A great deal of humor comes from the unexpected. A frail old woman opens her mouth and you are shocked into a giggle because the voice that emerges is deep baritone and manly.
An upright dignified man stands up and lets loose a ripping fart.
The charm of the unexpected.
Twists in tales, riveting suspense etc also depend on the unexpected. So do memorable incidents from childhood, it makes a tale worth repeating
For me, that happened as a girl, its an experience that I will carry to my death bed. I have always been fascinated by spooky stuff, ouija boards/planchet and tarot cards are right up my alley. Possibly because the ayah and the cook in our home were nuts about spooky stories, and I knew more about bhoot, pret, pisaach, dayans etc (our version of witches vampires zombies etc) than my school lessons.
So one day I saved up a lot of money and went and bought an ouija board.
There was a party at night and the adults partied in the hall and the kids were in my bedroom. The adults told us “Oh go ahead, play some board games.”
Yes, you guessed right, we did play a board game .. we took out my ouija board. We switched off the light and sat down in front of the fireplace. The smell of coal and pine wood was overpowering and we all looked like demons lit by the orangeish light of the fire.
We placed a coin on the board right between the spaces marked YES & NO, tried to empty our minds, each of us with a finger resting lightly on the coin. We tried asking questions, but the coin would move a few millimeters and then stop, yes right between YES & NO. We wondered what to do. My cousin complained, “Even the ghosts dont want to play with us.”
Another one said, “I want to go to the bathroom.”
We all stopped him by saying, “If you go right now, the ghost may just overpower you on the way – you know possess you.”
So he shut up and sat. Then we concentrated on calling the spirit of Chanakya. The coin moved about an inch to the left. Gasping we quickly drew lots on who would ask the questions first.
One cousin wanted to know if he would live abroad. The coin came alive wavering between the two points stopping at YES.
Cheering madly we started asking all sorts of questions, including if our horrible principal, Sister Lydia wore a panty under that nun’s habit.
Yeah! I mean we’re family and our average age was around 11 to 14.
I remember that Dony (my brother) wanted to know if he would get selected for the school team.
Another cousin wanted to go to England. It was his life’s ambition ever since his older sister got married to a man there ..
Both got YES
Then I asked if I would go to medical school. My parents really wanted me to become a doctor. The coin wavered between YES and NO for a long time.
Then my cousin said impatiently, “I have to HAVE to take a dump. I can’t do this anymore!” and left.
The coin stopped moving once he left. That was unexpected and disappointing. The older cousin said, “I am going to bash him up, he’s been pushing the coin.”
That really hurt gullible me, who believed that the spirit of Chanakya had entered the coin.
Then there was another unexpected surprise. My mother and other ladies threw the door open, caught sight of the board and freaked out. One of the servants had come a few minutes back to serve us snacks and had seen what we were up to and ratted on us. The board was confiscated, punishments doled out to us and we never called spirits again.
The strange thing is
1. The cousin who wanted to go abroad has spent the last twelve years in Hong Kong
2. The cousin who wanted to go to UK is a British citizen and rarely comes back.
3. I was admitted into medical school, but could not handle blood and disease … so dropped out
May be Chanakya or some other spirit did come into the coin.
BTW the “have-to-take-a-dump” cousin still does not admit that he pushed the coin.