10, 2003, I celebrated Rakhi, an Indian festival. As night
approached, I went to my bedroom and sat alone watching the
full moon, shining in its full glory. Suddenly, I was engulfed
by the sense of another invisible dimension around me. Although
I could not see him, I felt the presence of my father who
had died on August 19, 1986. Even as I struggled to understand
what was happening, a strange rapture seized me. I was no
Mehr Lal Soni, Zia Fatehabadi, was an Urdu poet. He died on
August 19, 1986, coinciding with the festival of Rakhi. When
he was in the mood to write poetry he used to hum softly,
grasp the stub of a half chiseled pencil between the thumb
and forefinger of his right hand, and scribble on unprinted
spaces of newspapers, magazines, paper bags or any other paper
he could lay his hand on. This was a typical trait of his
was suddenly overlaid upon me so powerfully that I could do
nothing to prevent it. I could only watch what was happening.
The whole episode was not frightening, but rather comforting.
It was as if I was possessed by something joyous and delightful,
an out-of-this-world experience.
this other-worldly influence, I started reciting a poem in
Urdu, a language which I do not speak, but the language in
which my father wrote his poetry. I penned the poem on a piece
of paper in Hindi. This experience lasted for a while, and
then I was freed from its spell. I told this incident to my
mother. She felt that the visitation of my father's spirit
was an omen that the time for her to depart had come. My mother
passed away peacefully in the early hours on September 30,
2003 during Durga Puja, an Indian festival. It seemed that
she had chosen her own time to depart.
of this incident was so profound that I still vividly remember
it. I cannot read or write the Urdu language, yet I was able
to compose an Urdu poem. I was not under the influence of
alcohol, drugs or medication, nor do I suffer from any psychiatric
disorder. I still am unable to decide whether this incident
was real or the product of my sub-conscious mind. However,
the incident was so real that I cannot dismiss it as false.
I am anxious
to seek responses from any of your readers who may have had
October 21, 2012