The Ghost Named Bond – Part 2

(The Story Till Now – A 27-year-old young man named Wilbert Bond falls off from his balcony while clicking a stunt selfie with his girlfriend. He refuses to move on after his death and stays stuck in Apartment 326, where he has spent the most beautiful days of his life. His parents and girlfriend leave after his funeral but he is unable to move on due to his extreme grief. Slowly, he comes to know more about the after-death existence and a funny reality – he has become quite a creepy ghost himself. Read more to know what happens next…)

One evening, the Asian Man ( I had nicknamed him Mr. Crocs), was watering plants in his apartment, which was right opposite to mine. I was melancholic and accidentally floated to the same ‘selfie’ spot, from where I had fallen off.

In a flash, my form seemed heavier; I felt I was materializing. I was acquiring a sort of shadowy structure that was close to my former physical body, on the spot that led to my death. Perhaps, I had left some intense energy there before dying. It felt good to have some form, although ghostly; it was quite an achievement for me.

But I couldn’t enjoy the finding for long because Mr. Crocs had spotted me. His reaction was priceless. His shock-stricken eyes almost came out of the sockets. He blinked twice or thrice and then ran inside, screaming in his language. I had never seen him unnerved before; it was hilarious to ruffle him out of his remarkable composure.

He came out again to check once more and ran back screaming. I moved away from the spot in a blink before he could get a heart attack as he was beginning to look very pale. The very next day, I saw a crowd on his balcony, geared with devices to record a ghost-sighting video.

This intrusion infuriated me. After the incident, I tried not to venture into the ‘selfie’ spot in daylight. It was annoying to have prying eyes on me. However, at night, the irrepressible feeling of having a presence, albeit shadowy, in the living world would overpower me.

And I would stand on my balcony after midnight, reminiscing about my girlfriend – hoping that I get a second chance to say good-bye to my love. I would also think of my parents and move around the house in an agitated state. I wondered whether the neighbors heard my horrible noises of agony.

Despite my best intentions, I got sighted by old Mrs. Wiederholt, who was taking in the night air by the pool. She looked startled for a second, and then the dear lady just crossed her heart. She knew Mr. Wiederholt was somewhere in my world. I tried to connect with the ghost of Mr. Wiederholt for companionship. I often played chess with Mr. Wiederholt when we were alive but he was not there in my dimension. He had moved on.

Often, creepy animals floated by me; occasionally, I saw some light beings too. The ghost-world perplexed me; there was so much to learn.

Mrs. Wiederholt had stopped reacting whenever she saw me and would leave me in peace. However, Mrs. Raju almost had a heart attack when she spotted me from the outside parking lot. ‘Aiyayiyoooo,’ she yelled and jumped towards the clueless Mr. Raju, who walked ahead carrying their sleeping boy. They were returning home from a late-night birthday party.

Mr. Raju was annoyed about being pushed but Mrs. Raju pointed towards my balcony and escaped abandoning her glittery sandals. Mr. Raju kept a brave face, walked faster, and faster… and finally, ran like a bullet towards the safety of the building holding the wailing kid.

I was not that scary, was I?

I became one of the most talked-about ‘non-living-being’ in the county. Everyone held me responsible for doing terrible things. I was ‘Mr. Nobody’ who stalked, scared, and harassed people. My ghost stories made kids go to bed on time.

Therefore, I was astonished when an Indian couple rented my apartment. Weren’t they aware that Apartment 326 was haunted by ME – the terrifying, blood-curdling ghost named Bond? (To be contd…)

The Ghost Named Bond – Part 1

ghostA popular sad song played somewhere close while I stood looking at my crumpled body. My neck had broken, someone said. I agreed. It was a nasty fall; a wrinkled man announced. I agreed again.

She came running towards me and ran through me towards the crowd. The crowd made way for her. Breathless, shocked, and dazed, she looked at my dead body and broke down. The crowd feigned sympathy and enquired suspiciously about my fall. With great difficulty, she managed – He…he..fell off the balcony while taking our..selfie!

Her words came as an embarrassment to my detached self. Did people die like this? I mean, just like this? Being murdered was far better than death by foolishness. There was no drama, no twisted plot, not even some fancy-sounding sickness, just a stupid accident!

If only I could get sucked back in that body! It was a nice, healthy body filled with joy and energy just a couple of minutes back.

But the next moment, I just lay there like an empty reddish-white sack. But wait, who was I – that body or this? It was all so confusing or a bad dream, perhaps?

Someone in the crowd suggested it could be a suicide or murder. I looked at the speaker and recognized my neighbor – Mr. Crocs! His eyes looked even more prominent now as I hovered near him. “Do not look for cheap thrills Mr., it was just a foolish accident,” I whispered hoping to be heard. I didn’t want any more troubles for her.

Soon after, sirens wailed and men in uniforms appeared. They began their investigation and reaffirmed the truth – I had slipped off the balcony from my third-floor apartment while posing for a selfie with my girlfriend. Legalities ensued. Later, my parents and well-wishers arranged a funeral service at the famous Cross Point Church in my small town in the US, where solemn speakers took turns to speak about me in superlatives.

Before death, I never knew I was such a great son, boyfriend, brother, friend, colleague, neighbor. I remembered the same set of people calling me names at different times in my life. They had all changed opinions quite quickly! It felt nice listening to them. I was going to heaven, perhaps?

After my burial, I expected angels to descend and escort me to heaven. But nothing happened. Or was the Devil planning to claim me? I thought of my sins and considered myself quite eligible for hell. But he also didn’t show up. Death confused me. No God, No Devil. No Heaven, No Hell! Did religious talks and holy books contain nothing but a series of concocted tales? Were godmen lying all this while? I was the same person minus the body and its demands. Death did not bring answers. I said goodbye to my 27-year-old body with a broken neck and decided to go back to my apartment.

Back in the apartment, my parents sat holding hands. They looked older than I had seen them last. It was heartbreaking to see them in such a pathetic state. I heard sobs in the bedroom. My girlfriend was there. I wanted to reach out to her, to connect somehow.

However, things were different. I was stuck in an unknown dimension, from where I could watch but couldn’t communicate. My cell phone beeped. I saw – 3k likes on my Facebook obituary. Now, this was something that pepped up things a bit.

After a few days of untold misery, my parents flew back to Arizona and I watched her pack. She was moving out of our apartment. Memories came flooding back of those amazing days we had spent together, of nights filled with passionate love and bitter-sweet quarrels. I thought of a life not lived, tasks unfinished and wishes unfulfilled, and mourned my sudden death. The angst that followed was worse than my fall. I was miserable but stuck to the place where I had spent the most beautiful time of my short-lived life – Apartment No. 326.

Someone who had a bad sense of timing played the haunting song again as I watched my girlfriend go, forever!

A period of gloom filled my consciousness after she left. But I tried to adjust to my new status. I noticed there were various dimensions in our space. Sometimes, I watched shadows float by. I tried to communicate but none answered. It was unbearably lonely, but I did not want to move on. I was just not ready yet. Occasionally, some unusual sounds or sights would scare me and I would retreat to the furniture less bedroom. Later, an incident led me to believe that I was very creepy! And the residents of the Apartment Complex had named me – The Ghost Named Bond. (To be contd…)

Likhita Japa – Write Divine Mantras to Reduce Stress

Powerful Mantra Meditation Writing or Likhita Japa is a relatively easy yet lesser known meditation technique and devotional practice for spiritual, mental and emotional wellness. It is tremendously valuable for increasing concentration and depression free life.

Writing the mantra with full concentration is one hundred times more beneficial and powerful than Japa chanting.” – Vaishnava Tantra.

My grandmother first told me about this sacred practice. Sitting in a Lotus position, she would use a red pen to write divine mantras on her brown journal everyday. She taught us the value of this transformational ancient Hindu practice that involves many parts of a person’s body-mind while chanting and writing a mantra. It is interesting how eyes follow sacred words, hands are used to write it down, the mouth recites the pure sounds, ears enjoy, and the mind gets connected to the divine flow of energy.

After filling all the pages of the brown journal, she would offer it to some temple in a holy place in India. Once, she asked me to take few of her journals to Hrishikesh for the offering and I felt privileged to do that. She lived a stress free life for more than a century.

This age-old practice is great for developing great concentration and ensures holistic well-being!

The Method of Likhita Japa – Likhita Japa is easy to practice and has a far better impact than any other technique. Alternatively, you can use the journal to write positive thoughts in any language and make that your mantra!

Step 1: Choose a particular time of a day and be consistent.

Step 2: Purify yourself by washing your hands and feet.

Step 3: Sit comfortably with the spine straight and carefully choose a particular mantra based on your intent or just write the name of your ishtdeva (God) or a positive thought in your own language.

Step 4: You can use different colored pens for writing to make it interesting.

Step 5: Chant gently while you write.

Step 6: You can write as many times as you want (108, 27, 21, or 11 is considered auspicious).

Step 7: Sit quietly for a moment after finishing, reflecting on the mantra. Be grateful for this divine opportunity.

Step 8: Keep the journal and pen in an appropriate place.

Step 9: You can choose to offer the journal to a place of worship after filling all the pages.

The memories of my grandma’s journal prompted me to create one Likhita Japa or Mantra Meditation Journal. So, if you wish you can buy my journal from Amazon .

Hari Om!

Great Hiking Trails in the Twin Cities

It is strange how the ‘new normal’ is making us do things which we would not normally do! Last weekend, the Twin Cities enjoyed clear skies and unusually high temperatures in November, so we went hiking.

Had it been a normal November, we would be organizing ‘potluck’ or going out shopping. That’s what we always did. But, this time, we searched up ‘Hiking Trails Near Twin Cities’ and found some little known hiking spots. These lovely woods in the heart of Twin Cities looked inviting and refreshing, far from the madding crowd.

So, off we went to the woods, to hear the sound of chirpy birds, to enjoy the majesty of long artistic trees, and to hear the whistles of the wind.

The aroma of the unexplored woods felt inviting, and the unexplored bends at the end of trails teased us about the possibility of what might lie ahead – a mighty lake or a little squirrel!

Hope you like the pictures of some trails in the heart of the Twin Cities – Whitetail Woods Regional Park, Caponi Art Park and Ritter Farm Park. Enjoy the woods!