Have you ever heard of anyone with 91 pins embedded inside the neck and another 55 pins lodged elsewhere in the body? A national daily in India recently carried a story on 56 year old Badrilal Meena, “a resident of Kota and an employee of Indian Railways”. According to the paper, Badrilal was admitted to Faridabad’s Asian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) on 24 June this year with complaints of difficulty in swallowing food and breathing. Badrilal had lost 30 kilograms in 10 months and had “approached many hospitals, but they refused to admit him as his condition was termed highly complex. Doctors declared that he won’t survive. In a CT scan, doctors at AIMS were stumped to see over 150 pins lodged in the vital parts of Badrilal’s body.

“With most of the pins being embedded in his neck, doctors found it difficult to operate on him with several  pins found in the vital nerves, arteries and organs like respiratory, food pipe, esophagus and carotid artery which supplies blood to our brain. However, the AIMS doctors took up the challenge… In one of the most complex surgeries in medical history, surgeons at AIMS successfully extracted 92 pins from his body—91 from the neck and one from the stomach. Some 55 pins are still lodged in his body and doctors said they will decide the next round of surgery once the patient’s wounds are healed.” Incidentally, AIMS doctors will be submitting the case to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Limca Book of Records to recognise the feat.

How did the pins get into Badrilal’s body? On the basis of analysis and study, doctors concluded that he is suffering from psychiatric illness. “It is yet to be established whether he himself inserted pins in his body or someone else did…” Doctors said the pins may have been inserted a long time ago as there is no fresh wound visible on his body. There are scar marks on the surface, but the wounds caused by inserting the pins have healed. There are several intriguing questions which arise from this. Why would Badrilal insert so many pins into his neck and body? Okay, lets assume he did so “he is suffering from psychiatric illness.”

But how come a pin was found in his stomach and there are pins in other parts as well? If he himself didn’t so, why would Badrilal allow someone else to insert pins, not one or two but over a hundred,  surely an extremely painful procedure, into his body and for what purpose? Curiously, his family members say they were unaware of the pin insertions. But how come no wound marks were ever noticed by anyone, particularly on the neck? The paper very appropriately headlined the story “Curious case of Badrilal Meena”, which brought to my mind a similar curious case of a bank manager.

Like Badrilal, the bank manager began losing weight rapidly. A range of medical tests were conducted after his weight loss was compounded by heaviness on the chest at night, almost as if someone was sitting on him. When doctors and tests were unable to diagnose or pinpoint any problem other than possible anxiety and the prescribed medicines had no effect, the bank manager came to me in despair. He had little hope of surviving as he suspected that his sister-in-law, locked with him in a property dispute, had got black magic done.

 The pin extraction was done by doctors certainly but my point is, how did so many pins get into the body in this and other cases?

His weight loss and the heaviness on the chest are in fact symptomatic of both black magic and supernatural elements. The best person to detect whether it was black magic or the supernatural or both was Baba, the caretaker of a dargah near Maurya Hotel in New Delhi. We went there one evening and were told to return the next day with some offerings and at least one  adult member from the bank manager’s family  because the treatment, we were informed, would make him very weak and sick.

The treatment was carried out through mantras chanted under his breath by Baba and within twenty minutes the bank manager began retching. At first he vomited just food but soon out came dozens and dozens of pins along with the food. My amazement was diluted by feeling sick looking at all the stuff coming out. When Baba ended the treatment and pronounced that there were no more pins in his body, I felt most relieved, partly because I too was at the point of retching. In a few days, the bank manager recovered from his ordeal and ever since, with the help of protective mantras suggested by Baba, has been able to keep negative influences at bay. This was the first pin extraction through mantras case that I witnessed and the same questions which are connected to the Badrilal case had popped up in my mind.

Over the years, I have been present at more than twenty five pin extraction through mantras or herbal concoction cases and each time the questions have remained the same. A friend who prides himself on being logical rebuked me. “Why give a paranormal twist to every case? The Badrilal case is clearly a medical case. How can you dispute that?” The pin extraction was done by doctors certainly and was quite a feat at that, but my point is, how did so many pins get into the body in this and other cases? And how can chanting of certain mantras bring out the pins? The doctors are speaking in “could be” theoretical terms when they cite “psychiatric illness” as a possible cause.

While travelling, I discovered that the “pins in body” phenomenon is fairly widespread. Does it mean that all such cases suffer from “psychiatric illness”, which still doesn’t explain how the pins enter the body. The “pins in body” phenomenon may stump doctors but it is well known to paranormal practitioners, who class it under the maran or ‘to kill’ category of black magic. People who have recovered have provided  important clues on how the pins could have been inserted into their bodies without them being aware. Continual observation and research will hopefully solve the “pins in body” mystery in the very near future.  One thing is certain even now: the explanation will be fascinating.

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