aaji - my grandmother

by suyash bhardwaj

CHAPTER - 2

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, tomorrow is today’s dream”

Khalil Gibran

As per the Oxford word reference, dreams are characterized as a progression of considerations, pictures, and sensations happening in an individual's brain. They are a standout amongst the most discussed themes in mainstream researchers yet at the same time, there is no authoritative response as to why we dream. There are various understandings and clarifications given by numerous researchers, philosophical men, and religious gurus. Most of the capacities performed by our body have a reason so what reason do dreams satisfy. Sigmund Freud explained dreams as manifestations of one’s deepest desires and are a source of inspiration. It is critical how suppressed thoughts, random pictures, and discernable sensations make a different universe where our unfulfilled wants can physically show themselves, run wild over the manufactured scene and achieve such feats that appear to be impossible in reality. Dreams resemble a labyrinth. You remain sufficiently long enough to move out of it right on time or else you are lost in it forever. It is where individual constructs their fantasies, physically manifest them and carry on with a satisfying life or else become mixed up in it and eventually die an ordinary death. Dreams give you a deceptive intensity of control however the fact of the matter is there is none.

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl in a small village. There were enormous cotton fields and cotton production was the major occupation of the villagers. She was the little girl of a middle-class farmer in her village. She had restricted opportunity as she was born in an orthodox family. Her routine was typical for a 15-year-old young village girl. She woke up early, helped her father with organizing his farming tools and apparatus required, helped her mother with household chores, go to school and plays with her friends, returns home to assist her mother with her tasks, tuned in to the radio and go back to sleep. There was nothing out of ordinary in her life barring the ghost house. Her primary school was within walking distance from her home. She had to walk alongside the river to reach the bridge which meets an adjoining road. She walks along the road passing the village temple, shopping center, residential houses and open lands used as playgrounds. The street forks into two ways, one which heads back to her house and others to the highest point of a hill from where everything can be seen.

 

She always passes by a haggard and charred house which once belonged to an affluent zamindar. She generally watched the house and its poor condition with interest. The legends spinning around the house were widespread in the village. She was strictly warned by her parents to not enter the premises of that ghost house.

 

As per a legend, the zamindar had lost everything in a bet. This made him frantic. Zamindar had a wonderful spouse and a young teenage boy. After a fight with her wife, the zamindar lost his temper and stabbed her with a knife. The young boy was the witness. Having lost all his wits, the Zamindar killed his young child, buried them in the backyard, set the house ablaze and left. Since that day, it is believed that the ghost of the young child lives in the house a few professing to hear an eerie voice. Another legend speaks of his wife who had committed infidelity and their child was not their own. Zamindar confronted her wife and in rage set, the house ablaze with her wife and child bolted inside the house. Numerous legends have a different adaptation of how the Zamindar has beaten his wife, set fire to his home and left the town. The residents believed the house to be cursed. According to the locals, there were numerous episodes and sightings of a ghost. The land couldn't be reestablished. Following a couple of years, a farmer purchased the land at an extremely modest cost. He wanted to demolish the scorched house however he failed to do so. Diminished pay because of terrible yields in all his farm after purchasing that cursed land, made the farmer incapable and demolishers reluctant to enter the possessed land led the farmer to desert the property and never to return. To this day, the villagers have never entered the abandoned land of the coldblooded Zamindar.

 

To protect the locals from the malicious impact of the ghost and the cursed land, a prayer function on a full moon night in the village temple is held every year. All the children from the village were gathered to perform a ritual. The young girl never trusted the neighborhood legends and thought they were manufactured for the fun of the locals to make their own life fascinating.

 

She watched the charred house from far off. It made her inquisitive and wanted to prove that the legends spread by the locals aren't right. How much soever she wanted to debunk the legends, she was very much aware of the consequences of her activities and never set out to stage a foot inside the premises of the burned house. Her life was very stale and dull with nothing interesting to occur but she was content with it.

 

She returned to her home, finished her daily errands and rested. She neglected to turn off the radio.

 

There was a news broadcast that a comet would go by Earth in a months’ time. It was proclaimed as the most important galactic occurrence of our generation. This comet was seen 75 years back. She could have never anticipated that the return of a comet would now turn her life upside down.