Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Super Stories about the Supernatural

Ever since I have started blogging, I find myself staying up quite late ( when I say late I mean really late -post 11PM !) in the night trying to make use of the  peace and quiet to collect my thoughts. Most often there is just light from my PC illuminating the room ( I know it is bad for the eyes etc etc but what to do- I need to conserve energy!). Often I feel a shiver down my spine and get the feeling that maybe someone is standing behind me reading what I am writing. Then I tell myself not to be sillly and continue with the writing. Sometimes it is not so easy ( especially when there is a gust of wind that makes my curtains fly around) and I  keep looking back and finally switch on the light over the table. In the morning I cannot beleive that I let myself get scared like that !

But seriously folks, tell me if you have never felt like that ....?

My introduction to ghosts began in my childhood. Living as we did in those huge colonial bunglows we grew up hearing stories about these creatures. I think Bengal probably has the maximum variety in terms of ghost stories. There were stories about entire villages being wiped out by cholera and the lone survivor ( usually a student who lived away from his village in Calcutta)  coming back to his village to encounter weird happenings before realizing that everyone was dead and what he was seeing were their ghosts. Then there were stories about the previous occupants of the bunglows we lived in - Sahibs who climbed up and down the wooden steps during the nights. The stormy "Kalboishakhi" summer nights were the scariest .. when we imagined stairs creaking and windows opening and closing by themselves. The stories extended beyond our homes in true railway tradition to include that abandoned siding in the railway station in our little township where people claimed that ghost trains were seen. In addition to these were the bengali stories that we devoured - Tagore and Satyajit Ray which had enough about the supernatural. I can still remember that scene from Ray's " Teen Kanya" of a woman clad in a red banarasi saree and when she lifts her veil all you see is a skull. But all bengali stories had the same format- a ghost that screeched and laughed to announce itself. There were stories of horse carriages that stopped outside houses and shadowy figures coming out of them. I am sure many of you would have heard the famous story of the ghost of Warren Hastings of Hastings house in Calcutta!

Hindi films had their own version of ghosts- beautiful women clad in white sarees with jingling anklets and flowing hair often on a swing ( remember Madhubala singing " Ayega Ayega...!"). Some film makers have tried to vary the format and so we had Dimple Kapadia clad in dark robes holding a lantern in Gulzar's "Lekin". But somehow the setting was always the same - huge mansions or colonial houses surrounded by trees with the ghost making its appears on a windy, rainy night.

Ruskin Bond is another favourite of mine where ghost stories are concerned. He is probably the only Indian author  who has written about "railway ghost stories"!

But coming back to our main protagonist - the ghost...! I am not really sure what to make of it. I mean the rational mind does not accept this but there are irrational moments in our lives when we allow ourselves to be governed by our fears. For e.g whenever I read a particularly scary ghost story, I keep imagining things that definitely do not exist!  I saw a program on Discovery channel once which was about a haunted house and one of the statements made was " Ghosts draw  their power from our fears".

People at home have a wonderful time playing on my fear of ghosts. We live in this old rambling house with dark corridors. One of my husband's favourite activities is to lie in wait for me outside a corridor that leads up to the bathroom so that when I switch off the bathroom light I would bang right into him in the corridor and scream out in fear...! The daughter is also beginning to enjoy these encounters.

I remember while in college a group of us were trying to summon a spirit. We positioned ourselves in a dark corner of the college building ( which was deserted except for a few cupboards) and tried to concentrate on a spirit. Suddenly, we heard a shuffling sound behind one of the cupboards and before anyone could mention the "G" of a ghost I got up and ran away from the spot..! Ofcourse, none of my other friends were that silly..some of them went  to investigate and guess what they found? A couple in action behind one of the cupboards- we had apparently invaded their secret rendevouz. This story is one of the most popular one among my batch mates- I am sure I must be known as that girl who was scared of ghosts!

That I am scared of ghosts is a reality..! I remember watching a film called " The entity" which was about a ghost but you never saw anything faintly resembling a ghost throught the film- it was only the background music and other sound effects that were used to instil a sense of fear.  I still shiver when I remember that scene of  doorknob turning and a door opening by itself!

So if you beleive in ghosts this is not the right blog for you to read...! If you do not ,, then you can laugh and comment about how silly some people can get! But sure , please share your comments and if you have any experiences I would love to read about them...

Good night and hope you have no ghostly nighmares!

15 comments:

IRFANUDDIN said...

its about 15 past 11 in the night at my place and after reading the 1st para 1st thing i did is turned back to find if there is anybody behind reading out ur write up with me.... and thank God... i found none....

this is what the fact is there is nothing like Ghost.... if it is there at all... its inly in our thoughts, in our mind..... :P

some times while walking through the street at late night i do feel that some one is there behind me....following me.... but in the end its just bcoz some how my frame of mind at that point of time of like that only....

lols @ ur husband's activity of waiting for u in the dark of corridor... hahaaaaa

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my goodness, Meerasrajan, I got the goosebumps! :-D))

What happens to me sometimes is that I feel like if someone was behind me while I am on the treadmill, which is in our basement. I usually don't get scared, I just feel that strange sensation, and I usually think it may be the spirit of one of my loved ones around me, protecting me :-))

One spooky experience I recently had is narrated on my "Blind Spot" post http://doris-socialworker.blogspot.com/2011/02/blind-spot.html

Meerasrajan, thanks for stopping by my blog, and for your insightful comment.

Doris

Neeha said...

It's not that I believe or don't believe,but I am afraid of ghosts.
I don't write alone in the night,I will make sure some one is side of me..so I never thought about you,but I am sure if I am alone leave about the peace,nothing strikes my mind except the perception.
Thankz for visiting my blog,,hope to see you often.

KParthasarathi said...

As usual interesting and debatable post.I know of one apartment nearby where a young man committed suicide and the owner is finding it difficult to rent it out even at dirt cheap rent even after two years..A group of youngsters came and occupied.Within a week they vacated for reasons unknown.
I haven't come across any one who has seen himself /herself a ghost but have met many who have heard about others encounteroing ghosts.
Till I see one myself I would neither confirm nor deny their existence but would be content to say 'much can be said on both sides'.

magiceye said...

was this ghost written? ;p

lovely write!

anindita said...

Meera, I loved, loved, loved to the power infinity, this post. I have had my share of those strange feelings too. You know I also love to read Ghost stories and watch the shows like The Ghost Hunters and I shiver with fear, still keep reading/watching. I have always felt that the pleasure of reading/ watching the stories/shows are akin to eating a lot of chilli, burning the the tongue still enjoying it so much that you do not like to stop. I have my experience of summoning a spirit too, about which I will be writing soon.

Once again, hats off to you, for this very nice post.

meerasrajan said...

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments- looks like the non living beings or entities inspire as much interest as the living :-D

Bookworm said...

Oh i simply love Ruskin Bond when it comes to ghost stories.... and you should also read Roald Dahl... nothing as sinister as him.

as for the movies, nothing can beat Paranormal Activity. Not a single ghost in there, but trust me you will never want to live in a duplex house ever!!! Nice blog :)

Bikramjit said...

I dont beleive in ghosts well i DIDNOT but now i do a few incidents that happened..
Well the people you have mentioned are indeed masters at telling such stories but i do beleive that there is something out there ...

I do watch horror movies a lot and some are scary ... and as the above comment Paranormal activity is very good and so is the part 2 of it

Bikram's

Rajesh said...

Wonderful post.
I have experienced some strange incidents that others in the village have experienced where I stayed. While driving to village in the night at some spot the vehicle would stop automatically. Again you start and proceed.

cloud nine said...

Hahaha! Thats a nice post Meera. Only i wish i hadn't read it yesterday night at one and had a sleepless night seeing the dancing curtains and flashing shadows!!!

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

You have a nice blog out here. Guess I will take my time reading out all your posts :)

Pesto Sauce said...

After a long time came to a matured blog, liked your stuff

meerasrajan said...

Thanks Muddassir and Pesto Sauce- hope to see you more on my blog! Others , once again a big thanks! Did not realize that ghosts interested so many people..!

vaidegi j said...

:) nice post. though have to confess am not a great believer of ghosts! (turns behind to have a look though, just in case!)so havent had any real scary experiences, but love to watch the ghost movies with one eye shut! :)

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