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Trouble Travel

Ankita, Maharashtra, India
October 2006

The moon shone in the lonely sky, the ground below was pitch dark. Branches of trees swayed wildly in the midnight wind. Suddenly two pinholes of yellow light came slowly into focus, enlarging bit by bit revealing two headlights of a speeding car. Such was the atmosphere on that winter night when we were traveling just after a burial of my father's friend.

The ghats of Raigad along with this kind of weather proved a perfect setting for a ghost story, my sister said. My entire family was switching on and off through bouts of sleepiness. Suddenly, the car hit something and we all jumped. The wind coming through the windows became more intense. Also a loud howl from the jungle gave us the creeps. As we sat huddled together, we passed a dry waterfall, when I thought I saw something move towards the car. Suddenly the driver screeched to a halt. All at once a hand banged the window, we all screamed. It turned out to be a weeping old woman with her hair all over her face. She asked us for a lift to the next small village .Though initially declining, we finally took her in. My mother asked her what she was doing at this hour in such a lonely place. She said that she was going to get medicine for her ill grandson. We all felt sorry for her and my mother began to ask her other questions. As I looked into her face through her curtain of hair, I noticed something strange...HER EYES WERE MISSING!!! I felt a chill run down my spine. Suddenly my eyes fell on the side mirror and my mouth went dry. Everybody's reflection could be seen in that except the woman's. I ordered the driver to halt at once and ordered the woman to get down. She began to plead, while my mother began to scold me.Then thankfully my father noticed my behavior and asked the lady to go. No sooner had she stepped out when my father locked the car doors and windows.The driver was asked to speed away quickly.
My mother couldn't stop shouting at us, until I frantically turned back and shouted that she was a GHOST! But I did scream more loudly when I turned back. The old lady was running towards our car. No matter how fast we went, she kept running faster. Suddenly she caught the back door handle and began to run in line with our car. We all (including the driver) began to scream hysterically. But the lady ran on.
Suddenly she let go of the handle of the door and turned and fell into another dry waterfall with a loud scream and a dimly lit village came into view.
Our driver stopped the car in front of the first hotel to get a cup of tea for all of us. As we fetched the cups, the waiter asked us why we all looked so shaken. My father, the driver and I told the story in equal installments.The waiter became grave and told us the legend of the lady.
Some 20 years ago the same lady was seen on the road begging for a lift to get medicine for her dying grandson but no one was ready to help. Left with no option she decided to run behind the next car that came. So fast she ran that she caught the backdoor handle and ran in pace with the car. But as the car turned, she lost her balance and fell into the waterfall.
To this day, every full moon night in the winter she stops each car trying to get a lift to get medicine for a grandson who is long dead and gone with her.

Ankita, Maharashtra, India
00:00 / 01:04
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