5 Feb 2011

Superstars of the Supernatural...

Masks have always intrigued me,  but not in a happy or cheerful manner.They scare me and yet they make me terribly curious. Reminds me of all the things that we cannot see in the dark.Yes. These tastefully and creatively done, pieces for wearing, used to scare me more than a skeleton or a woman in White Sari. I used to feel (and still sometimes feel when I look at those Venetian Masks used for Feng Shui) that these masks are saying something...that they have a life of their own...that they are a Medium for the wandering Spirits. 

When I was a young girl of 10, I remember being afraid of the dark like any other kid. But as I understood that darkness was not that bad, I started to realize something else....that there were things in darkness which I could not see, but were meant to frightening, meant to be stayed away from, thanks to the late night old horror shows. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

Not so much, when you are scared. Spirits. Also known as Ātma in Hindi, they have been a much talked about entity when we talk about the Supernatural. So what are these? Are Spirits human, real or just some old stories that people love to talk about, to their friends, grandchildren or children for entertainment and intrigue? I am not sure, and that is why I decided I would find out about these beings. 

When we think about what Spirits are, usually a floating, white, wispy kind of an image comes to our minds. There is a difference between ghost and spirit, as the former supposedly has a concrete shape and is represented by a scary looking, monstrous being depending on the imagination of the people, whereas latter is usually determined by a quiet demeanor, lurking near the places where it lost its body. This is however, my own idea. Ruskin Bond, when he was a child, believed that he was visited by his Aunt (dead, of course) every night, to tuck him in the bed and put back covers on him, which he would have accidentally kicked away. He says… that he remembered kicking the covers and sleeping. And when he would wake up suddenly in the night, he would find him-self covered. This incident happened when he was staying with his father alone in a dak bunglow in Mussoorie, India (Old Circuit houses made in India forest areas for forest officers and hunters, during olden times).

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I read once in a report published online that the scientists have managed to establish that there are spirits in human body (well…who doubted that anyway? But since we are talking about skepticism, I think this is all right). They placed a fresh corpse in a glass casket immediately after the person died. After few seconds, I am not sure about the veracity of this report but still, the casket reportedly cracked and the weight of the body was reduced by 25 grams. Can science really do this? I do not have any idea. But I have one such personal experience that still gives me chills. They say that when a spirit enters a room, candles or any source of warmth extinguishes.

The air becomes chilly and a person can feel unease settling in the pit of the stomach. Well, this is true to some extent, but before that I must tell you a true story, my own story

My friends and I were flat-hunting a year and half ago. We had been roaming around the city whole day in one of my friend’s car which was driven by her driver who was well-versed with the language used in the city. It was around 6 pm in the evening and the horizon had started to turn pink and orange, casting long shadows on the road. We three were disappointed by then, as we could not find a single place. As we were passing through one of the posh areas of the locality, my friends noticed a board in front of an apartment saying, “Three Bedroom House available for rent, well furnished with all the amenities. To know more, contact the management.” We immediately were hopeful and stopped our car. We were escorted to the third or fourth floor, in a lift and the apartment was to our right as we emerged out of the lift. I was the last to come out as the lift doors slid close behind me. I saw a painting right across which otherwise should have looked beautiful but somehow made me really uncomfortable.
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I shooed away the feeling, thinking, I was being paranoid. We enter the apartment. It was incredibly gorgeous. It looked like we had stepped into a film studio set. The living room had a beautiful chandelier and I was admiring it with awe. Towards my left were two bedrooms, an open kitchen which had a display of religious pictures with four Diyās burning cheerfully. Somehow, I was becoming more and more uncomfortable, but I kept ignoring the weird sensation, marking it as fatigue. I walked into one of the bedrooms which were huge. It had six floor-to-ceiling cupboards and to the rightmost corner of the cupboard was a tiny space enclosing a window, and a big bathroom to the opposite. My friends were in the living room and had already looked into the rooms, while I was lingering behind. Before leaving, I peeped into the bathroom to see an expensive looking shower and well, a thought struck me at that moment, why were they selling this house so cheap? It was worth 35 to 40 thousand per month and we were asked to pay only 16. And suddenly I went cold. Very very cold. I thought I would start crying. My head started reeling as I swiftly walked back towards the living room and gripped one of my friends’ hands and said to her, “I think there is something wrong with that room, please come with me.” She gave me a puzzled look but agreed to check it out. She did not find anything weird but we started to imagine things, just for the heck of it, as we walked out of the apartment, asking our escort to wait for us, as we confirm whether we want the place or not. We sat in the car making up stories as to what if there was actually a ghost or something in the house? I continuously felt what if this all turned out to be true, but laughed along, in order to ease my nervousness and paranoia. As we picked up our other friends-flat mates to show them our discovery, I comfortably decided that I had just imagined things.

When we reach back to the apartments, we see the person who was showing us through, standing and talking heatedly to someone. Seeing all of us, he immediately became defensive and refused to let us back to the apartments. “Our landlord does not want to give the house to you girls. Please leave.” We glare at him first and then request him once more to let us see the apartments so that we can finalize. He refused us blatantly and was so harsh that we immediately backed up. The driver of our car asked us to sit back in the car, while he went on to talk with the guy. After and hour or so he emerges out and sits in the car with a grim expression on his face. All of us showered him with questions as he kept quiet. Finally, he gave me a look and started saying, “A girl was murdered in that house 6 months ago. She was killed by her drunken friends in a fight and was dumped in the bathroom. Since then, this house has been empty and that is the reason they were ready to sell it so cheap.” All of us were stunned. I was numb, scared about what I had felt back there. Was it all true? Had I experienced something which was hidden? Was the spirit of the girl lurking when I was alone there? Till date, I shudder at the thought.

I don't know. And I sure as hell, do not want to find out.

This is part of Indiblogger's #ShareYourGhostStory


A Lot Like Fashion said...

The story still gives me goose flesh so I can imagine how hair rising it must've been for you. But I'm sure there are many of us who have not much of an idea about spirits and await your second post with baited breath! :)

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

Blessed be A Lot Like Fashion...

I would really want to know what happened back there, though I am very scared. But, as they say, curiosity killed the cat, I am satisfying myself with these writings. :D Thanks for reading!

Much Love :)

Veethi Telang said...

I shivered the very first time you told me about your experience, in person. But reading it now makes me think you're not only a good writer, but a good story-teller too. :P

Love you darling. Keep writing. And this mask .. is mine now!


bigboy said...

this post actually gave me goose bumps i normally couldnt care less about spirits coz i sleep like a baby but i remember an incident in my boarding school where i was going to the washroom at night when i felt someone calling me i could hear a feint voice whispering dont go.....it felt creepy and i decided not to go and went back to my room just later to find out my dormitory is built on top of a cemetery after that my skepticism has gone way down...........i think this is a fantastic piece and i cant wait for the second part it is always nice to get to know these things in depth.......please keep it up and never lose interest in writing you are meant to do this......

Vinati said...

Whoa...your incident is so damn creepy. I wouldn't be able to sleep peacefully for the rest of my life, if I were you. Swear!
And my belief in spirits is stronger after reading this post.
very well written!

Swarnali said...

Honestly,I didn't believe in ghosts,spirits or anything of the sort,but I get shit scared in the dark...all those terrifying scenes of gore from the horror movies start a slideshow in my mind. I guess that happens to many others as well.
I actually happened to go through something similar once. I mean I am yet not sure what it was,my over stressed mind imagining stuff or was it for real. One of my classmates had passed away in an accident some years back. One fine evening,I was sitting alone in my garden reading something and I suddenly felt something pass in front of me. i looked up from my book towards the left where it moved and trust me,for a fleeting second I saw him,it was clearly his face. I don't know if it was my mind playing tricks but honestly,he wasn't in my thoughts for years,weird that i suddenly see him. It was really scary to be honest.

Indrani said...

This was really scary.
But I am surprised why he refused to let you people in for the second time. He was a well wisher then.

Wings of Harmony said...

@Indrani: Hi! Welcome here! :D

Indeed, it was a scary experience. He could have been a well wisher, who knows? :) Chilled me to the bones, though.