Presenting the Honuman hauntings! – A series of real life supernatural experiences by Monkeys and some of their friends and relatives. In some cases, names have been changed on request. Anyone who wishes to share similar experiences is invited to send in their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish their stories.
Part I – Tea garden tales
This is a true story, of incidents experienced by Mr. Rathi (name changed) and his family at a slightly remote bungalow in a tea garden belonging to a leading tea brand of India. The dialogues and storyline have been slightly enriched for the blog.
Mr. Rathi runs his own business from Kolkata that advises manufacturing and production houses on improving production efficiency and sustainable energy consumption. His work takes him to remotes places in India and abroad. This time he had a new client at a tea plantation in Assam.
A white uniformed driver was awaiting with a gleaming white Contessa at the airport. Mr Rathi was pleasantly surprised.
“Saab – Malik ko purani chizo ka shaukh hai”, the driver smiled at him.
The car was not so old, it seemed, when he arrived at the plantation. The estate with its unit and office building was more than a century old. The driver took his luggage away to the guest house and Mr. Rathi got busy with his work. The staff was helpful and the manager personally escorted him to the guest house in the evening. It was a 15 min walk from the office. It was overcast and in the fading light, Mr. Rathi found himself staring at a forlorn looking colonial house, complete with ivy and even an empty stable!
“Sir – we have fitted air conditioners and all modern equipment, and for any other things you may need, just give a shout to Jagdish”.
Mr. Rathi bade farewell to the manager, and entered his room on the ground floor.
“What’s that smell, Jagdish?”
“Saab, purana ghar hai, aur barish bohot hoti hai yahan”
Mr. Rathi found that Jagdish was usually very quiet and doesn’t utter a word more than what was required.
“Saab, khana aat baje lagwa doon? Mein nau baje nikal jaoonga.”
Mr. Rathi was surprised – “Tum raat ko nahin rahte ho yahan pe, to fir ye bagal wali room mein kaun rahata hai?”
“Nahin Saab, mera ghar thoda dur hai, subah paNch baje chai leke a jaoonga”
Mr Rathi was too tired to ask any more questions, and retired by 9:30 PM after an early dinner. He usually sleeps tight, but he woke up with a start during the night. It was just 11:30 PM. He could hear sounds of furniture being moved in the adjacent room.
“Who came in so late?” Mr. Rathi went out to get a bottle of water from the pantry, there was no light in the other room. He trudged back with a bottle to his room and went back to sleep.
Mr. Rathi was woken up by Jagdish’s knock on the door. The clouds were gone, it was nice and sunny.
“Jagdish, kaal raat ko aur koi guest aye they kya, maine awaz suna?”
“Nahin to Saab” – Jagdish was blank.
Mr. Rathi enjoyed his morning stroll in the estate. It was beautiful and refreshing. He met Jagdish’s elder sister Mala, who was just the opposite of his brother – chirpy and always full of questions. Mr. Rathi was a bit sad to return that evening, he really liked the place. He promised to bring his wife and daughter here someday, they would love this place.
Mr. Rathi’s second visit was after a month. The monsoon was about to start, and Mr. Sinha, the manager advised him to keep all doors and windows closed.
“The forest is just beyond the boundary walls, and we even find leopards around!” – he joked.
His stay in the guest room was not so pleasant this time. He had a nasty headache and woke up several times. It was raining heavily, windows were closed, and he felt unusually claustrophobic. He was tall and well-built, had seen much of the world, he brushed his troubles aside and went back to sleep. But he could not shake off the oppressive feeling in the old damp room.
His third & final visit was after two months, and he decided to take his wife and his 5-year-old daughter Neha along. They were excited to see the old estate and the bungalow. Mala, Jagdish’s sister was thrilled to see them. Neha had never seen such old houses and kept staring at the high ceilings and tall windows all day! That evening it was raining again, and they finished off an early dinner. As Mr. Rathi closed the front door behind Jagdish and came to their room, he found Mrs. Rathi hugging Neha tightly with her eyes closed.
“What happened, are you scared?”
“No Papa, Mama is scared, I was just calling Bholu; he is there behind the window.” Bholu is their dog back in Kolkata. Mr. Rathi laughed; the window is quite high from the ground and opens up to the backyard. Neha names all dogs as Bholu and even if it was a wild dog, it cannot jump up so high. Mrs. Rathi looked up – “She saw something, and I was suddenly scared. I know she is not lying”.
“Look Papa, Bholu is there”. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rathi whipped around, but could see no one. But he was suddenly not very confident any more, he suddenly remembered that oppressive feeling last time. He called up his home immediately – Bholu was fine, but was very restless and howling incessantly. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rathi looked at Neha, she did not look scared, but had a peculiar expression on her face on why her parents were so worried. They knew she was not lying.
The night was uneventful. They came back to Kolkata the next evening. Before leaving, he narrated the incident to Mr. Sinha, the manager. Strangely, he smiled and said “It’s an old house Mr. Rathi, just don’t open the windows at night and sleep tight, you will be fine. We had heard similar stories and sounds before, but no one was harmed.”
Neha had recently started to record her voice on the tablet they have. Mrs. Rathi plays them back and enjoys her babblings. She was startled to hear this though – “Mala behen said, Jaggu bhaiya had a dog. His name was Kaalu. He was eaten by a leopard 3 years back. Jaggu bhaiya had been very sad since then. But I saw Kaalu outside the window. He was looking for Jaggu bhaiya”.
Mr. Rathi had completed his work and did not have to go back, but he called up Mr. Sinha after a month and enquired about whether all was well. He mentioned about this incident too. Mr. Sinha was quiet for some time.
“I have spent 40 years in this estate Sir, it is a nice place. Jagdish did have a dog and a leopard killed it. Sometimes, even my 5-year-old grandson says that he had seen Kaalu. But Jagdish has left to join the army, I don’t think we will see Kaalu any more”.