The moon is shining as bright as the sun. Perhaps it is much brighter than it. The reflection of it on the still waters of the lake is so perfect that it is difficult to distinguish which is real and which is the facade. The only source of light here is the moon and I could see the twinkling of the stars in the majestic sky. Some bright, some of them moving, the Capricorn, the Aries I could see them all. I wondered “ We all were so busy mugging up the nursery rhyme but somewhere we failed to take a break and watch the nature to see the diamonds glowing in the sky”. It is like a perfect art which moved my soul. The cool breeze is kissing my cheeks and whispering something in my ears. I wonder what nature wants to tell us. Sometimes I wish I knew natures language or perhaps we all know but somewhere we pretend that we can’t listen to it.
“Roel !! Are you going to stare at the sky whole night?? Come join us“ said the loud voice of my friend Daniella from far behind, who is busy setting up the table for the night where the magic happens.
I let out a deep breath and thought to myself “I really wouldn’t mind, getting engrossed in nature “
“Coming “ I replied.
After a consecutive tiring busy week from work, I and my 2 other friends decided to come here near the banks of pawana lake for lakeside camping. We were the only campers for that night, the only company we had were the huge trees around us whose branches hushed smoothly for a cool breeze but it looked like a witch stirring the pot of mystical portions.
My friend Oliver popped the bottle of “ Grappa “.
At the same time, the caretaker of the place brought some yummy cotton cheese balls, freshly fried chips and cheese pakoda. The yummy food made my stomach growl. I am so hungry now I felt like an Egyptian mummy who didn’t have food for centuries. The caretaker with his round glasses, bald head and with a stick looked like Gandhi. He was not too old but I wondered why he was carrying a stick. He placed the starters on the table and took out a red can. We were seated around piled-up pieces of logs. He opened the red can and we could get the addictive smell of petrol. He poured it on the logs and with a style like Rajnikanth
“BOOM” lit the fire camp. Gandhi immediately disappeared behind the smoke like a magician.
Oliver poured the drink into 3 glasses. GLUP GLUP he put his fancy skull shaped ice cubes into the glass. He made it from a fancy skull mould of ice cubes. Daniella played few tracks of Armin Van Buren album Intense through her JBL speakers to lit up the mood. SIP by SIP one glass down, 2nd glass down and third round just started.
Now we all know our real spirit comes out when 2 glasses of spirit go in.
Daniella stopped the music and she asked “ Oliver have you heard about an old legend of a spirit in this place”
“Oh yes, I know. I heard many stories of a lady who had died in these forest many years ago and locals experiencing weird things” replied Oliver looking at me.
I knew this was an attempt to scare me, which they try every time. They know very well that I stay away from all the spirit stuffs other than the one, which we drink.
When we just reached this place, I asked Gandhi about the myth, which was a hotcake topic in the city. But he removed his round spectacles, looked at me and said “Don’t worry it doesn’t harm anyone” with a cocky smile. He neither denied nor agreed for it. I ignored it just like how I ignored the conversation of Oliver and Daniella. It was running somewhere in the back of my mind.
“ There are no such things as a ghost” I assured myself.
Holding the glass I took a casual walk towards the lake and looked around. All I could hear was the hooting of the owl, pounding of the waterfall somewhere far away and weird howling of the caretaker’s dog. It sounded like those werewolves from the twilight movie.
But deep within I knew there are no such things as ghost or spirits. At least at that moment, I wanted to believe it so.
I sat on a rock facing the lake and the moon. Just blank, I don’t know what was going in my mind. I felt everything paused for a while.
The wolf moon was right above us, accompanied by diamonds all around it. It reminded me of an incident in a graveyard a few years ago.
After finishing up the last drink, it was time for us to get into our den to sleep.
A green jumbo size tent was all set, enough to accommodate all of us. The bedsheet was calling me to hug and sleep. I wish I could sleep outside but it was very cold and to be honest a little scared as well. We all went inside and crashed for a good nap. We were fast as sleep.
I was woken up by a weird sound. It’s very faint. I wondered what it was. It sounded like a bell. I pressed the power button of my phone.
The sound disappeared. I thought to myself maybe some metal can or something just rolling around. I ignored it and went back to sleep.
“Roel!! Roel!!! “
“Roel !! Roel !!”
I could hear someone calling my name. I didn’t know whether It was dreaming or not!!
I could feel a cold hand on my shoulders!!!
Most of the times it happens to me. I enter into a deep state of sleep called Lucid dreaming or REM state of sleep. Where everything looks real, the feelings, the sensation and sometimes even pain. It gets difficult got me to distinguish whether its real or just a dream. Just like Inception movie, you will have to experience death in sleep or a sudden jerk in sleep or physically someone has to shake you.
I felt a cold hand shaking me and I woke up. I immediately opened my eyes. It was Daniella.
I let out a deep breath “Sigh of relief.”
“ I could hear a weird sound,” she said in a choked voice. I knew something was not right but I didn’t want her to freak out.
“It was your dream, “ I said in a confident voice. She was convinced to some extent and slept.
This time all 3 of us woke up. We could hear the sound of ghungroo clearly. We also saw a shadow passing by outside the tent. Now I was convinced we are in some trouble. The moment we were awake or speak something, it would stop. We all sat within the tent with fear, not shaking a muscle.
After 10 minutes.
We could also see something passing by.
“Who is there ?“ Oliver shouted in a trembling voice. The sound disappeared Again.
This time we were sure something is wrong. I called the caretakers phone.
“The number you have dialled is out of service.”
The caretaker’s house was 50 meters away. Even though it was not too far but that night, it was too far for us. We did not know what to do.
Daniela knew it was a spirit. She was hiding her face in a blanket and trembling with fear.
“ I don’t want to die, “ she said breathing profusely.
Oliver realised things were going out of our hands.
He summed up the courage and told “ Roel, let’s go out and check what it is”
We can’t stay In fear over here. I let out a deep breath and said “OKAY”
I am not sure is it the right thing to do or not.
My hands are shivering. Is it due to cold or fear?? Perhaps both.
We heard the sound once again and could see a faint shadow passing by.
Oliver looked at with determined eyes filled with courage. For a second even I could sum up some courage within me.
We sneaked outside our tent slowly, without making a sound.
As we went out. We saw something very strange, we couldn’t believe our eyes.
Its eyes were shining like a werewolf, Fur as smooth as silk and it just ran away leaving behind the sound.
What we saw rocked us and shocked us, we were flimflammed by caretakers dog.
He had small bells attached on his blue-collar neck. He was sneaking to eat leftovers. When we used to speak he would run away from there.
It was a sigh of relief. It’s very cold now and we knew we couldn’t sleep.
“Let’s reignite the fire, “ Oliver said.
All I could see was ashes and remnants of the log.
“ We don’t have matches or any source of fire, “ I said.
But he saw something beyond that. Taking a piece of cardboard, he started fanning and Underneath those ashes, some embers reignited again. Just like how the embers were covered with ashes, my courage was covered with fear. He not only fanned the flame, he also fanned the flame of courage within me.
You know, sometimes our dreams, ambitions, passions or anything else we want to do is buried with disappointments, pain and self-doubt.
Have you seen something special in someone which is buried with disappointments, rejections and self-doubt???
What can we do about it?? Just accept it and let it be as it is??
Or fan the flame to reignite it once again.
People cannot shine outside when there is no fire inside. Ragging fire of the sun is trapped within the fading embers in each one of us. After this incident, I decided when I see something special in someone, I fan the flame. Fan the flame by encouraging them, by acknowledging what they are good at, sometimes they won’t even know that they are good at it. So let’s begin by acknowledging wonderful things within someone and see the magic happen within them.
“Hey, I liked your speech.
Oh You have magic In your voice
Hey, you are looking pretty!!!!!!”
When we fan it with simple words we can see the fire ride up into their eyes.
It doesn’t take anything special to find faults in someone.
It takes something very special to find the buried embers and be the FANMAN.
Anyone can be the FANMAN.
The real questions is “How many of us choose to be a FANMAN??”
If you want to be one , come join us and
Let’s set people on fire.
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