One of my cousins had encountered a bizarre case of a ghost in real life during his stay in Delhi. Even today, he is so cocksure about it that it is hard to reason with him. I often tried writing him off directing him towards a case of sleep paralysis, but found him quite adamant and eloquent, that what he saw was a sheer case of ghost, that he was wide awake and knew what he saw. When I listened to his account, I found myself being drawn unknowingly toward a state of total perplexity.
It is hard to put meaning to it. What he claims he saw, a ghost in real life, what supports his sighting, is something that steers this story towards darker sectors of life. Here goes his story about that ghost in real life:
THE SHABBY SHACK
My uncle had got himself a swell land in an area that was sparsely populated. He had begun the construction work already to build a house there. To see that things sieved out the way he preferred, both my uncle and my cousin would often take turns to do a sleepover occasionally.
They stayed at a nearby dilapidated shack adjacent to their building that offered them a full vantage to monitor the ongoing work. Though neglected and unpainted, the little house had a fully functional room that allowed them to put mattresses on its floor, and sleep tight unfazed.
My uncle had a young amiable worker called Mani. Being a regular there, my cousin got himself quickly acquainted. He struck a friendship with him, which eased the ruthless lodging to a great extent. In the sunlit aura most of the masonry happened, whilst their nights were spent in a habitual blend of general talks and wheezing snores.
Mani used to sleep in that shack on a regular basis. He would work all day alongside other workers, and when the sun retired, he too would return to relax.
DURING THE NIGHT
It was one of those ordinary days when my cousin had decided to stay in order to tend to next day’s crucial work. He and Mani talked for a while before retiring to their beds. They slept on their respective mattresses on the floor. But as time passed by, my cousin couldn’t sleep. Pensive he is, he was lost in his thoughts barely paying attention to the snores of Mani who was already asleep.
Restless, he kept changing his position every now and then. Bored he decided he would wake Mani to talk some more. Mani was sleeping with his back facing towards him probably lost deep in a dream. My cousin lifted his finger and poked him calling his name out:
Just as he did, within a matter of seconds, Mani’s head turned towards him. What wasn’t normal was the fact that his body continued to face its same old position. Nothing budged! But the head, just like you see in a spooky scary movie. It swiveled in slow motion and then came to a standstill gawking at him in disgust. Frantic, before he could say anything, something hazy seemed to jump out of him and pranced upon leaving Mani’s body intact behind.
GHOST IN REAL LIFE
The force it had was colossal. It held both his hands taut. He couldn’t move. Trying to fight it off, with all his might he pushed harder, but nothing seemed to work. He was lying there still, impotent, without a voice, without a say. Whilst that apparition, invisible yet vaguely appearing, seemed to force itself on him.
Being a religious man, my cousin with all his might took the name of a deity he used to worship. The moment he did, the immense force he was crunching under left him at once. It seemed to him as if a huge rock had just been lifted off.
He sprang up and switched on the lights to check, then woke up Mani who was still facing the wall; his head seemed intact. On waking he told Mani all about it. To his surprise Mani said:
“Did you feel that too? I thought I was going mad or something. Something has been bothering me in this house for a while now. I didn’t tell anybody about it; they would have called me mad.”
Sleepless for the rest of the night, but bold enough that he had company my cousin talked his way to the dawn. Too scared to sound stupid, and that he might upset their plans, my cousin decided not to tell my uncle about it. Besides they were not going to live into that battered shack anyhow. So why bother?
Years after that incident my Uncle’s house stands well built. The shabby house in the backcloth is still there, hiding concealed secrets, and nobody seems to care.
THE FINAL VERDICT
I tried to reason this ghost story with all those sleep paralysis incidents I used to have. But to my surprise my cousin describes every item in the room with a perfect meticulous accuracy. He would have known if it was a dream, he says. He claims to be wide awake, turning over in restlessness, thinking his thoughts out loud, and then poking Mani. Now, that surety, puts a lot of doubt in my mind to be honest. But it remains a one of a kind sighting, a scary exposition of a ghost in real life.