I was driving alone from Abu Dhabi to Dubai on a Friday night in 1983-84. It is a distance of 130 kms and a 1.5 hour drive. At that time, the stretch of about 100 km from the outskirts of Abudhabi to Dubai World Trade Centre, was an isolated route. The roads hardly had anything other than speeding cars plying at over 140km/hr. It is a right-side-drive system in that part of the world. That Friday night, I had a peculiar experience.
After about 20 kms from Abudhabi, I saw a lady standing on the roadside with her right thumb pointing up for a lift to Dubai. She was wearing bangles made of white gold with shining studded diamonds. Light from the headlights of the car reflected the brightness of the diamonds when she held her hand up for a lift.
She was wearing a white chudidar-kurta. White – as white as you can imagine. Shiny silk fabric. Silky white – neck to toe. No part of the body were exposed except her hands. I could not trace the face. I don’t remember it it was hollow at that time!
Normally, I would not give a lift to any one on that isolated route. But I don’t know why, I stopped the car to my right. Though my car doors were auto-locked, she opened the door. It opened absolutely softly. She sat in. I continued driving.
She sat quietly. After a while I asked some question. She did not answer. While I was still driving, I glanced towards her seat. She was wearing white socks, snow white, shiny sandles.
Funnily because I saw her legs resting on the neck support at the top of the seat next to me. I quickly realised, it might not be really funny. Where had her head gone? It was at the bottom of the seat, with top of her bald head covered with a white scarf resting on the foot-carpet.
I glanced again, this time top to bottom of the seat. It was clear to me she was sitting upside down. Bald head, a long, long nose, eyes deep inside and chin projecting out! There was certainly something seriously wrong!
I had the same thoughts you are having now. I need to protect myself!
I had to take a pre-emptive step! Who else could be better than Lord Hanuman in such situations? In my mind, I started chanting Hanuman Chalisa. “Bhoot Pisacha nikata nahi ave, Mahavir jab naam sunave etc.”. (If you chant Lord Hanuman’s name, ghosts will stay away.)
After a while, I glanced at her seat, though not at her. She was still there. I already had her company for about 50km. No communication and it looked as if she was waiting for an opportunity to do something harmful.
I collected all my strength and started chanting again Hanuman Chalisa, this time loudly. I kept repeating the loud chant. After a while, the car stopped on the road side! Waah Hanumanji! I don’t remember having turned the steering nor did I remember applying the brakes. But the car stopped decently, on the side of the road. She opened the door, got down, slowly walked away and after a couple of steps she disappeared.
Can someone tell me – Who Was She?
Written: Badri Baldawa
Edited: Meeta Kabra