Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Spirits Live On

With Halloween behind us, I’d rather not cover anything too scary for this week’s topic if I can help it. (Yes, I call myself a crime writer, but I’m really a wimp.)
Instead, I’ve been thinking about a wondrous little happening from close to a decade ago.

After my first daughter was born, my in-laws made the long journey from India to see her and spend time with all of us. When they arrived, my mother in-law fretted a bit about her older sister who’d recently lost her husband, so on the spur of the moment, she called to invite her to join us. Happily, her sister said yes, and after her arrival, what struck us all was the immediate, electric bond my six-month-old struck with her great aunt, like old soulmates.

Right from the get-go, my baby’s eyes would light up whenever she saw her great aunt, whom we affectionately call Ayee (which means “mother”). No matter how preoccupied Uma was with whatever bright, shiny object lay in front of her, she could acutely sense when Ayee was anywhere nearby.

After jumping into her arms, my girl would knowingly proceed to locate an old rosary Ayee wore around her neck. She didn’t seem to register anyone else’s necklaces, not even the gold chain Ayee also wore – only that rosary. For fun, or so we thought, our aunt would tuck the rosary into her blouse and tightly wrap her sari around her neck and chest to make it hard for Uma to find. But no matter how hidden away, Uma would find the piece and touch it delicately as though it held some special significance.

In some parts of India, it’s believed that when a newborn comes into the world, he or she inhabits the spirit of the last person who’d passed away in the family. As it happened, Ayee’s husband was the last person we’d lost before Uma’s birth. It’s just a superstition, of course. But as Ayee informed us, her husband had worn that rosary all of their married life. When he passed away, she’d removed it from his body and has worn it ever since.

Is it coincidence or proof of the supernatural, you think?

1 comment:

  1. Only the other day I had a similar discussion with a friend on mine. I find this truly fascinating and personally, I think it's proof of supernatural powers at work. What a lovely story, Supriya, and thank you so much for sharing it with us.