Acorrespondent writes: I am an animal lover. I can go to any lengths for them – even turn ‘ghost’ for their sake, if need be – and here&’s how that happened.
In all, 11 cats live in our house, who, needless to say, mean the universe to us. Incidentally, there reside human beings other than us in our neighbourhood, too. Being considerate towards their likes and dislikes, my mother often asks me to keep my volume down when I call out to my cats; especially past midnight. Why I need to call out to them past midnight, of course, is another story: we have three terraces, and six of our eleven cats play on those terraces at night. I suffer from the constant fear of a couple of them falling off, and getting hurt. So the moment I can’t find any one of my ‘babies’, I call out to him/her.
That night, I woke up past 12:00 a.m. and decided to go and see how my babies were doing. Couldn’t spot one of my babies, and immediately decided to call out to him. Now, before I could even open my mouth to utter his name, my mother alerted, “People are sleeping and they would like to continue doing so, till morning. So, whatever you do, do not shout. Take that small torch there and go around the terraces, looking for him. Okay?” Okay; I nodded, seeing sense.
Therefore there I was, walking up and down the terraces, the street-lights streaming in and making it unnecessary for me to use the torch. No, my “baby” wasn’t there. I proceeded, then, to the topmost terrace.
Up there, I moved around, as quietly as ever. Suddenly, I noticed a figure lying on the terrace of the deserted house next to ours. Well, it could have been a care-taker; or someone come there to help in repairing that house, I imagined. Their terrace was a couple of floors below ours, and it was easy for the reclining human being to spot me – my silhouette, rather – on our terrace.
For some strange reason, he started visibly when my shadow loomed large, almost above his very head, on my terrace. He stared upwards at the ‘vision’ and stammered, haltingly, “K…k…key…?!” (Who is it ?) I was about to say a lot of things in automatic response, such as (1) My name (2) Why should I tell you who I am when I don’t know who you are and don’t even want to know? (3) Why do you need to know who I am when I am at my place and not at your place? (4) And by the way, just who might you be (to ask me this and even otherwise)? – but, I didn’t. I remembered mother&’s instructions – ‘Do not shout’! Since any kind of verbal communication would involve raising my voice (and waking neighbours from their sweet slumber), I used my intelligence and did something unique. I simply shone the blue light of my mini torch on my smiling countenance (the smile was meant to be a ‘take-it-easyfear-not’ communicator). There was an odd moment, when the man, on seeing my blue-lit face and nothing but that in the allcovering darkness, half sat up with another start. I heard a gasp. Then, in a flash, he just jumped up, all of him, with the most admirable swiftness I have ever observed, and ran towards the door that would lead him off the terrace and out of the house altogether!
I stood there wondering what I had done. My “baby”, sleeping nearby, woke up and came purring to me. I picked him up, went downstairs, and off to sleep, peacefully.
I had forgotten all about this episode, till the other day, on my way to work, I overheard two ladies who manage the kitchens of some of our neighbours, looking at me and whispering about a spectral presence. And one of them showed off her knowledge saying that the terrace next door is haunted as a ghost with a blue head had been there the other night.