There was a short period in my life, mid twenties to be precise, when I took to some serious reading. It was during this short period, I stumbled upon ‘The Ghost at Noon’ by Alberto Moravia. Being a great fan of ghost stories, I settled in a comfortable chair and started reading it. I was disappointed that no ghost put up its appearance till the fiftieth page. I rushed through the remaining pages hoping that the ghost might put up its appearance at some point but the ghost just remained a title! Then I realised that ghosts never put up their appearance at mid-day being allergic to sun light. Italian sounding characters like Molterni and Emilia sounded interesting in the beginning but the disappointment of seeing no ghost in action utterly frustrated me. The book received raving reviews but I disliked it and you know why! But why are you bringing it here, you may ask. It is the ghost in the title, of course! When I entered this world, only my maternal grandma was alive and she had a running relationship with ghosts of all kinds. I had nine paternal aunts who were experts in narrating stories but they were nowhere near the live experiences of my maternal grandma. She had a clean-shaven head after the demise of my grandpa and I had heard my mum telling me what beautiful locks of hair she had. Clad in white saree worn without a blouse, and her forehead smeared with holy ash, she looked saintly, the only aberration being her frequent tête-à-tête with ghosts. After I finished my 18 months’ probation (!) in State Bank, I was posted to Tuticorin as an Accountant. Though I was upset that I could not get a posting near Madras, I consoled myself that there was a Branch of Grindlays Bank right in front of my Bank. They are not there in Tuticorin, nor am I! I was there with my young wife and parents in a palatial house at a monthly rent of Rs.60/- I loved the palatial house and considered myself lucky to be able to get it. And on one fine morning, my maternal aunt arrived there with a plan to visit the nine vaishnav temples called Navathirupathi. She was too tired even to utter a word after the gruelling 16-hour journey by a meter gauge train drawn by a coal engine. But being a physically tough woman, she was on her feet in less than 24 hours! On the second day, she summoned my mother and asked her discretely if she found anything peculiar the previous night. It transpired that she was returning from the toilet around midnight when she saw my mother entering the toilet. When she walked into the bedroom she was shocked to see my mother fast asleep! She knew instantly that the house was infested with ghosts but ghosts were nothing new to her. In any case, she was not unduly worried about because the encounters with the Tuticorin ghosts seemed jovial and fun! The reason for her judgement was that villainous ghosts would not impersonate someone resident in the house. For the next one week, there were more and more ghost episodes in which my mother and wife too participated in full strength! So convincing was the narrative excellence of my grandma! They saw ghosts here, ghosts there, and they felt a ghost tickling their feet and another sitting on their tummy! Very soon, it even went beyond the narrative ability of my grandma and, for the first time, she started believing my mother and wife! She hastily packed up and left for her Navathirupathi tour. But the ghosts, by now, found strong believers in my mother and wife. Their ghost stories found me and my dad swathed in sweat like T.S.Bhaliah sweating profusely hearing his son narrate a horror story! We vacated the house next month and shifted to a cramped house where there was no possibility for ghosts to have a foot-hold!