Each jaunt onsite, I have called ESA my home for a month or so. I absolutely love this chain of hotels for their comfort and the main reason being they have a kitchenette attached to every room. Since I absolutely detest anything bready, I prefer to buy my own groceries and cook myself a very Bengali fishy meal. Grocery shopping is an absolute pleasure with the sheer variety available.
Well to begin, this summer I landed myself a new project onsite and checked into ESA for over a month. During the day, slogged away at work and at night back to the hotel to cook, eat and sleep. This was the boring story of my life…until one night something strange happened. I was chatting away on my laptop around 11 pm with friends and family back home in India and had placed a glass of orange juice just next to the laptop. Suddenly, the glass began to move. I checked if there was any water underneath the glass because sometimes glasses shift positions if there is water inside, but this glass had no water. It was absolutely dry. The windows were closed so couldn’t be the breeze. I just ignored it and continued chatting.
The glass moved again (this time a considerable distance). I mustered up all my courage and moved the glass back to its original position. It moved again. I literally froze at this point of time and could actually feel a strange sensation of being watched at the back of my neck. I managed to get up and place my glass in the sink and switch on all the lights. I called up few of my colleagues in the other rooms and they immediately came over. I could barely sleep that night with all the lights on and had a miserable day at work the next morning.
A week or so passed and things appeared to have gone back to normal. The weather had turned sultry and humid, so I switched on the AC located near the window and sat down to watch a movie on TV. Barely 2 minutes passed and I heard the AC going off. I got up to check and saw that the knob had been turned off. I found that strange and turned the knob back to Hi-Cool and sat down again. It went off again. I called up the reception to check as sometimes they regulate it to cut costs. They informed me that they were not the ones turning it off. I checked with my colleagues in the other rooms and it seemed to be working fine. Made me wonder who was turning the knob off? And to think that back home I would ensure that it was pitch dark before I could sleep. However, at the ESA it was becoming a regular feature for me to sleep with all the lights on.
The following weekend went sightseeing to all the beautiful places nearby. Reached the hotel room around 11 pm and before dozing off, I was channel surfing to find something interesting to watch. I started watching an episode of “Friends”, my all time favorite. Then suddenly I am not sure what happened. I was transported to the early 20th century.
There was this strange flowery wallpaper on the walls. Reminded me of the old English movies I have watched. The furniture was old fashioned and a stove-top seemed to have replaced the refrigerator. There was this table at the centre of the room, where the ironing board was placed and it had a wicker basket filled with fruits. A gentleman with a long, white face and an equally longer nose sat at the table and was reading a newspaper. There was this equally hefty lady with short hair (looked like a white wig) busy spreading marmalade on bread for breakfast. It looked like a morning room and suddenly another girl in black appeared. She looked like the parlour maid and was busy cooking something at the far corner of the room.
I realized with a jolt that this was not TV but my room with a different look. The room had totally changed and I had been transported to a different era. I wondered whether I was dreaming but my eyes were wide awake. I closed my eyes and opened them again but the scene remained. I tried to scream but no voice came out. I realized that I had to get up and switch on my bedside lamp and then the apparition would disappear but I just couldn’t. It was like something had taken a hold of me and was preventing me from getting up or moving how much hard I tried.
It seemed like eternity where I was watching a different world play like a movie in front of my eyes. Finally, I managed to pull myself together and switch on the light. My room changed back to normal that instant. I looked at the watch and saw it was exactly midnight.