I always have been an agnostic throughout my life, until one day when I was forced to reconsider my beliefs on supernaturals, if not GOD. The incident goes back to the days when I was in Bangalore, INDIA, struggling to find my mojo, my passion in life. Though I was prosperous financially yet the mental stability was far from sight. I have spent many sleepless nights contemplating, challenging, trying and then lying hopelessly figuring on what to do next with life. My confidence, my sense of humor, my presence of mind all got sabotaged by the kind of mind state I possessed. I became extremely self-absorbed in my thoughts, unable to maintain the societal balance. Even my day to day activities were done like that only.
I had a small faucet area outside my room, adjoining my washroom, where I sometimes spent standing and staring myself in the small medical cabinet glass. I usually questioned, my reflection, that am I the biggest loser of the planet, will I be able to do anything in my life or is it the never ending quest which will go with me to my grave. Every time I placed myself in front of the mirror a whole new series of self-destructing questions poked me and my identity. Slowly, the events and time made me hate that piece of glass. Even on usual days, I would get up; go to the sink area, do my regular morning stuff without even looking up in the glass. That phase of life was not only mentally traumatic for me but also for the ones with whom my life overlapped, the cause of the chaos prevailing in my life.
I was living with 3 other friends of mine in a duplex row house in Yelahanka new town in outer Bangalore. While my rest three housemates lived on the first floor, I lived alone on the ground floor, where we had a kitchen and a big hall to get wasted on weekends. My room had a French-window door which led me to my backyard garden, which [the garden] shared the boundary with the adjoining society’s clubhouse. I spent innumerable sleepless nights roaming in the garden, thinking and contemplating on what to do and what not.
On one fine morning, while everyone else was still in their cozy beds, my doorbell rang. And as I was on the ground floor, it was usually taken that opening the door was my responsibility. I went and opened the door to find my middle-aged owner standing on the doorstep accompanied by a few men and a small pickup van. I greeted him politely, rubbing my swollen drowsy eyes. He apologetically mentioned that he didn’t want to disturb us all at this hour of the day, but situations made him do so. He was investing in a gym at a nearby mall in the locality and hence had a big consignment of mirrors with him.
“If you don’t mind can I place a couple of mirrors for a few days in the house to collect it when needed later? I carelessly said, “Uncle the house is yours, keep them wherever you feel like.” He happily thanked me and instructed his men to start moving the mirrors inside. We both, still standing out chatted a bit, I showed him a few repairing issues with the house, which he took down in his diary and then shifting the talks smoothly to cricket then to the government, we both ended our talks with criticizing the recent JNU rage in the crowd.
He bid goodbye to me stating that he will send his men to look after the repair issues the next day. I came back and noticed that the men have shifted my small medical cabinet glass and replaced it with the huge 4*4 ft big gym mirror set. The glass which hardly accommodated my passport size body now had a full image of my upper torso along with the proper background of my room door and its surroundings. Looking at this I got partially happy and partially sad, for obvious reasons. Convincing myself on a few days trouble, the last night’s hangover took me back inside and made me fall asleep.
On one weekend when all of my roommates went out for clubbing, I remained back home. They all went leaving me alone in the house. After closing the door, I came back and sat on the edge of my bed looking directly in the mirror from there. It was dark, with the faucet light as the only source present. I sat and stared for a while. Suddenly all of my old depressing thoughts from the small glass came flooding in. But unlike before, this time, I tried confronting them. I’ll not be a fucking coward this time. I took a chair, went outside the room and sat right in front of the mirror and stared. The thoughts were mild at the start but as I went ahead, connecting the dots, they then started getting profound. Their severity struggled me to hold the focus. I very swiftly tried swaying through my deeper sensations of life and its existence. I sat there for an hour playing an on and off game in mind, struggling to look into my own eyes in front. The torture just picked and tore my brain piece by piece making an unbearable trail of pain running from somewhere in the head to somewhere else in the same head. The trauma went so brutal that I succumbed and immediately switched off the light.
Then came the darkness. The absoluteness in the darkness is the most fascinating thing about it. Though I was somewhere in the black space, yet it was extremely quenching, avoiding the burning mental fire. I took a moment to buckle up and settle before switching back again. This time, I didn’t look straight into the devil’s eye.
If a war is what is needed, then a sharpened blade and a forged shield are a smart man’s preparation.
I searched for the face pack on the sink parapet, which I think was expired now. I very smoothly made a paste and applied it all over my face and neck. Once it started drying, I fetched my light blue shades from the Almira and wore them, closing the final latch of my defensive armor. And then with a quick exhale, I looked up.
I certainly knew that if someone has to see this, he/she will certainly judge the sanity of my character.
Anyways, unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to confront as the light of the house went down and everything was swallowed by black. The physicality of darkness in the real world brought me back from the darkness of my mental world. I stood up and with no option left without the electricity, I went and opened the garden door and lied on my bed nearby the garden door.
I still was absorbed in my thoughts that the other society’s generator kicked in and a tube light from their clubhouse filled my room with the ghoulish milky rays of light. The direct and partial light [through the red French window curtains] illuminated the room slightly. I could very clearly see my ceiling fan’s wings going from being partially visible to completly invisible. I tried lying back for a while and then immediately stood up and went to the faucet mirror.
This time, the reflection was entirely different. This time, I could see a reflection of a boy, not me, not anyone whom I could remember or relate, but the reflection was there. I started looking at it again and I still don’t know when this looking transformed to looking keenly to gazing and then to staring constantly at the
MAN IN THE MIRROR!!
I stared and stared continuously. This time, there was no turning back, no distractions and no getting lost of any sort. I was constantly and consciously looking at the man. And within some time, the boundaries dissolved, setting the mind free. I seriously felt as if there is a boy standing right in front of me. Though I could not see him, though I could not touch him, though I could not communicate with him still he is there and both could sense both. I felt he could feel the pain in me. I looked at him for a while and with a reflex from the still surviving practical side of the brain, I questioned. “Is this real or I am simply imagining stuff. Am I being schizophrenic or it’s actually someone exactly like me standing in front of me?”
This was the time when my active, the more practical sense kicked in. It said, “Don’t overthink, it’s only your over imaginative depression which needs an escape from the reality. Relax, you are just exhausted. Suddenly I heard a new voice from within, “No. Never underestimate the power of nature, change, and supernaturalism. It could be real also.
What if that you become the first one to encounter and communicate with the other world.
I have always read such incidences in books, magazines, newspaper articles etc. It could be your showdown to this. I, thinking and fighting, stared and stared and then suddenly I looked down and without looking at the boy from the mirror, I entered the adjoining washroom.
I went and sat on the commode. Lit a cigarette and as the smoke encapsulated me, I just thought what just happened.
The red burning butt, the rising smoke from the cigarette, a very dim to almost no light in the washroom and a stray dog starting to bark all of a sudden made the perfect ambiance to teleport me to a different realm. I debated for the existence of the man in the mirror. I don’t know why but somehow I needed that man. I felt a connection of some sort. I still thought, “When I moved, did that image, the man from the mirror moved. Or is he still there?” While my eyeballs started rotating on the thought my practical mind poked in again. “You are again over thinking. Finish the cigarette and go inside and sleep. You need rest.” But then again my secret wishful part proclaimed, “At least go and check, what if he is still there. Things like this only happen with a chosen few. I believe in you and myself. Go out and try to establish a connection with him. It could be life changing for you.”
At this point my cigarette tip reached the butt and the fingers, triggering the conscious in me; I stubbed the cigarette and flushed it. I came out still looking down. My eyes were only fixated on the wash basin, ensuring full honesty to my act of not looking up, not even by the corner of the eye. I stood there hoping that the man is there, a man should be there, the man will be there and….NOPE.
He is gone.
I looked up and he is not there, the only thing which I could see was my own reflection now. The man whom I just saw a few minutes ago was gone. Now what I have is just a mere reflection of myself in shades and face pack in the mirror. I frustratingly washed my face and came and lied on the bed, while the dog still kept barking outside.
“Why this always happens to me?” I disappointingly hid my face in the pillow. I was sad, sad as if someone has died. Everything itself is not smooth in my life that this also happened. While I still was in the bed, the dog kept barking profusely. I tried sinking in the separation happened but this dog made it impossible to establish the bond. I irritatingly stood up to check what is wrong with him. I opened the window only to get confronted by the dark empty street with no movement. The dog still was barking but I could not see him. I fully opened the door and went out to check and fortunately the noise, I think, stopped the dog from barking.
I rechecked again but was unable to find the dog hence came back in. As soon as I closed the door and sat on the edge of the bed, the faucet bulb lit up, the electricity was restored.
The faucet bulb still was the only light source in the house. The dim light made me find that I was sitting straight in sight of the mirror. Suddenly the dog started barking again. The mirror, the big mirror bore the image of another small cabinet mirror inside which in turn bored a reflection of a human face, with a face pack and shades inside.
I froze. I felt I know this face. I think I have seen him before.
The dog still was barking.
The face was fixated on me. Ironically his face too was dim lit by the same faucet bulb. The shadow of his face and glass fell on his face and glass, imbibing shades of inquietudes in me. I mustered all my courage and got up.
The dog barked even more loudly.
As I took two steps towards the faucet area, the face gave a malign smile, giving more shades to his already shady face. I stopped. And before I could make a move the face just turned and went away, disappearing inside the small mirror. I darted to catch him but
The lights went off again and the dog stopped barking AGAIN!!