I have always been a skeptic when it comes to believing in ghosts, spirits and the paranormal! Raised in a family of doctors and scientists, such ideas were never encouraged at our home. I am currently living in Mumbai working for a large corporate firm and my parents live in Bangalore.
A couple of months back I took a 2 week leave to visit my grandmother, who has not been well and lives in a village in a mud house (she just refuses to come to Bangalore to stay with my parents... The urban air stifles her! Completely) It was June and hot. The typical Indian summer. That particular night it was a full moon and exceptionally quiet. (7pm and the entire village was already tucked into their homes) with not a soul in the streets.
My childhood friend who lives in the same village had come over to see me. We were talking about how the grass is always greener on the other side (she's married with a baby and me, a single career woman who lives alone in the big city) Somehow we fell into talking about spirits and ghosts. She narrated a legend of the ghost of 2 lovers having taken place about 70 years ago.
India was in the middle of turmoil. Fighting for independence from the British. My grandmother's village however, was (and still is) largely unaffected by changes happening outside its borders (although cell phones and computers can be found now! Thank God for that). The village is predominantly inhabited by people of a certain community. Only the fringes housed believers of other faiths.
It so happened that around the year 1942. The rich headman's teenaged daughter fell in love (madly and passionately) with a young farmer boy of another faith. The boy too reciprocated her feelings but was too scared to take any step for the sake of both of them. In India inter religious marriage was (and frankly still is) taboo. Still for the sake of their love they decided to elope to the city and be together.
Unlucky as it was, they were intercepted at the train station by the girls' brothers and brought back. The girl was locked up and forcibly married off to an old man while the boy was beaten to death and his body left in the rice fields to rot. Having got the news of her lover's death, the girl hung herself in her bedroom and vowed to return every full moon with her beloved to haunt the village. From that year onwards every full moon night the spirits of the young lovers are seen holding hands and roaming in the rice fields.
Once my friend narrated this story to me. I burst out laughing pretty sure that if the lovers are still seen, it is only the handiwork of people (alive) who want to keep the legend going. She seemed offended by my outburst and challenged me to visit the fields that night (it was coincidentally full moon). Initially refusing I agreed later. Sharp at midnight, we took off. We had no lights. She insisted that it was for our own safely.
As we left the village and walked toward the rice fields I could feel a heavy air descend on me. I don't know if she too felt it or not but we didn't talk about it anyway. Before we reach the rice fields we encounter sugar cane fields. The grown sugar canes were taller than me. Walking through them has the same sounds as someone walking over dried leaves. I could see my friend walking beside me, but I felt there was someone behind us as well. When I signaled the same to her with my fingers, she just asked me to be quiet and move on. Soon after we were in the rice fields. It was 12. 38 am and we waited. Another 15 minutes and still nothing. Bored, I signaled to her that its time to get back.
What happened next I will never forget! I can vouch what I saw was real and not my imagination (You have to believe it coming from someone who was a nonbeliever). I felt a chill within my body and 2 white smoke like silhouettes (one a girl the other a boy, holding hands) appeared in front of my eyes. It was like they were walking on their own way and I happened to be walking in front of them, rather them following us. They walked on and though my body (hence the eerie chill) and moved ahead to the rice fields very much in love.
I was stunned into silence and was mesmerized to see the smoke silhouettes gliding around the fields. I knew what I saw was no human who was just trying to keep the legend alive. My friend showed me her watch. It was 2.30 am. We walked back in silence.
I left for the city the next afternoon, having mentioned nothing to my grandmother. But as I left the village, I could swear that I had a nasty feeling as if I am leaving someone behind.
It's been more than a year now, and I want to go back to see them again.