“This is the work of five devious undead witches who’ve been ordered by your aunt to torment you and your family. Don’t worry, you’ll be all right,” the smiling psychic told Neetu.
“We’ve travelled across the state, baba. Her wails of pain don’t let any of us sleep at night. She’s in a lot of discomfort. Please help us,” Neetu’s father, Manish, pleaded.
“Of course I will. That’s what I am here to do. But it’d take time.”
“Time? How much?”
“A month. Come daily to the shrine — unfailingly — and offer your prayers and whatever gift you can. Her Holiness the saint mother will take care of all your problems.”
A beaming Manish expressed his gratitude to the psychic. His family, Neetu and her brother Amar and his wife Shivani all bowed down before the psychic and then, before leaving, outside the entrance of the main shrine. They again folded hands to the psychic and left, happy that their days of troubled existence were soon to be over.
There used to be a long line of expectant devotees daily to meet the psychic to get their problems — job, marital discord, infertility etc — solved. There were some salacious rumours about him but they were unverified.
The psychic watched the family go and couldn’t prevent himself from smiling inwardly. One more, he thought.
Over the next 28 days, the family kept visiting the shrine to take the blessings of the saint mother and his disciple. The parents maintained the visits when the kids couldn’t join them because of their studies. On the 30th day, seeing no marked lasting improvement in his daughter’s condition, Manish sat down with the psychic and asked how much longer will it take.
“The witches are very powerful, Manish ji. It’ll take another couple of months before the issue is solved completely.”
“Oh! We were hoping it’d be done by the end of this month.”
“We can finish it in another 10 days but it’d need some offering to the mother. After that, all your issues will end.”
“What will we have to offer?”
“Don’t worry, Manishji. I’d buy the offering materials. You just give me ₹ 50,000 for them.”
“But, we can’t afford that much. You already know we are finding it tough to finance Neetu and Amar’s studies. Can the amount be reduced a bit?” He pleaded.
“See, Manishji. I am not taking anything for myself. Im only doing bhakti (prayer) and sevā (service). It’s a pretty big offering and will keep your family safe from any future attacks from your cousin’s side.”
“Of course, I understand that. I’ll try to manage something.”
“And one more thing Manishji. Your daughter will have to be present too while we offer the gifts to the saint.”
“Eh, ye..yes, baba,” Manish said tenderly.
On the night of Amavasya (lunar eclipse), the four of them – Manish, Shivani , Neetu and the psychic, were the only people at that shrine, apart from a couple of disciples. Amar had been asked to stay home. The chants started at ten minutes to midnight. After three hours, the psychic asked Neetu to accompany him to the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. She was apprehensive and looked towards her mother for permission. Shivani was herself unsure and looked at Manish who, confused hinself, hesitated for a moment before nodding towards Neetu to go ahead and kept his hand on Shivani’s arm to relax her.
Inside the dimly-lit sanctorum, after praying for an hour, the psychic asked Neetu to drop her clothes. Neetu, 16, was scared. The psychic came close to her and said soothily, his palm on her head, “Your body will grow in all its glory from tomorrow, kid. But for that, you have to bend your mind and soul before the Great Saint Mother.”
Outside, Neetu’s parents were already drowsy from drinking the tea brought by the psychic’s disciples.
Neetu slowly came out of her clothes. The psychic asked her to wait till he came back from bath. 5 minutes later he was back, a thin towel draped on his thighs. He sat close to her and gave her a flower to eat.
“Eat this flower, kid. It will absorb all the dark energy your aunt is throwing towards you.”
She ate the flower and immediately felt her eyes grow heavy with sleep. The psychic took her in his arms and lay her down on the floor, dropping his towel. He stood stark naked above her body.
As he tried to violate her, a bright, blinding light, radiating from Neetu’s body, lit the whole sanctorum. He tried to cover his eyes but the light engulfed him, penetrating his whole body like a million thin shards. The psychic screamed in pain. Within moments he was gone from his existence, evaporated into thin air.
Neetu woke up slowly to heavy knocks on the door. She saw a strikingly beautiful woman in a bright saree standing before her.
“Who are you?” Neetu asked , as if in a trance.
“Don’t worry about me, Neetu. Think of who you are.”
“Who am I? I’m Neetu.”
“Yes, but you’re more than that.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re a reincarnation of an old and powerful spiritual medium. You have unlimited power within yourself.”
“What? And where is Baba?”
“He’s gone forever. He won’t be able to hurt young girls anymore. Your inner power saw to that.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will, with time.”
With these prophetic words , the woman vanished. As Neetu turned, she saw the faint light of dawn turning the dark night crimson. A smile formed across her lips.
Image Courtesy : Pinterest