This incident happened in 1999 when I was on a holiday visiting my cousin Parag at Lonavala (a popular hill station near Mumbai, India). Parag, at that time was in the hospitality business providing his services to one of India's largest Power Generation companies. There is a dam and a lake at Lonavala which is maintained by the company.
The whole scenery from the top of the dam is really very beautiful especially in the evenings. A real treat for nature lovers anyway.
Coming back to my story, Parag used to provide catering services to the workers who used to do construction and maintenance work at the dam near the lake. There were quarters nearby where the workers stayed. Workers collected their food packets from Parag's canteen in the evening to their rooms and had their dinner there.
One day after our evening walk to the dam & having enjoyed the cool evening breeze, we were in a cheerful mood. It must have been around 6.30 pm in the evening. Since Parag had to supervise activities at the canteen, I too accompanied him.
The road from the dam to the canteen is a narrow one with the wall of the dam on one side and the lake on the other. We were followed by two workers who were also on their way to the canteen.
While passing through that stretch we found ourselves passing through a spot which was icy cold. The marked change in temperature was quite obvious and once we passed it the temperature was back to normal.
I turned back and found a cloudy shape forming at the very spot where we had experienced the coldness. The workers following us were quite unmindful of the cloud since they were busy chatting away & also due to the fact that it was not uncommon to see mist and fog in that area especially at that hour. One of the workers unknowingly passed through it.
We went to the canteen and came back home by around 8.30pm.
After having dinner we were relaxing in the verandah of his house at around 10. 30 pm that suddenly we found four workers coming towards our house. One of the workers who had followed us in the evening on our way to the canteen was also a part of the group.
They were visibly scared and wanted Parag to accompany them to their quarters. I too accompanied them. When we came to the place where the workers stayed, we saw that the second worker, who had passed through the icy cold cloud earlier in the evening, was sitting in the center of the room having his dinner. But there was something strange about him. He was speaking loudly in Pashto or Urdu (a language spoken by the Pathan's generally from the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan or Afghanistan. He was speaking loudly & demanding more food & especially wanted to eat lamb and beef.
This guy was around 5 feet 2 inches tall at the most and was slightly built. He was a local from that area with absolutely no connection with either the Pathans or the language which he was currently speaking. He was a vegetarian by birth too.
We were told by his colleagues that he had eaten the entire meal meant for the four of them and was still demanding more. The guy seemed to be agitated and there was a total change in his voice.
We chalked out a plan to subdue him and try to get him to one of the nearby hospitals for treatment.
We slowly approached him and pounced upon him to overpower him, tie him up with ropes. Seemed like an easy task considering that our friend there wasn't the most robust looking character around.
Something then happened which really scared the daylights out of me. That slightly built worker literally caught hold of Parag and one other worker by their necks at the same time and threw then nearly five feet away from the spot where he was standing. Parag is a tall, robust guy around 6 feet 2 inches tall. Leave alone throwing him like that, just lifting him would have been a task in its own. Everyone was scared out of their wits but something needed to be done urgently since the brute's fury was growing by the minute.
We finally had to call around ten more workers and after a thirty minute struggle we finally managed to subdue the brute who was still abusing us in the foreign language of his.
In rural India people tend to believe more in local shamans/exorcist's
Doing their own mumbo jumbo than qualified doctors. I don't generally believe in shamans and wanted to get him to the hospital ASAP.
But today after all these years I think that it was good that the others didn't listen to me. They got one of the local shaman/exorcist to the place. He seemed like a normal person unlike the weird get up that we might assume them to be in like in many of the movies.
He went into the room and stared straight into the blood shot eyes of the worker who was now bound but still abusing everyone.
The exorcist placed his hand on the head of the possessed man and asked him who he was and why was he troubling the innocent person.
The man replied that his name was Himmat Khan, an Afghan who had been murdered by his business associates for money in the early part of the 20th century. He told the exorcist that his body was dumped in the lake and that he wanted a proper burial as per his religion for his soul to rest in peace. He also told us the exact place in the lake where his remains could be found.
Parag used his contacts with the local company managers & had a search party organized immediately next morning. At the exact location in the lake pointed to us by the possessed man, a skeleton of an unusually large man was fished out by the divers.
The skeleton was given a proper burial as requested. Immediately after around an hour after the burial formalities were completed the possessed man started recovering and coming back to normal. We all thanked the exorcist profusely for his help. Even after all this the exorcist was surprisingly calm. He unwillingly accepted a small remuneration and quietly left the place. We were really exhausted & happy that our ordeal had come to an end.
It was really very hard for me to believe the sequence of events which had just happened.Parag, though shaken surprisingly recovered faster than me and was his usual chirpy self in the next couple of days.
The matter was hushed up & no one talked much about it. The worker who was possessed was transferred to a different location where he spent the next couple of years normally without any incident of this sort being reported.
Finally! Who was Himmat Khan? What were the circumstances which led to his murder are unknown.
People who were unwittingly a part the incident are happy as long as he lies peacefully in an unmarked grave in a nearby cemetery.
Very beautifully written
Again good job man