I was about 11-12 years old. I used to live in Balaghat (a small town in MP state of India) with my mom dad and two elder siblings. My dad got transferred to another town (Rewa) as part of his job. So one of our family friends invited us for lunch before we depart.
On the day we all reached their home for lunch. As far as I remember it was an average size government bungalow with a big courtyard at the back adjoining the kitchen.
We kids were playing while the grown ups were busy chit chatting in the kitchen getting things ready at the same time.
Anyway after some time aunt (who invited us) asked all the children to sit in the courtyard while she and my mom serve us food. It was a very still summer day with minimal wind. I remember this because I asked my mom can't we sit inside under the ceiling fan as it's hot in courtyard not even windy to make it any pleasant, but anyway they decided on courtyard. I want to give some background on Indian weather here. We don't get sudden change of weather in a day. If the wind is still it does not turn into a storm the next moment unlike in some other countries.
So food was served to us children. The next moment before any of us can start eating there was a sudden gust of wind. It was so strong we could neither open our eyes nor get up. I remember firmly holding onto something with my closed eyes because the wind was so strong I feared I might get lifted in the air. Our parents who were somewhere between kitchen and courtyard tried to come to rescue us but they also had to close their eyes because the dust and little pebbles, dry leaves,everything flying all around getting into their eyes. This continued for couple of minutes.
Then suddenly it stopped. We all opened our eyes and were stunned for few seconds. What just happened? Then what we saw spoiled everyone's mood. Our face and bodies covered in dust including hair. Clothes dirtied. But the worst part we could not even identify the dishes on our plate. They were ruined. All we could see was dust and pebbles and leaves with little food scattered here and there.
We had eaten food in courtyard in our home as well several times in all seasons but never witnessed something like this. It's common practice in India to eat food in courtyard (called aangan in Hindi).
Then the aunt banged her head with her hand (Indian expression of frustrated repent). She told she forgot to first take out the plate of the lady ghost (she told name but I can't remember now) who resides there. Apparently she daily takes out the first plate for the lady ghost and if she forgets something happens due to which none in family can eat that food.
While we children went to freshen up she took out plate for ghost. Then seated us again in the very same courtyard and served food. This time there was no wind and we all enjoyed our meals.
Thanks for reading.