Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The legend of the Night stalker is quite common in rural area of Bengal. There the entity in known as a Nishi, a creature born out of pure rage and evil.....this is a story from the pages of rural Bengal.
Then rainy season in the best time of the year in any agro-based region. The farmers eagerly wait throughout the year for the rain to come down and wash away the sweat from their yearlong toil and ensure sustenance for the coming year. That year the rains were late in coming and most of the villages were on the verge of drought and famine. The fields were parched the the crops were withering away under the glare of the sun. The farmers were naturally depressed. Suicide rates in villages are the highest during this time of the year, when the rains fail to come and for some the mere anticipation is just too much to bear as most of rural Bengal in neck deep in debts from money lenders. This certain farmer was a an old bloke. His wife had passed away a few years back and he had no one help him out in the fields. He owned a very small plot of land and that too was bought with a loan from the local lender. His dues were piling up and the weather was not helping. His crops were almost on the verge of failing. The money lender was at his back, all his pleading were of no use. They threatened to take the land away in the payment was not made within the week. The farmer made up his mind that he would never be able to pay up so he decided to pull of a small robbery job at the local merchants house. But the robbery went horribly wrong, the guards were alerted and they managed to wound the farmer but he fled into the forest and that was the last anyone saw of the farmer. The farmer suffered for two days in the jungle without food and water and died a painful death from his wounds and the combined onslaught of the forest creatures.
The money lender was a wealthy man. The interests from the loans were so high that he was as wealthy as the landlords. But he was not a kind hearted person. He had an army of ten armed guards to protect his house and his belongings and always carried two along to threaten farmers into paying up. The robbery attempt at his house made him loathe the villager even more but nothing could be done, after all they were his source of wealth. The village was connected to the town by a forest path which most of the villagers covered during th daytime. The night time was just not right for travelling the roads. It so happened that one day, while returning back from the town the money lender got delayed on the road and by the time he had reached the forest path if was absolutely dark. The path was narrow and the forest seemed to come alive around it. The full moon was sometimes visible through the trees but most of the path was covered by shadows which resembled strange forms which danced to the lead of the breeze under the moonlight. The horse drawn carriage had a small source of light at front and that was the only guiding source for the carriage driver. Ten minutes into the path the carriage came to a grinding halt. The money lender became angry at the delay and more so became scared. He did not wish to spend even an extra second in the forest. The cry of the animals at night resembled cries of humans in strange ways as if crying out in pain and agony. The trees seems to come alive. The carriage driver said that the wheel had come lose and needed a bit of tightening. The man could hear the driver hammer away to glory at the lose wheel. After a minute or so the hammering stopped. The man thought that the repair work must be over and it was about time also. The man stick his head out to have a look but found no one around. The horses and the driver were gone and he was left alone in the middle of the forest in his carriage. The climbed out and called the name of the driver. But the only thing he could hear was the steady creaking if the crickets. He could not spend the night just sitting in the carriage. He took the lantern from the front of the carriage and decided to walk the rest of the path. It must be an hour more bu foot, he thought. I can make it at one go.
As he walked along he could hear the cries of the forest dwellers. Then all of a sudden among the various sounds he could clearly make out the sound of a man's voice. The man was calling out to him from the middle of the forest. At first he thought it was a an animals voice...at trick of the forest perhaps. Then it was heard again. Clearer now. Much more clearer. Then again he heard it. This time it felt as if someone was whispering it to his ears. He had heard the voice before. He turned back to see.........
The money lenders body was found after two days at the bottom of a shallow pond. They say that nobody could look at the face of the body, people had a hard time believing it was human.
Even to this day nobody takes the forest path after dark..........because the Night stalker waits and watches.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I have this unnatural attraction towards all things weird and spooky. Even though as a child I was scared to listen to ghost stories and was even afraid to go to the loo at night, something inside me wanted more of the stuff. I was scared but at the same time I wanted more of it. As time went by I collected stories from various people, mostly of hauntings in villages and towns in my country. Indigenous ghost stories are really engrossing as they involve simple people one can almost relate to in their everyday lives. Most of the stories I heard came from two sources both of who are now in heaven. One of them was my dad. He had traveled extensively throughout the country during his youth and had lots of experiences with the paranormal. I was maybe because his work then involved traveling to villages mostly by Geep and many a nights were spent on paddy fields or parked near crematoriums cause in villages an open filed may also serve the dual purpose of a crematorium during the day. My second source was a friend of the family who was actually my grandfather's assistant during his days as a geologist. Actually, by occupation, this man was a farmer and later when he retired he went back to his fields. He was the one to tell me about all the local legends and hauntings.
A few of the stories were really creepy and I remember having nightmares about them from time to time. But what the heck, I enjoyed the scare and the intrigue. Humans are always interested about the unknown and what can be more mysterious than life after death.
The Familiar Path
The village was small, and like all other villages of Indian the main produce was rice. Even though almost every alternate year the village was affected by drought, the inhabitants managed to survive and never lost hope that the next harvest would be good.
It was a cold winter's night and the harvest had been good. All the village folk had gathered to celebrate the end of a season and the coming of a new one. The celebration was taking place at a common ground a bit away from the village. Most of the villagers were there except for a certain farmer who had overslept. This man was a bachelor and so did not have the privilege of a wife waking him up on time. By the time he had woken up after his afternoon nap it was dark. Darkness in villages is unlike what we get here in the city. The sky seems to be huge and filled with innumerable stars and constellations and the moon light plays tricks on the mind. This farmer was really looking forward to the festival so he decided to brave the road in the dark. It was not that he was afraid of spirits, it was just that there were other dangers like snakes and thieves on the way.
He left the house with his walking stick and the light of the moon to guide him along. The path he was taking was familiar to him, as this was the path he took everyday to go to the market in the next town. The chill in the air made him shiver and the faint sounds of the small creatures scampering about made him look back at times to make sure no unwanted element was following him. After half an hours walk he realized that he had taken a wrong turn somewhere as he just couldn't make out where he was. He found himself at the mouth of a rocky ridge beyond which was total darkness. He figured out that he had take the path to the old cremation grounds instead. This place had been abandoned way back when he was a boy and nobody ventured much there now a days, especially after dark, ever since the lifeless body of a village boy was found here. Nobody knew how the boy died.
He became a bit nervous when he realized where he was and decided to retrace his steps to the cross roads. Another thirty minutes later he realized that he was back at the mouth of the rocky ridge. Even in the chill of winter he began sweating profusely. All the paths around him seemed the same and everywhere he tried to go he ended up back at the ridge. As the night drew darker and the distant lights of the festival ground faded away the last thing he remembered was the cry of a child.
The man was found the next day at the crossroads, sleeping on the ground. After that he was never the same. He told this story to the villagers, but most of it was gibberish and had to be carefully understood. He lived for a year after that. They say you can still see someone walking with a stick on cold winter nights when the moon is high in the sky.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"1 First God made heaven & earth 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." Genesis, The Old Testament
All human beings, rich or poor, black or white, (American or Non-American) are born with a purpose in life, so I believe. Now what that purpose is most people (and by that I mean almost 90% of the lot) never actually find out what that purpose is. I wont delve in the cliched thought that all human beings are born to be great individuals...for heavens sake if everybody was born great then i dont think "great" would even be a word, who would we compare? Of all the billions of people just think that if a few million had the charisma of Abraham Lincoln, another few million the mind of Einstein...the mere thought of it makes feel feel that God really does a great job of deciding our lives for us. But the fault is ours when we ignore the facts and the signs and carve out a live for ourselves that we were never meant to live. On the other hand, those few who do find their purpose turn out to be great human beings. By this I really dont mean they all become leaders the pioneers, they all atleast become good human beings.
" We are all just prisoners here of our own device" ....The Eagles
For all things living the beginning is very painful. Genesis takes time to settle in. This is applicable in all walks of life, right from the time when we are born right to the time when we are ready to meet the Reaper. The beginning of school life, the beginning of college, work, etc, etc, etc. The beginning of something new actually means saying goodbye to something or the other and hence the pain. But then why do we do it? It's simply because we human beings are always looking for something new, something interesting, something unknown, something that we want. And with every new thing these thought of finding what we are looking for actually come to our minds and hence the effort. We are always looking forward for the best...a better life and a better future.
But once the Genesis is over we settle down into our new environment. Some have problems while others make if appear as if they were tailor-made to that thing. In school these people are the cool kids, the ones every other boy or girl wishes to be or even to be with. As for me, since this entire blog is about my life, Genesis was always a pain in the ass. It was not because I had problems mixing in but the thing was that I had great problems just letting go. A change of school can be the worst thing for any person especially when you are leaving behind the only people in the entire world you have shared your life with for the past 10 years. But the only thing that made me go along with the entire process was the prospects of making more friends! I can clearly say that my life as an individual began after that change, I as a person started to metamorphose into what I am today.
So from this day forth I am going to become utterly selfish and write about life through my eyes. I can assure you all that i have seen my fair share of it and something inside my just begs me to share it all with you....whoever you may be. And as the saying goes a person is no longer a stranger when he or she lends an ear to the gibberish of a mad-man....that someone becomes a friend.