The Ghost story

(Note: This is based on a true incident as claimed by my Mama. I, however don’t take the responsibility of the authenticity of the story)

Do you believe in ghosts? Some might say “Yes” , some “No”. Personally I don’t believe in anything that I haven’t seen or felt. So unfortunately, I don’t believe in ghosts. “Unfortunately” because I want to believe in ghost. The ghost stories are so exciting, so thrilling… Being from a village I have heard numerous ghost stories right from my childhood. People say there is a ghost residing in the big peepal tree at the village high school compound, located about 2 minutes walking distance from our house. There would be rumours about how wayfarers, who reach home late from work at the nearby town, are scared by this ghost. Sometimes when I used to take a stroll in the evening with my dad on the road going through that school I would stare at the top of the peepal tree and wish that the ghost jumps out and grab us! Unfortunately that never happened.

Also people would say that souls roam around at a place by the road connecting our house with our mama’s house. We live in the same village. Actually that is the place where dead people are burnt. Not exactly a samsaan but it’s just barren land used occasionally for cremation. So, people usually are afraid of walking alone through that part of the road during late night. If they carried some food stuffs during the night they’ll take some chillies along with it. They believe chilli scares the ghosts. Hilarious! Sometimes when I would carry some edibles at night from my mama’s house they’d try to persuade me to take some chillies too along with the food stuffs. Hahahah.. I’d never listen to them. Sometimes mock them. Still most of the times they’d put it along with the food stuffs without telling me. While passing through that part of the road I would have the same desire of experiencing a ghost. That has never happened till today.

Anyway, the story I am going to tell is about my mama (maternal uncle). His name is Ghanashyam. We call him Ghane mama. He is the youngest of three mamas. He was quite young when this incident happened. Strong. Brave. Like a wild bull. As I said we live in the same village. Our village is like any other village in Assam. Surrounded with paddy fields, ponds, kaccha roads, trees , greeneries. Most of the people had mud houses then. The farmlands were generally low-lying lands generally away from human settlements. People were mostly farmers. In the midst of the fields people would have small ponds where fishes are cultivated. The fishes would shelter these ponds when water level goes down during summer. The ponds would then be pumped off using water pumps and fishes are caught. My mama though strong and brave was very superstitious. He was also a firm believer of ghosts and souls. He would also speak of a number of ghostly water creatures, the name of which I don’t even remember. Maybe ‘jal-kubir’ was one such creature he told.

It was one such occasion. Our mamas were pumping off their pond in the field to catch the fish. It takes 8-10 hours depending on the water content. They were to finish pumping by early morning so that they could catch the fishes and take to the market in the nearby town in the morning. While pumping the pond someone had to be there- to look after the machine and to chase the birds and foxes that came to prey the fishes. They were pumping the water taking breaks in between.

By the evening most of the water was pumped. It was decided that Ghane mama would guard the pond during the night. There was a tent made of plastic . After having his dinner a little early and packing his betel nuts and his khainis (Bandar sadha– you’d know it if you’re an Assamese), he headed towards the field. The route to the fields went through Manab Kaka’s house. (“Kaka” means elder brother in spoken Assamese). He walked a few minutes and reached Manab kaka’s house. It is the point from where the farmlands started. People go through their courtyard to the fields. Manab kaka’s family is also somewhat related to us. When Ghane mama reached there manab kaka was feeding the cows in the guhali ( cow ranch ).

“Manab, not going?”, Ghane mama asked him.

They were also doing something in their pond, which was near to our mama’s pond, so he too was to spend the night there-in the settlement made by his pond.

“Coming, after feeding these cows and having dinner”, he said. “ You go, I will take some time”.

So my mama walked through the fields towards his pond. The wind blowing over the tall wind grass made a humming tune waving the grass. He reached the tent. It was a nice weather. The sky was clear with no sign of clouds, eliminating any possibility of rain. To cool soothing breeze was like a lullaby to his ears in a hot summer day. He made his bed and lied down. The day’s hard work took him into deep sleep in no time.

After some time, in between his sleep he heard some noise. He thought Manab has come. He ignored it and concentrated in his sleep.

He was not sure of the time when something woke him up. He was not sure what woke him up. He was sweated. He felt something unusual; maybe some voice or someone’s touch. The sky above had turned dark. The gloomy moon peeking from behind the blurred clouds told it was still time for sunrise. The wind had transformed from soothing to eerie. The macabre sounds of animals howling at a distance filled the ears of my mama. My mama was a brave man but that he could not resist a weird scary feeling. He decided he should go home. He started walking through the narrow dirt road in between the fields…he didn’t run as it is believed that if you show your fear souls get encouraged. He passed Manab kaka’s pond. He saw there Manab Kaka was lying asleep. My mama woke him up.

“Manab, wake up. Let’s go home. Something is not right. I feel something” he said.

Manab Kaka said groggily, “Ehh!! Ghane Da.. Nothing’s wrong..you’re just having some kind of illusion.”

A sense of irritation was evident in his voice for disturbing him in his sleep.

“No need to go home now. In few minutes the sun will rise”, he continued.

“No I’m going home”, Mama said with conviction.

“Sleep with me if you’re so afraid”, Manab Kaka said him.

“No I’m going. Stay if you want to stay”, Mama said and marched towards home. Manab Kaka continued with his sleep ignoring my Mama’s words.

The whistling sound of the blowing wind started terrifying my Mama. The howling of the foxes far away had stopped but he could hear a growl every now and then. The dark clouds had entirely engulfed the moon making it practically impossible to see anything. The old torch lit by batteries which were overused was barely good enough to guide him. His house was still 10-15 minutes away. He felt as if someone was following him. He looked back using his helpless torch but could not see anyone. But he could feel its presence. All he could see was darkness all around him. He could control his fear no longer and started running. He could hear the sound of his own heartbeat.

When he reached Manab Kaka’s house he nearly had an heart attack of what he saw. There was Manab Kaka taking out the cows from the guhali!

“Manab” my Mama uttered in bewilderment, “how come you are here?”

“I didn’t go to the pond last night Ghane da”, Manab Kaka replied with a perplexed look.

“What!!!”My Mama’s heart was beating like a drum.

“Yes, I felt too lazy after having rice so decided to go early next morning. That’s why I woke up so early” Manab Kaka explained.

Ghane mama could not utter a word for some time. Manab Kaka brought some water for him. After having the glass of water mama described everything. Manab Kaka was shocked to hear this. He decided he’d go to the fields only after sunrise when all goes to the field. Both of them stayed in their house till sunrise.

I don’t know if the story is true or is just a creation of my mama’s mind. But it sounded interesting to me. I still am looking for an experience with ghost. Unfortunately I still don’t believe in ghosts. Do you believe in ghosts?

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Until i Try…

I sing of glory,

Of failure I cry.

A race on everywhere i see,

I don’t know why.

 

To open the door i worry,

I pry.

Coz i can’t seize victory,

Until I try.

Rising from the ashes

(Note: I’m not a successful man to advice others on success. I have written this on the insistence of my little brother who keeps asking me to write something motivational)

I would say it to be rather my ‘misfortune’ than my ‘fortune’ that I was able to  study in the best and hence expensive schools of Assam of my time. ‘Misfortune’ because I could see the luxurious lifestyle of the rich fellow kids but never have it. I belonged to a poor family. My father was a simple school teacher and my mother a house wife. We lived just hand to mouth.
My father had got nothing in the name of ancestral property. My grandfather had died when my father was a kid. His uncles brought him to their house to work in their fields and look after the cows and bulls. He had three uncles. The eldest was a school teacher and a reputed man in the locality. The middle was the village head. And the youngest a farmer. The village primary school was just in front of their house and they had to get my father admitted to school just to live up to their good social reputation. But unfortunately for them, my father turned out to be extremely intelligent- much more intelligent than their own kids. So they could never cut off his education midway. Whenever they tried the school headmaster would reach their home.

My father would work in the fields in the morning. Then go to school. In the noon he would walk back home to have lunch (those days they were not provided pocket money to have food outside) and move the cows from where they were tethered in the fields. He would not be provided lunch unless he did that. After gobbling the lunch he would run back to school (the High School was 1.5-2 kilometers away from his home). Again in the evening he worked a little in the fields and brought the cattle back home.
My father passed matriculation examination with extremely good results. He got admitted in Cotton College-the most prestigious college of the North-East India. He completed his HS with good results. He could have easily become a doctor or an engineer. At that time admission to medical or engineering was based on percentage and my father’s percentage was much more than the required. But he didn’t have the funds. And none of his uncle’s came forward to help. My father’s ego too forbid him from begging from others. He believed not in begging but in earning. So ultimately he did BSc. from Cotton College only.
He wanted to do MSc. But the same economic problems again. None of the uncle’s even asked whether my father wanted to study further. My father got a good job in the Telegraph Department quite easily by virtue of his good marks. But he was a lazy man. He quit that job as he had to work night shifts.
By then my father was married to my mother. I don’t know how that could happen. We’re not so open with our parents. So we don’t talk about it. I know it can’t be an arranged marriage. My mother is from a lower caste and my father from upper caste. His family strictly followed casteism. My mother was harassed a lot by her in-laws. I heard much later from one of the uncles (my father’s smallest uncle’s son who was disowned from the family for eloping with a lower caste girl) how my father too was ‘thrown out’ of the house for marrying a lower caste lady. Anyway that’s a different story.
My father bought a small plot of land. My maternal grandfather and uncles helped my parents a lot in starting their life. They built up a hut of bamboo thatches. Ours was the only family in between the fields at that time. Most of the nights, one of my uncles would stay with my parents just as an anchorage for them. Sometimes there would be no rice to eat. My mother would go to my grandfather’s house and bring some rice.
My father was sitting idle at home when the principal of the Higher Secondary school where he studied invited him to join the school. At that time not many studied. So jobs were quite easy to get for the educated ones. So thus my father ended up being a teacher. He found this job easy. He didn’t have to toil hard. He started his job with a monthly salary of Rs.700. They started building a home with whatever little money they got. They went through days of misery, days of despair, starting from nothing, building their dreams, looking forward for a better future.

My mother was an expert in house management. If you ask her money her answer will always be “We don’t have money”. We never have money! But I don’t know where from the money comes in need. My father brings the salary and gives it to my mother. It is for my mother to manage the home. And my mother saves penny by penny for the hard times.

We had a lower middle class life. We never went out for eating. We hardly went for picnics. We never got good costly clothes to wear. But my parents never compromised with our studies. They got us admitted to the only private English medium school of the region. Most of my father’s colleagues would get their kids admitted to government schools which were free and use that money for buying cars or bikes for themselves. But my parents never did that. They sacrificed their happiness for the better education of their children. And I owe them my life for that.

Sometimes I would demand some costly toy in Durga Puja. But my mother would never buy it. I’d cry. How much I hated my mother for that! After all I was just a kid. But later on as I grew up I began to understand. I began to know that she could not afford it. From those days I became extremely ambitious.

I remember the days when I had shifted from my village school to the school in the city. Everything seemed so different. The kids were all from rich families. I felt odd. Except the school uniform nothing seemed same. They talked of things that I didn’t understand. I suffered from inferiority complex those days. They had everything in their life that they wished for. I could see their life, their luxuries and felt so deprived. I would think, someday I’m going to have all these and much more. I would give everything to my kids which I could not have. I was determined to work hard. The only thing that was in my favor was that I was god at studies. While I walked to the bus stop, I would see parents of kids of my school, taking them in their cars to drop off to the bus stop where the school bus came. But no one offered to give me a ride. I would think someday I’ll have cars and I’ll drop off my kids to the bus stop and I’ll take in my car all the school kids that I find in my way!

I passed my 10th with good results and got admitted to another school. It was a very reputed school. I had to walk 20-25 minutes to the place where our school bus stopped. Our classes started at around 7:30 in the morning. So I had to leave home early in the morning as my house was quite far from the school. During the chilly winter morning it was like hell. It felt so uncomfortable. While I walked through the road, by the roadside I could see daily labourers warming themselves by the fire lit using the flammable throw-away stuffs that they collected from the surroundings. I would feel even they are luckier than me! At least they don’t have to suffer this shivering cold like me.

I missed my school bus many days. Hence I missed school too. Our school requires 90% attendance though CBSE says 75%. My attendance was much below 90 but was above 75. My class teacher threatened me that if I carry on like this I won’t be allowed to sit in the exams. By the end of the year my class teacher started saying,” You stop coming school. You won’t be allowed to sit”. I was afraid but never told all these to my parents. After the pre-board examination there was the parents-teachers meeting. I was sure my class teacher would give me nice scolding in front of my father. But to my surprise, my teacher praised a lot about me. He said,” He’s weak and falls sick quite frequently (that was my excuse every time I was absent) so his attendance is low. But he’s extremely intelligent. He covers up the next day whatever he misses the previous day. I’m sure he’ll do well not only in boards but also in entrances.” It was as if my teacher was playing the role of my father. I really liked him a lot from that day. And I’m happy I didn’t let anyone down.

I’m an engineer now- maybe the first engineer of my village, working in an MNC. I’m having a well off life; much better than what I had in my childhood and much better than a majority of my countrymen. I can possess to some extent, things which I dream of. I have a better life than many of my fellow ‘rich friends’. I go party, eat in fancy restaurants, go on tours, clubs etc. I have travelled a little in the journey towards my goal and much is yet to achieve. But I’m not satisfied with my life. For my dreams are big and my destination is far. And what I have achieved is negligible compared to what I aspire for. It’s nothing!! Sometimes I feel disappointed …frustrated. Sometimes everything goes against you. As if God is the one who wants to screw you. You try a lot still can’t succeed. You see no hope. I’m going through such a phase in my life; a phase of constant wandering. I think what on earth am I doing? But then I picture the face of my father and think if he can came so far despite the odds why can’t I when I have got the support of my parents. This is only the beginning and not the end. I have lot to explore, lot to learn. I know in whatever bad condition I might be I’ll be rising from the ashes.

I would like to end my writing with few lines by Robert Frost.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

The Terminus

We are one of the tiniest insignificant particle in this universe. One day we’ll die and would be buried or burnt and nothing would ever matter. Hell or heaven is a topic of debate. But what is fact is how we spent our life. It’s not what good I did for myself. It’s what good I did for others. Or at the best it’s what bad I didn’t do for others which I could have done. One day everything will end and we’ll just leave behind us a legacy for our successors. But what’s important is not what praise they’ll offer us or what condemnation they inflict upon is. What’s important is the moment of satisfaction of not having any guilt at the last minute before our death when we see it coming.

The Pendulum

This time I had made up my mind. I won’t talk to you anymore. Even if you text me I won’t reply. You have done this so many times, hurting me and then texting me after few days as if nothing had happened. And I’m fool to forget every past incidents and accept you again. This time it won’t happen. You have taken me for granted. As if whatever you wish you can do to me and I’ll always be there for you. I mean there is a limit of everything. Whenever you wished you pulled me towards you; whenever you wished you left me. What about my feelings? When you felt like talking to me I should talk to you, whenever you didn’t you didn’t reply. What about when I feel like talking to someone? When I feel depressed and would want to talk to you, cry with you, share my feelings, you were not there. I also feel sad. I also get hurt. I also have a heart god damn it!

This world is a constant battle. “Life is not a bed of roses”. I fight everyday. I lose. I get hurt. At that time I want to talk to the person I love the most. It comforts me. You know something? When I talk to you, for some moments, I forget everything- all my troubles, all my worries, all my failures. Yeah you may call me selfish but I think that’s what every person wants- seeking comfort from each-other.

In the past many times it has happened that you’ll leave my messages un-replied. Why do you do so? I can see your “last seen”. You saw my text yet ignored it. How do I believe that you do care for me! Earlier it was not like that. Then why now? Have I lost my charm? Do you still care for me ? Do you still love me? I have asked this many times. And you’d reply “ Of course I do”. Then why this? And if you don’t love me anymore then why do you come back. Just leave me. I can bear you leaving me once. I can’t bear you leaving me again and again. And when I’d start getting used to your absence suddenly you’ll come back. I don’t know what’s wrong with you? What’s wrong between us?

Suddenly my phone buzzed and your message popped up.

“Hi”

“Hi! Why did you take so many days to text me this time? I missed you so much”, I replied back.

Dear Love-I

Dear love,

I was a perfectly normal kid. Staring at every hot girl-senior or junior, messing with friends, fighting in the cricket ground over a run out. Everything was fine. And then you came. It was after the half-yearly exams of class 9. You looked cute. Not like the ‘hot girls’ that boys crave for but somewhat sweet and beautiful. And trust me I had no feelings for you initially. We were not familiar with each other. I didn’t know you nicely. You had just shifted from Mumbai to Guwahati. Yeah it takes a little bit of time to get adjusted in a new school. Initially you didn’t talk much with others. I thought you had an ego. I had a bad impression about you. Thought you were some metro girl with a big fat attitude .

And then one day I was coming from the library and you were going to the library, running. Suddenly you slipped and fell down few steps in front of me. I picked you up. You said “Thank you” and smiled. I still remember that cute smile of yours . Everything happened just like in a Bollywod movie. From that day we started talking. Hell yeah !

And then you praised me in front of all our classmates- my friends and all. You went on and on. You shifted your seat too and started seating behind  us. We would talk anytime. Because you hadn’t made many friends then. We (me and my bench-mate) were the only friends to say. Then you joined tuition with us. After tuition we would sometimes take a walk. I liked talking to you. One day I went to your home and you introduced me to your mom. Your mom liked me. Such a lovely lady! When your mom could not come to pick you from the tuition she would ask me to drop you home. You don’t have any idea how much I liked that!

We then moved to class 10. And I started liking you . I told that to my bench-mate. That blabbermouth!  It was the greatest mistake I committed. You know something if you love someone, never tell your friends. They’ll screw you. That’s what happened. Always, he would now tease me in the class whenever I tried talking to you. You asked me if I had any gf. I said “No”. But you would always keep on asking the same thing. Meanwhile my friend would always tease me and one day in front of us he told you. After that whenever I talked to you I felt shy. That’s why I talked lesser and lesser with you. You might have thought I am ignoring you . And I didn’t have the guts to express my feelings.

And then, from don’t know where, you came to know about my previous two ‘crushes’. Trust me it was just puppy love. It was nothing serious. They were into me, and I too liked them but not in that sense. And nothing really happened.

I remember that day I went to your house. You asked me if I really loved you. I said it’s true I have some feelings for you . You said you’re afraid. What if your mom comes to know? What if I leave you “like I left my previous crushes”? You said that you’re going back to Mumbai after the 10th board exams. So it would be hard for you to forget me if you come into relationship with me. So I suggested that if we stop talking to each other then maybe this feeling between us will go.I was such a stupid! After much persuasion you accepted. I know you too loved me a lot. And then my friends came to know about this. And then,my bench-mate started flirting with you. That bastard! He already had a gf was trying after you. I stopped talking to you and he took the chance. I started hating him. I changed my seat and started seating with others.

Though you and me stopped talking we were in the same friends-circle. Many a times our eyes would meet. I would have this strong urge to talk to you but I resisted. And then you came to know about another girl who ‘loved’ me. What was my fault in that?

And then in the last Rakshabandhan you tried to tie Rakhi to that asshole. You don’t know how much happy I was seeing this . But then I heard things from people about something you said regarding me that really hurt me . Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. Our boards got over last Saturday. And I have got enough of time now. Enough of time to think about you. Today the whole day I thought about sending you a “Hi” in whatsapp. I looked you in whatsapp. Last seen 5:42 pm. It’s 9:22 pm now and I still haven’t got the guts to text you. I have heard from my friends that you tried talking to me many times but I didn’t notice. You’re still single. I don’t know what to do now? What is good for me? What is good for us? In a few days you’ll be gone. And I won’t see you anymore. That thought hurts. Maybe it’s the right thing for both of us not to talk. Or maybe in a day or two if I can gather guts I’ll text you .

Yours truly

Loverboy.

(Read Dear Love-II at the following link- https://liljedi.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/dear-love-ii/)

The way I do

Coz you don’t love me

The way I do,

I see no point

To continue.

And every time you do this to me

It hurts like hell.

You know there’re no words

For me to tell.

The stories

You make,

The promises

You break,

Your emotions

That are fake,

Guess it’s time

For me to wake.

I craved

To talk to you.

And with each passing day

My passion for you grew.

But your indifference is

What I got in return.

To love me, to kiss me

You never yearn.

But then to the questions

Someone ask you,

“Do you still love him?”

You say, “Of course I do”.

And what does that mean

I can’t see.

Please for heaven’s sake

Love me or leave me.

Maybe I had some charm

That is now lost.

Could I, I’d have bought your love

At any cost.

But then one can’t get love

By force.

So it’s good for me

To let you go.

 

And there is

No deny

That I’ll love you

Until I die.

But I see no point

To continue,

Coz you don’t love me

The way I do.

-KMnO4

The Bait

How dearly I wish,
That someday me you miss.
You long for a soulful kiss;
That day of tranquility and bliss.

You don’t know how much I mourn,
The laughs, the smiles, the fights, the cries-all I adorn.
You never cared for me; I’m broken. I’m torn.
I thought we’re perfect, heaven-sworn.

And now that you’re gone,
I sit alone, crying in my lawn,
Looking for a new dawn.
But to make a move, I shudder—I fawn.

And how much I hate,
That I still love you my krait.
I walk, I run, I stop, I wait.
But I can’t escape— still entangled in your bait

~KMnO4

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