Collection paper 2
Mr. Verma is my father’s childhood friend and has been a frequent visitor to our home ever since I can remember. I first met him at the age of six and have grown extremely fond of him over the years. He is a government officer, who resides in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, in a small settlement about an hour away from the closest city, Shimla. Around 10 years ago he had a supernatural experience which he shared with me, albeit unwillingly.
His story goes something like this:
“My office is about 9 kilometers away from my home. It was the month of March and the closing time of the financial year and the start of the new financial year (liminal time). We had to work late to complete our pending filing work. I left the office at around 11:30pm and it was raining very heavily. I always travelled by the highway, but on that particular day, since I wanted to get home quickly, I took the short cut. This was an isolated road off the highway, which ran through the forest area. I had heard people say that the shortcut was haunted, but I presumed it was just a rumor.”
“The setting was eerie and it was a cold night as I drove through the thick forest area. It was raining heavily and the area was isolated. I have to admit that I regretted my decision almost immediately. However, it was a bright moonlit night and the short cut would get me home in just 10 minutes as opposed to 25 minutes by the highway. This thought spurred me on even though I was more than a little scared. The trees were shaking vigorously, the wind was blowing violently, and I could hear strange sounds. I tried to console myself that it was just my imagination playing tricks on me but found myself chanting the prayer taught to me by my Guru (idol) – the Sri Hanuman Chalisa (an Indian holy song).”
As I became increasingly frightened, I started to speed up my bike because I wanted to reach home quickly. After around 10 minutes I saw a young lady on the right side of the road. She stopped me and asked me to give her a ride to town. I was going to tell her to get on my bike, but something pulled me back and urged me to move faster. I did not stop but moved on quickly. Five minutes later, I saw the same lady by the side of the road asking for a lift again. How did she re-appear? And how did she so fast? I realized instantly that something was amiss about this apparition and began to get frightened. She seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. My body started trembling, and I started to shiver with fear. I needed to get home to my family, and that’s all that mattered to me.”
“After 5 minutes the same lady appeared yet again, asking for a lift. However, this time she seemed more desperate and started to shout and run behind my bike! She was dressed in traditional Indian wear – with a red saree, golden bangles, a red bindhi and even sindoor in the parting of her hair. She yelled after me, “Please stop and help me!! My husband is hurt! I need to get him to a doctor!!’”
“By this time I felt like I was running for my life. My bike was speeding along the road, skidding here and there on the slippery spots but I kept going like a mad man, occasionally looking over my shoulder in fear. The lady was now chasing me. I felt like I couldn’t ride my bike any faster, yet I almost felt like the woman was pulling me back, clinging on to me like she would never let me go!”
“The lady then started crying and laughing simultaneously – her whole body turned to a pale yellowish color. She yelled at me in a very scary way, ‘I died on this road, and today you are going to join me!’ After hearing that, I changed to the last gear, and rode my bike at breakneck speed with a single-minded focus that my family was waiting for me at home and I was not ready to die! I refused to look back or acknowledge anything behind me. I knew that at this point, it was really about just escaping death. Luckily enough, I saw a camp up ahead and I stopped my bike there. I ran towards the bonfire, where there were three guards sitting, and explained my story to them. A guard whose name was Vineet Mehta told me that he has been working and guarding the area for over 21 years. The first thing he told me was that I was lucky to be alive. He said that there have been over 60 motor vehicle accidents in the last 20 years on that very road.“
When I asked Mr.Verma his views on the story he was adamant that it was not a hallucination and most definitely a real life experience. He said he never questioned the existence of the supernatural from that day on and made sure that he never took that road again. Although he admitted he could have been wrong about the existence of the ghost the first time, he was completely sure it wasn’t a hallucination after seeing it repeatedly.
Mr.Verma’s story is extremely convincing and I firmly believe in it. I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the ghost but I find that she has an uncanny resemblance to Resurrection Mary. This Indian ghost is almost an alternate and slightly different form of Resurrection Mary. Furthermore, I firmly believe in different planes of existence and the fact that there are restless souls who wander around isolated areas. The very fact that the similar accidents have occurred to several people on that road clearly suggests the existence of something supernatural. I feel that Mr.Verma was saved by his sixth sense or ‘gut feel.’ Most people would have offered the lady a lift and have probably done so in the past, thus leading to their deaths. However, in Verma’s case it was his intuition that prevented him from doing so. He accelerated instead of stopping and it was only a sixth sense that prompted him to do this, since his rational mind would have urged him to stop and help her.
The legend I hear is of a woman named Sangeeta who died with her husband in a car crash around 25 years ago. Frustrated by this act of injustice and her deep attachment to her husband, her soul has refused to rest in peace and has continued to haunt and torment the people travelling through that area causing innumerable accidents and deaths.
– Personal interview with Mr.Verma
– http://soni2006.hubpages.com/hub/uncle-verma-and-the-haunted-road- altered version of Mr.Verma’s story as written by another author