Saturday, February 23, 2008



I saw myself with my parents and sister in a new city where we were tourists. We were roaming about, trying to kill time and at the same time, trying to reach the railway station lest we should not miss the train. We reached the station and I saw myself holding on to something with my arms and hanging in the air while my mother and sister were pulling my legs, one each, and I was shouting and asking them not to do so while they were laughing. I had a few bags hanging on my shoulders and it seemed that I was hanging there in air to get those baggages across to a large store room. I saw a coolie (porter) come to me, and I left one hand free, to give him the air-bag that was hanging on my shoulder. He took the bag, dumped it in the store room and took the other one from me which was hanging on my other shoulder. When I came back down, I asked my mother and sister not to pull my legs again when I'm hanging in the air !
My parents, sister and I caught a bus and we came to the place where I was supposed to give my exams. The place looked familiar. It looked quite like some part of NDA Khadakwasla, Pune or IMA Dehradun. Many of my batchmates were there and we were supposed to give two exams, C/C++ and Algorithms. I was highly unprepared for both, but was more afraid of Algorithms. My parents left me at the entrance, all three of them wished me luck and I walked inside, through the open gate into the campus. I saw the soft sun-rays of early evening fall on the campus. I walked through the long corridors until I reached a long hall. I walked inside, only to find my batchmates and a few other students who had come to give that exam. I knew that I had very little time and that after giving both the exams, I have to rush back to the railway station.Interestingly enough I had my laptop with me and the hall where I was sitting had Wifi facility. I thought I still had some time before my exam starts, so I opened my orkut account and was surprised to find a scrap from someone who'd hardly come online. She had replied to my scrap and for the first time, her scrap was three lines long. She had written something philosophical, but I was excited enough to have received a scrap from her after a very long time that I was pleased to read whatever she'd written. She had also kept a few pics of her on orkut which were very attractive and sexy. I had never seen her like that and I was totally taken aback by whatever I saw and was perturbed and a bit disturbed. My thoughts and mixture of extreme emotions suddenly vanished when I realized Rahul Jain walking towards me from behind. I quickly changed the tabs on firefox (but my fingers were still numb after whatever I'd seen) and asked him, "Hey what's up? Ready for the exam?" I asked him as I kept my laptop on a seat and got up.
Rahul was surprised at my statement and said, "I never saw you in the exam hall. Were you sitting in some other room?"
"What do you mean you never saw me? Did I miss my slot of exam?" I exclaimed as nervousness started making space for itself in my mind, displacing all the other emotions.
"I guess so. We are both dual-degree student and so we might have been given same slot. But you can still talk to our server admin, Mr. Ganesh. He is one of the persons in-charge for the exams conducted today and he's sitting right over there." He indicated where he was sitting by pointing at him.
"Yeah, right. Ok I'll go and ask him. And what time is Algorithm's exam."
"After one hour."
"How was C/C++ exam?"
"I'd rather advice you to go and talk to him and clarify things. You'd not want to miss your exam. You can give me this laptop for now. I'd also like to check my mails." He sat where I was sitting and took my laptop in his lap.
"Oh no... uhm... wait. Okay, I'll give it to you." I almost snatched my laptop from him and closed firefox. I gave it to him and went to talk to the server admin.
"Sir, I missed my exam. I was sleeping." I said and tried to pursuade him a lot. Finally he agreed and gave me the immediate time slot and asked me to join it. I took my documents, writing pad etc. and rushed to the exam room, and gave a glance towards Rahul and my laptop from the corner of my eye while leaving.
I saw myself sitting with my juniors and other strangers and giving exam. The exam was not a simple one. When I returned to the long hall after the exam (it was getting dark and the long hall looked quite different and beautifully illuminated with yellow light bulbs and candles etc.), I saw that the feast had started and that many people were enjoying themselves. I also felt like eating something but I had to meet Mr. Ganesh to get the slot for Algorithms exam. I met Vivek Prakash as I entered the long hall. He asked me how were my exams and I said that I still have to give Algorithms exam. He adviced me that I better do so at the earliest because all the slots would be over otherwise. I met Mr. Ganesh, quickly took the immediate available time slot and went for my exam.

Friday, February 22, 2008

22nd Feb '08 Late Morning

I was sitting in my room, when I heard a knock followed by lots of footsteps. I was startled, and perturbed. I opened the door, only to find a person with a gas-mask pointing a maverick at me. He took a step back and said, "Start moving", pointing the gun in the intended direction.
I saw many of my friends, moving out in a queue, climbing down the stairs. I could not understand.
I was afraid now and my mind was filled with the incidents of last night, watching "Wedding Crashers", chatting in the corridor. The sun was just rising in the east and in the midst of the soft sun rays, I saw the cold, unfriendly masked men with snipers and mavericks.
Next thing I remember was that we all were divided in groups for doing a series of assignments. We all sat in some classroom, with benches, desks, a green-board, a cup-board. As I sat on my seat, and looked around, I found many of my batch-mates and college-mates but I also saw some unfamiliar faces. I saw a few of the same gun-men whom I had encountered in the morning. The assignment looked tough and I wished that I was in some other particular group because I was unfamiliar with my group-mates and they didn't show the willingness to work and finish the work. I was eager to be the person to finish his work so that he could be allowed to go home.
At night, we were directed towards a line of barracks having long rows of bunker beds, like a long dormitory. The atmosphere looked war-like and we lived as if living in concentration camps. The work done by us was all academic kind of stuff. We were given an assignment each morning and we had to submit it before sunset. The assignment had a few questions and each group was given an assignment sheet with questions printed on it. I felt that courses at IIIT were much better than these assignments.
Surprisingly, after a few weeks, our results were declared. That day also, gun-men were standing near the entrance of the classroom. I was nervous, like I am whenever results are declared. I knew these results didn't matter anymore to me, as I couldn't anticipate in what way getting good result would help me.
The scene changed and I found myself sitting at home, with my parents and sister. My mother was furious after I told her what happened to me and my friends. She wanted to take some action against this but my father and I tried to calm her down. My father was also upset. Actually the main reason for their being upset was that my right leg had a muscle pull while I was in that "concentration camp" and so I limped for rest of the time there. I suggested that my leg be shown to a doctor and proper medication be taken by me.
The last thing I saw was that I was sitting in Military Hospital and my father brings a walking stick for me and handed it to me with a grin while my mother and sister stood behind and smiled. I saw myself walking out of the hospital like the way Dr. House walks in the t.v. series House M.D., with the only difference that my damaged leg was different one from that of House.

Friday, February 1, 2008

2nd Feb 2008 Early Morning.

Haunted Tourism

I found myself standing in a corridor brightly lit by bulbs on the decorated walls and had a layer of carpet below my feet. I saw in front of me, small cabinets for dining, and saw a child eating his meal at a round table, laughing perhaps with others of his age whom I couldn't see. A few couples and a group of ladies passed by me as I stood at the corridor, looking at things around.
I heard my father calling me and I walked away in that direction. After dinner, my mother insisted that I wear a sweater/cardigan as it'd get colder late in the night. It was when I looked out of the window that I realized that we were in a ship.
I saw dark blue world outside, foggy weather, moonlight giving some visibility, and when I looked down at the sea, it looked calm with gentle waves. I saw a few tree stems in the middle of sea, a little distance away from the ship. It looked both spooky and adventurous and reminded me of Pirates of Carribean series.
Next day we reached the shore, but our destination was still a little distance away. We hired a gypsy car and were accompanied by a few foreigners (UK natives). That evening, after reaching our rest house, my parents fell asleep as they were very tired. My sister watched TV as I came out of the room to stroll outside for a while. While coming to that resthouse, in the way I'd seen a small lake. I walked till that lake. It was still foggy outside with the bluish greyish mix backdrop, giving it a perfect spooky look. I saw the lake in front of me, it's water still as ever, and enclosed on all sides by land with fog floating on it's water surface. I started walking along the lake, on the banks of lake. Something happened that was far more spooky and made me chill down my spine, much more than the whole winter season had done so far.
For the distance along the bank that I walked, water in that corresponding part of the lake started freezing and froze along as I walked. I felt like stopping but my feet continued to walk as my mind stopped working at that time, so I walked a little more and then a little. I had walked along half the distance of the bank at one side... and that much lake froze. Then I stopped and saw the rest of the lake freeze in front of me.
I felt colder inside and sneezed. Perhaps it was time I get indoors, so I jogged back, giving one last glance at the mysterious lake, which still looked frozen. When I reached the resthouse, I saw that we had some guests. They were foreigners (from UK) and were also tourists like us. I shook hands with them and introduced myself. I had to pronounce my name three times for them to be able to pronounce it correctly ! And their name I could never understand so I politely smiled. But one thing I've observed everytime I meet a foreigner who visits India is that, they like to know the names of other people and mix with them for better experience and guidance.
I told them (my parents, sister, and the foreigner family) what I had just experienced. The person in charge of the rest house said that it's a natural weather phenomenon and that local people here see the lake freeze in front of them many times, at a specific time, not a minute before or after that. But I couldn't agree because I felt something within me that was not just cold or chill due to weather or fear. I felt many people looking at me and one of them following me which perhaps made the lake froze, but of course I couldn't see anyone and the reason was not the fog.
The next day was brighter but still without sun. We had plans for sightseeing and the foreigner family (sorry don't remember their name) decided to join us. We hired a big boat, and stood between the indoor cabin and cabin of the person driving the big boat. We looked outside at the sea and sea waves and the land masses at a distance. I heard the foreigner lady start a conversation with the cleaner of the boat. I turned to look at them and heard her asking, "So have you lately witnessed freezing of lakes, as the weather is getting colder every next day."
The cleaner lady turned pale and continued to clean the floor. The foreigner lady threw a coin at her, but she continued to clean the floor. She threw another one. This time the cleaner looked up, then reached her hand at the coin to pick it up when the foreigner son, who was now standing beside his mother, displaced the coin a little away from the cleaner lady with some stick he had in his hand, perhaps a walking stick. The lady looked up again and continued cleaning the floor. When the foreigner lady threw the third coin at her, the cleaner lady looked up again and said something that would have scared the hell out of anyone !
But the foreigner lady, as cool and calm as ever, replied, "So you agree that the place is haunted."
Cleaner lady replied, "And the place you all are now going is far more haunting."
The foreigner son pushed all the coins towards her and we all looked at each other.