No I don't believe in ghosts. Which probably explains why I ended up at the Edappally church's cemetery at 1 in the night. I wanted a sensational story for my blog and the greenish lights they had at the place would do brilliantly on a frame. Or so I had thought. Nothing happened. Ghosts did not rise up from the dead and dance to Iron Maiden. Nor did my ancestors pop up and advise me on what I should do [ now that would've been scary]. Yet I managed to sit there for two hours. Tried everything I could think off with the camera. And finally came back home depressed.
The next night I did think about the cemetery though, as I struggled hard to find sleep, which was odd considering the minimal sleep I had had. And when I turned to the other side I saw a strange figure in my brother's bed. I jumped, almost broke the headboard and hit the sharp edges of a rusted door knob as I struggled to turn on the lights. Clothes! A pile of them. Laziness had convinced me earlier to leave them on the other bed instead of folding and now I was paying the price. The wound was deep too. In the shape of a lightning. "Well done Harry Potter :-/ ", I thought, as I made my way to the toilet to get the after-shave. This had never happened to me before ...
That was when I noticed my reflection. I did look as if I had seen a ghost- pale and panic stricken. The image terrified me. Was I really that scared? Of what? I could still go the cemetery if I wanted to do. Wait. Did I really go there? Was I dreaming? Why is the world so still and silent?
As if to answer my question the German Shepard next door started whining. My thoughts flew to an incident that I've always tried to forget.
Early sixth grade. The police inspector next door had brought home a new dog. Every night he would whine and howl, probably upset about his new home. And mom used to get terribly upset about it. My brother and I tried reasoning with her but she kept saying something was wrong. There is a belief. Dogs howl when they hear souls cry. A soul knows about 'death' or any 'physical damage' much before the actual incident. And it cries. Probably in a frequency that we men can't detect but dogs can, my father had reasoned. which resulted in a roar of laughter and a change of topic that night. The very next day our neighbour who had been doing his engineering final year was killed in a tragic road accident. Nobody talked about that night ever again. And the dog never whined...
By now I was completely disturbed. I was not sure whether I had closed the balcony door and thought I'd go check. I didn't turn on the lights though. I somehow didn't want to. As I ascended the stairs an odour hit my nose. Long forgotten yet very refreshing. Infact quite a 'nostalgic' smell. One I used to love a long time back. One I had fond memories of. Two more steps and it finally clicked. Mom's old 'Jasmin Eua de Parfum'. But from where in the world was it coming to me now? I hadn't seen a bottle since..hmmm I don't know, sixth grade? I looked at the open door, brilliantly lit by the tube light in the street and found myself a little scared again. The November wind was consistently disturbing the curtain beside the open door and it reminded me of another fear I had locked away in my brains for quite a long while. When I was young I used to imagine every night that an invisible force would be waiting for me behind the balcony door.
Somehow I found myself drunk in anxiety as I approached the door. Nothing dramatic happened though. The neighborhood stood still as I waited for the imperceptible force to grab me. The scene was very odd. It reminded me of the umpteen instances when you walk into a non welcoming group and get the silent 'stare' from everyone. It seemed as if the world was urging me to close the damn door so that they can get back their normal selves.