I should explain, first, that right my grandmother instilled a belief in ghosts, spirits, life after death and even demons from childhood. In my country, nearly everyone believes in ghosts. Grandmother used to say that many houses are haunted by souls with unfinished business in this world, or who cling to this reality without moving on. And she always said prayers for the spirits and to protect people from them. I grew up saying the same prayers.
One experience I had during my bachelor life—in the early days of my career as a medical representative—reinforced my belief in spirits and ghosts. The work environment of a medical representative was very different in the early eighties . My first posting was far away from my home town and this necessitated finding a suitable accommodation. After two days of searching, I found accommodation on the first floor of an old house. The owner lived next door.
The owner of my house had an elder sister into her nineties. She was bedridden mainly due to her age rather than any disease. There was nothing doctors could do for her. She used to just lie in her bed and stare at the ceiling and the visitors without speaking.
During the monsoon that year her health deteriorated further and doctor said she was sinking and to expect the death at any moment. I was sad, thinking of her condition, and also disturbed by the thought of a fellow human being so close to the threshold. I used to have occasional dreams about ghosts which never bothered me much. But in that house I was having the dreams every night, all through the night. The dream was always about a woman dressed in white, travelling through clouds and smiling at me or a chariot taking her away from the home. Then on the fourth night since the doctor said she was sinking, it happened.
Waking up from sleep, again after a dream, I felt chilled. A strange wind was howling around the house. The time was 2.30 in the morning, I remember that so clearly. I heard nothing else, just the wind.I tried to go back to sleep, but remain alert and awake. I just felt certain, with a certainty beyond rationality, that I would not see the landlord’s sister the next day. Finally, I dozed after some time. I woke to a knock at the door. When I answered the door, no one was there.
The owner of the house called me and informed about the death of the lady. She had passed away at 2:30 in the morning, exactly when I woke up. I didn’t see anything, outside of my dreams, but the total experience made me believe I encountered her spirit. It was eerie, yet reassuring at the same time. Because, now I know there a spirit after death.