I have always preferred to stay away from planchets and Ouija board sessions. I avoid the forum meetings when any related experiment or session is planned. It's not that I do not believe in it. In fact I have seen quite a few examples that point towards success of the whole thing. But the main problem is that the results are not predictable and I do want to open a door that I do not know how to close. Secondly one does not know what lurks behind the fence, hoping to enter our world using one pretext or the other. Secondly as a medium I am totally useless and hence no one really minded even if I missed all the sessions.
One such session called "planchet parkarma" was arranged in Pune, September 1998. I am not sure exactly how it is conducted but the spirit is summoned to possess the medium. A few questions are asked to the medium and then the next ritual causes the spirit to leave the body of the medium. Success rate of this experiment is much lower than conventional Ouija board session. When I arrived for the forum meeting next day after the session, I was told about it. The session seemed to have gone well wherein some random uninvited spirit made an appearance and instead of answering questions asked, started to make few nasty predictions. It said there would be floods and major earthquakes etc. No one believed it and most of the crowd thought that the medium, Anagha was just pretending to be possessed. Well, the predictions were ridiculous any way and in due course of time all of them proved to be wrong. But is started a very curious chain of events.
At that time I and Anagha were completing our post graduation in applied mathematics and most of our friends were common. Anagha was one of the most brilliant students in the university but she was extremely disorderly and in a way lazy as well. Her notes on "calculus of variations" which is a field of mathematics that deals with functional's, as opposed to ordinary calculus which deals with functions, were in great demand even in the international universities. She was being pushed by the publisher form a text book course which she never really got around to write. I was quite fond of Anagha as she was and when I started noticing some changes in her behavior I was pained and offended. Initially it never occurred to me to relate the change to the planchet session.
She stopped spending time in the library and canteen with the usual crowd. If asked she would vaguely mention some family problem and simply walk away. She used to be one of the quietest students in the classroom but it was changing fast. She started asking questions and that too such a complex ones that the professors found it very hard to answer at times. Whenever she asked questions her tone used to have a strange undercurrent which made one think if she was mocking the lecturer. Anagha had a reputation of never submitting her work on time but everyone was stunned when for the first test she submitted her notes six days before the deadline. In the test she topped and there was good forty marks difference between her and the second placed student who had been taking top grade ever since I could remember. Slowly and steadily she had started to drift apart from the group. I had still not suspected anything but once or twice I had noticed the look she was giving to the professors in the class. It was look of such an intense dislike and hatred that it gave completely different face to her. A first very concrete signal that someone was seriously wrong came when her room partner once called me and said that Anagha had been caught smoking and was asked to leave the hostel. When I met her she did not show a slightest sign of remorse. She was smoking quite openly now and was ridiculing the matron of the hostel as well as college teaching staff. There was nothing to learn for her and she did not care whether she did the post graduation. After that she almost stopped coming to the college and moved to a small room on her own.
During all this time, Anagha continued to write on her pet subject and her text book series was published. She had started to earn much more than what a salaried job may give her. Quite surprisingly she never seemed to study or read anything at the same time her knowledge base seemed to have grown several times. But otherwise things moved from bad to worse in the coming weeks.
She did not go home in vacation and when her parents came, they found empty whiskey bottle in her cupboard along with cigarette packets. Instead of feeling guilty, Anagha shouted at her parents and created such a nasty scene that the housing society had to give her a written warning about not repeating it. I must admit that so far I attributed all this to possible case of hypomania. At times she indeed looked in expansive, energized and sometimes elated mood. I suggested that her parents should take her to a good psychiatrist. Anagha however, flatly refused and literary forced her parent's to go back home. Three incidents in a span of a week or so, made me change my mind.
One day when I was using all the possible driving skill I had to push my bike through the heavy evening traffic I saw Anagha going past me in a small but new car. She was driving so effortlessly and with such a skill that can some only with years of experience. This was the same girl who used public transport two months back and was afraid of even driving a without gear two wheeler. Another time I was with my friend in one book shop which sold technical books. Anagha was in the same shop buying some books but she had not seen us. While waiting for the salesman to return with her books she used her cell phone and started speaking in Tamil language with someone. She was speaking fluently. I was positive that she did not know the language before and a quick check with her parents confirmed that it was correct. At that moment I finally realized that it was not a hypomania. One cannot learn driving or a new language without any effort. On the same day her father brought her handwritten copy of her own text series she was modifying. When an author makes any changes to the text, it is a convention that the change is authenticated by a signature in the margin. Anagha had signed the changes as Dr. Mani Subramanyam (name changed) !.By this time her father was in a pretty desperate sort of mood. They were staying in a cheap guest house because Anagha would not let them stay in their flat. How she would behave when they went to her place depended on her mood. Occasionally she would let them hang around for a while but all this time she would smoke and keep on making notes. It was evident that she was drinking at night as well and her attire had changed to more manly clothes.
Finally I had started to see day light. This was one way or the other related to the planchet session that was held two months back. Something had entered Anagha but had not left. I had to restrict my discussions with experts in the field of planchet that I knew. Internet was not as strong as it is now so I did not think of getting any on line help. Another session was arranged with a different medium but this time answers were obtained on the slate and pencil rather than trying to summon the spirit in the medium itself. Every attempt was made to request Dr. Mani to make an appearance. It did not succeed initially but in the fourth sitting the spirit did make its presence felt. The answers we got to our queries were surprising but simple. Anagha had failed to make her mind blank in that particular session as the medium. Her thoughts kept on getting focused on the mathematical problem that was teasing her for a long time. In a moment on desperation her subconscious mind had asked for the outside help and the help had arrived. The spirit that initially made a very mild intrusion to begin with had slowly pushed its way to such an extent that original Anagha was getting lost. But the spirit did not seem to be hostile or evil. It was doing what it used to do when Dr. Mani was alive without really realizing that what can be thought as the normal activities for a middle aged successful mathematician, may play havoc in the life of twenty one year old girl student. The message from our side was that if this pattern continues, very soon Anagha will have to move to some sort of asylum and the spirit would be trapped inside for good. This argument seemed to work and we received confirmation from "Dr. Mani" that it will leave the body in two weeks time.
Dr. Mani did keep his promise. Anagha limped back to normal routine and her originally personality returned. She stopped drinking but her body had picked up nicotine habit and she has never really given up smoking. Sitting in a library after a month or so, I had a long chat with her. During this conversation she did not deny that she was acting strange. I was quite astonished that she seem to have an inkling of what was happening and it appeared that even when the presence was inside her, her own personality has not fully diminished. But she sort of liked what was going on or at least did not want to resist. I am still in touch with Anagha who is now completely normal and leading happy life with her husband. But after this incident she never agreed to be used as a medium.