Uttara Huddar - Sharada III

Sharada lived with her maternal aunt and I can’t help but wonder as to what happened to her parents. There appears to be no mention of them. Sharada was a native Bengali speaker and behaved in the manner of an orthodox married Bengali woman. She appeared somewhat shy and demure and in the initial stages anyway she did not recognize Uttara’s parents, her siblings or any of her friends.

It was like she had stepped out of another time zone, maybe she was trapped at a specific point in time, it’s impossible to say. Either way she appeared to be oblivious to the changes that had occurred since her death.

In short there were two different people that inhabited the same body, each unaware of the other, at least at the start anyway.

Could this be a case of reincarnation? I doubt it. In instances of reincarnation the subject remembers his or her past life in light of his or her present life as opposed to completely assuming another identity. I am convinced that we are dealing with two different personalities.

Sharada was very forthcoming in the way and manner that she spoke and freely divulged details pertaining to her life. She didn’t feel afraid at all and neither did she appear intimidated in any way.

A normal person if they were suddenly exposed to strangers or surroundings that they were unfamiliar with would be apprehensive, uncomfortable and even afraid at times but there is nothing to indicate that here at all.

To the contrary Sharada appeared friendly, open and to some extent from what she had said, even eager to share her life with others around her. She may have been shy but she wasn’t in anyway intimidated.

There is something else that leads me to think that Sharada may have been induced. A premonitory sign usually preceded the phases during which Sharada manifested. Uttara first had a sensation like that of ants crawling on the top of her head. A few hours later, she became Sharada.

It’s not the first time I’ve stumbled across similar symptoms. It is the same sensations that shamans feel when a divine entity is about to take control of their body. According to some shamans it is like a current ripping through their body.

There were also instances when Sharada would appear overnight i.e. Uttara would go to bed as Uttara and wake up as Sharada, and as soon as she woke up, she’d dress in Bengali fashion, wash her hair while bathing and place a vermillion mark between the parting of her hair, like a married woman. I’m not certain if she left her hair loose or did it up in some fashion or manner that suited her.

At the beginning, Sharada appeared distant towards Uttara’s parents and communicated with them only in gestures because she didn’t understand a word of Marathi but she later managed to pick up some Marathi.

She appeared for all intense and purposes to be alive and her mannerisms were very unlike that of any spirit that appeared when a shaman went into the trance state i.e. it was much more subtle.

It was like Uttara’s parents were suddenly gifted with another daughter and I say that because that’s what she appeared to be and that’s exactly how I would have treated her.

Sharada had no knowledge of modern utensils or modern innovations and she didn’t have the slightest clue as to how to use many of the modern amenities that we take for granted, but she was amicable, friendly, willing to learn and was communicative. She didn’t even know how to open a bottle of pickles (which is regarded as a standard item that is available in every Indian household).

She took no interest in any of the household chores and she didn’t do any housework which reaffirms my belief that she is an upper caste girl. She spent almost all her time in worship or activities relating to the worship of the Goddess Durga.

According to researchers the Sharada phase usually ended with an aarthi or homa - a Vedic type of worship which pays homage to the 5 elements i.e. earth, wind, water, fire and aether. Fire the symbol of purity is essential in the performance of an aarthi, which tends to suggest to me, as perplexing as it may seem, that she wanted to convey the message that she was pure or maybe innocent.

Copyright © 2019 by Kathiresan Ramachanderam


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