Author’s Note: Being born and brought up in a household that acknowledges, and to a certain degree respects the existence of an almighty benevolent being, one would expect me to hold to the same. I am sorry to say that it has been years since any such blind belief has bled out of me. I do not make claims disavowing that which i cannot prove or condemn. I simply choose not to let it influence the life I lead.
Yet, what i cannot deny is: There are times when life throws things at you that the rational mind simply cannot explain or comprehend. Here is something that was passed down to me by my parents, whose account i would doubt under no circumstances. It is up to the reader to make what he/she will of it.
I was born and till the age of four, brought up in a colliery belt called Bhanora, some miles from the Asansol Township. For those who do not know, a mining belt can be a bleak and deserted seeming place at the best of times. Imagine a quarter that stands in front of an empty nothingness streatching as far as the naked eye can see. A road that claims connectivity to civilization, a sparse spattering of a few more residences behind us, and worst of all, monsterous dumps of coal anywhere you care to look. NOT a very jolly place to be. Mind you, i do not paint this picture from the distorted memories of a child. I have visited Bhanora a couple of times in my adulthood and the dreariness of the place has never failed to impress me. To the best of my knowledge, the abandoned buildings still stand, grinning their brick-toothed grins and displaying their vandalised innards to any unfortunate passer-by.
At the age of three, I used to call one of these (then not-so-vandalised) quarters ‘Home’. It was a summer night, my father tells me, when the incident occured. The building was two storied, with the first floor residents then gone for a vacation. That made us the only living people in the building. My parents and i used to share the same bed, with me hogging the windowside.
My parents tell me that there had seemed nothing unusual until I’d shot up in bed sometime past midnight, with my eyes closed shut (apparently still asleep) and started shouting: ” Jol Felo Na! Jol Felo Na!”(it translates as: do not drop/spill the water!) They say I shouted the same thing over and over for six to eight times and then suddenly fell quiet. There was a few moments of silence, which was suddenly broken by the unmistakable sound of a large amount of water splasing outside our window. It was as if someone had upended a whole bucket of water from the roof. I slept through it all as if nothing had happened. My parents knew that the access to the roof was locked. Thoroughly spooked and fearing some intruder, they deterred investigation till morn.
At first light,neighbours were called and the roof thoroughly investigated. No trace of any person being present was found. As for the water, no container (bucket or otherwise) that would allow a person to hold such a large amount of water was found on the roof as well. There was no doubt that water had been dropped, however. The ground outside our window was still quite damp. I, though, have no memory of the incident and what i have mentioned here, is straight from the account my parents have narrated to me, strictly shunning any embellishments.
Till date, we never found out who had upended the water or how i had come to know that any such thing would happen even before its occurence and even more surprisingly, while sleeping.
The telling is done, what you make of it is up to you.