Bangkok Yatra 5

                                         Ghost Buster

Have you every seen a ghost? I hadn’t seen one but my friends had and they believed in them wholeheartedly. In Thailand ghosts are a living entity for Thais and I nearly came face to face with one. It was a spooky experience and being pragmatic and a non-believer of such extraterrestrial entities I think the ghost shied away from me!

One such ghost lived on the fourth floor of the dormitory on the new campus of the university or so reported the students who said that they had actually ‘seen’ her!  This was a female ghost or so it was emphasized by the students. It was also reported  by some students by way of an article in the campus newspaper of which I was a co-editor. So this had to be a real story-a real living ghost ! Hmm…

By nature I am not given in to being frightened by aliens who may or may not exist. But this one it seems had to come into my life or so it was ordained (excuse the lofty perception). Having come across stories of Wats or Thai Buddhist temples with crematoriums and electrical furnaces and whispered comments about ghosts abiding in them, I decided to visit one when an occasion presented itself. I visited one such temple on the demise of a colleague. Undoubtedly it was a strange experience because here dead bodies are kept for a long time. The formal wake period is seven days but at times, like the present one, the body was kept for several months. The body was in state because the deceased, a colleague, was given a Royal cremation.

At another colleague’s mother’s funeral food and drink were served to visitors on arrival and then we had to kneel before the body and pay our respects. We also contributed money towards the funeral as it was expected and all these customs being different from those back at home I was a bit in deep waters, so to say but I sailed along with the flow of things (cliche intended).

To come back to the dormitory ghost, if we could use the nomenclature, the story went something like this… Being a remote campus the dormitory ended at the wall of the campus and there were only fields beyond as far as the eye could see. One day after the brouhaha regarding the ghost sighting had died down and when we had almost forgotten about it, we went to spend a night at the dormitory since a generous colleague lent us her room for a night to become more familiar with the new campus.(Since we stayed near the old campus).

The night was quiet and calm and after a frugal dinner when we had actually called it a night (Excuse the cliche!) we retired to her spacious apartment with a large terrace. No sound came from any corner of the building and the sprawling campus lay peaceful and quiet beyond the building. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but as is common on such occasions it was hard to sleep in a new place. I turned and tossed for some time and when sleep eluded me finally I decided to get out of bed and get a bit of fresh air.

The large terrace was inviting and I stood outside breathing in the heavy air to relive the tedium. Suddenly I realized that it was sepulcher quiet and being a literary fan of Shakespeare I was aware that the bewitching midnight hour had struck. Ah! That magical hour and suddenly the tinkle of anklets sounded from somewhere high up in the building. Being strong of heart unlike most people I decided to investigate the fourth floor of the building.

The giant lift in the building at the end of the corridor was empty.  I whooshed up to the fourth floor expecting the ghost to be… well what was I to expect?! The corridor was empty, completely empty and the dim night lights cast eerie shadows. I hardly noticed anything for I was intent upon the rumored ghost. Again, a faint sound of anklets tinkling like coins on a rough floor and the sound melted away as suddenly as it had come. Where had it come from? It had come from down the corridor. I braved the unknown and began walking. Courage - I said, though a faintly dissenting voice said-No, No, No. What are you doing? Dauntless, I continued on my journey and as I turned the corner in the corridor a door opened and the sound of anklets vanished behind it. Oh! It must have been a student returning late from outside and given to wearing fancy beads and tinkling bracelets! I salvaged whatever self respect I could and went back to  my room. Damp squib.

Never again did I look for a ghost or talk about it though others did and I sighed when they told me stories about it. There is something about a moonlit deserted campus at midnight which is hard to understand and now I normally avoid it.

                                     Bangkok Yatra 5

                                         Ghost Buster

Have you every seen a ghost? I hadn’t seen one but my friends had and they believed in them wholeheartedly. In Thailand ghosts are a living entity for Thais and I nearly came face to face with one. It was a spooky experience and being pragmatic and a non-believer of such extraterrestrial entities I think the ghost shied away from me!

One such ghost lived on the fourth floor of the dormitory on the new campus of the university or so reported the students who said that they had actually ‘seen’ her!  This was a female ghost or so it was emphasized by the students. It was also reported  by some students by way of an article in the campus newspaper of which I was a co-editor. So this had to be a real story-a real living ghost ! Hmm…

By nature I am not given in to being frightened by aliens who may or may not exist. But this one it seems had to come into my life or so it was ordained (excuse the lofty perception). Having come across stories of Wats or Thai Buddhist temples with crematoriums and electrical furnaces and whispered comments about ghosts abiding in them, I decided to visit one when an occasion presented itself. I visited one such temple on the demise of a colleague. Undoubtedly it was a strange experience because here dead bodies are kept for a long time. The formal wake period is seven days but at times, like the present one, the body was kept for several months. The body was in state because the deceased, a colleague, was given a Royal cremation.

At another colleague’s mother’s funeral food and drink were served to visitors on arrival and then we had to kneel before the body and pay our respects. We also contributed money towards the funeral as it was expected and all these customs being different from those back at home I was a bit in deep waters, so to say but I sailed along with the flow of things (cliche intended).

To come back to the dormitory ghost, if we could use the nomenclature, the story went something like this… Being a remote campus the dormitory ended at the wall of the campus and there were only fields beyond as far as the eye could see. One day after the brouhaha regarding the ghost sighting had died down and when we had almost forgotten about it, we went to spend a night at the dormitory since a generous colleague lent us her room for a night to become more familiar with the new campus.(Since we stayed near the old campus).

The night was quiet and calm and after a frugal dinner when we had actually called it a night (Excuse the cliche!) we retired to her spacious apartment with a large terrace. No sound came from any corner of the building and the sprawling campus lay peaceful and quiet beyond the building. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but as is common on such occasions it was hard to sleep in a new place. I turned and tossed for some time and when sleep eluded me finally I decided to get out of bed and get a bit of fresh air.

The large terrace was inviting and I stood outside breathing in the heavy air to relive the tedium. Suddenly I realized that it was sepulcher quiet and being a literary fan of Shakespeare I was aware that the bewitching midnight hour had struck. Ah! That magical hour and suddenly the tinkle of anklets sounded from somewhere high up in the building. Being strong of heart unlike most people I decided to investigate the fourth floor of the building.

The giant lift in the building at the end of the corridor was empty.  I whooshed up to the fourth floor expecting the ghost to be… well what was I to expect?! The corridor was empty, completely empty and the dim night lights cast eerie shadows. I hardly noticed anything for I was intent upon the rumored ghost. Again, a faint sound of anklets tinkling like coins on a rough floor and the sound melted away as suddenly as it had come. Where had it come from? It had come from down the corridor. I braved the unknown and began walking. Courage - I said, though a faintly dissenting voice said-No, No, No. What are you doing? Dauntless, I continued on my journey and as I turned the corner in the corridor a door opened and the sound of anklets vanished behind it. Oh! It must have been a student returning late from outside and given to wearing fancy beads and tinkling bracelets! I salvaged whatever self respect I could and went back to  my room. Damp squib.

Never again did I look for a ghost or talk about it though others did and I sighed when they told me stories about it. There is something about a moonlit deserted campus at midnight which is hard to understand and now I normally avoid it.