.

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Preface

 

I personally never believe the existence of ghost or spirit because I have never met any ghost or spirit in the last 55 years of my life. During the last 45 years, I had to stay alone at guest houses, at ordinary houses, in open fields of rural areas, in jungles, in small towns, in cities and in metro polis, but I have never met a spirit or ghost. But still I enjoy in reading or hearing a ghost story. Some of 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 a ghost or a ghost story could/ cannot scare me, instead they always amuse me. With that background, with lot of spice, I wrote these stories in my own language for you.

These stories are already published on this platform as separate books. But I have compiled and edited these stories so that my esteemed readers can keep these stories at one place instead of at different places.

My ghost stories are not scary at all, rather these are lovable and sometimes funny. Therefore, I have not attached the tag ‘for adult only’.

I am thankful to all my readers, family members for giving me feedback and encouragement to write something on different topics.

Last but not the least, I am always thankful to Shakespir for providing their platform to publish my ebook.

Author

 

Chapter I: Lady on a Train

 

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 was used to be attached to a train which was running between Kolkata and Delhi. The coach was used to be detached at Madhupur Junction and attached to Madhupur Giridih Local Passenger train. The attachment detachment of the coach were used to happen in the midnight as train from Kolkata used to start at 9-30 PM and used to reach at Giridih at 4-30 AM in those days. 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 would reach Giridih in the early 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 situated 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 the coach and the TTE also told me that I was the only passenger for Giridih on that night.

After train started moving, bolting the coach from inside I spread my bed sheet on my seat and went to the 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 I was little bit 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 of mine for the night.’

‘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 bit tense. I was feeling somewhat insecure thinking that 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 or so, the lady knocked at my door. I 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 a light blue bed sheet.

‘Are you in service or in business? She asked me to make some conversation.

‘I am a Central Government employee. Presently, I am posted at Giridih.’ I also felt that a little conversation would 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 bit 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 to her.

‘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 compliments. But I am not that knowledgeable as you may be thinking about me. 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. with Physics and Mathematics as pass course subject and Statistics as honours subject. Then I did masters and M.Phil in statistics from Delhi University and finally I joined as Assistant Director in Government of India. But my favourite subject is history. I always feel, I became a statistician by accident not for liking to the subject!’ I told something to her which normally, I do not want to share with someone whom I do not know very well.

‘It is a common thing in our country, a boy has to take a subject not because he likes it, but he has to study that subject because of better job opportunity in that particular subject.’ 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 you that my father is a doctor. My mother is a housewife. I have only one younger brother who is a medical student in Calcutta Medical College.’ 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 very much!’ She commented.

‘Yes, for me she is the cutest baby in the world 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 my skeleton is recovered, my family or friends may think I am eloping with someone.’ She sighed.

‘Do not worry, neither am I going to kill you nor shall I 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 whereabouts 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 mode?’ 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 conversion as quickly as possible with her.

But she was no mood to let me off the hook, ‘I may again disturb you if I cannot sleep within next few minutes.’ 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 up to 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 my legs look like? 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 please sleep.’ I wanted to finish our conversation there itself.

‘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 white envelope on my bed sheet. At the place of address, it was neatly written, ‘To, my dear co-passenger from Kolkata.’

As I had to vacate my seat to the passengers who were to board in the train to Kolkata, I hurriedly put the letter into my pocket and got down from the 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 my 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 a 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. But she had dropped the letter as her hands started trembling just after reading few lines of the letter. 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 wanted to see more and a very few refuse to see beyond my knees. Those who refuse to see beyond my knees, they are spared by 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 a 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. My dead body, rather now parts of my 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 get my accommodation in the first class compartment. When I entered to the coach I found three well-dressed persons were 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 last night.

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 that other two will support me as all of them were unknown to each other till they boarded the train.

He told the other two persons also to join him as they will also not going to get another 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. Finally, I went to 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 behind bar. 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 some 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 are 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 parent 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 as they would not have initiated without provocation. 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 a 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 to 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 trying to seduce you, even then you did not sway. Therefore, I think you may get a white envelope and make me free from all pains 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 parent is given at the bottom the letter.

(for the white envelope receiver)

If you got a white envelope, I wish you all the best for your future life and hope, God will always help 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 her parent.

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 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 to meet? You do not seem to be from Bihar or Karnataka?’

‘Yes madam, I am from Assam and also presently posted in Assam. From yesterday, 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 with question mark on his face.

‘A few years ago, I was posted at 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 my elder sister Shruti?

I nodded.

He stood up from the chair and hugged me. ‘I am Shruti’s younger 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 an 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.

Chapter II: I Got the Power

 

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 a 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 a faint smile on her face she said, ‘It is quite normal in our place 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 on my lap. 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 the bus stand to my Aunty’s residence.

I comforted Rakesh. Rakesh told me that when he telephoned me at that time itself Aunty had expired.

I am told by Rakesh that, before her death, she wanted to talk to me, but unfortunately she had to leave the world 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 to me, but before saying something she had to vanish because of Rakesh’s arrival.

Her body had been kept in the hospital so that other relatives including me and my sister could see her dead body before she would be consigned to 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.

Rakesh was surprised at my request. ‘We have already made ready another bed in another room for you as we are expecting 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 and your wife, 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 that day.

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 a 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 are roaming 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 spirits also, there are good spirits and bad spirits. The exceptionally good spirits are eligible to leave the world of spirits to go 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 world of spirits. 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 where you are living now. 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 the ring finger 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 ring 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 a days, your sister in law always complain about that.’ I told him with a big smile.

We all took our bath and went to the hospital to collect the lifeless body of my Aunty. Most of the relatives arrived by noon to pay their 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.

Chapter III: At the Coffee Table

 

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 2005, 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 a 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 whether a spirit is to be helped by me or not.

‘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 a 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 the only 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 parent, 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 Master degree 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 which were already transferred in the name of Himadri by her father. 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 to 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 a racial one and police was investigating on that line. However, after two days, police realized the killing of Himadri might not be due a 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 if there was any quarrel between Himadri and Manav in the last one year. Himadri’s parent told categorically that Manav loved his wife very much and nothing unusual observed in the 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 very 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 had hidden their clothes with blood stain and the iron rod used in the murder case. By mistake one mobile phone through which the goons were in contact with Manav’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 the 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. Manav was arrested and charge sheet had been filed before the court of law. The police are contact with their Indian counterpart for deporting the other culprits involved in the crime.

At the footnote it was written, the problem could be solved because of a letter written by an unknown person. Now police is investing the 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.

Chapter IV: School or Home

 

She was a classmate of my niece Anita. She visited my home also a number of times when I was in Guwahati. She was to appear Class-XII in 2004. But due to the stress of the examination, she committed suicide a couple of days before the schedule date of examination. 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 bereaved 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 where she was taking tutorial classes. 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 boundary of her house, 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 your 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 unheard of.’

‘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 on 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 he never loves me from his heart. 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 pretexts. 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 had committed suicide. The step father of mine was emotionally so 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 or not. 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 for that poor girl?’

‘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.

‘Though I am not a detective, can I suggest a line of investigation to solve the case?’ I hesitantly asked Mriganka.

With a laugh Mrigangka replied, ‘I have to hear you my friend; after all you can find and see what the whole Police Department could not see so long. Further, if your advice can help the poor soul, I shall be happy.’

‘I do not know whether that will help or not; but can you examine the sedative which was used to Sangeeta, is a common drug normally used by a patient who is under depression? Further, if Sangeeta was under depression, who was consulted by her parent? After all depression is not a one day syndrome. Whether she was a patient of depression or not, that can be elicited from her siblings through some intelligent interrogation without scaring the little ones.’ I tried to explain.

‘I appreciate your thinking process. I am not joking, you have given me some great ideas. I shall consult you during our investigation, if needed. I am really thankful to you.’

I was sure he was not joking.

After few months, Mriganka told me that he made a water tight case against Mr. Mazumder in Sangeeta murder case following my suggested line of investigation. Actually, Sangeeta’s brother categorically informed the investigating team that, she was in a jolly mood till three days before her suicide.

When Sangeeta’s mother was confronted with the statement of their son, after one hour of intensive interrogation, she started spilling the beans.

It was a matter of time when Mazumdar also broke down and admitted his crime.

I am informed by Mrigangka that charge sheet against the father of Sangeeta had been submitted before the court. Sangeeta’s mother was also charge-sheeted as a co-conspirator to the crime and put her under suspension from police force.

As per my promise, I also helped Mriganka to solve two very complicated murder cases in the last few years.

Chapter V: On the Aircraft

 

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 class ticket to travel by Air India direct flight from New Delhi to New York. To my pleasant surprise, the Airlines had upgraded my ticket to first class at the time of boarding.

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 slim figure. When we were student, while travelling by city bus, we avoid sitting with a girl because we were not in a position to see the girl properly from the nearest seat. Now also I do not like to sit with an unknown lady fearing to become a 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 to develop minimum mutual respect for each other during the journey.

After few minutes, the airhostess gave me a glass of juice but she did not offer anything to my co-passenger. I thought she might have already taken juice or refused to take juice. However, the airhostess apologised to her for not bringing juice to her and she (the airhostess) wanted to bring a glass of juice to her also. The young lady waived her hand 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 of my other fellow spirits. Therefore, though I cannot communicate verbally with everybody, I can make myself 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.

To comfort her I said, ‘Do not worry madam. Do not discuss the matter with anybody else as otherwise 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 a noble duty to help such spirits who need my 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 applied carrot and stick policy for the airhostess.

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 was 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, some differences cropped up between them. In the meantime, James developed a close relation with another lady. That was the ‘last nail on the coffin’ as far as their relation was 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 like 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 the 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 can I 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 I was 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, some snacks along with the cup of coffee.

Chapter VI: Girl Sits on Running Cars

 

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 an 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 till 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 she 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 the 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 the 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 the parent and only brother 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 appropriate words to write back a letter to the dhaba owner!

Chapter VII: Lady at Khan Market

 

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 lump sum 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 solid 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 take 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 grandchildren, 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! That was unlikely.

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 (or had) 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 were so busy with their own works that, they did not have time to sit with their mother for a minute even. These were the children for whom this old lady used to sit whole night even when they were down with a simple flu. She used to force her husband to cancel all his official/ business meeting when they faced even very small problem in their studies/ business/ workplace. In her last days, she was 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 told, ‘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, happier with long life.’

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 an apology to you as he has 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 had sent an 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!

Chapter VIII: Korean Beauty at a Casino

 

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 that 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 up to a great extent.

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 situated 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 an 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 to 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 would 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.

Chapter IX: Frequent Flier

 

(The story of the old man was taken from my real time experience with a person having Alzheimer disease. In this story, after meeting hundreds of spirits of female all over the world, the narrator met for the first time a male spirit on a flight to Mumbai. As per the narrator, God has been kind enough to enhance his power to see and communicate with male spirits as well. )

Though I had already web- checked for my official trip to Mumbai, due to my large bag containing official documents I was carrying, was to be handed over to the baggage counter. Therefore, I approached the baggage drop counter of the airlines. As earlier I was stuck in the traffic due to some unseasonal rain in Delhi, I was little bit in a hurry to hand over the baggage at the baggage drop counter.

‘Sorry sir, I have to change your seat number?’ The beauty at the counter told me with an apologetic voice.

‘Why?’

‘There may be some problems on that seat for you.’ She told with a plastic smile.

‘Ok, then allot me another aisle seat.’

‘Sorry sir, all the aisle seats are allotted.’

‘What is the problem with that aisle seat? Have you allotted that seat to someone else?’ Irritation in my voice might be very clear,

‘No sir, your seat will be kept unoccupied due some problems with a frequent flier who will be sitting next to that seat! He is the problem!’ She tried to explain.

‘Is he terribly ill?’

‘No sir.’

‘Is he smelly?’

‘No sir.’

‘Is he very talkative?’

‘No sir. But there are some problems. Earlier many co-passengers had huge problems while sitting with him. Therefore, it is a management’s decision not to allot that seat to any passenger.’

‘If I guarantee you that I shall not complain, will you allot that seat to me?’ Due to my nature, I became adamant to get that seat.

‘I have to talk to my seniors for that!’ The hapless girl told me.

A senior officer came to me and told, ‘Sir, if you are so adamant about that particular seat, that seat will be allotted to you. But do not blame us afterwards.’ He said thoughtfully.

‘Do you want a written undertaking for that?

‘No sir, now it is your problem. It will be my pleasure to guide personally you to that seat!’

As promised, the officer guided me to the seat. Apparently harmless, an old fragile gentle man was seating at the window seat. While occupying my seat I thanked the airline officer for escorting me to the seat. But by the time, he made a hasty retreat, probably the old man would abuse him for allotting the seat near to him; I thought.

Without wasting my time I started, ‘They tried to dissuade me not to seat with you. But without knowing about you, I cannot run away from a gentle man like you, on the basis of some hearsay. That is my adamant character and that may be my problem also! I assure you sir, I shall not disturb you!’ I tried to placate the old fellow.

‘I have absolutely no problem if you talked to me; even if you try to disturb me by pushing also!’ He told me in such a normal way, I did not find any sarcastic tone nor any annoyed tone in his voice.

I found the old fellow a perfect gentleman. Then, what is the problem?

‘Do not worry uncle, I shall not push you. Anyway where are you going? Hope you are going to meet your son or daughter!’

‘Exactly I do not know; I have Alzheimer.’ The old man kept mum for some time.

‘Can you recall your name uncle?’ I asked him.

‘Are you a doctor?’

‘No.’

‘Then why you have asked me that question?’

‘I am a statistician by profession, by interest a history student, a writer as a hobby and by addiction a social scientist; but not a doctor by any means!’ I told affectionately to the old man touching his fumbling hand.

‘I do not know why I feel that for whom I have been waiting for so many years, you are the person!’ He said enthusiastically.

I also immediately understood, God became more kind to me. He made me more empowered to see someone whom I could not see for so many years, a male spirit.

I pushed the overhead button to call the airhostess. She rushed to me as if I am suffering from a heart attack.

‘Be cool madam; cool down. Can you arrange two isolated seat in the executive class? My uncle and I, want to discuss something very personal! I hope, through our discussion, your problem for these two seats will also be solved forever!’ With a mystic smile I told her.

She again rushed to the leader of the cabin crew. Within a minute they arranged last two seats of the executive class.

‘Sir, you have to be hurry as we are going to fly now!’

‘Sure.’ I got up from my seat and followed the airhostess. The old man also followed me gladly.

‘Now uncle tell me your story comfortably.’ After taking my seat, I asked the old man.

‘Will you not hug me before you hear my story?’ With a mysterious smile he asked me.

I hugged him for a minute from my sitting position. Tears were coming from his eyes.

‘Do not cry uncle, God has sent me to solve your problem! I assure you, you will be coming out from your trauma after our discussion!’ Patting on his back I told him.

In the meantime the airhostess told me to fasten my seat belt.

Once we became airborne, we started our conversation. It was a common sad story of an old man in our societies. The old man, Mr. Kapil Agarwal was a bank manager before his retirement. He had a perfect family of one son and a one daughter along with a caring wife. But by the age of seventy-five everything started going wrong for Kapil Aggarwal. He lost his wife and he started losing interest in life. He distributed his property and cash like any other foolish father to his son and daughter keeping nothing substantial for him. He was forgetful even when his wife was alive. After death of his wife, Alzheimer completely overpowered the old man.

Slowly his children saw him as a burden on him. One day, both the siblings hatched a plan to get rid of their old father. They send their father by this flight (from Delhi) to Mumbai three years ago with some false postal address of Mr. Aggarwal. Since then he is always travelling by this flight every day not knowing exactly where to go!

‘Now what do you want from me?’

‘I cannot punish them as still I love them! Nor I can curse them! But I want to convey the message to them, I am still moving in this plane for last three years. Let them do their last duties to see me off finally.’ The old man told me wiping his moist eyes.

‘If you do not mind, get down from the plane with me. I shall perform all the duties of a son in a nearby Mandir at Mumbai.’ I told him.

‘I have no problem in treating you as my own son; at least I shall be able to tell my female friends that you are my son, who had been friend for thousands of ladies who are suffering like me for so many years!’ He was rather elated at my proposal.

As the flight landed at Mumbai, he told, ‘Let me walk through the plane for the last time!’

‘Yes uncle, for the last time!’ I smiled back.

As we moved out of the flight, all the crew members came out to say a thank you to me.

We straight way went to the nearby Mandir. As an adopted child, I completed all the formalities for Mr. Kapil Aggarwal in the Mandir.

After completion of his last rites, he gave me blessing and pray to God to empower me more so that I can help more needy spirits. Then he vanished into the thin air in the form of a faint light. Before I completed his last rites, as requested by me, he removed all my personal records from the airline office so that they would not be able to contact me. That was one of the pre-condition of empowerment of me, not to disclose my identity to the public of the living world.

I met the family members of Kapil Aggarwal to tell that their father was not missing, but he died on the flight to Mumbai three years ago. As nobody claimed his dead body, police cremated the dead body as an ‘identified dead body’. It is a good thing that Mr. Aggarwal died in the aircraft itself. Otherwise he would have been a beggar on street of Mumbai!

When they said they wanted to do his last rites, I told them, ‘that was not necessary as an adopted child, I completed his last rite and left them without disclosing my identity.

I do not know even now whether his children were ashamed of their misdeeds or not or they were happy that they did not have to spend few thousand rupee on the dead man (sic!) by performing his last rites!

Chapter X: Lady with a Black Car

 

(This story is about a real girl who used to drive very fast and after one year she had gone missing from my radar. I have told many people about this particular girl and always pray to God, she should be hale and hearty. Recently when I told about this girl to a young colleague, she suggested me to write about her. So this fictitious story came up. Therefore, it is a mere fictitious story having no relation with any living or dead person. If any similarity is found it is a mere coincidence only. )

 

She was fast, real fast in driving her i-10 Hundai car. Continuously I saw her black car zipping past my car for a year in 2009-10 while returning home from my office in the evening. The car used to overtake my car in a break neck speed on Lodhi Road between the Safdarjung Tomb and CGO Complex turn. Despite of my best efforts, I could not see the face of the girl properly. However, I could find out that she had short cut hair; but not boys’ cut. I cannot be sure, whether she was beautiful or not; but again I could able to know that her body colour was fair; I could guess this from her neck line. However, I can guarantee that her favourite colour was black; because her car was black and in ninety percent cases she was wearing black dress; from Black saree to black blazer. It will be wrong if I claim that I was indifferent to her; I was always very much interested to know about the young lady with the black car.

After almost one year of sighting the comet (the lady with the black car), it vanished into the thin air. I felt a void in my heart. What happened to her? Whether she had changed her timing? Whether she met an accident? Whether she had changed her route? Whether she changed her car? Whether she had changed her residence? Whether she had been transferred out of Delhi? If she was unmarried, had she been married to someone? Whether she started keeping a driver? There were another hundred questions about that unknown girl! But I was not able to get a single answer against any of the question!

In due course of time, I started forgetting her.

Recently, I was transferred to another ministry in the same capacity. In any new office, irrespective of your designation and irrespective of length of service, you are not comfortable for few days and in some cases even for few months. Due to very long stay in my earlier office, coming out of that comfort zone, I felt like fish out of water for some time. The work culture in every office is different from other one. Naturally, in the new office, I found work culture is different from my earlier office. My earlier office was research oriented and the present office is execution oriented. So sometimes I felt myself like a fool!

After getting a snub from my boss when I was sitting in my cabin like a sack of rice with a vague look, a lady with a black dress stormed into my room without knocking, without taking any permission to enter my room.

‘Sorry sir, I gate crash to your room. I have come to your room just for our introduction. I am Veena, Veena Prajapati. I heard many things about you, sir. You write books and can communicate with ghosts and so on! I know that our combination will rock!’ She said all these sentences in a matter of few seconds.

‘You are right, I write something on something, not a specialist writer with high calibre. I wrote two books pretending that I can communicate with ghosts. But those are all bull shits! I cannot communicate with any ghost. Even in my fifty-four year of journey of life I never come across with any ghost!’ I slowly clarified my stand on communicating with ghosts.

‘I shall discuss on this particular topic on another day. By the way, how do you like our office?’ With a mysterious smile, she asked me.

‘It is fine, I am trying to adjust in this atmosphere.’ I told with a sigh.

‘I understand your problem. But do not worry sir, you will be able to adjust here soon.’ With another mystic smile she comforted me.

‘Today I am little bit busy. I shall come to meet you again soon to discuss about your abilities to see ghost and regarding other powers God has given to you.’ Without waiting for any reaction from my side she went out of the room like a bullet out of a pistol.

A few minutes later when one of my subordinate met me, I asked him about Veena. To my surprise he feigned ignorance about a lady named Veena is working in this office.

‘How long you have been working here?’ I asked him.

‘Last three years, sir.’ His answer perplexed me further. But I did not ask any more question on Veena.

After few days, another a lady with a very beautiful black purse gate crashed to my room. ‘I am Karuna, Veena’s sister!’ She introduced herself.

I was about to laugh. But controlling my laugh I asked her, ‘So you are Veena’s sister! Tell me one thing, why you are moving in a break-neck speed always. Do your parent also move so fast?’

‘Yes, sir. We all always walk fast, talk fast, run fast, think fast and drive fast! Sometimes, we gain something and sometimes we lose something for this particular habit! But we are happy about it.’ She smiled in a mystic way.

‘How many brothers and sisters you have?’ I asked her.

‘We are three sisters. Veena is the eldest, then I am and third one is Amita. Our surname is Bhardwaj. Veena married to a Prajapati. We are yet to get our match!’ She giggled.

‘I am notorious for my mingling with ladies of all ages. Many seniors are unhappy about this! For your gate crashing habit any other officer would have been unhappy with you. But I cannot be unhappy with any beautiful lady. That is my weak point!’ I tried to convey my displeasure of their gate crashing habit as well as my flirting habit.

But she smiled and said, ‘I know sir, my sister told me how you can win over any lady’s heart.’

‘She knows many things about me. But I am yet to know anything about her.’ I said sarcastically.

‘Sir, your sarcastic talk is also interesting and loved by girls and became fan of you. I am no different from any other common girl. But I have to go now. Otherwise Veena will be unhappy for irritating you.’ She left my room like her elder sister.

When finally Amita gate crashed to my room before she opened her mouth, I said quickly, ‘You need not have to introduce yourself; you are Amita, younger sister of Veena and Karuna. Am I right?’

‘Yes sir, you are right. Veena has told me to meet you. I am not staying in this city for the last six years after Veena met that horrible accident!’

‘When she met the accident? Where?’ I was intrigued a little bit.

‘For detail of the accident you have to talk to her. Actually, I am coming here to invite you for a dinner on Veena’s birth day. I shall come to your residence to pick you up for the dinner. But now I have to leave. Veena has already instructed me not disturb you much. Both Veena and Karuna disturbed you a lot already by intruding into your privacy.’ Without waiting for my reply she left my room with the same speed at which her sisters used to leave.

I found Amita is little more reasonable than her elder sisters.

Finally, I came to know who is/ was Veena.

Nilanjana, who is few years junior to me, presently working in a different Ministry but worked in my ministry six years back was able to remember Veena. On the same day, Nilanjana visited my office, the day I was invited for Veena’s birth day. As I was curious to know about Veena, I asked her if she was aware of any Veena working in this office.

‘I knew Veena, Veena Prajapati, wife of Kamal Prajapati who worked in this office few years back. Veena used to pick up him from the office and therefore we used to meet Veena occasionally. But Prajapati took transfer from this office after Veena met a horrible accident!’ She stopped there.

‘What happened to Veena after the accident?’ I asked her.

‘Exactly none of us in the office knows for sure. Some says she survived with serious injury and some says she died in the accident.’ She said.

‘It is strange! Why none knows about that?’

‘She was hospitalized in a serious condition and after few days Prjapati was transferred from this office and he cut off all relations with this office. He even changed the mobile number and became completely incommunicable. That is the reason of confusion about her survival or otherwise.’ She explained.

‘But she is alive. She met me a month ago and both of her younger sisters also met me separately. Even today, Amita, the youngest sister came to invite for Veena’s birth day!’ I said.

‘Oh, thanks God, she survived the accident! God bless her. But I could not understand why you are invited, sir? You do not know them before!’ She had a genuine question.

‘Yes, I also do not know, why I became so important! I am not very young and handsome also! Anyway, Amita promised to take me from my residence for the party!’

‘So, all the best for the party, sir and I hope to read a story on Veena!’ She laughed. I also joined her in her laugh.

At around seven, Amita picked me up from my residence and took to Taj Man Singh Hotel which is hardly two hundred metres from my residence. I thought they have arranged a grand party. But Amita told, ‘Sir, it is a very small party. Except we three sisters, only our brother in law will join you in the party.’

I started worrying about my security! Why I am alone invited! I am not known to them earlier! Then why, I am invited to a family party? My mind became full of queries.

Amita led to a table where Prajapati, Veena and Karuna were sitting. After taking the seat I asked, ‘If you do not mind, can I have a question?’

Veena interrupted, ‘I know your question. Why only you are invited in a family function? You are invited because you are the only one who is blessed to help others like me who are great need of your help urgently!’

I did not say anything. Amita called the waiter and gave order for some soup. She asked me for my preference. I said that I shall go along with others.

‘You know, I always drive at a very high speed. But I never broke any traffic rule in my driving career. On that day also, I did not jump red light as reported by the police. Actually, the concerned officer took huge money to safe guard the Audi driver. The money was transferred abroad in the name of his daughter who was studying at that time in UK. As a result of faulty police report the Audi driver, teen aged son of a rich businessman, was exonerated by the court. I want both the corrupt police officer and the Audi driver are to be punished. I am going to give you minute details of transaction before the case comes before the hon’ble High Court.’

I jotted down every minute details of the transaction and handed over to Prajapati for further actions at their end to give justice to the departed soul of Veena.

After our dinner I asked Amita, ‘Why you have approached me to help the soul of Veena?’

‘She came in our dreams and told us to meet you. Before I met you, I had gone through your book, Beautiful Ghosts.’

She smiled mysteriously and for the first time I also smiled back mysteriously to her!

Chapter XI: Romance with a Lady

 

(I do not want to say about the story. You read it, you will know the story.)

 

‘Sir, can you give me a lift to Khan Market?’

‘Sure! Please come.’ Even though I could not recognize the beautiful face of the lady who must be around 35, I invited to board my car because I was the only passenger in my car and Khan Market comes on my way home at Pandara Road from my office at Lodhi CGO complex. Moreover, as she was coming out from the same building, I thought she must be another Government official like me.

‘Do you know me?’ I asked her when she sat on the back seat beside me.

‘Yes sir. You are one of the most helpful officer in this building.’ She said coyly.

I also felt somewhat ashamed hearing a praise in the mouth of a beautiful lady. ‘I do not know whether I am helpful or not; but I am one of the most talkative officer of the building.’

‘Yes, sir. You talk to a sentry to a senior officer alike.’ She said with an extremely beautiful smile.

‘In that observation you may not be correct. I talked to juniors with genuine love and seniors either with genuine respect or without iota of any respect. It depends on the senior.’ I laughed at my own statement.

‘I know sir, you used to fight a lot with your seniors whenever you disagree to their point of view. But now you have mellowed down a lot. May be due to experience or due to your age.’ I wondered how she could know about my past also. I was somewhat upset for reminding me of my age by a lovely lady sitting beside me.

‘Do not be surprised sir. Actually, Anjali told me about you. Anjali means, PA to the Secretary of the WCD.’ She clarified her position. Anjali was earlier posted in our cadre Ministry that is Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

My car stopped at Khan Market red light. Without asking the driver, she got down from my car just saying a ‘thank you, sir’ to me.

When on the next evening also the same beautiful lady asked for a lift, I understood she had a habit of taking lift from senior officers. But I did not mind to oblige her again for her beauty and especially for her killing smile.

‘You know about me, but I do not know anything about you.’ I started conversation with her.

‘Sorry sir, I am yet to introduce myself. I am Arti, working as a consultant in the Ministry of Minority Affairs for last ten years. I am a single mother of a ten-year-old daughter. My husband left me when I was pregnant due to some dowry issues.’ She said with a sad voice.

‘I do not know how a husband can abandon a pregnant wife because of dowry! You must be extremely beautiful ten years ago! How one can leave such a beautiful lady only for monetary reasons!’

Before we talk further on the issue, she got down at the Khan Market red light like the previous day.

For the next few days, she used to go along with me up to Khan Market red light. Every day we had about two minutes’ conversation and invariably she used to get down from my car at the red light with an unusual coincidence that every day my car had to stop at the red light..

During our conversations, I came to know, she was from a well to do family and married to a rich businessman. But due to her divorce, she had to join different offices as consultant. Professionally she is a computer engineer. After her divorce, she used to stay with her parent at Dwarka. If her residence was at Dwarka why she was coming to Khan Market? Then, I thought she might be taking Metro from Khan Market Metro station.

After knowing her tragedy, I started thinking that I should drop her at Khan Market as a duty of a good citizen without thinking that I was obliging her.

As days passed, we started to like each other’s company. She started coming to my chamber to talk on personal matters also. She hinted me that she started liking me, even though she did not hint me anything like ‘loving me’.

Time flies quickly. I did not know when I completed association with her more than three months.

Every day, she used to go with me in the evening and I started recognizing her fragrance. The more we were together, I saw her more beautiful. Probably, I started loving her. But I did not like that situation at all, being a married old person. I told myself repeatedly, ‘Restrict your feeling to just ‘liking’ state, not beyond that’.

‘Sir, you are different from others.’ With another killing smile she remarked on one of her visit to my chamber.

‘Why do you think so?’ I just asked her a conventional question to linger the conversation.

‘Others’ attraction towards me is more physical without attaching any emotional strings. On the other hand, we are together in your car or in your chamber without any one’s presence, even then you have not tried to touch my hand even. Others tried to touch my body on the third day itself after giving me a lift in their cars. But you have never tried to do so. We are emotionally so attached, even if you ask me for something special, probably I cannot say a no to you now.’ She said with a very tantalizing voice.

‘Do not worry, I shall not ask anything special from you unless I am sure about the logical end of those relations.’ I said thoughtfully. I indirectly told her that as at that time, I was not interested for any physical intimacy with her.

‘Ok, sir. I am happy to know your priorities and your expectations from me. But I shall reveal some secret of mine today evening while going to Khan Market.’ She left my room with a mysterious smile.

I was little late on that day. But she was standing beside my car. I was surprised to see her with a different sari which was not worn by her when she met me in the evening at my chamber. I could not refrain from asking the question, ‘Wow, you are with a different sari, how come?’

‘Sir, I have to attend a marriage party tonight. Therefore, I have to change my dress.’ She explained.

‘I must confess, you look stunning with this dress and your make-up!’ She smiled on my observation.

Just after moving a KM or so, our car broke down. As driver was examining the engine, she said, ‘On that day also, car broke down. Today the car has broken down, as I want it. On that day, three years ago, they pretended!’

I could not understand what she was saying.

‘On that day, Vikash Malhotra, a senior officer from my office, brought his own car instead of his official car. Earlier two days, he gave me lift to the Khan Market Metro station as he was also staying at Shahjehan road, opposite to the UPSC building. On that day, his own friend drove his car. At this place, his friend examined his car for half an hour on pretention of breaking down of his car. On that day, I was to attend a marriage and I was in a hurry. As I told him that I shall take an auto if car would not get repaired within five minutes. He got down from the vehicle and discussed something with his friend and car became ready to move. I did not suspect anything till that time. Once car started moving his hands also started moving on my body. He started touching my body inappropriately.’ She paused for a moment.

At this time my driver told me that the car was ready to go. As he drove the car, within few seconds, we reached the red light. On that day, there was no red light, it was a green light. As the car slowed down to negotiate the curve, she jumped from the running vehicle before I could talk to the driver to stop the car after crossing the signal.

I with a scared voice told the driver to stop the car. As the car stopped, I got out of the car to see what happened to Arati.

To my surprise she came towards me with her trademark smile. To see her hale and hearty, I said, ‘Thanks God, you are fine! You scared me to my core! Why you did that horrible thing of jumping from a speeding car?’

With a mysterious smile, she said, ‘To save myself from an animal, I had to do that horrible thing!’

‘But I did not do anything wrong with you! Why did you do that thing then?’ I demanded to know.

‘What you saw before few minutes ago, it actually happened three years ago with me. As I jumped out of the car to save myself from Malhotra’s exploring hands on my body, I was crushed by a car.’ Saying these lines, she vanished to the thin air.

My driver came to me and asked me, ‘What happened sir?’

Chapter XII: Replacement

 

(I feel sometimes, journey of a soul cannot be ended with death. It is like travelling in different modes covering different terrains. Good souls may continue their good works even after death and bad souls will continue their bad works unabated. This is my personal thought.)

 

Anwesha is my second daughter and my youngest child. She is the lifeline of our home in absence of my elder children for their postings outside the city and therefore, without saying, she is a pampered child. Age difference between her with her only brother is nine and a half years. Both my elder children are financially settled and she being the only dependent child in our family, both her siblings are paying lot of attention by giving lot of goods and services to her, both necessary and un-necessary for her wellbeing. For the last six years, she is the only child staying with us. Naturally, she gets all the attentions from us also.

Reciprocally, she also gives lot of attention to me fearing my death may lead to lot of misery in her future life. She also feels sometimes insecure about her future as we (me and my wife) are no more that young and she is yet to get her first degree (which is expected to be awarded only after four and a half years.). Therefore, she takes special care, particularly about my health all the time.

May be due to age difference, the elder children of mine have never envied her for getting special attention from us, normally which is common among the children. So, she is free from sibling rivalry as well from other two children. She enjoys that status also as a free gift from God.

My wife and my daughter, Anwesha went to USA to meet my son at Cincinnati. They went together but to attend her classes she came back from USA after fifteen days. However, my wife also came back to India a few days back after spending more than a month with her son.

I am yet to share my experience about a very interesting but horrible night during the absence of my wife.

Absence of my wife from my life for a month or so is very exciting with mixed bag of feelings. First few days, I felt like living in the heaven with all freedoms from returning late night to unlimited boozing. But my happiness started diminishing from the third day due to n-number of reasons which I do not want to discuss here.

My problem enhanced when my daughter’s returned leaving behind her mother at her son’s place.

My daughter has to leave for her college at around 7-30 AM and I have to leave for my office at 8-30 AM. She returns from college at around 3-30 PM and I use return at 7-30 PM from my office. So, from locking door to preparation of breakfast, packing of tiffin, everything comes in a haphazard way to my utmost discomfort. I had to close all the doors before going to office and my daughter had to open all the doors after coming from college. Therefore, we have to carry bunches of keys separately with us. Therefore, I started missing my wife badly for my own self-interest.

My wife also missed me a lot in USA, not because of her love for me, but love for her son, who in my absence, had to do lot of work for his mother and sister. Many people may not dare to admit these sentiments of the poor husbands in public due to fear of backlashes from their wives, but my wife ignores these types of tantrums from me as she feels kicking a dead body will only hurt her legs.

I have already mentioned that my daughter came back early from USA as she has to attend her classes. As a result of her early return, my duty to look after her had increased in absence of my wife. I had to revise my daily diary to accommodate few new lists of duties. These duties include not only preparation of breakfast, packing of tiffin for her but also to look after the works of the maid who, according to my wife, may try to hoodwink me without doing her duties. But fortunately, I found her dutiful in all respect and delivered more than the expected lines. She took more care than my wife during those days which I cannot tell my wife even in my dreams. Do not worry, there was nothing scandalous.

However, my biggest problem during the absence of my wife was returning home after dusk as otherwise my daughter had to stay alone in our large house. My office hours sometimes extend beyond 8 PM. Another problem was that I could not make any plan for any overnight tour out of the city during that period.

A party or GTG (Get together) was arranged by some of my friends, who happened to be my classmates during my Pre- University days in Cotton College, at Connaught Place (CP), the heart of New Delhi. I was reluctant to go for the party as my daughter would have to stay alone in the evening. But my daughter insisted me to go for the party as CP is only three KM from my residence. In case of any emergency she would be able to call me and I would also be able to be back to my house within ten-twenty minutes. Therefore, I decided to join the party.

Though as per our information more than ten persons are residing in Delhi at present, only seven had turned up for the party. After finishing my office work, when I reached the Old Coffee House, my male ex-classmates had already finished first peg. The female ex-classmates were busy with some cold drinks, name of which are difficult to remember.

As a customary protocol, I was asked to give my preference of any hard drinks. Normally, my preference is for whisky, but as majority were taking Vodka, I also ordered for Vodka. It is typical for all males around the world: for few important items, they have their own preferences, but on any given night they grab whatever available on that night. What are those things, you better know!

After two to three drinks, meals were served. None of my friends were interested for the meals and therefore, they reluctantly pushed some food inside their mouths for onward transmission to their already full belly.

Whenever, I go for a party in recent time, I always take my ‘Fair Lady’ instead of the new car. My Fair Lady (Maruti 800-2001 model) being an old and sturdy car, I prefer her whenever I have to attend parties where there is a possibility of few pegs of whiskey or brandy or vodka or wine. I do not like rum and bear at all. But yes, I sometimes have to take these two drinks also in absence of the other preferred drinks of mine, like sleeping with a smelly girlfriend in absence of a girlfriend with lovely fragrance.

When party was over, it was already half past 10.

As I was returning home, I met an accident on the Zakir Hussain Road crossing at India Gate Circle. An Auto-rickshaw hit my car after hitting another car while jumping the red light at the Zakir Hussain Road entering to the India Gate Circle.

You may suspect, I did something wrong as I had consumed two pegs of Vodka. But I swear, I have a habit of driving car after consuming four to five pegs. Though no external injury was on my body, as a result of the shock that I had got due to heavy impact of the vehicles, I felt almost unconscious, though I was aware what was going on around me in a semi-conscious state of mind.

I was immediately taken to a nearby private hospital by police patrol party. I was able to hear one policeman was saying, ‘Koi aur hota to kuch paisa mil jata, ye to koi bara sarkari munasif hai (if somebody would have been here, we could have earned something, but he happened to be a senior Government official!). So, they had to shift me reluctantly to a nearby private hospital free of any levy.

When I reached home in the morning from the hospital, I was surprised to see that my daughter had not asked me why I was not available in the last night. She instead asked me, ‘Deuta (Dad), why you had gone for a morning walk so early today after a long gap?

I understood, there was something wrong. Instead of answering her question, I asked her, ‘How was your sleep last night?’

‘It was perfectly alright. I slept around 1 AM when you were snoring like any other night. In the morning when I did not find you, I thought you went for a morning walk!’

‘No, actually I went to find a mechanic for the old car. Yesterday, while coming from the party, I met a minor accident and car got dented.’

‘Is everything alright? Hope, you were not hurt!’ Looking at me from head to toe she asked.

‘Do not worry sweetheart, nothing had happened to me.’ Saying the words, I went into deep a thought. In my absence who was in my home?

‘I felt something wrong with you last night after you had come from the party. Whenever I asked any question, instead of answering my question, you only gestured something by your hands or by your face. Knowing your funny nature, I thought you are heavily drunk!’ My daughter commented.

I was recalling what happened on that night precisely. I started thinking, ‘Last night, after the accident, though there was no external injury on my body, due to shock of the impact, I became semi-conscious for two hours and I was kept under observation in the hospital. After getting full consciousness, deliberately I did not telephone to my daughter to inform about the accident and subsequent hospitalization. Further, I had requested the doctor not to inform my daughter unless my condition deteriorated. Fortunately, nothing serious happened and I was released from the hospital at around 7 AM after making the hospital fee through my credit card. Then who was in my house whole night?’

I clearly remembered that in the morning, I took an auto-rickshaw and reached home by 7-30 AM. As I was locking one entry door from outside while going for the party anticipating late night return, I could open my door without disturbing my daughter by pressing the calling bell.

Even after breaking my head to pieces, I could not understand who was sleeping on my bed snoring like me on the previous day in my absence. Who was he?

While I was in the office, I could not concentrate in my work. Every time I wanted to concentrate in my work, the same question disturbed me, ‘Who was sleeping on my bed and was snoring like me?’

In the evening when I was returning home, my puzzle was solved when I met the beautiful lady sitting on the back seat of my car with whom I had a steady relation for three months till she jumped out of my car at Khan Market red light.

She said with a smile, ‘Last night when you met the horrible accident and fortunately afterwards when you got your consciousness in the hospital, I was nearby you throughout. I heard, you were talking to the doctor not to inform your daughter unless your condition deteriorates. Then I decided to go to your house to look after your daughter for the night assuming your shape and size in your absence. It was a token of love for you darling.’

‘Thanks for looking after my daughter in the last night in my absence.’ Smiling back, I told her.

As I finished my words, she vanished into the thin air with a lovely smile on her face. I understood why she did not answer to my daughter’s question and only gestured, because she did not know Assamese, my mother tongue for those few hours. Is not it funny!

Chapter XIII: Head Hunter

 

(When I was posted in Nagaland, I heard many stories on ‘Head Hunting’ by different tribes living in the state. I do not know whether there was any truth of those stories or not. But definitely those stories relating to head hunters were very fascinating. Recently when I visited another North-Eastern State on an official visit, my room of the guest house where I stayed overnight at Aizwal, is facing a cemetery. During the night, I enjoyed the calmness of the cemetery. On that night, the story, I am narrating here, got evolved.

I need not have to repeat again that this story is also a story far from reality. If, however, my story resembles with some reality, it is pure coincidence only, nothing to do with any reality nor any real person. Some traditions, I am mentioning here are probably not followed anywhere in the world. Thus, I have no intention to showcase any real tradition in the story.)

 

On an official visit, I had to travel to a few districts of a state of North Eastern part of our country recently. As a part of my official duty, I, along with some senior officers, met many villagers to know about supply of drinking water in the village and construction and use of safe toilets. This was part of my present assignment as I am now working in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India. To elaborate it, let me explain about the mandate of our Ministry.

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India is mandated to provide financial and technical assistance to the States to help in achieving the vision of Swachh Bharat and provide drinking water to rural population of the country. With the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014, India has embarked upon a journey of cleanliness transformation in rural landscape. As 2nd October, 2019 is the target date for making the entire country open defecation free (ODF), the Ministry has taken all necessary steps to achieve this goal. However, this is possible only if all the stakeholders are coming together to make the entire country ODF. As a part of this noble cause, I went to this particular state to know about the ground reality of progress in direction of declaring the state/ districts ODF (Open Defecation Free).

To my pleasant surprise, I found the State extremely clean compared to many other states and cities, I had visited for the same reason.

Journey to this state was extremely painstaking for me. On the day of journey, I left my residence at 5 AM to take a flight to Kolkata. Then I had to wait at Kolkata airport for four hours to take the only connecting flight to the state capital from where I had to take a long ride of six hours in a hilly terrain to the district HQs. I had to halt for the night. When I reached the circuit house of the district HQs. I was feeling like dead fish.

A wide range of dishes were waiting for me at the circuit house. But I was so tired, I could remember only the taste of two pegs of whiskey which I took as if they are holiest drink in the world on that day.

Next day, at 7-30 AM after taking my breakfast, I started my journey to some of the remote places of the hill state. To my utter satisfaction, I found most of the villages are ODF and they are going further to achieve ODF plus status (with proper management of solid and liquid wastes). I visited as many as nine villages in three districts of the state in the next fifteen hours.

When I returned back to the State HQs for my night halt, it was already 11 PM. After taking supper at half past eleven, I could go to bed at 12-15 AM only. I did not know when I fell asleep.

I could not remember at what time I was awoken by some drops of sticky material on my face. When I opened my eyes, I saw a person was standing with severed head in one of his hand and a sword with blood in the other hand. I was about to faint. I did not know how to react.

Before I beg for my life and his mercy, the ferocious person thundered, ‘You, ba—d, we heard that you are not only after beautiful girls but also beautiful ghosts. We heard, you helped many beautiful ghosts to attain freedom from ghost lands, is it true?’

I nodded. The moment I nodded, a good number of persons, either without head or persons having heads in their hands appeared before me. The whole room was flooded with blood.

I do not know the exact word for ‘fear for the sight of blood’ (like hydro-phobia or crometo-phobia etc). To see so much blood everywhere I felt dizziness on my head. I murmured, ‘I promise to help you. But first remove your blood from here. It gives me dizziness.’

I did not know, whether they became happy or unhappy; but they dragged me out of the room with some war cries. Then they lifted me and took me to a nearby jungle. After reaching the jungle, they dropped me before a heavily armoured person sitting on a decorated chair. All the persons carrying me bowed to him and said, ‘Oh, the benevolent one, he is before you.’

I understood, he must be the king of the persons who were carrying me and I was brought to this place on his instruction only.

The King was apparently kind to me. He said, ‘Do not worry. We are not going to harm you. We came to know that you can communicate with dead people. We heard, you helped many persons, I mean ghosts to achieve the eternity after suffering many years in the ghost land. We also suffered in the ghost land for last two hundred years. We want to communicate with living people so that they can help us. But very sight of us, either they run away or faint. You have neither run away nor fainted and already talked to some of my subjects. Now I see a ray of hope. I pray to you, you kindly help all of us.’

The king started his story.

I was the eldest son of a king of a small clan. God had given me lot of physical power and skill of using sword, bows and spear. In our times, even a son of a king cannot be the next king unless he was able to bring maximum numbers of severed heads of enemies. There was fierce competition among the contenders of throne. In the process, some used to win and some used to lose even their own heads to the fighters of the enemies. We used to call ourselves as head hunters.

A king was called lucky and brave if he was killed in a battle field. After his death, he was praised for his bravery; but if a king died due to some natural causes before attaining the age of forty, his dead body was given to the stray dogs. The dogs who ate the king would also be killed and the dog meats were distributed among the subjects. If, however, a king died after attaining the age of sixty without losing a battle, he was worshiped as a demigod and his dead body was buried along with his throne.

In my life time, I never lost a battle and died at a ripe age of sixty-five due snake bite. As per the tradition, I was buried with all fane fare and along with the throne I used to sit.

All the subjects whom you see now, were my followers. The persons whom you see without heads, were killed in different battles and their heads were taken by our enemies. The heads which are seen in the hands of my men were the heads of the killed enemies. If you count, you will see number of headless bodies are very less in number compared to the warriors with heads in hands. That showed my prowess during my tenure as king of the clan.

‘As I understand, if somebody dies in a war, they can get eternity immediately, then why you are not getting eternity after death?’ I asked the king.

‘You are right. We should have got eternity after death. Unfortunately, one of the queens of mine, whom I forcefully married after killing her husband, took revenge on the day of my death by poisoning all my warriors. She fulfilled the last wish of her husband by taking revenge for killing her husband. On the next day, on her tacit support, the rival force attacked our clan without a single warrior and killed all the young males of our clan. The rituals for death can be conducted by the males only. In our case, as all the male children were killed by the rivals, no rituals could be performed. However, as my rituals were already conducted on the previous night, I could have attained eternity. But I preferred to stay back with my warrior followers in the ghost land.’ He concluded.

‘Now, how can I help you?’

‘After few years, we came to know that, one of my wife was only one month pregnant when the rivals took away her. She gave birth my child after eight months. Incidentally, it was a male child. But child did not know who his father was. He thought his father was the king of the rival group. In due course of time, he became a very powerful king like me and led the rival group. Unknowingly, he performed all the rituals for his adopted father and his subjects. Therefore, they all attained eternity and we were left out. His descendants are still powerful both, financially and politically. You pass on our message to perform the necessary rituals for us so that we all can also attain eternity. I hope you can do that.’ The benevolent king requested me.

‘OK, I shall pass on your message. But I cannot guarantee whether, he will do accordingly or not.’ I said.

‘I understand that. The message may not be believed by them. Only I can request you to try to convince at least one of them. If anyone performs, that is enough for all of us.’ The King pleaded for his subjects.

I promised to help him as I already became a fan of the benevolent king who sacrificed his own salvation for his subjects. He gave few names of his descendants.

As dawn of a new day emerged, I left the jungle. When I reached my tourist bungalow, sun had risen with full bloom.

My flight was at 2-30 PM. So practically, I had four to five hours to meet some of the descendants who are living near to state capital.

My escort officer joined me at my breakfast table. Handing over a list of names, I told her, ‘I want to meet at least a few of them before I leave your state.’

Looking at the list, the young lady told me with a beautiful smile, ‘Sir, the list contains my father’s name and the names of my all uncles. Where do you get it?’

‘Will you believe?’ I asked her. Then I told her everything on my last night’s experience.

After hearing, everything attentively, she asked me, ‘Are you sure what you are saying?’

I nodded. Then I said, ‘Otherwise, how can I get the list of persons with whom I have no personal or official relation and they all are related!’

‘Really it is surprising. A few months back, my father and an uncle of mine saw something similar in their dream. Let us go and meet my father and the uncle before they go out for their duties.’

We rushed to their house and told both of them my story of last night. The father of my escort officer told me, ‘I do not know whether there is any truth in your story or not. But there is no harm if we perform the rituals for those souls.’

After taking tea in their house, I straightway proceeded towards the airport. The escort officer took me to the VIP room as I reached the airport much before time of departure of my flight to Kolkata. She took my ticket to issue my boarding pass.

In the VIP room, I was alone for some time. During that time, the benevolent king appeared before me once again.

‘I am sorry, while bringing you to my ghost kingdom, you were misbehaved by one of my warriors. I admonished him. Please forgive him for his unruly behaviour. I pray to God, He gives you more power to help suffering ghosts to attain eternity. I shall try to meet you before I leave the ghost land forever.’ Saying these lines the benevolent king vanished into the thin air.

Me

 

During last two decades, I have met hundreds of spirits all over the world out of which I have mentioned about only a few of them. God has given me a power to help some of these spirits with only one initial restriction; I was empowered to communicate with the spirits of female only though I was able to 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. Due to my closeness to my mother (father was more closed to my other siblings), my closest person of my life other than my mother was the 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), God might have thought I shall be a suitable candidate to help the female spirits. Otherwise also, the whole world is biased to the males and majority of the exploited persons are from the weaker sex. I also enjoyed the situation. However, God was kind enough to enhance my power to communicate and help male spirits in due course of time.

If you (my beautiful ghosts) have any problem, you may please contact me at the email address given below: [email protected]

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.

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

5. Akhadya

6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah

7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring

8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God

10. All Blurred

11. Putting kids to sleep

12. How to become unpopular

13. Soulmates

14. My grumpy Face

15. Love and Worries

16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo

17. Interview

18. Indecent Love Affairs

19. My Fair Lady

20. Waiting time

21. Two Stories

22. My Mother: Dashami Borah

23. Parineeta

24. Manorama

25. Unwanted

26. First Attempt

27. A father

28. The Portrait

29. Snapped Thread

30. Only He Knows

31. The Stupid Mother

32. The Same Old Story

33. The Old Scoundrel

34. Third Attempt

35. Some of my First Days and First Nights

36. Snubbed Twice

37. Have You Met the God

38. Frequent Flier

39. Messiah

40. Forgive and Forget

41. To Win or to lose

42. Call Girl

43. Beyond Blood Relation

44. Lady with a Black Car

45. My wife

46. Complete Woman

47. Diwali Gift

48. Romance with a Lady

49. Open Heart Surgery

50. My First Love

51. Replacement

52. Pebbles on My Way Home

53. My First Bengali Book

54. Murder Mystery

55. Niharika

56. Swapping

57. Make a Habit to Thank God

58. Killing of a Bird

59. The Hero

60. Fantasy versus Reality

61. The Party

62. Road Rage

63. Death of a Friend

64. Cannot Live with Memory Only

65. None Cares for Me

66. A Tribute to My Guru

67. Two Professionals

68. The Choice

69. The Elusive Spouse

70. First Encounter with A P

71. Plane Crash

72. Plane Crash Part-II

73. Plane Crash Part-III

74. Abducted

75. A Bag of Currency

76. Suitable Groom

77. Head Hunters

78. My Dear Sister

79. Selection While Waiting at the Airport

80. Oh Shit

81. Perverse

82. He Got Back His Wife

83. Beautiful Faces

84. Elder Sister

85. Good Morning

86. Prey

87. Pass on your Death to Someone Else

88. Colour of Holi

89. Why blame others

90. A Forbidden Issue

91. Hat-trick of Failures

92. Agony of Writers

93. Contrasts

94. Three Directors

95. An Unusual Love Affair

96. Birth Day

97. Do not Tell Anyone

98. Anupama

99. Late By Ten Years

100. Murder in a Foreign City

101. Strange Life

102. I love You Darling

103. Falsehood

104. Lady in the Park

105. Do Anything, I Shall comment

106. Professionalism

107. Art of Flirting

108. Are We Human

109. Old man and a Dog

110. Relation with Relatives

111. Sun and Cloud

112. My Second Lover

113. In a Meeting

114. Love at First Sight

115.A Psalm of Life

116.He Wants a Solution

117. Wings

118. Twenty-five Love Stories

 

 

 

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Email: [email protected]

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Me and A Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories

I personally never believe the existence of ghost or spirit because I have never met any ghost or spirit in the last 55 years of my life. During the last 45 years, I had to stay alone at guest houses, at ordinary houses, in open fields of rural areas, in jungles, in small towns, in cities and in metro polis, but I have never met a spirit or ghost. But still I enjoy in reading or hearing a ghost story. Some of 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 a ghost or a ghost story could/ cannot scare me, instead they always amuse me. With that background, with lot of spice, I wrote these stories in my own language for you. These stories are already published on this platform as separate books. But I have compiled and edited these stories so that my esteemed readers can keep these stories at one place instead of at different places. My ghost stories are not scary at all, rather these are lovable and sometimes funny. Therefore, I have not attached the tag ‘for adult only’.

  • ISBN: 9781370175499
  • Author: Hiranya Borah
  • Published: 2017-09-13 06:35:13
  • Words: 26495
Me and A Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories Me and A Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories