Thursday, August 25, 2005

Night capers

Nights have always seemed short to me. They seem to get over in a jiffy. Not because I want more time to sleep. No, I am not fond of sleeping. It's a waste of time. I always felt I would be doing enough of it in my grave. So why waste one third of my life too on it?

These days are however an exception. As the hubby works round the clock and remains out of the house, particularly at night, I prowl about like a zombie. All lamps at different corners of the house are switched off only in the morning. The TV blinks and blares away into the night. I read, I surf the net, I surf TV channels. I walk out onto the little bedroom balcony and look at looming dark neighbouring buildings. I spot a couple of stars amidst silver clouds and then I suddenly rush in, slamming the french windows shut. A sudden chill runs down my spine.

I get a drink of juice or water and some cookies. I settle down on the sofa to surf again. At some point sleep pushes my lids shut. Asleep yet conscious. Troubled though. A sharp thought quickly passes uninvited through the mind. I get up startled.

Hubby's second cousin died about 2 weeks back. Young and spoilt. I think excessive drinking damaged his liver and killed him at 26. But the next night and the next, his mother saw him several times. Most people in the huge family and the neighbourhood too have seen the boy sitting on the stairs and weeping. After his death. We listened in wonder when we heard about it. But I realised the wonder turned into a nightmare for me as I struggled to keep awake. Not sure how it would help. But there is a certain confidence and strength in the powers of an alert mind.

Yesterday I mentioned it to the hubby who reasoned "You hardly knew him. He wouldn't come to visit you."

I argued. "But he might come looking for you. And when you aren't home, it's me he'll find!"

Since when did we need to know dead people for them to appear before us? Now, at 4am, as I write this, I think of a time eons ago when we were in school. In the team for national school games at a little town in the interiors of Maharashtra. We were put up in little igloo shaped individual domes. Boys and girls separately. Restrooms, a 2 minutes walk at the other end of the ground.

One of the boys, a close friend, woke up at 4am, wanting to pee. He got out and looked around. Not too far, he thought and dashed across to the far end. He entered the gents toilet, an open to the sky area. Glad to see another guy there, he went to stand next to him and unzipped.

"It's kind of isolated and scary here, isn't it?" he threw at the other guy and turned to look at him. And lo, there was no one there. Just vanished. Fear gripped him as he looked around. There was no way the guy could have walked away. Finding his legs, he sprinted as fast as he could. And the next morning and in the days to follow, we heard a lot of other stories too.

I can feel the hair on my unwaxed arms rising even as I write this. But I am a brave girl tonight. No more nightmares, the TV is silent, the sitting room and passage are in darkness, the only light on in the house is my bedroom one. And yes, hubby is still out working, poor thing. And before you question, then why the hell am I still awake at 4am, I answer, it's more out of habit now. And before you finally utter, "bravo!" I must let on that I have a friend blissfully snoring away in the other room.


Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

i just fear one thing - not the unknown - not the creepy folks.

What else will you see - while you stay away from harsh reality?

isnt reality more frightening - isnt reality the ghost that we see everyday - avoiding it - in some form or the other?

do i get to put the first comment on all your blogs - just because i have the time-zone advantage?


i have no idea how you do it - but i tellyou - i look forward for something on "...seasons..."

Cheers, once again!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

afterthought: women always complain abt men snoring - see- it is useful...sometimes...


7:01 AM  
Blogger Mint Chutney said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I was contemplating writing a post dedicated on just this although mine has a bit brighter angle. I'm glad I'm not the only one. : )

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Kahini said...

Do you MIND? Now I'll be MORE of an insomniac! Very creepy.

10:32 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

atul: What are you talking about! Fearing reality and all that is okay. But if you saw your dead cousin sitting on the stairs and weeping, would you go and ask him what's wrong? I would run for my life, that is, if I dont faint first.

atul: By the way Atul, the snoring friend is a woman. I just assumed she snores, never really went into her bedroom to check. :)

kahini: *Grin* I can only assure you dead cousin wouldn't find the way to your house. Sleep well.

11:52 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

mint: Do do write about your story too. I love them!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Parna said...

err....i hate to admit it, but am quite afraid of spirits. hubby finds it funny, but i know how it feels. so can TRULY understand your plight. wish you have a friend to stayover each day till the rituals are over.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

man or a woman - snore is a snore, right?

on your post, i had a friend of mine who stayed at my place when i was away and refused to go downstairs to fetch water since he could "feel" someone walking in the kitchen. he is a funny chap normally, but whenever we raise this topic, he is all serious and swears that he felt it that way. :P

1:52 PM  
Blogger hope and love said...

oh!! i dont understand this fear at all..

1:57 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...


I have heard of stories with visions too. But never seen one myself!

I used to be scared in my home in india as have a long corridor and then my room. And at night the lights r out! I used to run thru the no "spook" would catch me!!

You'll be okay girl. Organise some "slumber parties" at home when hubby is away! ;)

2:41 PM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Whew! That was scary. But yes, although you may be turning into an insomniac, there are lots of things one will not know until he/she has lived through a night wide awake... had a night-out, so to say. Nice post...

3:29 PM  
Anonymous runa said...

/me seconds kahini..... phew....

4:28 PM  
Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

Er...meant it in a more 'philosophical' tone - the fear/reality thing.

if i ever saw the vision you described, i'd let go of my heart beats. :) i even keep away from horror films.

4:43 PM  
Blogger jaygee said...

one more insomniac joining the growing ranks kya? sad about the cuz tho...

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

even in my town...we used to hear sooo many of these scary stories!! as a kid i had once watched 'nightmare on the elm street' in a movie hall...and it took me 10 years to get rid of the fear!!

but they say, they come back only of unfinished business...


5:13 PM  
Blogger ServiceToWhom said...

I hope you don't mind me visiting your site, but I started reading and found it to be fascinating. You write very well and I found myself visualizing the words into graphic pictures as I read. Thank you for that.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Truth Fairy said...

Gosh! That was scary! But keeping the TV and the lights on is one good way of scaring the ghosts...they like the dark, I hear! I have a story too, but not a ghost story. Even though I'm scared of the unknown, it's a guy who scared the hell outta me and made me become jumpy for the rest of my life! I'll post it sometime soon on my blog.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Akruti said...

"Welcome to the club of Nightwatchers and by the time when you were publishing your post i was writing mine:)

7:04 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

A hardworking hubby and an overactive imagination - results in great reading for us. Love it :)

11:02 PM  
Anonymous colours said...

Ah... I am not the only one who switches on TV and lights when alone at night. As years go on I am getting to "meet" more such people.

Does this mean that this feeling has a reason?

1:05 AM  
Blogger Akruti said...

bhuhahahaha,i am here at 2.30am in the night to say Hellooooooo:D

2:31 AM  
Blogger WA said...

Akruti has said more or less what I was about to say. Chose the wrong time to read your post, its almost 1am and here I am reading an eerie post :( And the comments here don't help either!

Anumita, I lurve sleeping. If I lie there unable to sleep tonight, I promise to dedicate a post to you tomorrow complaining :)

4:21 AM  
Blogger Rat said...

I have never felt any of these things. Now you have scared me :P

Kidding !! Nothing can wake up me up from my sleep.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Prerona said...

ive been having sleepless nights too! not cz of being scared ... just ... dunno ... maybe boring dreams ;@)

3:06 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

parna: Glad you understand. I am fine most of the time but sometimes I just psyche myself too much.

chakra: That's chilling! Thank god your kitchen is far away from me!

hope n love: Lucky you! But just tell me, what would you do if you saw dead cousin sitting on stairs and weeping?

nupur: I used to feel the same as a kid!! Even we had an open verandah connecting one room to another and I dreaded crossing it at night. Would hold my breath, shut my eyes and sprint.
Slumber parties on weekdays are not easy. :(

sudipta: Thank you and am so glad you understand.

runa: Dont you worry too. Assured that cousin will not know way to Pune.

atul: That was some revelation! By the way, I love listening to ghost stories and watching horror films. Hubby keeps away like you. :)

jaygee: Not at all. I was always a light sleeper and need pretty less of it.

bips: I too watched "Nightmare on Elm St" as a kid! It was in Delhi and I was caught and taken to the manager. I lied I was 18. They laughed but let me watch it anyway. Still remember some gory killing scenes. Sheesh!!!
As far as I know cousin shouldn't have any unfinished business with me. But you never know!

servicetowhom: Thank you and I dont mind you visiting my blog. :)

truth fairy: I think a lot of us take some comfort from switching on lights and TV. Tell us your story too.

akruti: When do you ever get some sleep?

gratis: He needs to work to keep my bread heavily buttered and I spend my time thinking where I am going on holiday to spend all the money. These ugly thoughts trespass then.

colours: Of course, there's a reason for everything. Our super intelligent minds scan the possibilities of a home-alone night and prepares us, thereby getting us anxious. Have you ever heard of a man getting scared? :)

akruti: I was awake too! Slept at 4am today morning.

wicked angel: Dont get scared. Our Indian ghosts will never reach foreign shores. But I heard 3am is the bewitching hour when they are really strong and active. Make sure you are asleep before then. :)

3:41 PM  
Blogger n.g. said...

ah another incident. someone i know, her father upped and died suddenly. more than anything else this girl was more worried about the property papers, business documents, insurance policies and investment papers. she didnt have a clue where her father had kept everything. she searched everywhere and couldnt find them. finally she went to someone who 'summoned spirits'. her father came to them, told her a location and asked her not to disturb him anymore, coz he had never been happier. and this girl checked at the location she was told, and found everything there.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Stone said...

hmm...that is scarry...
so watz ur plan to tackle this?

4:03 PM  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Hi Anumita,
I happened to be noctirnal during my college days...
And you explained all that scary thing in a typical RamGopalVarma fashion!!
"Late at night when you are sleeping,
that's when creatures coma a creeping.
To your house these creatures slither
making sounds that make you shiver.

Scratching on your window pane
Whispering your own first name.
Tapping on the nearest door,
creaking stairs and floors and more.

Making you sit up in bed
or pull the covers o'er your head.
And while you sit there filled with fear,
you wish that "???" was here!

Take care!!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

Everyone has already said so much.What do I say?
Don't eat cookies when you are scared, eat baby carrots.They are healthier!
Also check out my blog sometime @

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Parmanu said...

We have a friend here who has similar troubles sleeping at night when she's alone and her mind is occupied with spirits and ghosts. The difference: she relishes the experience, and loves horror movies!

1:29 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

rat: Lucky you! I am such a light sleeper, otherwise too. But nights I usually sleep well and get up early.

pre: Boring dreams? Tell us please :)!

nish: This is bizzare!! Are you serious? She actually going to ask for help and then actully getting help!

stone: Plan? What can poor me think of? Probably get in more lamps in the house or make some friends among the neighbours.

gangadhar: Thank you for the poem. You have now nicely given me more ideas!

vaibhav: I know, carrots will serve me better. But when you console yourself, dont you always do it with nice things?

parmanu: Welcome. Oh my god! I have never heard of someone scared and relishing the feeling!

9:20 AM  
Blogger hope and love said...

have you read the poem ITHAKA..?

11:59 AM  
Blogger n.g. said...

yup sure did happen. freaky right.

3:17 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...


3:32 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

hope n love: Yes I have. Read ITHAKA i mean. :)

nish: Maha freaky! I would never even think of looking for things in that way!

amitL: Thank you.

5:00 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

i use to be scared stiff of ghosts, darkness and being alone. not as much now, even enjoy ghost stories and movies now. :)
reading your story made my feet tingle though!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Hi Anumia,
Why don't you go and see my post on scary things?

6:30 PM  
Anonymous SHERRIFF said...

death at 26 due to excessive drinking...what a waste of life...I think of all the species, we human beings are the most innovative and eager when it comes to finding ways of self destruction...Ghost...shud we beleive in them..are they figment of our overworked imagination...if a person believe in THE Holy Ghost, then probably u have to believe in Ghosts of other kind...BTW I am very fond of sleeping...thats the only time I can escape from craziness of my twisted mind

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi...have been reading ur blog for some time...just put a comment

10:17 PM  
Blogger Rash said...

You're a brave girl to admit that fear anumita. many ppl wouldn't. well...if I'm home alone I switch on all the lights too. Esp here in bangalore as am not used to the house yet.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

ha ha you poor thing... i am sure your experience where Miku was convinced that there was a ghost would be a good post too...

Miku must be freaked out...
Am sorry about the cousin though...

have one who is going down the same path.. SIGH>..dont know what brings them to disaster lane,,,they have so much to look forward to in life.. yet..

12:55 PM  
Blogger Invincible said...

Landed here from Gangadhar's blog.
If one believes that soul is different from the material body, then s/he should believe in spirits. Cos the soul doesnt die.

Now, i aint a fearless knight who wud say 'hi how are u' to the spirits should i come across. It wd freak me out no doubt.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Rocky said...

Don't worry, the late cousin may not know your new address? Has he visited you guys in ur new place?

9:26 AM  
Blogger Baobhan Sith said...

I can understand the not sleeping while the husband is gone. Mine worked nights for a while and that's when I started my blog.

9:39 AM  
Blogger transience said...

i'm sure the cousin will knock first. =)

1:50 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

gosh! I can totally sympathize with u.
though i proudly say I dun believe in ghosts n all that crap,
I do get scared at nights after watching a ghost movie or hearing ghost stories and tend to sleep with light on(if alone) and stay awake even if I'm not alone.
on the other hand my Mom jus loves everything to do with ghosts n she says shez ashamed that i'm her daughter!

3:21 PM  
Blogger AmitKen said...

No, I am not fond of sleeping. It's a waste of time.

Oh Cmmon! how can u say so? Sleeping is not wastage..
and who knows what one ends up doing after getting into grave, so why take chances.. sleep while u still can.... :)

and Sorry to know about death of cousine, even if what u said were true, he wont do any harm to you, just keep a bottle of vodka ready.

3:37 PM  
Blogger AmitKen said...

On second thoughts...
the comment above(the vodka bit) was posted in good humour, hope i didn't cross the line, no intentions,whatsoever, of being insensitive towards death of ur relative.

May God bless his soul.

3:56 PM  
Blogger johnny boy said...

Thank God i read ur blog bang in the middle the day :)) Shud make it a point not to visit ur blog at nights ... hehe ... jus kiddin!

5:26 PM  
Blogger Parna said...

woman! you ask me to post a new one...and look at you!

Bah! :) howdy? drop me a line when you are done with the spirits.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... where did U vanish!

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that earlier comment was me....bips

11:36 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Whoaa...scary stuff. As usual, you keep me mesmerized while reading your posts. By all means keep telling us stories. Never stop!

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spirit stories are fun. i knew someone who talks bout spirits like family...kinda unfriendly family..scary..

5:02 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

Yours is a too sahi blog.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

One more thing...i am new @ blogging...saw this page 4 da first time ...too good blogs...

4:07 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

gulnaz: I wish I could overcome my fear too. But I am getting worse with age.

gangadhar: I went and read halfway and ran away! Will gather my wits and try again.

sheriff: I know. He's been in and out of rehabilitation centres and drinking a lot. Sometimes I feel the family could have paid a little attention and saved him.

rhea: Thank you, rhea, for reading. You got a blog too?

rash: I will never pretend not to be scared. I am! I am! Of staying all alone at home, in the night. The older I am growing, the worse it's getting!

pallavi: He's brave enough to go and work the whole night but he confessed to not being able to sleep when I am not around. I am definitely the braver one!

invincible: Welcome! Reading your comment itself scared me a bit. Who wants to know about souls living on when there's a dead cousin appearing!

rocky: No, he hasn't seen our new place. And dont you laugh. He probably knows you better than me since I am sure you met him sometime.

baobhan sith: Am so glad you understand! Yes, blogging is a life saver!

transience: Hey you are back! I am not sure whether knocking would help!

amitken: What to do, I just feel we should have longer days and really less time to sleep. And feel free to say whatever you like about dead cousin. Maybe he'll go looking for you instead then!

johnny boy: You too, scared?

parna: Will write tomorrow. Was really caught up the past week.

bips: Am here. Was too busy getting a life after a long time!

weary hag: Thank you, but I am your eternal fan and I think not many can match your writing capabilities.

jo: I know what you mean. We got friends too who are obsessed with talking about ghosts! Just scares the hubby and irritates me at times.

abhishek: Welcome and thank you for all your comments. You are actually reading all my posts! Am flattered!

9:09 PM  
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3:16 AM  

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