As a child, I was fond of reading horror stories. ‘Ghosts’ never cease to become the hot topic of any generation. And it attracted me right from an early childhood. Being a single child, most of my time used to hover around books, crayons, writing pads, Cartoon Network and regular expedition to the small, concealed cremation ground amidst the forest at the back of my house.

I clearly remember the incident when I went to Ma with a paper tightly clutched under my fingers. She looked at it as if her biggest nightmare had come true. The paper had a sketch that was bereft of any colour. It was engraved with a smoky sky as a roof of some grey graveyard with clearly carved epitaphs on the tombstones. Engulfed by her motherly instincts, she scolded me and I was strictly asked to stay away from every dark thing. I do not have the paper anymore with me. It was torn marking my abandonment of darkness but the sketch is still fresh in my mind.

As I look back, I find that sketch hauntingly beautiful. Silence of the twilight enchants me and night doesn’t scare me now. My inner sky is tainted by the grey-ness of that childhood sketch. There is a weird sense of loneliness that seems to cling on my back as the entities use to do in the horror stories that I read in childhood. There is a strange play of light and darkness that I witness inside me with every passing second.

The other day, a friend shared a picture of some waterfall in my Whatsapp inbox and right on the first glance, it slipped deep inside me. For, am I, are we, any different from these raw, naked rocks, cutting through whose bosom, the momentary relief of nature flows every second?  No matter how much people adore the beauty, at the end of the day, moon witnesses the solitude of the mesmerizing landscape – a solitude so silent that even the night makes sure that it shall make no noise while falling. Surrounded by umpteen people, the sound of the silence inside remains beautiful, hauntingly beautiful. Are we all anything but the grey sketch of the graveyard and the mesmerising beauty of the waterfall?

For all those who ever told me ghosts do not exist, they do. Ghosts exist in us. All the horror stories that we ever read in our childhood are nothing but a part of our own self.
Fiction is nothing but a fragment of reality. This weird sense of emptiness that haunts us day and night, is what generations referred to as ghosts. The legend of vampires preying on our blood is true. For we are never really separated by the entities of our past. We just learn how to make peace with them.

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