The Moving Shadow

My family was happy on getting a spacious bungalow with garden, porch and courtyard in Lucknow. The school of my children was also within walking distance.

But this happiness was short-lived. The landlord had given a garage like accommodation to his brother-in-law, who used to take care of the house. After a month or so, his wife joined him. The lady appeared good and became friendly with all of us.

But after a few days in the night, we heard her screaming and abusing her husband and his family members. After two weeks, we again came across the same nonsensical screams, which became more frequent in subsequent days.

It became a regular nuisance for us, particularly for my children of impressionable age. We came to know that she was a drug addict, and she used to harm her husband physically too, under the influence of drug. One day she had a big fight with a drug peddler/user, and thereafter, suspicious characters started hanging around the house.

We then decided to change the accommodation, which was difficult to get at such a short notice. Then someone in the bank told me that a house, in which a previous branch manager used to live, was still vacant for the last three years after his transfer.

This house was equally big independent unit. Though it needed a lot of cleaning and white washing, I decided to occupy this house. We heaved a sigh of relief. After a fortnight or so, our life came back to normal. Children started going to school by a rickshaw. Neighbours were also good. We felt safe.

One Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in the drawing room reading some periodicals. Suddenly I realised that a white shadow was going inside a room. As I don’t believe in supernatural elements, I just ignored and forgot it.

I realised the same phenomenon once again after about two months, but not thereafter. The other day, my elder child asked me where his Dadi (my mother) had gone. I said she was in Varanasi and would come at her own convenience. But he insisted that he had seen his Dadi in the morning here only.

I thought he might have seen her in his dreams. So I rubbished the whole thing and didn’t even mention it to anybody either in the bank or in the family. In the meantime, my sister-in-law also came to stay with us for a few months.

Everything was back on the rail. A day also came when I was transferred from Lucknow to Indore. Since we had been there earlier too, we were happy to reunite with our earlier acquaintances.

One day my wife told me that she was feeling extremely happy that she got rid of that moving shadow. I was surprised what she was talking about. Then she unfolded the mystery that in the second house, she was quite terrified, as she used to see a white female shadow moving from one room to another. Her sister also confirmed it.


That was precisely the reason why she had called her sister to stay with us. Her parents also came to stay with us for the same reason, once her sister left, as she didn’t like to remain alone in the daytime, when I was in the bank.

In the meantime, she also came to know from the neighbouring lady that the mother of the previous manager had breathed her last in this house.

I demanded why this was not brought to my notice. She gave two reasons, first I was already disturbed with the first house fiasco, and the second, she feared to discuss it while staying in the same house.

Then I recalled my own experience on two occasions and my child’s insistence of having seen his Dadi.

When I further enquired, I found that my previous manager’s mother had actually expired in the same house. I knew her very well, but surprisingly nobody told me about this fact, at the time of my taking that house on lease.

Since the ex-manager was my colleague, I used to go to his house frequently, when both of us were posted in Indore. His mother was a very pious and intellectual lady. She treated me like her son and used to talk a lot with me on politics and religion. She was a widow and used to wear white saris, just like my own mother.

I don’t know whether there was an iota of any substance in the whole episode or not, and I don’t wish to, but sometimes even memories of this peculiar incident bring goosebumps.


–Kaushal Kishore

15 Comments

    1. I have enough material on her to write a separate story. But frankly we were not in touch with her after vacating the house. While I was leaving Lucknow, I came to know that the couple had already shifted to their native place in Morena distt.

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      1. Can’t say for sure, but her own family members had decided to take the couple back to native place presumably to help her out. You are right ma’m, she had a terrible past that might have led her to this mess. I really appreciate your concern for this lady. Thanks a lot.

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    1. Thanks for going through the post. But don’t keep it in mind. I had forgotten it till I read a post on your blog, that gave me an idea to make this post.

      Liked by 1 person

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