Believe It or Not

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Let us start with some fun quotes. Wimco is manufacturing match boxe of 50 sticks each. Behind such boxes you may read:

  • Wife was asked, which book do you like the best.
Wife: my husband’s signed cheque book.
  • There are two kinds of secrets:
One is not worth keeping and
The other is too good to keep.
  • Judge: why did you hit your husband with a chair?
Wife: I could not lift the table.
Man: do you believe in Ghost?
Friend: Not at all here.
  • What did one ghost say to other?
Do you believe in man?

Well these quotes bring a smile on your face and make you feel light hearted. Now as I mentioned above about ghost, the following episodes will be of interest to you. 1 Years back, when my father had to go to Kanpur-Anwerganj on Railway duty, he took along with him his friend who was his classmate, to cook for him. He was strong built, hefty fellow whose one knock could flatten anyone to ground. This was because the local labour was mischievous and father’s food requirement was to be adjusted to his digestive disorder. The bungalow where he was put up was big and the residing officer who had gone on leave had left half portion of the furnished bungalow to be used by others. Father used to sleep in the main room whereas his friend (Chandubhai) slept in the adjacent room. All went well for some time. However Chandubhai was looking gloomy. Father asked him the reason and enquired if he wanted to return to Umreth. The strong man said, “Well, I cannot leave you alone, but I am facing some difficulty at night. At midnight someone orders me not to sleep in this room and to leave the room. Initially I did not care but last night he threw me out of my bed and threatened to kill me.” Though both were good friends, Chnadubhai used to keep a respectful distance and would give respect to my father in the presence of outsiders by addressing him as “Sir”. But when they were alone, both enjoyed smoking and chatting happily together. Father consoled him and exchanged the room with him. Then after there was no trouble. “Who could it be?”

2 Father’s posting was at Ahmedabad section with a big bungalow, nice garden and a small field. The garden had a fountain. In one of the bedrooms where my mother used to sleep, no outsider could ever sleep except our family members. Once, as there were many guests at home, one of the young ladies with a new born baby was accommodated in this room. At about midnight she was shaken and asked to quit the room or else the baby would be in trouble. She woke my mother up who knew the reason, so sent her to the next room. The disturbance was by a young Parsi girl who had died in this room with her new born. The girl never troubled us. She was soft and kind, always clad in pure white clothes. Many a times we had seen her going out of the room and disappear in the near by Peepal tree in the garden. Can you believe it?

3 After inspection of Champaner-Pani mines Railway, I planned to stay at Halol Rest House. My inspector was also with me. I prefer to sleep in the sleeping suit at night. The local inspector insisted that I should sleep in the drawing room where he had made arrangements for me. I did not like the idea and did not agree. At midnight someone mounted on my body and crossed both my hands fixing them gently with its long spear like teeth. I was not harmed nor was warned to vacate the suit. Next morning I told this story to my inspector on the tea table. The local inspector who was also present said that why he was insisting upon my not sleeping there. But I did not take him and the experience seriously. Believe it or not!!

4 Most interesting event is here, told by our Umreth home neighbour “Vaidyaraj”. Umreth is a town with strong, well build Khedawar Brahmins. One of such stout men was returning home at midnight. Umreth has many Darwajas – entrances built during Peshwa’s era. One such darwaja is in an isolated area. As the man neared this area, he saw a group of ladies clad in black clothes playing Garba. While moving in the circle they were passing something to the next lady. He noticed that it was a snuff box made of Gold. He watched this from some distance. He planned to rob this box. Soon he found a gap in the Garba circle, he took a chance by covering his head with the free end of his dhoti and started playing Garba. The movement continued, taking the gold box and passing it to the next lady. He was very keenly observing and was alert as to when he will be near the darwaja while moving in the circle. After sometime, the awaited moment came. When the gold box came to his hands he was near the Darwaja. He jumped out of the circle and ran towards the Darwaja to get in. once in he observed that the ladies although followed him but could not enter as their limit ended at the Darwaja, and slowly vanished in the air. The brave fellow got the Gold Box purely due to his fearlessness and intelligence. Who could these ladies have been?

5 This episode is told by ‘Kanubhai Master’ as known in Mehmadabad. One night two friends were talking about existence of ghosts. One of them believed in it whereas the other flatly refused to accept it. The believer told the other that if he does not agree, he should prove himself by nailing an old tree at some distance, going there all alone. The non believer agreed and went to the tree with a long nail and hammer. It was dark all around. He started to nail and while doing it, the sleeve of his shirt which was holding the nail also got nailed without his being aware about it. After finishing the task he was happy and wanted to return. He neither could move his arm nor make out the reason. He got terribly frightened, thinking about the presence of a ghost. In the struggle his shirt tore and he fell on the ground. As the friend took very long to return, the waiting friend went to see as to what had happened. To his surprise his friend was found lying flat on the ground, almost fainted with fright and murmuring “ghost… ghost.” Did the Ghost do it?

These are the instances experienced by me and stories told by the closely known persons.

6 Here is one which tells us about the mystic powers… At Vijapur Railway station, on a Railway platform bench a Fakir clad in black was being requested by station staff including the driver of the waiting train, to entrain so that the train could start.

He was Mohmad Chhel, a Fakir. It so happened that once he was traveling in the train.At Vijapur station, the new checking staff detrained him as he was found traveling without ticket. All local staff knew this Fakir and would not bother him about the ticket, being the usual traveler to and fro as the Railway was the only mode of transport then. He was a Tantrik also and used to do all sorts of magic wand tricks. However, he was docile and loving. Here he was detrained and was sitting on the bench. He wanted to show the new checking staff that the train will not move unless he is in the train. In due time, the driver was signaled but he could not start the engine. He tried his best and then reported to the station master. On the round on the platform, he saw the Fakir sitting on the bench and understood the situation. He and other staff on duty went to him with a request to pardon the mistake. Fakir Mohmad Chhel took out number of tickets from his pocket and presented to the checking staff. In the meantime, the Booking clerk came rushing and reported that many of the tickets were missing from his tube. Mohmed Chhel returned all the tickets to the booking clerk and slowly walked to the compartment. Then only the driver could start the train.

(This episode was told by my mother. My father was posted at Vijapur then, staying with the family in the railway bungalow just opposite to the Railway station)

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