Beyond life!

Posted: March 11, 2013 in Short story
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How many of you have felt the presence of something unexplainable, something weird? A cold touch, or a quiet whisper, a foggy form or perhaps a figure walking through walls? Or maybe have seen dead loved ones?  Some will say, they have and the others will just laugh at such a suggestion. I belonged to the second lot.

I was always the scientific type, to negate the presence of souls, to argue, armed with scientific data, with just about anyone who would dare to claim the same. But all that changed one day. I still don’t know how to explain it. It doesn’t frighten me anymore. In fact I was scared for just one day, unable to believe my senses. And scared not because of seeing a ghost, but more of being laughed at. I was the one laughing at people’s whimsical fantasies, and here I was, about to be added to the same list. It was just preposterous. I was angry that I should be the one to see him, rather than the scores of other lunatic people I could laugh at upon hearing the story.

A colleague of my dad, also an amateur astrologer, had, sometime before his death, predicted that he would die in a road accident. I used to call him Uncle. He used to live on the same street as us, just a bit further up on the road. One fine sunday, he was supposed to buy paint buckets, early in the morning, to paint a newly constructed room. He didn’t feel like going, so he lazed away till the afternoon. After lunch, he went for a nap but abruptly got up and started to leave to buy the paint. His wife pleaded with him to not go as it was too late to do any painting that day, but he was adamant. And away he went on his bicycle. All this, we got to know later.

We received the news of his death the same night. He was hit by a truck while coming back home with the paint buckets on the bicycle,  and was dead on the spot. Everyone was sad, even me as Uncle used to greet me every time we met on the road. Funeral was done, and I forgot all about it as I was in college then and madly in love and therefore did not have much time to think about anything else.

One day, just like every other day, I got down from bus and was walking back to my house. And like every other time, Uncle rode up in his cycle and greeted me in his usual style. Clear as crystal. I greeted him back just like always. I reached my house, warmed the food and was about to have it when suddenly it struck me like a bolt from the blue. I was scared like hell. It just didn’t make any sense to me. I picked up my bicycle and hurried to my maternal grandfather’s place. They heard me out and said it was just a figment of imagination, and that according to them, I was very disturbed by Uncle’s death and had therefore imagined him on the road. I knew I wasn’t all that sad (forgive the callousness of youth). But I could not explain it in any other way. So it stayed that way, an unexplained page in the book of my simple life.

But that episode changed me in some way. And I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, there are things we do not yet know, which science has not matured enough yet to find out. Just the way we didn’t know the earth was round or the earth revolved around the sun at some point of time, maybe we do not have scientific instruments to actually measure the presence of a soul. Or whatever, I don’t know. I just know there are things we can’t explain just yet. And until we can, there would be believers and there would be those who laugh at them. And I can’t say if I am glad or otherwise for having made the transition from the latter to the former.

  1. This really made me think. Despite writing ‘ghosts stories’, I have little experience of first-hand encounters with such manifestations. However, I always try to keep an open mind, especially, when I reflect on tales such as the one you tell. Thank you for sharing this story. Regards, Paul

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