The unexpected

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.


23 thoughts on “The unexpected

  1. Love this post! Can so relate as I was also brought up on bhoot-pret stories by my aayas!! hahaah!! So maybe your cousin was possessed by a ghost on that day who made him push the coin to the right answers!! 😉

    • I really wonder about that! BTW we really got after him wanting him to confess that he pushed the darn coin! He denied it completely

  2. Please tell me you made this up .. I honestly cant stand all this bhoot pret business .. scares me ! I remembered out trekking once we stayed in a camp in himachal once and the camp cook and chowkidaar regaled ghost stories the whole night .. after that we were scared of even our own shadows !

  3. I actually did not make this up … we were hill dwellers, where sunset is around 5 p.m. and you have long nights to regale spooky stories. I can debate fine points of difference between various kinds of demons, witches, and such like beings. I have the basic knowledge 😛

  4. Oh I loved this, Ritu. Strangely my first ouija board experience came via an adventurous aunt and I remember the feeling of excitement and fear – but seriously, the coin moved on its own.
    PS: The updates by mail are not happening 😦

    • Arrey that is strange … I installed the widget too 😦

      I must try it once more … even though I have been warned that it is risky

  5. The bhoots and the dayans also fascinate me and I too have heard innumerable ghost stories. Your experience has been so intriguing. Really fun recollection of childhood days 🙂

  6. I believe your cousin who had to dump.. may be the cousin did not push the coin. My childhood was filled with me trying to master my brain power.. LOL. My mom would freak out every time she chanced upon me staring at a burning candle, or weird shapes etc

      • I know what you mean. I’ve done pretty weird things myself, just to see how far I can go. And the coin went nuts for Sister Lydia, kept touching YES & NO. So I guess she did not wear them regularly

  7. I suppose we all dabbled in this kind of thing at one time. I don’t recall anything other than having played with one once. No idea who else was there or what happened.

    • We tried it all, coin on a string, tarot cards, ouija boards and coin under a brass bowl, even parrots that pick up your answers from a stack of cards. I guess we thought it to be fun

  8. This was an amazing post! When my husband and I were dating we rushed out and bought an oujia board and asked if there was anyone who wanted to speak to us. The thing said Yes and then spelled out Satan. We about crapped ourselves and dropped the board on the floor. At the same moment my white cat raced through the living room carried by a gust of wind. Seriously it scared the hell out of us. We took that thing out to the empty burning barrel and lit it on fire. We watched horrified when the flames shot high into the trees. When the fire went out there was nothing left. We have never replaced that board. Freaked us out good and proper!!


  9. Oh, the ouija board! We played it when I was in university and we believed back then that the first one to “break the chain” will be punished by the spirit that possessed the board. And sure enough, the chain-breaker came down with a nasty case of diarrhea . . . or maybe it was just the dinner we ate. Nevertheless, it sure freaked the life out of us!

    • LOL The ouija board whetted our appetite for more. We tried all sorts of things like divining pendulums, and many other things. I still use tarot cards

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