This incident dates back to my engineering college days during one of my visits to Pune, a place very close to my heart and my current home.
It was vacation time and I decided to visit Sushil, my friend from Mumbai. He had shifted to Pune to study engineering in one of the colleges there. He lived in a rented bungalow at Nigdi with some of his college friends. It was a nice place but isolated and far from the main city. This was exactly how the guys wanted it and loved their privacy every bit.
Sushil had been inviting me to come over to his place for a long time. His buddies had all gone back to their hometowns and would return only after a month. He was the only one who had stayed back. We planned to stay at his place for a couple of days and then return to Mumbai together. Another friend of ours, Vikrant, who was studying in Bangalore, was to join us.
As planned, I reached Sushil's place late in the afternoon. The time it took me to reach Sushil's place from Pune Station was nearly the same as my train travel from Mumbai to Pune. Sushil had meticulously mentioned the directions but as my luck would have it, I missed a turn which led to the delay. Another reason for the delay was due to the fact that there wasn't a living soul to be seen around that area who could help me with the directions. Sushil had a hearty laugh when I narrated my woeful tale to him. I soon settled down and after a while went around with Sushil as he showed me his house.
It was a nice house with a spacious dining area and three bedrooms on the ground floor. There was a nice terrace on the first floor which was quite airy. In fact we had planned to sleep on the terrace as we thought that it would be fun sleeping under the open sky. One thing which I noticed was that there wasn't a single house for at least a kilometer from where the bungalow stood. Sushil mentioned that Vikrant's train would be arriving at around 1.00 am that night. Since I was tired from my afternoon adventure, Sushil asked me to rest there while he would fetch Vikrant from the station on his motor cycle.
We finished our dinner by 10:00 pm that night. Sushil planned to leave at around 11:45 pm so that he could be in time to receive Sushil. I made myself comfortable on his sofa in the sitting area at around 11:15 pm and soon fell off to sleep. Sushil went off to receive Vikrant as planned.
It was after an hour of sound sleep that I was suddenly awakened at around 12:15 am. The whole house was pitch dark, I suddenly felt uneasy. I slowly got to terms with the situation and consoled myself saying that I wasn't in Mumbai but in a city which suffered multiple power cuts throughout the day. I was in the midst of one of them and surely this time would pass soon. I lay back on the sofa waiting for my friends to come back.
I slowly became aware of a humming sound coming from just outside the window of the room where I was. It unnerved me a bit but curiosity got the better of me and I slowly moved towards the window to check the source of the sound.
I opened the window pane a bit so that I could look out and see what was happening.
The humming sound suddenly became loud and a projectile hit the window pane just missing my head by a whisker. I was in a daze but slowly got hold of myself, crawled near the shattered window pane to see who had done it.
Till then my eyes had become quite used to the dark and I was able to see things clearly. As soon as I glanced out, I could see the perpetrator of the dark deed right in front of me. He was a thin man with long matted hair and a beard. He was naked except for a small loin cloth covering his body. His body was all white, smeared with ash perhaps.
I was immediately overcome by a feeling of repulsion for the barely human creature standing around 15 meters from the house. He was standing there doing nothing except moving a sling like object in his right hand and smiling eerily at me. The sling in his hand was what was creating the humming sound. Before I could realize, he picked up another stone, fixed it in his sling and took aim for his next shot. This time I was lucky as the second shot went astray but smashed another window pane nevertheless. I pinched myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming. I was in a nightmare which just refused to end. Scared to death, I crawled to the farthest corner of the room and sat there hoping that my friends would arrive soon and relieve me of my misery.
Suddenly things became silent for around 10 minutes and my senses were slowly limping back towards normalcy when there was a thump on the door. My first instinct was to rush and open the door for my friends Sushil and Vikrant who might have returned. But then, I remembered Sushil telling me that he would lock the door from outside, so that when he came back with Vikrant, it would not rouse me from my sleep. I fell back paralyzed with fear not knowing what would happen next if the thing outside managed to break the lock and enter. There were a few more knocks on the door, this time harder than the earlier one followed by the humming sound of the sling in the creature's hand.
I was sure that it would be a matter of time before he would break the door and enter the house. The best possible place to hide in that case would be the terrace. I rushed to the terrace and locked the door praying desperately to God for an early arrival of my friends. Till then I had thought that it was a madman on the prowl & had not thought about the paranormal angle at all.
Imagine my horror when I became aware of a noise behind me on the terrace. It was the same creature sitting comfortably in a cross legged position on the edge of the terrace wall. It was just impossible for him to climb up so soon, that too, without making any noise. I could see that the creature was enjoying my ordeal immensely. "This is it", I silently said to myself. I would have to face him since I had no other choice left.
Picking up a small iron rod lying beside me, I silently uttered "Om Namah Shivay" and rushed towards him with an adrenalin rush which I had never experienced before.
When I was about ten feet away from the creature, I stopped and threw my weapon at him. He managed to dodge it but in the process fell back from the terrace to the hard ground below. That was the end of him, I thought. But I soon realized that though he had fallen down, I hadn't heard the sound which broke his fall. Gathering courage, I slowly moved towards the edge hoping to see his body lying on the ground. Imagine my surprise when I found no one down below. The area was absolutely empty without any trace of the creature which had attacked me a short while ago. This was too much for me to handle and I slumped to the ground dazed.
When I woke up, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself on the ground floor and that my friends Sushil and VIKRANT had returned. They looked concerned and told me that they had found me unconscious on the terrace a short while ago. After I related them my entire tale, Sushil told me that it was his mistake to have left me alone in the house that night.
He told me that he and his friends had seen the man, whose description I had just narrated outside their house one month ago. But since they were together they went out immediately with sticks to challenge the intruder. But to their surprise, there was no one outside when they opened the door. Later on they heard from some villagers that a man who was suspected of ritual sacrifices, cannibalism and necrophilia had been lynched by a mob some days ago. He was suspected of being an Aghori. No one was arrested, as is the case with all such incidents in smaller villages. But Sushil and his friends never saw the man again after that.
I did some research on Aghori's and this is what I found out: Aghoris are a Hindu sect which is said to have deviated from mainstream Hinduism. Most other Hindu Sects shun and condemn Aghori's as "Non Hindu" because of the extreme practices followed by them which include cannibalism, living inside cremation grounds, consumption of intoxicants, hallucinogens and engaging in bizarre sexual rituals including necrophilia. They believe that such activities bring them closer to God and bestow them with great power.
Unclean and nearly naked with ash smeared all over their bodies, they definitely aren't pretty to look at. The lifestyle of the Aghori's is shrouded in secrecy and they are seldom seen in public, living mostly in cremation grounds in seclusion. They consume corpses, which may be either pulled from a river or obtained from cremation grounds. These are consumed either raw or cooked on open flame, as the Aghoris believe that what others consider a "dead man" is, in fact, nothing but a natural matter devoid of the life it once contained.
A plausible explanation for my ordeal could be that the Aghori's spirit fed on the terror and horror of his intended victims and grew stronger once the victims lost hope and felt helpless. The moment, I felt strong within, the spirit lost its hold on me and immediately vanished. After this incident, we immediately left the house and returned to Mumbai the next morning. Sushil and his friends did not stay there after coming back to Pune and rented a flat in the heart of the city where we enjoyed many a memorable vacations in the following years.