Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Ghosts, Kali Ma and an agnostic

I got goosebumps when I read this old story written in 2009 this morning when some one had commented

I was newly married then living in Calcutta with my wife. Life was pleasant as my wife managed well within my limited income. We agreed on most matters except on one. She was a very pious lady doing her daily puja without fail like lighting the lamp before an array of gods’ pictures, burning incense and chanting slokas.

I was an agnostic but never said anything against her beliefs. She visited Kali temple weekly once and on many occasions I would accompany her. While she went in to pray, I indulged myself to a cup of adhrak chai outside the temple. She tried initially to make me enter the temple and offer my prayers but gave up after my adamant response.

It was one night around 12-30am she woke me up and asked me to see through the narrow opening of our window at the sweet shop across the road. From the third floor the view was uninterrupted. We saw a strange thing happening on the terrace of the sweetmeat shop.

There were about a dozen short what appeared as young boys dancing, jumping and precariously hanging at the edges as monkeys alone can do. Many of the acrobatic postures were just humanly impossible. There was only moonlight and we could see only the dark silhouettes. The figures were short, agile, nimble footed, bigger than monkeys but smaller than men. They had no tails. This dancing and prancing about went on for about two hours with me and my wife watching in wonderment.

We pinched each other repeatedly amidst laughter to make sure we were not dreaming Then around 2-30am they all faded away and soon the open terrace was empty. We discussed amongst ourselves the various possibilities but decided to check in the morning.

Early in the morning when the shop opened around 6-30am, we went there and found the man in charge. We were known to him as we regularly bought our sweets from the shop. When we recounted the happenings of the previous night and asked him whether any work men were staying in the building. He expressed disbelief saying the shop remained closed, nobody stayed in the building and there was no stair case to the terrace. There was no way anyone can climb there let alone dance about. He dismissed our story more as a figment of our imagination and went about busy selling sandesh, rasgollahs and the customers.

On our way back my wife asked me whether I would now believe that there were some supernatural things that cannot be explained rationally in scientific terms. She added that we were hundred percent sure of what we saw while the shop owner dismissed our story as mere imagination. She urged me to have faith in what our elders and the religious texts said. I kept mum without arguing with her

I had written the examinations for probationary officers in three banks. The results of two had come out and I had not made the grade.I was very depressed and worried about the likely outcome in the last one, the biggest nationalized bank. My wife advised me not to lose heart and instead pray to Ma Kali sincerely along with her. But my ego prevented me from agreeing.

The next morning when she went to the temple, she requested me to come inside. I declined telling her that I would have my regular chai.She persuaded me to accompany her at least inside the temple more as a concession to her than under belief. I could not refuse my beloved wife and went inside.

I stood near the stone where the goats were sacrificed and watched Ma Kali in all her majesty and divinity. Though associated with death and destruction, She exuded at once compassion with anger in her awe inspiring face. I saw the multitude of the devotees praying with utmost faith to Her for Her blessings. Involuntarily my hands went up folded in obeisance to the Goddess even as my wife stood before me amazed and in delight at the transformation that has been wrought in me. She nudged me and said “Pray to Kali Ma for her grace and success in your bank examination. She will surely listen to you compassionate as She is.”

I muttered with tears in my eyes ”Kali Ma, kindly excuse me for my foolishness and give me total devotion to you” The joy in my wife grew boundless as she virtually pushed me closer to the deity for Her darshan. What a transformation She has brought about in one who came to mock but remained to pray.

It is an interesting tidbit that I got a registered letter a week later from the bank about my selection as a probationary officer sending my wife into raptures

"My child, you need not know much in order to please Me.
Only Love Me dearly.
Speak to me, as you would talk to your mother,
if she had taken you in her arms."


  1. The enormous power of Kali Maa ! Glory be to God !

  2. I have goosebumps now. :) Is it true-this story I mean?

  3. Good One. Have always believed that God knows how, when & where to reinforce our faith in him.

  4. Sir, pardon me for trying to find answer through skepticism.

    You prayed for success in the morning and by noon you received the registered post conveying your success.
    Doesn't that sound a trifle odd, even if a supernatural phenomena gave you the largesse? A registered post seldom reaches its destination in half a day? From the time of your pleading to the God to the arrival of the post, the Bank must have worked pretty fast to do the rest- I mean , selection, dictation of the message, posting and the transport and delivery of the mail.

    It is probable that you were selected even before you prayed for help.

    And the apparitions that you saw prancing about at night , they do not fit into the final outcome of the matter. Or did I not seethe blending?

    1. Thanks for pointing out.You are absolutely right
      I should have taken care of the timing .I have since changed it to a week later instead of that afternoon.You have a sharp eye for details.

      The apparitions were introduced only to show that there are mnany things beyond the ken of human knowledge and that some faith is necessary in things that cannot be seen and what wiser people have accepted

  5. Faith is certainly all powerful and can't be explained. I can totally relate to this post, for I have come from the state of agnosticism to one of faith over the years and have remained there.

  6. I have visited the Kali temple a few years back.

    Belief in something helps a lot mentally, I have seen. I always think that if we are sincere and don't hurt others knowingly, we will get what we deserve. Many relatives of mine believe in Sai Baba and I have seen them believing in him whole heartedly.

    So, I believe in your story. It happens. Thanks for sharing.

  7. As a story it is very well written, keeping my curiosity to the end. But I think that it is a futile attempt to convince any one to have faith in the Lord, everyone has his/her own journey to find the absolute truth, many are not even aware that there is a journey! So him getting the job offer is a matter of debate , whether it was a coincidence or his prayer was heard :-)

  8. "The apparitions were introduced only to show that there are mnany things beyond the ken of human knowledge and that some faith is necessary in things that cannot be seen and what wiser people have accepted."

    Sir, this is where I see men digress into illusion.And reminds me of Bertrand Russell's sanity,"if you cannot understand something and if you see inconclusive evidence, do not make a judgement but suspend your judgement till you can find proved resolution."

    Well this may be not the case in the context of the story you weave, please see this for argumentative sake.

  9. Nothing can beat the power of prayers! A powerful story KP!

  10. Powerful. Prayers make me feel wonderful and peaceful. a conversation with the Supreme is something I look forward - something that makes me hopeful and inspires me and soothes me.
    Thanks for sharing a wonderful message.

  11. This is probably one of your really good stories .. I am a strong believer in the female force or Shakti and Kali to me embodies that. She is the eternal mother. But she is also to me a female force and energy that is a unexplained and a powerful entity that is very fearful in itself. I have spent a large part of my life in Kolkata and though I have not often visited Kalighat the goddess somehow continues to fascinate me. Thank you for writing about her.

  12. A true and sincere prayer is always heard by God, specially for those in need. We must have faith and beleive in them!

  13. A good story.
    Showing that faith and prayers does wonders!