Saturday, February 29, 2020

Real Ghost and Paranormal Stories from India - Shalu Sharma

Book was read between January 2nd 2020 and January 9th 2020

Edition Details:
Format: E-book
Page Count: 58
ASIN: B00K6JCLXY



Real Ghost and Paranormal Stories from India - Shalu Sharma
Real Ghost and Paranormal Stories from India - Shalu Sharma

Real Ghost and Paranormal Stories from India is a collection of 7 tales by Shalu Sharma. According to the author these stories have been told to her by people whom she knows and hence are truth as far as she is concerned.

The book starts with an introduction in which Shalu describes different forms of supernatural enitites that are supposed to occur in India. She gives you brief descriptions about Bhoot, Pretni, Churail, Dayan, Shakini, Rakshasa, Mohini, Preta and Jin or Genie. She describes what they are and how they are different from each other. This was an interesting read for me. I knew of most of the terms but i didn't knew the difference between Pretni,Churail,Dayan and Mohini. It was fun to learn the difference.

One thing i want to make clear is that these are not horror stories. There are stories with elements of supernatural in them. Most of these are anecdotes and are told in such a way. They had potential to be developed into a scary tale but then it would have required some kind of creative liberty which the author has not taken. She has told them in the same way as she heard them. i also know that while experiencing them could have been horrific but reading them doesn't feels so. So if you are reading this collection you should not go with that kind of expectation.

The stories collected in this collection are:


My Grandfather and the Churail
First Sentence:
Every family has their secrets adn stories; these are the stories handed down from generation to generation.

Jamalpur was a small sleepy railway village where nothing of consequence ever occurs. In the village lived a couple that was very happy nowadays.  And why wouldn't they have been? They were going to be parents for the first time. But then something bad started happening. The man's health started deteriorating. And the woman was sure something supernatural was behind all of this.

Was the woman right?
What was happening to the man?

This is story is about the time when a churail came in to narrator's great-grandparents life. I liked the premise of the story and the place it was set. A sleepy little village and new parents facing a supernatural entity is all what needs for a thrilling story but alas the author failed to utilise it to its full extent. She was not able to bring forth the menace of the supernatural being and the conflict between it and humans gets resolved too easily which in turn reduces the impact that could have been on the user if the story was properly executed.

My Out of body Experience
First Sentence:
I have a secret about an ability that i had when i was a child.

My out of body experience as the title suggests is about astral projection. Some people say that they have an ability to separate their souls from their physical body. This soul is then capable of travelling anywhere in a very short span of time. The narrator says that in childhood she had such an ability and then she describes what she used to do with it.

I have heard about people claiming to have such an ability and have often wondered how would i have used it if i was born with such a thing. I'll just say i would have had so much fun. I love travelling and it would have been an cheap and easy way to travel. I would have gone to distant locations and then written stories about them or would have gone where some criminals were hiding and would have learned about what they were planning. I know i would have been a lot more nosier than i'm right now. As far as this piece is concerned. It's decent. It's written in first person so i think here author has been speaking about herself. if she had such an ability and she lost it then i think it was an irreparable loss. I feel sad for her.

The Haunting in the Mirror
First Sentence:
Houses can be haunted, places can be haunted and even objects can be haunted but i am here to tell you today that people can be haunted too.

The author had a friend who didn't have any mirror in the house. She claimed that she had very genuine reason for not having mirrors. She said she was haunted.
Why did author's friend think she was haunted? 
What was about the mirror that frightened her enough to remove them from her house?

I liked the premise of the story. It was a decent read. Most of the story occurs in a farm and author had an opportunity to paint an eerie picture of it. But she just tells it and not shows it. The story could have been executed in a better way which would have had more impact.


Death Pact with the God
First Sentence:
If you ever asked me if i believed in God?

Do you believe in God? You may or may not but i don't. But such is not the case with the author. She believes in God  and she has her own reason to do it. She does it because of a very sick child and his loving grand parent.

Now you may think what is the relation between these two things. For that you'll have to read the story.

This is pretty straight forward story which gives itself away with it's title. The author says that she believes in God because she knows a person whose father had made a pact with him and God had kept his end of bargain.

I was reading this story and couldn't help comparing it with the lot of western shows that i have watched. Those shows often employ this concept of deals made by humans to get something that they desire. And often in these cases that entities that are making these deals are Demons and not Gods. So, i couldn't help wonder if the deal here was struck between the grandfather and the devil or with the God as author believes.

Anyway it's a moving story. I have heard that a person loves his grand child much more than his own child. There must be some biological reason for it but i have found this thing to be true and more often than not a grand parent would sacrifice his life for a grand child which was what happened in this case.

I wonder if the story would have been better if it were told from the point of view of the grand-father as we could have then seen how did he made the deal. And what did he feel about it. I wanted to watch the turmoil he had gone through because he had to leave his family without support as he was the one on whom they depended financially. Therefore the decision he makes would have been a lot more difficult. The people who are left have not only his loss to deal with but they would have been in financial troubles after his demise.

If i place myself in his shoes then i think wouldn't have taken the step. I would have thought about my daughter and my wife especially my wife who would have been left alone after my passing.  What would you have done?
 
Ghost Near the Bedside
First Sentence:
Although i had a few paranormal experience but i tend to keep an open mind.

The author believes that most of the occurrences which people think is related to ghosts can be explained logically. So, when she receives an email from her acquaintance that the said acquaintance is being haunted by a spirit in her new home, the author decides to visit her. She is sure that there is nothing supernatural in the house and her friend is just overreacting .

Was there really a haunting in the house?  What did the author find out?

I liked this story. It has an element of mystery in it which makes you read it till the end. It's an enjoyable read and i guess one of the best in the collection.

Possession By a Dead Man's Spirit
First Sentence:
For many possession is something that they see in the movies and they forget that it actually happens.

Do you believe ghosts can possess a human being? The author believes it to be true. And she has a story to prove it. This is the story about a cow herder who was possessed by a spirit.
Why was he possessed?
Who possessed him?
What happened after the possession?

What happens after we die? Do we just go out like a candle and nothing is left of us? This is a question which has bothered a lot many people. There is something in us which makes us think that surely our existence could not be so trivial. And i think that's why we believe that there is another life after death. We believe that dead people are not just gone and they have an ability to stay here long after they are dead. And so the concept of ghosts and possession arises. I don't know what's the case. I don't know whether ghosts do exist or not but i have seen cases of possession.

This story describes such  a case and has author as a child witnessing it. I do not know why author's uncle had called the kids to witness this ritual of exorcising the spirit out. I know as a kid our parents knew that this could be traumatic to the kid so they kept us away from any such rituals but we being the kids that we were, used to snuck  around and see the ritual. We would be scared a lot after seeing it. So,I believe the author when she says that she has been haunted by dreams of that traumatic experience well into her adulthood. It was an interesting anecdote. I enjoyed reading it.

Although, one thing that i wonder is that why did he grab the cow herder.There must have been some issue with the herder and the man whose spirit has possessed him. It would have been fun it the author had tried to investigate that or would have just told us what the village people thought about it. I know they would have had very interesting reasons for that.


Ghost in the Toilet
First Sentence:
I know that ghosts exist because i saw how my cousin reacted to seeing one.

It was summer school holidays and every one had gathered in author's Grandmother's house. It was a big house which was situated adjacent to a cemetery.

The author had an elder cousin called Vikas whom she followed everywhere . This is his story and how he came across a ghost during those summer vaccations.

Was Vikas telling the truth? What did he see?
Was there really a ghost?
And whose ghost was it?

I liked this story. The fact that the author's grandmother's house was near the graveyard provides it with a great background for a supernatural story. I remember we also had a burial ground and we were very scared of it. We used to dare each other to go and touch the graves and we would be scared of doing it even in the day as the there were lots of trees there which gave an erie feeling to the cemetery.

I liked the story and i felt for Vikas. I would not have wanted to go through what he did. Incidentally, i have a sister which had experienced something akin to what Vikas saw. She also saw a hand jutting across a door during a story night. It was scary.

In the end i would just say that it is an okay collection of stories. Almost all of  them have an interesting premise but i think they could have been told in a better way.

I just wish the author would have shown the story to us instead of telling them to us. Most of them she just tells it. I think  showing them would have then created the impact on the reader which is now lacking in most of the stories. One thing i want to make clear is that these are not horror stories. There are stories with elements of supernatural in them. Most of these are anecdotes and are told in such a way. They had potential to be developed into a scary tale but then it would have required some kind of creative liberty which the author has not taken. She has told them in the same way as she heard them. i also know that while experiencing them could have been horrific but reading them doesn't feels so. So if you are reading this collection you should not go with that kind of expectation.

Ghost near the bedside,Possession by a dead man's spirit and Ghost in the toilet were my favourite one in the collection.


Rating:2/5

Have you read this book? If yes, then what are your thoughts about it? If you want to read the book then you can get it from the following links:
Kindle

Now,Some questions for you, my lovely readers.  I would love to hear your thoughts about them:

Question 1: If you could make a deal with the devil, what would you sell your soul for?
Question 2: Have you ever come across a person who was possessed by a spirit? What did you thought of that?
Question 3: Which supernatural entity do you find scariest of all?
Question 4: What do you think of death? Is it the end or just a beginning?



You can read my views about other works in horror genre by clicking on the link below:
Horror

I keep reading short story collections. You can read my views about them by clicking the link below:
Short Story Collection

© विकास नैनवाल 'अंजान'

4 comments:

  1. Distinctions between God and Devil is Western concept. Hindus or people practicing religions of Indian origins do worship both Gods and Asuras or Rakshasas.

    And making deal with deities and gods is not a new concept for Indians too.

    People from my caste worship Ancestor Deities and many people do make that kind of pack with deities. Like giving one of the son away to the temple for wealth or for the life of their loves one.

    My Father always says to me that our Ancestor Deities would always come to protect us whenever we summon them, but he advised me not make packs with deities, as it's 2 edged sword.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was an interesting information.I had heard of boons and such. I used to think that pacts like this would come under dark arts often practised by tantriks. This was an interesting piece of information that you provided ,Aman.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good Review.


    #1
    I'll avoid it.

    #2
    Yes I have seen possessed people and their exorcisms. They were little scary but boring as hell. Though one of my believes in Ghosts but my second mind always tries to find logical explanations for it.

    #3
    Well I can get scared easily and I can't go to toilet at nights alone, but I think the entity that makes my legs shake in fear are those invisible eyes, which I always felt are starting at me.

    #4
    Death is both End and Beginning. My Answer is both philological and Scientific.

    ReplyDelete

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