A Night With The Dead!

1985

Darjeeling is a great place for people to visit in India for Winter Vacations. With snow-glazed mountains, the cool breeze, the beautiful landscape and if you’re an adventure freak, it’s the best place for trekking! To liberate yourself from your life’s problems and tensions and pressure, Darjeeling is the best place for a stress free environment. It’s culture, the dresses and street food will make you lick your fingers!

Continuing with the main point, me and 5 of my friends had the exact same idea in our minds. College life had made us dull and put so much pressure that we had to plan a trip. We planned a 7 day trip to visit Darjeeling and all of it’s famous places for trekking and camping. Well let me get something straight, we had very little money so Darjeeling was the only place we could afford (although that’s not the main reason we chose it). Since we had a shortage of money we had to rent some cottages in village areas which had a fees of about Rs.5–10 (prices back then weren’t so high as they are now!). We planned out our routine, where we’ll go, what place we’ll visit, where we’ll stay for the night and which mountain to climb. Seven days, seven different places.

First 5 days we went around the place, didn’t have any cameras so couldn’t capture the beauty! At days end we would just come back to our cottage (whose prices had lowered since we were college people) and rest.

On the 6th day we lost our way. We had no compass or map or GPS back then so couldn’t guess where we were headed. And to make matters more pleasant, it started to rain heavily. Since Darjeeling is in Northeast part of India, by the time it was 1600 hours it was pitch dark! So now we had to find some place to stay overnight. We were all so drenched and since we were a group of youngsters, even if someone touched someone we’d cuss loudly!

After a few hours we found a village and saw some houses there. We went to the closest one to ask for shelter. After knocking a few times nobody seemed to answer the door. Since we were almost a bunch of angry young men we couldn’t wait for the answer and tried to open the door. Surprisingly, it wasn’t locked. We went inside and found four people sleeping on the floor so we decided not to disturb them and eat quietly. All of my cigarettes were wet so I had to throw them and we squeezed out the water from our clothes and called it a night.

We woke up to a big commotion. All around us were people holding sticks and stones, ready to attack. We woke up immediately and asked why were they holding the sticks. They replied in some local language but we couldn’t understand so we had to ask them again to which they replied “We thought you were black magic practitioners performing experiments.” We were stupefied so asked why they thought that were some dark magic practitioner and they replied that the people we were sleeping next to were dead bodies which they had to burn the day before. Since it started to rain they couldn’t do it so they kept it here and came today to take it to burn. Well, that was it! We were scared till death so we excused them, took our stuff and ran away, never looking back at that place!

It’s been almost 3 decades but this still creeps me out although now we look back and laugh at that!

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