Known to be as a melancholy soul with a reckless mind, Zain the youngest child of his parents a resident of Mumbai. A handsome looking boy of twenty-five, yet to be Betrothed would cross the Doongerwadi Tower of Silence at Malabar Hill each day to reach his workplace. Heavily scented and formally dressed with a bag in one hand and a foot that would be busy hitting a stone all his way to the office. The routine wouldn’t change with the weather, just that an umbrella to protect him from the sun would be replaced with a raincoat during monsoons.
It was the 6th of July 1963, when Zain was walking to work as usual; when he desperately wanted to take a leak. He looked around at both sides and hopped onto the pavement, close to the gate of Doongerwadi Tower of Silence to take a quick leak. An old tree stood next to the gate, which seemed like a perfect place to release the bladder. While he unzipped his pants, a sudden wind blew out of nowhere. Zain barely cared about the wind or the sun, however; there were some energies around, that made him uncomfortable. He quickly zipped himself up and left the place.
The next day, while on his way to work he was crossing the gate of the Tower of Silence once again when he thought he wanted to piss at the same place once again. He hopped onto the pavement and approached the tree. While he unzipped to relieve himself this time, it was a force that made it difficult for him to stand and pee. His subconscious mind started hearing voices that warned him to do what he was doing. Zain could hear the voices clearly, however, there was no one around him he could see. He looked all around once again, the place looked peaceful to him, neither was it haunted nor spooky. I guess am hallucinating, he thought to himself and left the place at once.
At work that day he decided to mention the episode to Ramakant his colleague. While narrating the episode to Ramakant, he did reiterate to him a number of times, that he didn’t believe in ghost stories or ghosts, and that paranormal activity was a myth and had no relevance to life and reality. Ramakant gave Zain cautionary advice to either change the route to the office or to stop halting near the Tower of Silence. Zain paid no heed to the advice he got from Ramakant, so took the same route to work the next day again.
It was pouring cats and dogs in Mumbai already that morning when Zain was crossing the same place once again. He wasn’t willing to give up the thought of halting near the tree that day either. Suddenly Zain felt a gush of wind that made him shake violently. A minute or two later and everything around him was still and calm. Without a word or another thought; he walked back to work, however, Zain wasn’t Zain anymore from that moment.
That evening at the dinner table, he was served the mutton curry with rice for dinner by his mother. He lowered his brows and with flared nostrils, he pushed the plate aside on the table and refused to eat the food stating he was a pure vegetarian and thinks it’s disrespectful to serve him non-vegetarian food for a meal. The family was shocked to see Zains reaction to the food served. This sort of behavior from Zain was unheard of. The mother was a bit bothered that night, however; she ignored Zains actions, declaring them as office pressures. However, when the family witnessed the same behavior once again the next day, it was time to visit the local priest for his advice.
Razia who was in her late fifty’s now was getting ready to visit the priest the next morning on insistence from her own mother in law. Zain wasn’t Razia’s only child, however being the youngest, he definitely had a bigger share of her love at home.
An inner voice prompted Zain to stop Razia from stepping out of the home. Stop her Zain, else the repercussions won’t be good. It kept hammering his head till he confronted Razia and asked her where she was off too.
“You need not visit the priest Ammi,” an exasperated Zain told his mother in a voice she hadn’t heard before.
“Zain, what’s wrong with your voice?” A startled Razia asked
He rushed back inside the house without uttering another word, when the very next moment there was a loud thud. Razia fell down from the staircase and screamed for help. A sadistic smile crossed Zain’s face as soon as he saw Razia crying with pain at the bottom of the stairs.
Days passed and Zain's behavior was becoming a concern not only for his family but his distant relatives who had heard of all the rumors.
Seemed like a disembodied spirit inside Zain which had trapped him in his own body. But why? none had an answer to this question at home. Why Zain only?, his mother Razia would keep asking herself while performing Dhikr aloud along with a string of prayer beads; the tasbih in her right hand. She was inconsolable seeing her son Zain not adhering to his basic religious practices and behaving in a manner he never had. To comprehend Zain’s behaviour for the whole family was inconceivable. That’s when the whole family learnt about the incidents near the Tower of Silence from Ramakant. They were shocked to know that Zain was impetuous in his behaviour and had awakened a spirit in the tree or the place, nearby by his actions.
There was no way out, except to pray and pray hard for Zain. The whole family would assemble each day to be with Razia and to pray for Zain. Zain would sit in the other room and would bawl with anxiety and irritation. He hated the sounds of the chants they all did in unison. He would pace his room vociferously each night. He would scream at Razia for her pleadings to leave Zain. The inner voice would revert back saying that he was there to take Zain forever as he had disrespected his very being and committed a heinous and utterly odious act by urinating near the tree again and again after several warnings that were thrown at him.
It was a treacherous and unpredictable situation for the family now.
Razia was not willing to give up either, she would look up at him and would keep pleading. However everything fell to deaf ears, finally, the day had arrived when Zain was to be completely taken under control of the spirit and away from his parents. The family was praying the whole night and the whole day when Razia lost her consciousness to her son's fate.
After a couple of hours when she woke up, she saw an insensate Zain lying next to her. She was overwhelmed to see Zain and felt she was defeated, that’s when Zains father said that the spirit had exited Zains body with a warning that he shouldn’t do what he had done, and just because he did not want a mother to suffer because of her son's misdeeds.
Razia couldn’t believe what she had heard. Zain was still unconscious and the doctor had visited too, who confirmed all was well and that he would soon gain consciousness.
A lesson learnt the very hard way for Zain, however for the family it was a son that they had already lost, was with them once again.