Few days back was watching a TV program on a local channel about rebirth wherein the host who is a researcher hypnotizes the person and questions about the previous life of the person. Though a great topic the way it has been conducted does not create an interest among the viewers…no wonder it is a late night show. But the theme made me think of the space in between worlds where the wayward souls roam as ghosts trying to fulfill their unfinished dreams. I am not a believer of rebirth or the trapped souls but then I have heard some accounts first hand (I mean from the horse’s mouth as it is told) which are stranger than fiction.
The first incident took place in the year 1981 at Baghdad, Iraq where I had gone as an Engineer to a company contracted to build a township at Al Baaya district of Baghdad. The construction area had a high ground water table and to avoid infusion of water the company was trenching the periphery of the site to draw out the water and pump it beyond the site boundary. The excavator operator John was assigned to cut the trench during the night since we were operating the project on a tight schedule and as usual we expected certain output by the time day shift operator is on duty to continue it further. But then we found that hardly any progress being done by the night operator.
On enquiry we were told a strange story by the operator that as he was bringing down the excavator bucket to dig the trench he found a beautiful woman in an Abaya( for those who are not about Abaya it is as dress worn by Muslim women to cover their body)standing below the bucket and she is beckoning him to come out of the glazed cabin. During those days Iraq was at war with Iran and many of the Iraqi women did not have any men folks at their homes, were known to take lovers from the Indian workers. Our operator John was under the impression that the woman in front of the excavator was one of those women… and he was pleased. So he shuts down the machine and prepares to come out of the cabin to meet her… it is at this point of time that he notices that this woman’s feet is not on the ground ….but is floating just above the ground. Being a devote Christian he immediately understood that it is a ghost and he locked himself within the cabin. All subsequent attempts to excavate proved futile since each time the bucket was being lowered this woman used be beneath the same and laughing out loudly preventing him to complete the operation.
We did not accept the story since we were under the impression that the operator had too much to drink prior to his duty and was hallucinating. After a warning he was asked to continue the same work the next night but then similar thing happened and the next day operator stated that he is not willing to work anymore and wants to go back to India. We were joking and discussing this incident at the site office where we had few Iraqi engineers and office staff and they said that it is not a laughing matter as they do believe that Jinn (Ghost in Arabic) exists in this universe and it is quite possible that very Jinn has been interred in the ancient burial grounds that was adjoining the project site.
While narrating this incident in a family gathering, my father said that a woman in white dress would float down and sit on his cycle carrier behind him when he cycled to his college and the way he narrated the story presumably of a ghost made our hairs stand up!!! I still cannot be sure whether the story is true or he was just pulling our legs.
The next I heard of a Jinn was from my colleague who insisted that his flat was occupied by one. He used to tell that there would be noises from the cub board and laughter from the other room and so forth. We used to make fun of him saying that he is hallucinating and yet he used to never waver from his belief that a Jinn resides in his flat.
The above post is no way demeaning the persons who believe in life after death or ghosts or Jinn but a recount of interesting incidents in my life!!!