COLLECTION PAPER 1
The first person I thought of when I was presented with this assignment was my uncle Bashir Sharma, as he is one of the few people I know, who has had a real life encounter with a ghost or spirit. When I initially asked him to tell me about his encounter, he seemed reluctant to talk about it. I could see the fear in his eyes and the slight tremor in his hand as I brought back the memory of that frightful experience. However, at my persistence he narrated the entire story to me.
His story goes as follows-
All I can say is it wasn’t a hallucination beta (Indian word for Son). I was in a financial crunch in the year 2009, when I heard about the Rs. 32 lakh flat in Liberty Garden. I thought I had won a lottery and just couldn’t believe my luck. Liberty garden is a beautiful and relatively isolated area in Mumbai.
When I spoke to my real estate agent about whether anything was strange with the flat because it was going relatively cheap, he was like, “thik lagtha hay.” (Hindi phrase meaning- it seems fine) My wife and I moved into the apartment and were enjoying the luxurious surroundings of our new home until the fateful day of December 11th 2009. It was a rainy and gloomy day. My wife and I had darkened the room and were enjoying a nice bottle of red wine while watching TV when we suddenly heard a peculiar laugh at the back of the room. Startled, we turned immediately but saw nothing. Strange as it seemed, we didn’t make much of it and continued as if nothing had happened. The same night at 1am I woke up with a start as I felt a definite presence in my room. There was a definite movement. It seemed as if someone was walking by and I saw the shadow of something move in the moonlight. It sent shivers down my body. I called out loud but just as suddenly I felt the presence had left.
A month passed and paranormal activity continued but in small amounts. There was continuous shutting of doors around the house, which we initially attributed to the strong breeze. I thought everything was going to be alright until around the middle of January another strange occurrence took place.
At exactly 12am on that night I was visited by what I believe was the ghost of “Nasserwanji.” My wife was talking on the phone in the bedroom and I was catching up on the daily news when suddenly I heard the same peculiar laugh. I was frightened and got up with a start from the couch. I turned back and saw nothing. As soon as I turned back to the TV I felt some one touching my neck from behind, which was when I shouted. The very touch of those crusty fingers on my neck convinced me that this wasn’t a hallucination. There was definitely a presence in the house.
Hearing my shout, my wife came running into the room. He seemed to disappear from there. I had felt him. My wife was at my side frightened. “What Happened Bashir!” she exclaimed in a worried tone. I was shivering and all I could think of was the fact that I had just encountered a spirit from the supernatural.
I put the house up for sale the very next day. After speaking to the people in the area I heard what happened. The old guard of the building who had been on vacation, returned and told me the story behind the mystery that shrouded my dream apartment. Apparently, many years ago an old man named Nasserwanji lived in the same apartment. He was said to be a bit of a loner and stayed by himself because rumor had it that after he lost his wife to a dreaded disease, he was so overcome with sorrow that he never left the apartment. The people believed that he did not want to share his apartment with anyone because he felt his beloved wife lived there and hence chased away anyone who came to reside there.
Bashir’s story is most definitely a true story in my opinion, as it involved all the attributes of a good story including the strange chilling noises, eerie background, cold chills, shouting and even an ominous warning before the encounter. Furthermore, the very fact that the neighbors suggested that they occasionally heard the strange laugh from the apartment (heard by Bashir) suggests that it wasn’t a hallucination but was a prime example of paranormal activity. It was even published in Mumbai’s most popular newspaper, Times of India (article above). Additionally, Bashir believes the very feeling of those crusty fingers is engraved in his memory forever. He is a firm believer in ghosts and paranormal activity and has never questioned the existence of ghosts from that day on.
Ghosts linger for many reasons, such as, unfinished business, improper burial, injustice or remaining ties to particular people or places. In this case I believe that Nasserwanji was simply not willing to let go of his wife – he was so deeply attached to her. So overwhelmed was he by this love that he refused to allow himself to move on to the afterlife. He wasn’t willing to leave the abode that he had resided in for so long and was probably uncomfortable seeing anyone take over control of his home, which represented his happy lifetime with his beloved.
This is a prime example of a ghost story with all the above-mentioned traits because of which I find it to be very believable. This story represents a culmination of anger caused by a man who was unhappy and unwilling to let go of his beloved thereby not allowing his soul to rest in peace.
– Personal interview with Bashir Sharma
– Newspaper article published by the Times of India