The morning I stood still

Published: June 16, 2012

Distance has always haunted me. I prefer nearness. PHOTO: AFP

Qambar is enthralling during  the winter time. Its calm mornings with the mist and cool air mesmerise me. However, do not ever let yourself believe that you are alone; mysterious beings live alongside humans, and to some, they reveal themselves in the most frightening of ways.

I too, had a similar experience. Read on.

So, Qambar is a small town near the city of Larkana, with a population of almost four hundred thousand people. My grandparents live here. I was a financial auditor at a national bank in Larkana and on weekends, I left my hotel to spend time with my grandparents. The drive from my hotel to Qambar was of around forty minutes. My grandfather often insisted on sending a car to pick me up, since the road that led from Larkana to Qambar wasn’t considered to be safe. I have heard about many instances of robberies, kidnapping and murder related to these areas, however, I never did witness any such thing.

The stories, thus, never gave me a reason to fear, and so, one weekend, I considered it worthwhile to use the van that runs along the route.

The scenic journey from Larkana to Qambar has mostly farms all along, with a village at the mid-point of the journey. When I travelled with my family during vacations, we liked stopping by the village for tea and pakoras. During my childhood, the distant view of the villages at night used to haunt me.

Distance has always haunted me. I prefer nearness.

The journey, eventually, came to an end and I started walking towards my grandparent’s house.

The next morning I woke up at around 4: 30am. I have always been amazed by my ability to wake up early whenever I am in Qambar. My grandparents were still asleep, so I came out of the room and went straight to the roof and lay down on the bed placed there.

The sight of the sky, which seemed like a diamond studded black cloth, was just simply surreal. It was perfection at its best. I admired the vastness of the dark blanket above me that had been crafted as the roof of the world. So enthralled was I by its beauty that I remained oblivious to the cold wind around me.

As I stood up, I heard a noise akin to a brick falling on the ground. I turned around and froze with fear.

A black and red cloud of dust was appearing in the middle of the space. It gradually took a shape – the shape of a human body, a woman’s body.

Slowly the cloud of dust came towards the ground and started to form a robe. Then it moved upwards to about six feet and started forming a waist, then a chest, shoulders and a head full of thick hair which was waist long. I could not, however, see the face. It was hidden.

I was ice cold, not able to even to move my eyelids, as I stood transfixed watching the cloud take on various shapes.

After a while, I could see a complete woman dressed in a red and black robe. She had the whitest hands I had ever seen. The skin suddenly wasn’t visible any more. My eyes saw what I had never even contemplated seeing my wildest dreams. Closing my eyes at that moment was beyond my power – I was completely numbed.

It felt as if my blood circulation had stopped. It was a motionless state of fear.

The cloud that had taken the shape of a woman diffused into thin air and re-emerged in its original shape. As I saw it turning into an axe, it diffused again. It felt similar to ten thousand pins being inserted into my body and plucked out forcefully. The cloud was still there, now in the shape of a short man, wearing a pirate’s hat and carrying a sword. But again there was no face, just the body.

I thought to myself:

How can I still be breathing?

With the man melting in to the wind, my consciousness gave up and I fell on the ground with my eyes fixed at the beautiful sky I had been admiring earlier.

It was this fear of things closer to me than those distant lights which made me lose my power to blink.

Safdar Sikandar

Safdar Sikandar

Works as an audit trainee at KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co Chartered Accountants Karachi and is also a student of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). He blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  •!/iQuoteWhateverr toobahatif

    i’ve never experienced anything supernatural.. but..
    this is.. are sure you were not dreaming.. though I do believe in Jins but not in ghosts..Recommend

  • Omer Hashmi

    Uh….interesting account. But, if I may ask, how did you remember all of this after you had fainted? And how did you come to wake up? I am not implying that this didn’t happen however, this might not be real, it could be your deepest fears manifesting themselves.Recommend

  • ??

    @Omer Hashmi: no he is sharing an epiphany.
    i didnt even read it….lolz…the “supernatrual” comment was what stopped me. Recommend

  • Shayan Masud

    I have read a lot of such stories in jang sunday magazine…..usually it ended with a witch making an appearance followed by recitation of ayah-al-kursi and then someone fainted. Be a original man!Recommend

  • Pasha

    They were illuminatis … beware of them.Recommend

  • Naima

    Sweetheart you are a financial auditor you mentioned, odds are you are most likely overworked, underpaid and under fed. It’s taking a toll on you…Recommend

  • Dreamer

    The need for a “Beware of crazy” button becomes more immediate.Recommend

  • wat da eff

    OMG ! this happened to me just yesterday…the only difference was I was in my room lying on the bed at night with lights off and i didnt see any “figure” just numbness and I couldn’t even blink my eyes..I wanted to scream for help but I couldn’t make any sound either…..and I felt a great shiver from head to toe …this continued for 2-3 minutes….

    Is this some kind of a illness or what ? :/ HELPRecommend

  • anonymous

    It’s called sleep paralysis, look it up.
    @wat da eff: Recommend

  • Mariyah

    i love the line “Distance has always haunted me, i perfer nearness”. It was a good read, beleiveable or not thats a matter of choice. I choose to beleive.Recommend

  • Marium

    Good job. Brilliant. Fabulous. Tremendous work. Keep it up!!!Recommend

  • Mohammad Usama

    it was good to read the interesting story that you related……..its just that I get sad when I see and read that people have now become skeptics and cynics!! they dont want to trust or believe or appreciate anything and this is evident from the comments you’ve got!!!Recommend

  • random1

    could you be dreaming? like you said it changed shapes, could be your subconscious mind.

    P.S:errr….not the right kinda blog to read so late at night I supposeRecommend

  • Disappointed Reader

    WHY does ET keep posting crap like this? Granted its ‘blogs’.tribune but these used to be atleast readerable once.

    Now it just feels like the diary of burger kids. Recommend

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