A few years ago my father went to Japan on official work. When he came back he brought me a gift. It was a mirror. Its frame was studded with precious stones and embossed with gold. It was hung in the make-up room. Everybody praised its beauty.
One night, after we retired to bed and the lights were off, we heard a cry of horror. We put on the lights and we saw that our maid was trembling in fear. Asked what happened she said “ I saw a girl in white robes shedding tears of blood. She was whispering something to me”. Looking at the mirror all saw their own images. I thought that she must have had a bad dream. Days passed. One day I heard someone sobbing in the make-up room. That night I didn’t get a wink of sleep.
Next morning, I shared this incident with my family. My mother too had heard some strange sounds that night. My grandmother said, “Some ghosts might have entered the house.”
Upon my grandmother’s request my father reluctantly opened the frame.
To our utter disbelief, he found a picture of a girl. She was beautifully dressed in a white silk gown. Behind the picture was some writing in Japanese. I asked a friend of mine who knew Japanese to read the text. This is what she deciphered: The girl had a strange disease. Doctors from near and far failed to cure her. Then the minister of her father’s court suggested he try Samurai Witchcraft. They were told to write her condition and life history behind the magic mirror.
We were spellbound. My grandmother sprinkled holy Ganga water all over the house.
Some days later my father burnt the girl’s picture and buried the carbon under a tree. The mirror still hung on the wall. All of us almost forgot about its uniqueness until one bright morning, my sister showed me a bright flowering plant, which grew on the spot where the picture of the princess was buried!