This was an experience which I had while I was visiting my paternal grandparents who stay in a beautiful beach town in Maharashtra. It's a quaint little village actually, extremely clean and beautiful. My grandparents' house is situated very near the beach. There are ample coconut and mango trees situated behind their house and provide cool shade as you head down to the beach right past the grove. The groves are dark and cool, and even in the morning the sunlight doesn't quite penetrate the trees. My grandmother warned me to stay out of the grove at nights. She said that spirits wander the place in the dark. I didn't really believe it.
I spent most of my days down at the beach. The water was cool and blue and there would not be many people down on the beach. I really cannot tolerate the Indian summer and wore shorts and a sleeveless tank top, enduring the weird looks the villagers flashed me. As I said, the beach was unused so I was pretty much left to myself and I usually stayed at the beach until the last of the daylight was gone. I spent my time reading a book or listening to music or just sat down watching to the waves roll in. I did walk through the mango groves at night and I didn't encounter anything so I figured that it was safe. I continued my routine and had really gotten used to the simple village life when I encountered what my grandma said was the spirit of the grove.
I had stayed at the beach late as usual and it was dark when I started walking home. I had only 5-10 minutes of walking and proceeded down my usual path among the trees. I mentioned before that it is pretty dark among the trees and at 7 pm, it was much darker. I have a keen eye and immediately noticed the little girl who stood by the trunk of a mango tree. I knew something was wrong. Little girls in the village never went in the groves after dark and besides, I thought, this was private property.
I knew it was not a human being I saw. It was dark but I could see her and will try to describe her appearance. She wore what appeared to be a knee-length garment of indiscernible color. I took in her dark, waist length hair and saw that she was looking at the foliage of the trees and knew she hadn't noticed me. I prayed that she would not notice me and quickened my pace. I did not take my eyes off her and saw that as she walked a few steps, she was gone.
I was scared and had cold sweat running down my body and made a break for it and ran all the way home. I was bent on not uttering a word of it to my grandmother, but she saw me running and the terrified look on my face and she guessed what took place. Needless to say I got a sound scolding and a strict warning about returning home before sundown. I had a fever that night because of the excitement and before morning lay in a delirious state. It was gone the next day but I stayed away from the beach for a few days.
I didn't see her (the little girl) again for the rest of my stay, but that was because I seldom stayed on the beach after the dark. My grandmother says that the spirit has many forms and can appear to anyone. I like to think that the girl is some form of elemental or the spirits of trees and forests who never had a human existence. Grandma thinks she is a guardian of the grove.
Any insight or comments would be greatly appreciated.