Horror diaries of a receiver 5.
A few years ago, I was told I was a ‘receiver’; that I had a gift that would help me connect with and understand the other side. The information was not easy to digest, considering I never believed there even was an ‘other side’, let alone the fact that I could communicate with the supernatural if I developed my gift. Even undeveloped, this gift implied that I could sense things others could not.
I must admit, I have the tendency to be a bit paranoid about certain situations. Okay, maybe not a bit. Very. For instance if it’s raining heavily outside and my parents aren’t answering my calls, my mind automatically paints a horrific picture of a car accident (yeah, it’s that bad). But what happened over the next few months could not be labeled as simple paranoia, it was different this time.
I remember, it was a beautiful, sunny, Sunday. We had gone for a family lunch, and were on our way back home. I’m very fortunate to have grandparents who stay nearby; but for some reason on that particular day, the drive from my building to theirs seemed like a daunting journey. I insisted that my sister, mother and I got off at our building while my father went to drop my grandmother home. I was in the bathroom when I heard the distant yet deafening sound of tires screeching followed by a crash. My mouth went dry, my stomach began to somersault, and all I could whisper was, “That’s papa.”
There was no way of me knowing that. This time, it wasn’t my usual assume-the-worst kind of paranoia. This time, I felt a literal voice in my head telling me that it was my father. I ran down and saw a huge crowd of people surrounding the scene of the accident. Through a gap in someone’s legs I saw a mutilated BMW logo. Not my car. I thought I would be relieved, but the sick feeling in my stomach refused to subside. Something was still wrong.
The crowd parted, and I saw a hint of pink. My dad was wearing a pink shirt that day. He emerged from the group of onlookers clutching his right arm, limping towards us. As more spectators dispersed, I saw the steel gray of my car, which had literally been compressed to half its size by the impact of the crash. It was a miracle that he was even alive. The most terrifying part of it all? If we had been in the car, if it weren’t for my random persistence to get home, we probably wouldn’t have been as fortunate.
If you want to blame this on paranoia, you can. But there’s more.
For my parent’s 25th anniversary, they decided to take a dream cruise sailing around Miami. I don’t know what it was, but the thought of the trip made me uncomfortable right from the start. No, it isn’t because I’m obsessed with my parents and can’t survive three weeks without them; I mean, an empty house for 20 days… I should have been planning a party; but I just had a bad feeling about it and couldn’t put my finger on why.
Around a week before they left, I jocularly sent my father a list of restrictions. My parents thought I was a lunatic. ‘No jumping too much. No stressing about the stock market. No eating too much junk. No staying up too late.’ The list went on… I know, way to put a dampener on their anniversary celebrations. The checklist may have been sent lightheartedly, but there was nothing light about the fear behind it.
Paranoia or premonition?
The day they left, I sent him the list again. I don’t know why, but I was scared for him.
A few days into their trip I saw a few missed calls from my mother. A few missed calls could mean anything, right? But once again, I just knew that something terrible had happened, and it was to do with my father.
He had developed pancreatitis. Just a few minutes into the cruise, he began to complain of unbearable pain in his stomach, and after rigorous testing, they had to send him back to the shore on an emergency life raft. They couldn’t fly back in case of another attack, and spent the next few days surrounded by nurses and morphine, instead of the beaches of Miami. Our lives changed after that trip. My dreaded nightmare had turned into a permanent reality.
People can call me paranoid, but I know what I have isn’t just anxiety. There have been numerous other occasions on which I’ve been able to sense things that are virtually impossible to predict. Sometimes it scares me, other times it excites me. Lately I’ve been seriously considering developing the gift I’ve been given so that I can become a full-blown ‘receiver’… but then again, that’s a whole other story.
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By Tiana Kirpalani
Photographs by Tiana Kirpalani