Monday, January 25, 2010

VCR Days-1

While watching a movie today in Zee Cinema my mind took me to the era where watching movie in home was as rare as seeing a glimpse of Bhupen Hazarika in any TV channel now a days.

It was the time when teen agers of India was bored with Renuka Shahane’s Motiyo jaise chamakte daant wala programme Surbhi and Sanjay Khan’s appearing every Sunday with 'Sword of Tipu Sultan' which if watched now can be called pito sar sultan.

The most awaited chitrahaar use to telecast twice in a week with same old Shashi Kapoor type songs but sometimes with enticing songs of new films forcing us to watch them on VCR.

It was the era when watching films in the home with family in Funai’s VCP or Weston’s VCR was as expensive as watching them now in multiplexes with all your relatives including chunnu munnu who could give your patience a roller coaster ride by insisting you to purchase 50 Rs pop corn or cold drink costing almost 10 times of its MRP.

I being the follower of the trend,  convinced my Mom-Dad for hiring a VCP on 26th January to watch 3 brand new films. We hired Funai VCP from Pintu shop with three video cassettes one of which was my all time favorite Mithun Charaborty’s new movie and other two was Ganga Ki Saugandh featuring Indian Brad Pitt Sumit Sehgal and 'Main kab tak Chup Rahungi' starring sweeper deeper star Aditya Pancholi with madrasi Angelina Jolie Amla.

The show started at 11 in the morning,after having a fastly executed Hamam soap bath with Vicco Turmeric application all over my face, parachute coconut oil on my tiny cutted hair and breakfast of half paratha with ghar ka bana aam ka aachar .I sat infront of Salora Black and White  television set which if not sold on the right time could be an antique piece now.

The VCP wale bhaiya took out 2-3 cables from his embroidered carry bag especially stitched to safeguard the most demanding electronic entertaining device of that time. He after fixing all the cables put out the video cassette from his magical carry bag and dusted it with whistling sound (it is still a mystery why he did so).

 The 20 inch fatty B/W screen started blinking unclear picture and the only thing visible was Shemaroo Video reflecting on the top left side of the screen.

I objected to VCP wale bhaiya and after a small surgery of poor channel button we saw the same censor bored certificate which is still unchanged in the latest movie Veer. The Mickey Mouse match of blinking and vanishing the picture in the screen lasted for 10 minutes till the perfect synchronization of TV and VCP took place.

At last the movie started, I was sitting just 2 feet away from the TV, sitting with both my lap folded (Baba Ramdev’s kapal bhati style) and eagerly waiting for the entrance of the Hero.

The Hero entered in a very predictive way with his white P.T. shoes polished with Paintel’s endorsed cherry boot polish. The movie plotted around a college in Mumbai.

To be Continued...............

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Ghostly Encounter

This is a real incident happened with me in the year 2000 and it has changed my perception forever towards the existence of an unknown mysterious world. Read and enjoy.

It was the 3rd week of December, I was in a training room attending my first training programme in a resort near Sagar and waiting eagerly for the official announcement of completion of induction programme. My wait ended soon as our product training manager Mr.Tripathi announced that today is the last day of induction. I rushed to the room of Green valley resort, Sagar where I stayed there for 10 days with my colleague from Raipur, Kamlesh.

I and Kamlesh decided to catch train on the same day from Sagar; we packed our luggage in a hurry and went to Sagar in a Bus. We purchased ticket of HiraKund express, the lady in the counter confirmed that the train will arrive in an hour.

It was 7.15 and we were failed to deceive our appetite resulting mini dinner in railway canteen despite the fact that we can suffer from shortage of money in the journey. After half an hour the train arrived, we rushed in to the general bogie; it was totally packed with passengers and their luggage. Due to Kamlesh’s dominant gigantic body size we manage to occupy a very small space to sit

After an hour my thin sweater stopped working although the doors and windows were fully closed. I started feeling that the gust of cold winds can crack down my bones.

I opened my bag, put out a bed sheet and coiled all around my body but all my efforts were futile. At about 10.10 p.m train stopped in a small station I walked out from the train in a hurry and ran in the platform towards the sleeper coach to search any vacant berth to sleep.

After a minute I found a whole coach vacant, with bated breath I reached the compartment and started convincing Kamlesh to shift there. Kamlesh without any second thought rejected my idea to sleep in a sleeper class with ticket of general class and without having even half of the probable fine.

At about 11oclock the train reached Katni, without losing a single second I hold my bag and jumped out from the compartment, I reached the vacant coach and missionly found a lower berth, I threw my bag near window of the berth and laid down with bed sheet covering me from head to toe.

Around 12.45 I sensed as I am sleeping on an ice berg, I found that the doors were not closed I closed all the four doors of the coach meanwhile I noticed that the coach is a separate coach and it is not interconnected with other coaches from both the ends, I also found that only few passengers are there in the bogie and all of them are sleeping with their blankets covering their faces. Seeing that the freezing winds are entering from the small gaps of the window, I shifted my luggage to the middle berth.

Around 1.15 I heard very low unclear mumbling near my ears, although I was in a sleeping stupor, my subconscious mind strikes that the person may be T.T.I, I acted that I have slept but the irritating voice started gaining loudness. After preparing instant spiel to convince T.T.I, I opened my eyes the light was very dim and the atmosphere was smoggy, unexpectedly I saw a middle aged man sitting in the lower berth and watching me intently.

 I noticed that he is very nervous and confused. apart from his face only thing visible was his high neck black full coat. This was surprising because we Indians don’t wear this kind of clothes especially in this part of the country.

I was still in my seat in lay down position and surprised to see this man in a very filmy getup, the man started mumbling again with nervousness, I told him that I am not able to understand his murmur, he stood from his seat and reached near my face and said clearly with his typical jabalpuria ascent that he is a cloth merchant from Birsingpur and going to Shahdol but he doesn’t have ticket, again he repeated the same sentence but this time he is in requesting mode and asking me to save him.

 These two minutes has vanished my drowsiness and I was intuitively behaving cautiously. He repeatedly pleading me to save him from T.T.I, I told him to relax and sit calmly but he was very nervous and not in the mood to give ears to my advice. It was a difficult time for me realizing that the gentleman is an abnormal fellow and will bother me at least till the next station.

At the second moment the man put out a 100 Rs. note from his pocket, folded it and told me to take it and give it to T.T.I as he don’t have ticket, I was shocked and my mind started drawing assorted inferences, the conclusive thought indicating that he may be a robber or a psycho killer.

Next second he insisted me to take that note of 100 Rs, I refused the offer but within a fraction of second he came closer to me and he tried to put that note forcefully in my shirt’s pocket in spite of the fact that the shirt was covered with the sweater. I was traumatized and after a small struggle the note was there in my pocket. Meanwhile I noticed that his head was touching the roof of the coach.

My brain was unable to process the input given by my eyes; the gentleman reminded me again to give 100 Rs note to the T.T.I and walked away from there. I jumped from the middle berth and followed him but he was not there, I searched him every where in the coach including all four washrooms but not able to found him or any thing related to him.

My mind reminded me that the coach is a separate one and it is not connected to rest of the train; I noticed that all the windows and doors were closed from inside, the train was running with a speed more than 100 Kms per hour. Every thought was establishing the fact that the man I met 2 minutes before doesn’t belongs to this world.

This conclusion frightened me terribly; my body was shivering with fear and dripping with cold sweat. The circumstances was very scary, I was standing in the space between the two washrooms, murmuring names of almost all the God and Goddess including mythological and historical heroes of the country, pleading them all to take me out from this bloodcurdling situation.

 After a minute I restored some courage, moved near the door, opened it and realized that the freezing winds which insisted me to shift from general compartment to this haunted vacant coach is failed to stop my dripping sweat.

I looked at my wrist watch, it was 1.30 and my heartbeat was sprinting as if it is in contest with the train’s speed.

After horrifying few minutes the train speed’s started slowing down and my heartbeat too, the reason, I detected lights emitting from residences and street poles although they were few Kms away from me but it indicated that station is a matter of a minute or two.

My expectation turned in to reality soon when the train entered in to platform no.1 of Shahdol. The train was sauntering slowly; I jumped from the train without even waiting for it to stop. I ran towards the general bogie without my luggage, with in half a minute I breathlessly reached the bogie. I saw some passengers were arranging their luggage etc to exit while others were struggling hard to enter in the bogie and making space for them to sit.

Kamlesh was sleeping with his hands folded around his knees and his head under his forearms. I hollered at Kamlesh, he surprisingly awaked and saw my face which was white with fear, he asked me to sit besides him. After relaxing for a minute or two I narrated the whole incidence to Kamlesh while narrating I observed that an old man sitting in front of our seat is listening me very carefully.

Kamlesh and other passengers told me that the train has not stopped any where between Katni and Shahdol moreover HiraKund Express doesn’t have a stoppage in Birsingpur. Although the time when the train crossed from Birsingpur coincided with the time the incident happened with me. All these confirmations proved that the incident occurred with me was very unusual and the person who horrified me was a Ghost.

The old man asked me to show the 100 Rs note to him, I showed him and also to Kamlesh. He in reply told me that this incident has happened with many passengers particularly in this route. He told that few years ago a man from Birsingpur jumped from the train after T.T.I and RPF constables found him without ticket.

 Till today I am unable to solve this mystery, the 100 Rs. note is still lying with me, the unusual incidences which includes his head touching the roof of the bogie, his astonishing disappearment from the train etc will always be an unsolved mystery for me.