You all think that it is very easy being a ghost. No problems, you would say. No need to worry about food, clothes, shelter, illness or injury! No wife trouble, no girlfriend hassles, not even any work related tensions! All one needs to do is sleep all day, give out a couple of mournful hoots at night or say boo to small kids. In short, a perfect state to be in. You couldn’t be further from the truth. It is tough being a ghost. Its worst than leading a dog’s life. I’d certainly like to meet the bright spark who coined the adage about a dog’s life, preferably on a dark moonless night. Tell me, what is so difficult about being a dog? The dogs have the best of everything in this world, mainly due to their approach to life. A dog’s philosophy is simple. If you can’t eat it or fuck it, piss on it and move on. But can a ghost do it? Whoever has heard of a ghost eating, or acquiring carnal knowledge, or even passing bodily fluids? No one.
Believe me, friend, a ghost’s life is the worst you can ever do for yourself. Look at me! I have been a ghost for some 500 years. No mean feat, this. And a pretty feared and respected apparition at that! No exaggeration, this. I have lived on a Banyan tree at this hillock on the edge of the jungle. And was I feared and respected. No villager even dared to tread within a mile of my domain after I had grabbed a couple of woodcutters who dared to disturb my daytime sleep and hung them upside down from my tree. (That is something I am sensitive about, I can’t stand being disturbed at daytime. I bury myself in the deepest crater in the Banyan tree, close my eyes tight and sleep through the day). And those yokels came around and started cutting trees in the vicinity. They made a fearful racket and disturbed my beauty sleep. Boy was I mad! I put on my most fearsome appearance, gave a blood curding yell and grabbed those two morons by their necks. Even in my weaken state, (now stop grinning like an oaf, all decent self respecting ghosts find their powers curtailed at daytime) I flew up carrying them along and hung them upside down from the Banyan tree. I had nothing personal against them but had to do it, bound as I was to the Ghostly Code of Conduct and Etiquettes, version 2.11.1632. The rest, as they say, was history. The morons fainted, who would not! They hung there for full one day, till the villagers rescued them the next day.
From that day on, no one ever disturbed me again. In fact, every Friday, the villagers would come and offer me a black chicken and country liquor. And they left me alone for the rest of the week. As time passed, my reputation become worse (and that is good, according to the code of us spirits) and even the bravest of humans trembled with fear when they passed through the vicinity. And I grew lazy and fat as there was nothing to do except accepting the weekly offering of the black rooster and country liquor. Gotcha, you may say. Here is this fella whining about how tough it is being a ghost and all he does for centuries is sleep and grow fat. That was yesterday. Today my life is life is literally in tatters. I have been hurt in the most sensitive part of a ghost’s anatomy; my self-respect is gone and now tell me, what is left? A ghost with a punctured ego is as good as a car with punctured tyres, of no practical use.
Now this happened at the stroke on noon on the day you guys were celebrating Holi. Now let me tell you a secret. Our powers wax and wane with the phase of the moon. It peaks on No moon nights and declines gradually as the moon grows in size. On the day of the full moon, that too at noon time, we are about as powerful as a wet towel and even Count Dracula, one of the most revered chaps of our fraternity, sleeps in his coffin in that castle in Transylvania, not even daring to peep out of it. So on the day of Holi, with our powers severely attenuated, all ghosts usually hide in their shelters and you humans have the right to dress up and behave like us. Well, almost.
So here I was, a self respecting and decent ghost, trying to get some rest in the deepest crevice the Banyan tree has to offer when I get jolted out of the dreamless by a fearful racket. There was this infernal sound coming from somewhere near and I was so spooked that it took some ten minutes for my poor heart to stop palpitating. Somehow, I gathered my wits and took a peek at the cause of this disturbance. I saw that three cars and a couple of large shiny SUVs were parked in the vicinity of the hillock and a large group of humans had descended on my peaceful abode. Someone had set up a sound system with huge speakers and fearful noises were emanating from it. I listened carefully and realised that they were playing Justin Beiber songs. Believe me, he sounds worse than a gaggle of witches singing a dirge at midnight. And to compound matters the huge group of young men and women were dancing to the tune of the noise and making a general nuisance of themselves. Now if there is anything a self respecting ghost hates, it is a huge mob of humans dancing to Justin Beiber’s music in his peaceful neighborhood. That too at the stroke of noon when he needs rest like a Bedouin needs his camel.
I wondered what I should do. Didn’t these infernal humans know that this area was haunted and they were supposed to give it a wide berth? Me, the most feared ghost of the area and they were disturbing me right below my liar. I was furious. I gave out a fearful roar and rushed out, planning to scare the crap out of these insolent idiots. I was so incensed that I did not even pause to think that if I succeeded, the area would stink to high heavens for the next few days. Guess what happened? Nothing! I am ashamed to tell you that nothing came out of my ferocious charge. The bellow was lost in the blaring music and no one seemed to even notice me. Then I remembered. It was noon at my powers were at their lowest. I was probably not even visible to these jokers. And if any of them saw a shimmery from, they would attribute it to the effect of the multiple bottles of beer they were consuming. I counted the empties. The group of thirty boys and girls had already consumed some seventy beers and my beautiful hillock was littered with empty bottles and cans. Now tell me, is it easy being a ghost?
I decided that a strategic retreat was in order. I sought shelter in a nearby cave and gave the matter deep thought. You may say that I introspected till my head hurt but could not find a solution. (Hey, stop that snickering. Ghosts do have heads thought we do have a headless variety in our ilk. In fact, we ghosts are just like humans but for the fact that you humans have feet which are positioned the wrong way). What could I do about those interfering, idiotic and moronic humans? I felt compelled to defend my position as I felt that if I did not take any action now, I would have to yield my residence to them permanently. Then I had a brilliant idea, almost a stroke of genius, or so I thought at that time. Individual attack! That was the key. I flew out of the cave and wavered for a second. I do hate the midday sun as I have sensitive eyes, you see! But I steeled myself and started looking for individual who had staggered away from the group. And what do I find? I find a couple in the bushes just behind my Banyan tree. And I find that they are embracing and kissing and the boy had his hands up the……Forget it; I am not going to tell you. Just because I am a ghost you think I have no sense of decency. Anyway, I decide to teach them a lesson and rustle up a storm and blow some leaves on them. Might cool their passion a bit, I thought. And what happens, nothing. I huff and puff and blow and the girl giggles. “Ah what a nice breeze. I love it.” Girl, watch it, you can’t love two things at the same moment, can you? I decide to unleash the next weapon in my armoury, a dense fog. Now, you can imagine how difficult it is to produce a fog with the sun beating down on you but I succeed. A dense fog enveloped them and what do they do? The boy says, “Oh lovely. We have privacy. Maybe we can go all the way.”
All the way, you bastard! I’ll show you, I thought and promptly made the fog disappear. There was nothing else left to do. I assumed my most fearsome form and charged them. That, on retrospect, was a mistake. But I was blinded with fury and did what I thought was best under the circumstances. Well it was Holi, and noon and I was weakened but still I assumed the appearance of a ghost with half the face chopped off and blood flowing and stood next to them and let out a few pitiable groans. This, of course, cooled their ardor a bit. They disengaged and gave me an interested look.
“Look!” Said the girl, “A Ramsey brothers’ ghost.”
“Tomato Ketchup.” Decided the boy. “It is one of the gang trying to spook us.”
And they turned back and resumed whatever they were doing. And as for me, I have never been so insulted in this world or the next. I shimmered a bit and decided to beat it. I flew back to my tree and cried my heart out. In fact, I am clinically depressed. I want to commit suicide but that, you know, is impossible. I need a counselor, a psycho-therapist, anyone. I need Bruce Willis from THE SIXTH SENSE. By the way, could you give me Manoj Night Shyamlan’s personal number, please?