Whew! September 14, 2019 reinforced that saving someone from an ultra persistent spirit is never easy or free from danger, especially when that spirit has been working on the ‘victim’ for a very long time. Some weeks ago, Ramona, who I’ve written about earlier, targeted her victim more venomously than ever before and we were compelled to respond desperately with all the skills and tools we possessed to ward off vengeful ghosts intent on taking a life and adding yet another spirit to ghostland. But who is
Ramona? She had lived a colourful life. After her marriage—an “arranged” one, soured after a few years, Ramona—not her real name incidentally—had no hesitation in taking on a lover. Over the years, even gossip mongers lost track of the number of lovers she had at one time or another and once even two simultaneously.

But nobody lost sight of the fact that Ramona, though getting on into her forties was still beautiful, was well informed, well read—a good companion as well as a good lover. It was at this point that in an ironic twist, she actually fell in love and began thinking seriously about getting married again. But there were problems. Her lover was “traditional” and wanted to keep intact the trappings of his old marriage. Ramona lost out to her lover’s wife and in the end, her lover too, unable and unwilling to cope with pulls and pressures, decided to opt out of the relationship.

Ramona was shattered. She declared she would never again enter another relationship. And then, once again, fate intervened. She met someone who fell in love with her and would not accept her “I’m beyond relationships” refusal. He was in his late sixties, much older than her. A rich man, he was used to getting his way and his actions proved that he did indeed know how to win a woman’s heart. Every day, he would call her. Every day, there would be a bouquet of the choicest flowers sent to her and so on. Ramona kept asking him not to do it as her heart was still with the man she hadn’t been able to marry.

But the new man persisted and after about a year and a half, Ramona began to melt. Instead of saying “impossible” she began saying “let’s see”. Before the year was out, they had become lovers. And then the golden run began to lose some its glitter. Her new lover had a wife, and like all faithful wives, she detested the presence of another woman. The wife threatened her husband and threatened Ramona as well with dire consequences. In hindsight, that was the key factor which led to a tragic culmination. It made Ramona determined to hold on to the lover and as for him, he discovered that though his love for Ramona was as strong as ever, his concern about being exposed about some business dealings was stronger. Gradually, he began to withdraw from the relationship with Ramona. But now, the once reluctant Ramona would have none of it and she in turn began threatening him with exposure about lurid details of their love making. He hated his wife, and he now began hating Ramona too. Peace would be restored only if one or both of them left him, he reasoned.

It was far easier to get rid of Ramona than to get rid of his wife. So one evening, instead of going for their usual romantic walk in Lodhi Gardens, he suggested to Ramona that it would be more exciting to explore the area around some ruins in South Delhi. And there, it was apparently easy to say good-bye to her forever. Nobody, he reckoned, would ever be able to detect the crime primarily because nobody would ever find her body. But he hadn’t reckoned with the spirited Ramona’s spirit.

Just a few hours after he had got rid of her, she was back with him in spirit form, mocking him,  laughing at him. “You can’t get rid of me so easily’ she told him, “but I can get rid of you at will.  I’m not going to do it as quickly as you. As punishment for your betrayal, I’ll make it a slow death. I’ll hound you to death, bit by bit. Before that happens, your reputation, your image, your peace of mind will be in shreds. And then you’ll realise you should never have done what you did to me”. She haunted him for years and years, and had apparently now decided to strike finally when he was in his nineties, at the fag end of his life, before a natural death could strike.

Initially, a disbeliever in ghosts, he thought he was hallucinating. So he consulted psychologists and psychiatrists, without of course, telling them of the crime he had committed. They put him through the works, made him go through deep sleep experiences, made him go through hypnotism to reveal past life links. Once or twice, he did come out with a narration of the killing, but the doctors, unaware of his personal life, thought it was a figment of his imagination or put some other theoretical explanation to it. He underwent many sessions, but they only compounded his problems, partly because Ramona’s spirit would accompany him to the sessions.

A moderate drinker, he tried to take to heavy drinking as a way out of his problem. But Ramona would come and gently take the glass out of his hands and smash the bottle to bits. “You can’t escape from me that way” she would tell him. By now, he had come to believe that either
he was going mad or that ghosts and spirits did indeed exist. That’s when he switched from seeking relief from psychologists and psychiatrists to seeking deliverance through priests and exorcists. But Ramona has proved to be a very faithful ghost, always unwilling to forgive him or strike a bargain either.

Obviously, spirit justice can often be more strict and severe than what is meted out in a court of law on earth. And as often happens in court cases in countries like India, it takes decades for the final judgement. But Ramona has recently been in a hurry. “You and others may have saved him this time”, Ramona’s spirit communicated to us before she drifted into haziness,” but I’m not prepared to wait any longer. The next time, there’ll be no reprieve”. On November 7, 2019 the “victim” was found dead, fear frozen on his contorted face. Ramona had got her wish.