The ghost palace ?

Sunita Giri 10:35 PM |

Some volunteers call it broken palace and some of my childhood friends insist it was so scary place at night. I got to admit it like all the children, darkness did scared me too, but, ghost inside Bal Mandir just eluded me. Unlike many of my friends, I just did not believe in existence of Ghost inside the palace and had almost nil experience of its existence or scaring me during my time there.

This is the palace of Bhim SJB Rana, one of the youngest brother of Jung B. Rana, who was the Prime minister of Nepal after forcefully rising in the political power. Rana era is regarded one of the darkest age of our country, as they only focused on the nepotism rather than the growth of a nation as a whole.

Of all the person who were part of my childhood life, Junkiri is one name that stands tall in my mind for making Bal Mandir a ghost Palace. She swears by that Bal Mandir was haunted by the ghost of the Rana victims.

When I was about ten year old, they had dug a big water tank. It may be about 10 - 15  thousands liters capacity tanks, but to my child eyes it looked a lot bigger than twenty thousands capacity tank. During that digging, the construction workers had found an adult bones. In my blur memory, the bones and skeletons were there but sword I can't remember, but Junkiri can't forget the sight of it. But, more than that, the talk of it lasted longer in the minds of people who liked the preconceived notion that Ranas were cruel people, who killed people without mercy and then they buried them under the four walls of palace.

Room nannies whom we called didis and male junior staffs really fed the imagination of children. Does that kind of finding do have power to scare children in their teen or some just use their juicy creativity to create the imaginary ghost ?

I can't tell about other people, but in the case of Junkiri, I am hundred percent sure that she used her juicy imagination when it comes to seeing ghosts around her. I doubted her always and it irked her to the max for me doubting her seeing any of it.

There is no doubt that the story of ghost fascinated her, and to quench it she used to listen to didies [room nannies] who had plenty of such stories to tell her. Oh, yes not just from Bal Mandir, but the story that happened in their respective villages as well. Junkiri used to see tiny bright light in the dark everywhere in any given day if it was dark and used to tell us that she had seen a cat’s eyes. And then her story surrounded around that imaginary ghostly and grisly cat. Cat is regarded as an evil animal, it being used by witches for black magic purpose in our society, therefore, cats as a pet is very rare case in Nepal.  Bal Mandir never had any pets for children, of course, there was a dog, but, no, not as a pet for children but to protect us during night time ? So there were no cats, however she saw it almost every dark night and she always swear by it that she had seen it.

Junkiri by nature is queen of sesame hill. She loves blowing things up and exaggerating things is something she uses it as her birthright. Of course, there were people who loved it without questioning and I have this habit of going into the depth of it and then trying to rationalizing it. It sure contradicted with her personality. Its not that I don't like her, but sometimes she blows things beyond recognition, which of course, she loves all the time except if she find me in her audience to cross question or rubbish her imaginary story. She could not answer my cross questioning habit to clarify it.

She having suffering from the learning disability, she was the weakest person in her class and had failed almost in every class. She tells you with so much ease, that she had failed three times in fifth grade and also two times before  that in her earlier classes. She never passed her SLC also. Needless to mention she hated going school. However, her visual memory was very good and her imagination was even at its best. She could tell us the movie she had watched better than the one who was best in her class, therefore making it her most comfort zone.

Although, she being the weakest student in her classes, she was not the lonely person, instead she was surrounded by many of her friends which made her feel good about herself, an achievement which she could never feel good in her classroom with her classmates like a queen bee. For this very reason my questioning just bickered her sending her in most uncomfort zone. Therefore she keeps repeating to me time and again “no one ever has said that to me except you.” In other word, no one ever asked her any question about her source of story, which of course was her imagination. They simply enjoyed it rather than questioning it.

You can only imagine it, how it irritated her. She is also the queen of illogical, irrational and insane. If you need a real escape from this world, she is the best company to enjoy; just like the movie of Govinda or any comedy shows. I choose her company rather than three hours in movie hall, because she is more time pass at free of cost than a movie that may turn out to be dull at times.

My only ghost like experience in my childhood was once, it was the forty day of my period and on that day we take a bath to cleanse ourselves, it's the tradition of our society. I had waken up at about 4 am in the morning and almost no one had waken up by that time. Like all others I too was afraid of darkness and cold water. As I was in the mid section of the stairs which we called bis bharyang, because it had twenty big steps and it was biggest stairs in the Bal Mandir also. I heard a moving sound under the stair. With so many ghost stories hovering in my mind I screamed at the top of my lungs and  waited for some time. And sure it scared many who was abut to wake up that day. Taking a bath on the fourth day of period is kind of religious act and we can't escape from it even if we are scared to death and hated cold water during the cold winter month too.

Despite my fear that was created by the sound, I had no other option but  to go down and take a cold water bath during the winter month. The cold water bathe was more scary than the sound that scared me. But after that, I never ever woke up early in the morning to take a fresh water bath to cleanse myself on the fourth day, every month after period. That day proved to be an end of a tradition in my mind and my life. I learned to keep myself clean all the time and not wait the fourth day to take a bath. I can't remember anyone noticed about this to mention with me. As for that sound, which scared me to death must have been made by mouse under the stairs, because I don't think it was ghost that roamed in the palace to haunt the children.

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