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Gunji

 

I grew up in Bombay now Mumbai, but this incident took place in the summer of 1991, in a small rural village called Kaveer which is near Alibaug, in the state of Maharashtra.

In those days a there was no road to get in and out of the village, just a path made by the villagers. There was no street lights and the path was covered by peepal trees (aka bodha tree) on either side. The path was known to be haunted, as it is said that spirits normally reside in these peepal trees and cutting one of these trees will curse you and you will die in a few days. Not many people ventured on the path after dusk.

Anyway, I was about 11 or 12 and my whole family had gone to Alibaug for our Maternal aunt's marriage. My mom's sibling, cousins and other relatives had come there too, but we (my siblings and myself) weren't very close to them so we did not hang out much with them. The family that we stayed with were my mom's cousin. He lived there with his wife and their daughter Alka who was about 16 or 17 at that time. They were farmers and did not own a TV, as you can guess we being city kids were quite bored as there no way for us to entertain ourselves other than stare at some buffaloes in the shed.

Our first few days went without any incident but one evening just before the wedding ceremony, my uncle (mom's brother) had gone to the next village with Alka. When they got back home Alka was acting very weird we didn't think anything about it and continued with what we were doing. Next thing we know, her father was hitting her with a long bamboo stick saying that she is possessed. Well, of course, after that everybody stopped what they were doing and crowded around them. Some people there stopped the father from hitting her anymore and went to get a woman who was said to be able to get a goddess in her and was able to exorcise possessed people. (I really don't know how she did that.)

The lady came and asked for some things essential towards the ritual. Some sindoor (vermilion powder) and some sweets and stuff. Alka was taken to a room and everybody was asked to sit outside and not come in the room not matter what. We took places outside door and the windows as we did not want to miss this exorcism and so started the ritual.

The lady sat on the floor and made Alka to sit opposite her. Now Alka had bloodshot eyes and had her hair open and looked scary. The lady asked the goddess to take over her body, after which she started communicating with Alka. She kept asking questions to which there were no answers.

After much questioning, she started to answer. Upon asked who she was, Alka said that her name was Gunji and she stayed in the next village. When asked "Why you are here?" she said that she wanted to see her children who were staying in the Patil's (village chief) house. She said she had not seen them for a very long time and was going to see them.

Suddenly she ran out the room and was trying to escape and was caught by the men standing around and made to sit back again, she kept pleading that she wanted to see her children. The Goddess Lady told her that she could see her children but not while she was in Alka, to which Gunji replied that she like the body and wanted to keep it. This went on for about an hour where Alka would behave very violent and try to run away. It took many men to subdue her.

In the end Gunji agreed to leave if she was given a red saree and a live chicken, to be left at the pimpal tape, to which they agreed. The goddess lady asked her how will we know you have left, to which Gunji said you will know. Goddess lady said we need a sign to which Gunji said you see the small lime tree outside the compound that will break as soon as I go.

So the saree and chicken were brought and taken to the pimpal tape by some men. After they came home and said it was done, there was a loud snap and the lime tree outside the house had broken. Alka fell unconscious after that. Her mother and some ladies came and carried her away for a cleansing bath of some sorts. After that they brought her back and put her back in the room to rest.

She was sitting and crying and said her body hurts, maybe because of the beating she got with the bamboo stick. All the kids were scared to go next to her but I quietly went and sat near her and started massaging her hands and legs, not that I was not scared but I felt sad for her.

We left the village after a few days and I never saw Alka again as I did not go back there. Last I heard she had passed away a few years ago due to some prolonged illness.

I never got to know what happened to Gunji or if she ever did get to see her kids, but really hope she did get to see them. I don't know why but I will always feel a empathy towards that unknown woman.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Bliss006, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

VivekThekote (1 stories) (102 posts)
 
2 weeks ago (2017-10-08)
Hi, To Sushantkar and AugustaM,

Sati was a age old tradition where when the Husband Dies so Women use to jump in fire. Many of Our Greatest Leaders in India were against this evil practice and have Openly Challenged such evil practices.

Sushantkar there is nothing wrong in accepting the fact that we had this evil tradition, Even India had many many Good Traditions also you should know that many people had created socially evil traditions in the name of so called religion. We have the Power to Fight against this evil traditions.

AugustaM Now Sati is Officially banned in India you can also check our Indian Constitutional Laws where many evil practices are been banned now its time to break free from evil traditions and move ahead for the Good of Humanity where every Individual can get its Rights and be Equal. Also regarding the Red Sari Yes in India Married Women wear Red Saris during Weddings also its True that there are facts that in India we see souls in Red Saris that had been common. May be these souls are waiting for Salvation. I Hope God will do the Justice.

God Bless All.
VivekThekote (1 stories) (102 posts)
 
2 weeks ago (2017-10-08)
Hi BLiss, It was a scary account, Possession by evil spirits had a long story since many ages these possession had been taken place and of course India, She is a Grand Mother of All Civilization of the World, So India will have such many stories of these accounts, This is the reason when the Elders in India give us Divine Talisman or any Holy Tabeez to their kids or loved ones. I hope now all are ok after this incident. God Bless All
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
+2
7 months ago (2017-03-15)
All cultures deal with widows differently - medieval Europe, for example cast out widowed women and refused to have anything to do with them, which led to a lot of stories concerning impoverished, canabalistic witches hiding in the woods. Easier to demonize grandma than to feed and house her in those days I guess.

The red sari probably isn't terribly significant - before mass garment manufacturing, most individuals had one or two very special outfit for a number of celebrations/rituals throughout their lives, as opposed to a brand new dress/sari for every new dance party. Just not really feasible.

The poor girl though - the stress of travel, guests, then dad beating her with a stick in front of everyone, glad she got it taken care of, but it seems terribly stressful and a bit embarrassing. Were the lady's children able to verify it was their mom? Would be curious to find out.
AugustaM (2 stories) (378 posts)
+2
7 months ago (2017-03-14)
Sorry, I don't mean to beat this to death but historical documentation indicates that sati did take place in many regions of India (North and South) though it gained the strongest footholds in the North and held on there for the longest time - the most recent well documented case of sati having taken place in 1987. Statistics do indicate that more women were involved in the ritual in the North than in the South -though data gathering procedures have been called into question. Further, the tradition would hold that for the woman whose husband is upon the pyre, the ritual of sati is a joyous time of sublime ecstasy - the ultimate display of wifely devotion and the final consummation of the wedding ceremony - hence the woman goes willingly, happily, to the pyre attired in her wedding regalia, sits upon the pyre, takes her deceased husband's head into her lap and lights the pyre or it is lit. The woman is not seen as a widow during the time between her husband's 'death' and the cremation because he is not seen as fully dead until the cremation. Should the woman evade the sati and continue into widowhood, then seen as a dishonor, she is to don the white of mourning and is to lead a strict comfortless ascetic life refusing all sensual pleasures and never marry again. However, the human psyche does not always fully submit to the strictures of tradition - some women were coerced and drugged, some merely took to the flames to avoid the ignominy of widowhood, some attempted to escape the flames but were forced back, some were bound to the pyre unable to attempt escape, some were but children. Given the above specifications of the sati ritual and the controversial status of the widow - hence my thought process, which associated the proliferation of restive female spirits adorned in or in search of red saris. Certainly, there are other meanings to the color red in Indian culture and it's many religions. Certainly, there are other reasons for a woman's spirit to wander after death. No one answer is sufficient to answer all situations. I simply offer a theory to be considered that may account for some.

By way of offering assurances that I am not simply making things up as I go along, I'll provide links to a few easily accessible resources below. I also highly recommend 'Sati: The Blessing and the Curse' a bicultural collection of essays edited by John Hawley (1994) - used copies can be come by quite reasonably and it's a captivating, though at times difficult read...
Http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson5/lesson5.php?menu=1&s=0
Https://swarajyamag.com/culture/sati-tragedy-through-the-ages
Http://www.kashgar.com.au/articles/life-in-india-the-practice-of-sati-or-widow-burning
Bliss006 (6 stories) (49 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-03-14)
Hi Sushantkar, Thanks for reading, to answer your question about the talisman, I really don't remember whether she was given something to wear or carry, like I said I did not ever meet her after the incident so I never got a chance to find out if she ever had any other incidents.
Bliss006 (6 stories) (49 posts)
+1
7 months ago (2017-03-14)
Hi AugustaM, thank you reading, As far as I believe, a red sari is worn for weddings and happy occasions within the Hindu culture, I have heard many incidents where spirits ask for red saris, as may be they are reminded of happier times, it has nothing to do with the Sati ritual and I would also like to tell you that the Sati ritual was not practiced all over India it was a few northern Indian states that actually followed it. Hope I am making sense here. Let me know id you have any other questions.
AugustaM (2 stories) (378 posts)
+4
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Valkricry, exactly what I was attempting to hint at... But my research led me to feel that it is a bit of a sore subject so I didn't want to say anything too directly about the continuing incidences of sati so as not to arouse any undo ire. And, given the legal issues surrounding it and the relative secrecy such injunctions impose, the present statistics weren't strong enough for me to feel very comfortable standing on the point... Thank you, valkricry for seeing my comments as they were intended - purely academic speculation. And, to anyone who reads my comments, know that I am not trying to shake a judgmental finger at India - absolutely not, every country has chapters in its past that it's modern populace isn't so keen on or proud of... That doesn't make them any less real... And ignoring them doesn't make them go away. From our past come our ghosts - both paranormal and emotional. I am merely positing a theory that seemed to fit the evidence as I saw it - specifically a proponderance of paranormal accounts from India featuring women in red saris. I'll be the first to say that I am no expert on Indian history and culture but I do try to do an adequate amount of research before putting an idea out there.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
+3
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Augusta and shushantkar,
You might find the following news article interesting:
Https://www.rt.com/news/india-ritual-suicide-sati/
AugustaM (2 stories) (378 posts)
+2
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Where did it come from? It came from India's past - just like ghosts. As I indicated in my first comment, the practice is mostly extinct as it was outlawed in the 19th century but there have been documented instances since then. Why do you think that just because the ritual is no longer popularly supported by the people of India that it's ghosts may no longer linger?
sushantkar (15 stories) (402 posts)
-3
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
To AugustaM, Totally pathetic 😠, From where did that theory came from?
The ritual of sati was adendoned 100 years ago approximately.
sushantkar (15 stories) (402 posts)
+1
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Hello Bliss, Thank you for sharing the indecent with us. I knew a similar indecent also which took place in our locality 15 years back. But the manifested entity brokes a mud goglet while leaving the body and as like this, he also demanded a chicken and a bottle of local wine and a dhoti.
May I ask you a question, did Alka was given any telisman or blessed threads which would ward negative spirits? It is believed that once the body is infested by a spirit if you not take precautions there will be higher possibilities that it will again be used. Actually it becomes like an empty vessal and spirits attracts towards such bodies quite frequently.

Regards
AugustaM (2 stories) (378 posts)
+1
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Could the now mostly extinct practice of sati/suttee possibly be the root of so many ghostly red-sari-clad women roaming India? Granted, according to the Hindu tradition, the widowed woman sacrifices herself on her late husband's funeral pyre voluntarily and, to be sure, in some cases the woman did go voluntarily (India isn't the only place in the world where some spouses will commit suicide when they lose their partner - it is merely the ritual status that is unique) but things don't always go to plan and doubtless some women weren't so keen on being burned to death. As what information and first hand accounts I have found on the ritual describe the women wearing their red wedding finery (as the ritual is seen as the final ultimate consummation of the wedding ceremony) - it would make a feasible hypothesis.
AugustaM (2 stories) (378 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-03-13)
Red saris seem to pop up in so many stories from India - I understand they are often worn in wedding ceremonies (could be wrong about that, though) - but it certainly is interesting that so many accounts all have that in common.

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