“Those huge black feet… hadn’t seen them before, but somehow, I knew they were mine… digging into the white sand all around me. Curiously, though bare-feet, I was wearing a blue suit, a white shirt and a black tie… you know I wouldn’t dress like that… but there I was…. And my face wasn’t mine either… big nose, thick lips and distinctly negroid features… and much older … perhaps in the early 40s… and yet I knew this was me…
I was running on a sandy beach with a briefcase in my hand. Sweat was streaming down my face, my lungs were about to burst… but I kept running… the sand gave way to grassland and on the horizon I saw thatched huts shining in the sun… both the grass and the huts seemed to have been painted with a brush dipped in molten gold. I’m not too sure but I think it looked like one of those islands in the Pacific… could just as well have been coastal Africa.
As I got closer to the huts, I saw people… men and women dressed in straw skirts, their bronzed skin glistening in the afternoon sun. I seemed to know them. I ran towards them. They were shouting animatedly… I wondered if they recognised me. The ‘straw people’ started stamping the earth with their feet in concerted rhythm, like scores of drumsticks beating a mighty drum… the infrasonic tremors crashed into me like rolling waves. Fear gripped my heart. I stopped, but that straw skirted horde did not… they were running towards me now brandishing crude spears and clubs. I stood rooted. I didn’t know which way to go? ‘Zzzuck!!’, a spear thudded into the ground, inches from my feet. I raised my arms and opened my mouth to say something, but no words came out. I just coughed and burbled as phlegm and a thick stream of blood shot out of my mouth. I looked down and saw the long end of a spear sticking out of my chest… There was no pain, not even a lot of blood. But I fell down… I couldn’t believe it but I knew… I was dying...”
Sahil (name changed) and I work together. While researching a story about past life regression, he spoke to a few psychotherapists who claimed they’d taken people back into lives they’d lived before their present life. Now, because he always carries this ‘incredulous look’ about him, one of them must’ve felt that Sahil perhaps wasn’t really convinced and offered him a free session. With some trepidation, Sahil accepted the offer and showed up for the session with his fiancé at a south Delhi studio. They were ushered into a lounge and asked to remove their footwear and ease into a pair of recliners… The therapist dimmed the lights. The speakers came alive with gentle strains of a flutist’s notes. Sahil and Ridhi drifted with the music. The therapist gave verbal cues and they saw themselves reaching towards a bright light at the end of a tunnel. Once in the presence of the light, the therapist asked them to look around them and that’s how Sahil found himself on the sands…. “And the way he died explains that look on his face too, doesn’t it…,” said Ridhi as she looked into his eyes and pulled his cheek. I had to interrupt before matters took their natural course and so I asked “Ahem, Ridhi… Ridhi? What did you see…?” Ridhi must’ve moved into the future because I had to ask her again before she’d come back to the present… and when she did… “Oh, me?… don’t know whether to believe what I saw or just forget about it like I would any other dream… I was on a stage in a darkened auditorium, wearing an evening gown. The audience was clapping… I’m not sure if they were clapping for me because there were others with me. I was happy but something was gnawing away at my tether… I was feeling rather irritable...” “Hmmm… lifetimes change but little else does…” chimed Sahil… Ridhi shot him a look that would’ve burnt a hole through a lesser man “…where was I… yes, the auditorium… so I rushed out and there was a car waiting… I got inside and it drove off…” Sahil interrupted “Do you remember the make of the car? Maybe that’ll give us a clue about the time…” Ridhi shook her head… “It’s a car sweety, not a pair of shoes… we girls wouldn’t know a Dodge Viper from a Russell’s Viper even if our husbands owned one, or the other… it was just a long red car with a lot of chrome… It stopped in front of a stack of stairs leading into a mansion… I entered the hallway. I seemed to know my way around… I entered a room to my right. It was an office room… my office room… furnished in wood and leather… I drew the curtains, crossed my arms and stood in front of the window… I seemed upset. At that moment, a woman entered … she seemed familiar… she apologised for something that had apparently gone wrong. I rebuked her… saying I’d never tolerate such incompetence… she protested which aggravated me further… I hollered some more and stomped off… As I walked past her, I got a closer look… of course she seemed familiar… she was my elder sister from this life… I shuddered and opened my eyes…”
Ridhi might’ve dismissed what she saw as a mere dream but I wondered if I’d ever had a dream wherein my relationship with a person I knew had ever changed… I mean people who weren’t nice to me in real life might’ve fawned over me in my dreams but my parents remained my parents, friends remained friends and my dog remained my dog…
But in past life accounts though, I’ve heard of relationship equations changing on their head in different lives. Fathers become daughters, brothers become wives and so on… Apparently it has to do with karmic debt.
Abe, the lady I mentioned in the previous issue told me about some cases from her soon to be published book, “Pegasus…” And she mentioned an incident about a lady who was really upset about her relationship with her mother. Apparently, her mother always treated her like stepmothers from fairy tales treat their stepchildren – cold, harsh and cruel. And yet this was her natural mother, someone who’d carried her in her womb and given birth to her. She couldn’t figure out why and so she went to Abe with her questions. Abe, through auto writing, found out that in their previous lives, her mother had been her husband’s mistress and someone she had been heartlessly cruel to… and the husband was the father in this life and all three were together in this life trying to work off their karmic debts to each other…
Lastly, as I kept looking for evidence of past life experiences amongst ordinary lives, I met Revathi, an old student of mine… Revathi’s brother had a strange experience as a child. They lived in Lajpat Nagar, in Kanpur. One day, when merely three-years-old, he was accompanying his mother to another part of the city when their cycle-rickshaw crossed a bridge called. On their right was a residential area called Kidwai Nagar. Just as the rickshaw pulled past the area, the little kid pulled away from his mother and tried to jump off the rickshaw… “There’s my house, there’s my house. I live there… I live there. My parents live there too… let me go… I want to go. I used to drive a car… a white Maruti… I had an accident…. Mummy… that mummy isn’t as pretty but she’s waiting… let me go…” Shocked and upset, the mother held on to the struggling child and asked the rickshaw-puller to hurry. Back home, having regained her composure, she asked her son why he had behaved in that manner… “I was born in a house in Kidwai Nagar,” he said and gave the whole address including the pin-code. “My father is a transporter and has trucks. I was young but I knew how to drive. I died in a road accident. My school…” And he gave the exact location of the school. And this boy is still three… he’s never been to school. But he always carried any set of keys he could find and would use any plate available like the steering wheel of an imaginary car, though the family didn’t have a car at the time. Spooked, the family decided to never bring up the subject or venture near Kidwai Nagar again.
Couple of years later, the family went to Hapur where the boy’s youngest aunt used to stay and met one of her friends. She was in her early twenties. He ran to her and said “… I used to give you flowers in school… we were in the same class” and he clung to her. The girls seemed amused and didn’t remember anything. Dismayed, his mother said “Nahi beta, she stays in Hapur. Why have you started saying these things again?”. That’s when the girl said “Didi, actually till class Xth, I had been living in Kanpur… but I don’t remember anything…”
Today that boy is 30 and is a successful doctor. He does not remember these incidents but his family members do… When asked, he just laughed and said, “I wish my family would let me meet them. I would’ve inherited properties from both sides… But seriously, I’m happy with my life... I don’t want complications… and no, I don’t want to find out.”
Having met these everyday people and heard of their experiences, I’m inclined to believe that there is a lot about our lives… and deaths, that remains to be understood. I’ll keep searching… and will keep you posted.