My grandfather told me this story when I was a child and somehow it stayed with me. I remember being really scared by this story and maybe that is the reason I remember it so well. Anyway here is what my grandfather told me.
My village is a very small one, situated on the banks of a big river. During monsoons, the river often gets flooded and causes great discomfort and loss of property. The incident took place in 1983. It was the marriage of my aunt (father's sister) and my grandfather was going to our local market (which is about 12 kilometres from my village), to purchase some goods for marriage. As there were no paved roads connecting my village to market, and also it being monsoon season, my grandmother told him to come home before sunset. He took his bicycle and went to market. There he purchased all necessary goods and was returning home when it started raining heavily. It was a downpour and lasted for hours. When the rain finally slowed a bit, it was already dark. So my grandfather immediately started for home.
But his going was very slow due to all the mud and potholes that rain has created. He was slowly making his way when it started raining again. He cursed his luck and quickly took his bicycle under a Mahua tree (an Indian tropical tree) for shelter. While standing there under torrential rain, he started hearing some strange noises. It was as if something was moving in the canopy of the tree. Initially it was very subtle but then the branches started shaking vigorously. Now, my grandfather is a very brave man and doesn't scare easily. So he brushed it off and thought that there must be some monkeys on the tree.
Eventually the downpour reduced to a drizzle so my grandfather took his bicycle and started moving. He was gone some distance away from the tree when there was a loud thumping noise behind him. It seemed like something big has jumped from the branches to the ground. He was startled and moved his flashlight in the direction of the sound hoping to see a monkey. But to his astonishment, there was nothing. He moved the beam of light across the tree and surrounding areas but still, nothing. So he started moving again. After walking for sometime, he saw that a man was walking ahead of him on the path.
He breathed a sigh of relief as he was a bit spooked from the whole tree incident and thought it would be good to have someone to travel along with. So he hailed him from behind as not to startle him. The man replied back and asked my grandfather, where he was going. My grandfather told him the name of my village. The man said he was also going that way and they should go together. So they went together, with my grandfather walking some distance behind the man. They started talking about the weather and the crops and my aunt's marriage. But my grandfather thought something was odd about the man. First of all he never once looked back while they were talking and secondly although the path was full of potholes and mud, he seemed to be walking effortlessly, like he was somehow gliding above the ground. But my grandfather being a brave man continued walking with him. The rain has almost stopped but lightning was flashing intermittently. Suddenly my grandfather's flashlight stopped working. He cursed loudly and stopped but the man said "don't worry, I know the way very well and will guide you, You just follow me."
So my grandfather said ok and continued on. But as the time passed he started feeling uneasy because they should have been reaching the village by now. So he jokingly asked the man" brother, where are you taking me? You aren't going to kidnap me, are you?" But the man said nothing and continued walking. After this my grandfather remembers nothing but says that suddenly the lightning flashed and he was on a precipice near the flooded river. One more step and he would have fell right into the river. He said it was like he suddenly woke up from a dream. He looked around him for the man but he was not there. He was really scared now and started chanting Hanuman Chaalisa. By now it has started raining once more but fortunately his flashlight was working again. With great difficulty he somehow found his way back home. He told us that the whole time he was searching for the way back and chanting Hanuman Chaalisa, he thought he heard faint footsteps and laughter behind him. When he reached home my grandmother was frantic and told him that it was 2 o clock in the night.
My grandfather was visibly shaken and thanked lord Hanuman for saving him from the clutches of that evil spirit who he was sure wanted to drown him in the river. Thinking back he says that he must have known something was wrong when he first saw the man. Because what normal human walks alone in the dark night and rain without even a flashlight.
So this was my grandfather's experience. Please tell me what you think about it and sorry for my poor writing. Thank you...