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Did I See a Ghost?

I remember hearing once that ghosts are walking around everywhere, but we see them and don't know that they are ghosts.  Could that be true, I wonder?

There are people we see every day of our lives and don't know their names.  There was a sweeper man who used to cycle down our road every day.  He was a tall, thin man with  a big, friendly smile.  He had no hair on the top of his head.  He was a familiar face cycling down my road every morning and always said 'namaste' to me.  If he wasn't cycling, he always folded his hands to me. I knew he was a sweeper, although he didn't sweep on our road.  He had a big broom on his bicycle, that's how I knew.   I also saw his wife.  She was a plump, friendly woman who used to ride on the back of his bicycle.  She seemed to be working in local houses nearby where I live.  She also said hello to me regularly.

For a long time I noticed that I hadn't seen his wife around in ages.  When I'd see him cycling along, greeting me in his usually friendly manner, I remembered her and hoped she was all right.


One day, when I was standing outside my house, I met her.  Her head was covered.  Her usually jolly face was darkened with sadness.  She wore no brightly coloured sindoor and bindi.

"Namaste," she greeted me, with folded hands.  I returned her greeting.

"Do you remember my husband?" she asked.

"Oh yes," I replied.

"He died of a heart attack," she said, wiping away a tear.

I was shocked.

I asked her how it happened, how her children were and how he was getting along.  She had been lucky to find some work near her home.  She had simply come to my area to visit her old employer.

I tried to console her and commiserate with her.

"That is so sad for you," I said.  "He was a very good man."

"He was," she agreed.

"He was the best."

As she walked away, I asked her when he had died.

"Six months ago," she replied.

The strange thing was, I could have sworn that I'd seen her husband cycling down the road with his cycle and the broom on the back every day for as long as I could remember.  Including, probably, that very morning,  How could it be?  I thought it could be possible that the man I knew as her husband could have been her brother or brother-in-law and maybe her husband was someone else that I hadn't seen.

But I never saw that sweeper man again.....

It left me thinking......


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