Pyari – An Ectoplasmic Roommate

The biggest debate about Pyari is on whether he is male or female. I am of the firm opinion that he is a he and Aadi adamant that he is a she. There is no doubt however on the fact that Pyari exists.


We were first attuned to the presence of Pyari when strange injuries and marks were seen on me. I wake up and I see these strange scratch marks and injuries which I would have no memory of. Naturally I thought Aadi must have beaten me up in sleep. Wouldn’t be the first time that happened as my nose can stand witness. Then random marks were seen on Aadi. Since I am known as the most non-violent person since whoever inspired Mr. MK Gandhi we realized that there is now grounds for investigation. If neither I nor Aadi caused these injuries then who did? As the famous resident of 221B Baker Street so eloquently put “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth”. Suddenly the whole thing became obvious. Our house is haunted.


Considering the mischievous nature of the fiend my mind arrived at the name of Pyari. Some may say it is a homage to the character played by Salim Kumar in the Malayalam movie “Kalyanaraman” but I believe that Pyari himself communicated it to me in his own ectoplasmic ways. Aadi too concurred as to the name but differed on the gender. Understandable, she does not have the breadth of experience that I have of being around ghosts.


It had always been rumored that the 200 year old 3 storied ancestral home of ours in Tripunithura, Kochi was haunted by Sundari Yakshi, a female ghost/demon. Formerly resident at a Pala tree (Alstonia scholaris) she found herself relocating to the highest structure of the time when the tree was cut to build the Post Office at Tripunithura. The topmost floor was abandoned since then and a fresco of Lord Hanuman on the second floor kept the bottom two floors safe from the depredations of the Yakshi. My father used to recount tales of his bravado when in his youth he tried to sleep in the top floor but woke up next day outside. In my own bravado I too have explored the floor albeit only in broad daylight and the place was quite as creepy as advertised. Floor was covered with two inch thick layer of dust with reptile slide marks and the whole floor was lined with a huge string of garlic. There must be some connection between Indian Yakshis and Transylvanian vampires.


When this ancestral house was demolished I was certain that I would be getting a new roommate. My computer room was in direct line of sight with the old house. I am sure she was around for a few days but I must have offended her delicate sensibilities. Centuries old and blood thirsty demon goddess she may have been but I am sure the horny loony loner in early 20s must have been too much for her to abide. I barely tolerated myself those days so I can sympathize with the poor Yakshi.


I believe this process that Pyari is of a later vintage. He is definitely quite modern in his outlook and fun loving in nature. You need some tough skin to be in close proximity to me. Pyari is quite sensible too. None of that scaring lone women at night bullshit. Occasionally opening and closing doors, dropping mops to floor, knocking respectfully on doors and those rare physical manifestations. Quite respectful I believe of a ghost.


I am glad Pyari is around but for a freeloading, non-rent paying housemate I really wish he would prove himself to be more useful. He could, for example, switch lights on and off, that could give us the Smart Home experience minus the associated costs. He could run errands, get cigarettes, drinks etc. now that Dunzo does not. Or at least he could do some of the traditional ghostly repertoire such as scaring the pesky kids who make loud noises in the corridor.


I think he is just too lazy to even attempt at being useful and I can’t really fault him for that. Sometimes I do wonder about his backstory. From Google Earth historical imagery I believe the area where my flat is constructed once used to be a cemetery. It may not have been anything as gruesome or tragic like most ghost stories. Chances are Pyari was quite fun-loving, naughty and irreverent in life as in death.  Maybe after a lifetime of pranking he just wanted to do more after death? Given a choice I know I wouldn’t mind being a ghost. All the advantages of being invisible and no fear of getting caught? Sign me up twice!!

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