We are like this only

Once upon a time, somewhere in Rural India lived a family. The Head of the Family had four wives and lots and lots of children. The girls were of course a total loss so for the interest of the story, the HOF had two sons, who were called Ram and Lakhan. The rurals are not too original. I can point out a whole lot of farming families that have sons named Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan or variations thereof. Of course if they have more sons, the Pandava names are roped in and once in a while a dark coloured chap is named Krishna or Gopala. However, I digress.

Lakhan is no. 16 offspring and was born to the number three wife when many of his elder sisters were already married. He has spent his entire life being bullied by his elder sisters, his mothers and also his brother’s wife. He was married off to someone from his sister-in-law’s family which puffed her up a lot, much to the disgust of his sisters. Well, in a few years he had his first son. The rurals do not count the daughters any way, (he has two of them). He works as the photocopier cum dispatch clerk at my work place. He took two weeks leave for the celebrations in April. He came back very disturbed. Apparently his sisters consulted some astrologer who predicted a grim fate for his son Rameshwar (LOL, love the name – so original).

A pooja had to be performed which required a list of 57 items. I wish I had copied the list – which was very impressive. Some of the items were

Soil trodden by the left foot of an elephant
Urine of a white buffalo
Broken bangle of a freshly made widow
Soil from the courtyard of a living churail (living female ghost)
Surf from the ocean
Banyan tree root from a chauraha (four way intersection)

These I can remember because they sounded crazy and impossible. I had a bet with another colleague (Rs.500/-) that this list could not be completed. I was sure the sisters had played a prank because they wanted to make mischief for the sister-in-laws. Well, it took our Lakhan 8 months to get the list completed, and he did. He even found a living churail! This can happen only in India!

The story of the living churail is interesting. Apparently a man had lost his wife. He dearly loved her and mourned her deeply. He refused to get married again. After a few months, his family started noticing that though the man was happy, he was wasting away. His sister-in-laws kept a close watch on him. When he went to sleep in the night, they saw someone enter his room. They peeked in and saw their dead sister in law! They freaked and ran to report to their husbands. The panchayat was called and a priest was consulted. The priest said, “When the churail comes to visit her husband, her clothes have to be burnt, otherwise he will die”. The man was quite reluctant, but ultimately gave in. One night when the woman came and got into bed with him, he threw her clothes out to the waiting ladies and the pujari who promptly burnt them.

Well, as per Lakhan, he visited this village, asked for directions to the “Churail ka ghar”, went and knocked the door. He sought her permission, explaining his problem. She graciously granted the permission, stood watching as he dug some soil from her courtyard, while rocking her son in her lap.

All I can say is WOW!!! Welcome to the 21st century!


19 thoughts on “We are like this only

  1. What the fuck!
    Shit..one India is progressing and the other India is sitting so firmly on its buttocks its not funny!

    I sometimes wonder. is it? There is a thin veneer of progress – but underneath it all?

  2. ….and the so called Churail must have been even happy that at least she have been given such a title 😀
    This is so funny but weird in fact. People don’t want to come out of the ancient RIVAAJ and beliefs. Because I think its a way out to the frustrations. Its easy to nominate some Churail or Jinn and then do stuff like he did, in order to get away from the real problems of life which need real effort to remove them.

    May be you are right …. that is quite an insight Afaque

  3. OMG, is this a true story? I hope not. Makes me wonder: ‘Why are we like this only?’. Shocking and disappointing.

    I’ve been asking the same question ever since I got to know the churail story

  4. Wow… this really happened?
    I am speechless…

    Yeah, it happened, the pooja was held in the first month of December when the list was completed by Lakhan

  5. Are you for real? I mean this isn’t a work of fiction??? Really!?

    Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction. Its real – this “living churail” does exist – so does the damn freaky list

  6. Wow, when I die, i would rather have the pleasure of becoming a churail, a pretty one though.
    But it is weird indeed. That people should believe in such stuff and actually do such puja’s.

    They do, Mampi, even highly educated people. I studied vedic astrology for four years and came across a whole lot of strange stuff – spells and things. Needless to say, I only do readings for close friends and family, and refuse to prescribe any of the infamous upayas. I know for sure I am gonna be a churail and hang around. Life is too much fun to stage an exit tamely 😉

  7. I am not too surprised at this, Ritu. Actually the guy is completely excused for this weirdity. He is an illiterate villager from the “darkness”. What surprises me is that even the educated middle class go into strange tizzys when completing poojas or finding “auspicious” dates or wearing “lucky” gems or fasting on some days of the week or not eating meat, eggs or bananas on others or conforming to the weird custom of not letting a menstruating woman near a deity. What is stranger is that the above mentioned people are very much part of our regular Internet-connected “elite” lives – and we never even notice, let alone confront those superstitions( I mean some of us do, but the rest even while laughing at the churail et al will not see it).
    Do forgive my ranting here, but this has been building up a bit!

    On the churail- wow. Also the white buffalo urine. How much did it all cost him? It must have been a tidy sum.

    What you say is very true and the entire pooja was damn expensive!

  8. Ritu ,this is such a sad thing .and you know I have noticed that more and more people are getting drawn towards such beliefs.I have seen many such things in the Himachal villages.Even at my inlaws’s village there is a special Gurudwara where this bhoot ,churail pujas are conducted .Thousands of people come there for holi mela from across the country and spend a fat sum for such pujas.Really a sad paradox.

    True … it is weird isnt it?

    I would love to be the churail and glad that I will have your company .

    Hehehe lets form a Wannabe Churail after death club

  9. Ok, Im the tubelight here…so the churail was not his dead wife but just a “visitor of the nocturnal kind” right? Kindly clarify, as I will be left wondering…sigh, someone who is more ‘pathetic’ than Lakhan at the moment.

    This is being hotly debated at office right now! I think it must be a case of run-away wife who was declared dead and has since returned. Just a guess 😛

  10. Ritu, this is just about the most bizarre story ever. and to think it is absolutely true and not unusual by any means. wow !

    I totally agree – bizarre, insane, freaky and a WTF story – but true nonetheless

  11. Nice story … unbelievable though! I think it’s very good material for a fiction writer. Try out Ritz.

    Ahhh Nabina, wish it were fiction – but yes, one can do a good spook story out of this

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