Three years flew away, now it was again the time for transfer. This time posting for Shirin’s husband was in Udaipur. Shirin was happy as they were shifting to a tourist place. As the official township was far from city, they started searching a house in the city. Out of the best five searched, they liked a twin duplex, located in Hiranmagri, the most. This was like a dream house, with a small but nice garden with lots of mango trees and an orchid at the backyard. The interiors were good.The adjoining duplex was vacant. It was simply love at first sight.
But the people at office were suspicious as the twin duplex had been vacant since long. Later they came up with the fact that in the adjoining house a lady had committed suicide and people could see or hear her in that house often, so out of fear no one had occupied this house .
Shirin was a strong and brave lady and she never believed in all this ghost tales. She firmly said that they will occupy the house as that house was not haunted. Her husband agreed with her.
The first week, Shirin was very busy shifting, settling and arranging the house. The kids got busy with their new school and her husband with his new office. Shirin got friendly with some of her neighbours, they all told her about Sapna, the lady who had hanged herself in her adjoining duplex, a very pretty and good lady, her husband went on official tour, came back and saw her hanging from ceiling fan. They were a happy couple. She left a note that no one was to be blamed. A mystery unsolved…
Next week, bit relaxed, Shirin sat down with her cup of coffee, in the swing of her portico. Out of curiosity, she peeped to look at the other house and found a big lock at the door.
The breeze gave her the excitement to think about her shopping list and the places she can visit, in this beautiful city. Checking out the list mentally, she went to the kitchen to keep the coffee mug. There she could hear the mixie running and could hear the voices of utensils as if someone was preparing dinner in the next kitchen.
The kids and her husband came back, but she didn’t tell anyone, as she wanted enough proof before disclosing.
Morning she could hear the same voices again. It was a new experience for her, but as she was a daring lady, while preparing lunch, she tapped the kitchen wall and asked,” Friend, what are you cooking?”
Suddenly all the voices ceased. After few minutes Shirin tapped again and said,”See, I am making Rajma Chawal today, what’s your menu?”
And Shirin could smell Dal, Chawal and Alu Gobhi ki sabji. “Oh yes, I can smell them all, but why don’t you talk with me?”
And the first time, Shirin could hear,”Are you not scared of me?”
“No Sapna, I am not, because I know you can’t harm anyone. Will you be my friend?”
No reply came but Shirin got a friend. She didn’t tell her husband about Sapna as he will be worried.
Sapna knew everything, ask her about the best shopping destination, best school, best locality nearby, not only that, Sapna was a good cook, good singer and Phd in Geophysics.
Shirin started sharing with her, all her fantasies, problems, views, fears, expectations, dreams…and what not, knowing very well that Sapna was a ghost.
The chemistry between them was so strong that an intelligent lady like Shirin, started believing her as real. Sapna also shared with her many things except the fact, why she committed suicide.
One lazy afternoon, the landlord of the house rang the doorbell. Shirin somehow never liked that cunning faced, mean looking fellow, but she went to open the door out of courtesy. As she was about to open door, she heard Sapna’s firm voice,”Don’t open the door.”
“Never open the door for him, when you are alone, tell your husband to tell the landlord very firmly, only to come, in his presence.”
Surprised, Sirin didn’t open the door, but her intelligent mind started joining the clues and she came to the conclusion that the landlord had something to do with Sapna’s suicide. “Sapna, tell me, please tell me the truth, is this man, responsible for your death? I need to know. I can put him behind bars. Please, if you really consider me as your friend, tell me.”
Shirin was shocked to know that she was correct. She charged Sapna,” You were a highly educated lady, you could had dragged him to court, could had put him behind bars, leave all this, you could had shouted, screamed and could had gathered the crowd, you are not that weak, you could had hurt that man, why Sapna, why you had to kill yourself ?”
“I was not that strong as you, I got scared, I didn’t tell my husband also, I didn’t want our families to suffer humiliation because of me,” sobbed Sapna.
Shirin’s husband was stunned to hear all this, but he promised to help her, as he had strong political contacts. With help of Sapna, all his illegal activities and the list of females harassed by him was made and the landlord was behind bars within four months. Need not to say Sapna’s name was not there in the list.
Shirin took another firm decision that she will perform ‘shanti puja’ for Sapna, so that her wandering soul can rest in peace.
Sapna told that she can never hear her if the puja is done. Shirin decided to be a true friend and let Sapna’s soul rest in peace.
The day of puja all the neighbours gather, Shirin stole some time to get in and talk with her friend for the last time. They both wept together for the last time, Shirin wished her a new birth.
Next day morning, the deep silence from the adjoining duplex, made Shirin very sad, but she was happy that her friend was no more a bewildered spirit. Shirin started a campaign where the girls were taught to be self protective and self defensive.
Six months later, Shirin’s husband was shifted to Madhya pradesh. Shirin carried with her, her friend forever, in her memories. Good friends are like stars…you don’t see them but you know they are always there…
Do you believe in ghosts or wandering souls? If yes, this story is for you and if no, then also this story is for you, as it is a real story. Quest for emancipation, quest to unshackle is such a topic which has no end…