Haunting at the ATM
Haunting at the ATM
I am sure all of you have heard stories of places which are supposed to be haunted or cursed in different parts of the world. In fact, since our childhood we have been told countless stories of such kind of places where the restless spirits of the dead roam the area and try to look for an unwary victim or prey. Moreover, most of these stories have come down to us from generations by way of mouth from one era to another. Gradually these stories have taken on the form of legends. However, for skeptics, these stories and legends are nothing but just a psychological tool to intimidate and submit wild and naughty children. This may be true to some extent, but the crux of the matter still remains that there still way too many of these stories and legends that cannot be just overlooked and ignored. For instance, places like the Route666 in US, or THE Skin Walker Ranch, The Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana, the Castles of yesteryears in England, Ireland and Wales, etc. have too many stories to tell. Similarly, in our country also, there are places like Bhangarh in Rajasthan, Aleya Lights in West Bengal, The Tower Of Silence in Mumbai, and to top it all; the haunted locations in the National Capital Delhi. Places like Sanjay Van, Lutyens Cemetery, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Khooni Nala etc. have all added to the myth and lore of the places mentioned. This does not stop here, there are far more places that have certain eeriness attached to them that you feel like someone or something is watching you.
Furthermore, you cannot explain the numerous encounters, experiences that people have had in such places over the years. Take for example; there is this particular paranormal legend that has been quiet famous in the heart of Delhi. There is this house in a certain part of posh locality in Delhi which is supposed to be haunted for many years. It is said that an old couple were murdered here and since then nobody has lived there. Moreover, it is also said that you can hear strange noises coming from the house as you walk past it, or the lights of the house which have been turned off for so many years, suddenly light up by themselves. This gives the feeling that someone is still staying in the house, but when it was decided to investigate further, it was found that the house had lain unoccupied for quite some time. This then raised some serious apprehensions and doubts over the residents of that locality as to who might have done this? Or, was it that someone was being mischievous? The police also got involved but to no avail. Since there was no logical explanation for this phenomenon, so people starting believing in the supernatural. Similarly, there are many more of such kinds of instances all across the country and the world where people could not come up with any kind of logical or natural explanation. Therefore, as our elders have said that everything cannot be explained or identified in scientific and logical thought process; and there are certain things which are better to be left alone.
The following story I am going to tell you is first-hand experience of an individual who never believed in anything such as Supernatural or Paranormal. But this one incident changed his life forever and made him a true believer in the Occult and Paranormal world that exists beyond out peripheral vision.
Rakesh Pratap Singh was a retired Brigadier from the Indian army. After retirement, he and his wife Sumitra had moved in to their huge flat in a posh colony in Faridabad, Haryana. Rakesh was a robust, tall man, who still maintained his attitude and countenance according to army standards. Both of his sons Rohit and Ayush, and daughter Shreya, were married and settled abroad. On the other hand, his wife Sumitra, was an ex scholar and professor of Hindu metaphysical teachings at the Delhi University. She, unlike her husband, was both modern and held deeply conservative religious beliefs. When people asked her that how come she managed to be both at once. She just laughed and replied “I manage to balance both of these characteristics”. Everything was going fine for the Singhs’ and they had quiet good relations with their neighbours. So there was hardly an occasion when the Singh household was devoid of any guests; whether it was ex-army friends coming to pay a social call, or the friendly neighbours paying a visit.
One day, it so happened during a social call by some of Rakesh’s ex-army friends, when Ramu, the house servant was asked to bring some supplies from the market in late hours of the evening. Rakesh was having a drink with his friends when he realized that Ramu was way past late in returning back. He then went to check with Sumitra, who was engaged in a lively conversation with all the wives of Rakesh’s friends. Rakesh gently interrupted them and asked Sumitra “have you seen the time, Ramu abhi tak nahi aaya?”, “Kahan reh gaya hai woh?” Sumitra, understanding the consternation and concern on her husband’s face, asked him to be patient and she will call Ramu. As she was about to call him there was a loud ring at the doorbell and when Rakesh went up to answer it, he saw Ramu panting and perspiring, and was in a terrible state. Rakesh was about to ask him that “kahan reh gaya tha, aur itni der kyun kar di?” when Sumitra, stopped him in mid and asked Ramu to go to the kitchen and have a glass of cold water. After some time when it was dinner time Rakesh went into the kitchen to find Sumitra calmly listening to Ramu and quietly patting his back. Rakesh obviously was irritated by this and said “khana laga de agar gupshup ho gayi ho toh”. Ramu just looked at him and went about his work quietly, while Sumitra took Rakesh to a side and said “why are you so insensitive?”, “can’t you see, he is in a mess?” When Rakesh asked what the matter was, it was then Sumitra told him that Ramu had a terrible encounter while returning back. Rakesh was naturally inquisitive and asked “what happened?”, and then Sumitra told him Ramu’s paranormal encounter. After hearing the whole incident that how Ramu had encountered a spirit and how he had managed to escape from its clutches; was the time when he burst out laughing loudly. When some of his friends asked him for the reason for his laughter Rakesh said still laughing that “hamare Ramuji ko bhoot ne pakad liya tha”. With that most of his friends started laughing with him and made fun of Ramu. But there were some of his friends who said that whatever Ramu was saying might be true, and therefore he should not be ridiculed and laughed at. Sumitra, who was also in the room exactly had the same thing to say but Rakesh was in a laughing mood and drunk so he made a pathetic attempt to apologize to Ramu. Ramu, on the other hand just said “Sahaabji, abhi to hasi aa rahi hai aapko, par mera vishwas kijiye bhoot hote hain aur maine dekha hai” With that he quietly retreats from the room.
When all the guests had gone for the day and it was bed-time for Rakesh, he again quips at Ramu’s tale of the ghost and laughs inconsolably. Sumitra just looks at him and says in a calm tone that “it is okay that you don’t believe in such things, but don’t belittle anyone’s belief or persona in front of so many people” Rakesh keeps quiet after this subtle admonishment from his wife and goes to sleep.
The next few days pass uneventfully for the Singh family and everything is just fine for Rakesh. That is he goes out for a morning jog with his dog, comes back and has his breakfast and resumes the normal routine of every day. In the meanwhile, Ramu is too much affected by this incident that he expresses desire to go back to his village where he will consult with the village priest. At first Rakesh is adamant that Ramu cannot go but after much cajoling done by Sumitra on Ramu’s behalf, he finally reluctantly agrees. It so happened that Rakesh had to go the market all by himself one evening. So he thought of going to the nearby ATM also to take out some cash.
Now the ATM was situated near a lonely stretch of road, though there were vehicles and people passing by occasionally. The area on which the ATM was built was also dimly lit and there was a slight drizzle also. Rakesh was cursing himself and Ramu and walking on when he entered a small park in front of the ATM. The park was in disuse and there litters of garbage thrown here and there.
Now as he was walking through the park, he suddenly sees an old man sitting quietly with his head down on one of the benches there. Naturally Rakesh was curious as to why this gentleman was sitting here at this time of the evening and in the drizzle. So he went to the old gentleman and asked him “bhaisaab, kya hua?”, “aap aise kaise baithe ho bearish mei aur andhere mei?” The old man looked up at him and due to the poor lighting condition Rakesh could not properly discern his features. The old man replied “saahab, mere paise khatam ho gaye hai aur mujhe aaj ghar pep aise dene hain apne bete ko”. He further says that “mujhe samajh nahi aa raha ki main kya karoon, isliye main yahaan baitha tha”. On hearing this, Rakesh feels pity and sympathetic towards the old man and offers him some money. But the old man politely refuses. Then Rakesh gets a call from Sumitra asking him how long will he take. Rakesh suddenly realizes that he had to take out some cash and still decides to help this man. So he goes inside the ATM and takes out some extra cash. While in the ATM, the guard asks him “Sir Aap bearish mei kyun bheeg rahe the bench ke paas?” Rakesh says that he was talking to this old man sitting on the bench. When the guard asks what gentleman, as he could not see anyone while Rakesh was standing there near the bench. Rakesh gets irritated and says “ kya baat kar rahe ho, main abhi ek buddhe aadmi ke saath khara hoke baat kar raha tha”, “ aur tum yahan pe aaram se baithe the, tumne usko andar kyun nahi bulaya?” The guard again answers that there was no one there. Surprised Rakesh turns around and indeed, there was no one there. Still he fumes inside and walks off from the ATM.
While he crosses through the park on his way back, he once again looks around but there is no one there. So he keeps walking in the rain and musing over the whole incident. As a last glance, he again looks back, and this time he again sees the old man sitting at the same bench. Now Rakesh is surprised that where did he go earlier and how could he come back again at the same spot. Pondering over these questions, he is walking towards his home when he hears someone calling behind him “sahaab”, “saahab”, when he turns around, he can’t see anyone but his glance falls on the ground where his wallet was lying. Then he remembers that while talking to the guard he had forgotten to pick up his wallet from the side tool in the ATM.
Anyways, he thinks of returning the next morning and giving a note of heartfelt gratitude to the guard. Still, the two incidents keep troubling him throughout the time he is walking and also when he reaches home. Sumitra on opening the door notices a troubled expression on Rakesh’s face. When she asks him “what is the matter?” He just brushes her off and asks for dinner as he is famished. The experience still continues to trouble throughout the night.
The next day Rakesh again goes to the ATM and this time he sees a different guard at the ATM. When he asks “ki kal jo guard tha, uska kya naam hai?” The guard gives him a quizzical look and says that “sir, kal to main hi tha aur mera naam Tej Singh hai” Rakesh is now confused and says that there was a different guard at around 8:30 p.m. last evening and recounts the whole incident to him. How he met an old man sitting on the bench and how the guard reacted to the incident when Rakesh told him about the old man in the evening. Tej Singh again is surprised and then says that “ Sir raat ko main hi hota hoon, aur maim ATM ke peeche rehta hoon, kal main thodi der ke liye room pe gaya tha”. Tej Singh further says that I did not see you or anyone else yesterday evening. Rakesh now is totally confused and surprised. He then gives the descriptions of the old man and the guard. Though he adds that he could not clearly see the old man’s face. The guard on hearing this gives a serious expression and one of fear. He starts chanting a mantra. Rakesh gets again pissed off at this attitude and asks him “kya hua?, aise kyun kar rahe ho?” The guard then in a solemn tone says that “Sir aapki kismet achchi thi ki aap bach gaye” When Rakesh asks why are saying this. Tej Singh then recounts the tale that took place months ago. He says that the previous guard was named Pawan, and the old man that Rakesh saw was Suresh ji. Tej Singh then says that Suresh ji had come one day to the ATM and had taken an enormous amount of cash. Seeing this Pawan had mischief in his eyes and he had stalked and hassled Suresh ji for the money. When Suresh ji tried to resist and yelled for help, Pawan had stabbed him and killed him. It was while trying to escape from the police that Pawan was also shot dead.
Now Rakesh is truly bamboozled as Tej Singh also grimly says that since that day, it has been believed that the restless spirits of Suresh ji and Pawan roam the area and accost any unwary person. It is very rarely that people have escaped from this encounter and now the authorities are planning to shift this ATM and do some religious rites to cleanse the place. On hearing this Rakesh was completely dumbstruck and he quietly returns home. When Sumitra asks him again “that why are you so flummoxed and dumbfounded so early in the morning?” Rakesh just looks at her and recounts the whole incident of last evening. Sumitra at first gets scared, but then says “that now do you realize that you should not have made fun of Ramu? and also such things do exist” She further says “ thankfully you escaped unscathed as I too have heard of such encounters pertaining to that ATM”. Rakesh now in a much sombre mood apologises and asks Ramu to be called back. When Ramu returns, Rakesh gives him a hug and apologizes profusely to him. When Ramu asks for this sudden transformation; then Rakesh again recounts the whole episode to him and at last says “that from on I will not disbelieve you ever again and I will have a healthy respect for such things.” Since that Rakesh has become a staunch believer in the supernatural and other worldly phenomenon.
P.S.:- I came to know about this when I was researching for my paranormal/supernatural stories. It was then someone told me to contact him.
Though for reasons of security, I have changed the names of the people and places.