This is the story of Ma Kali, a bizarre hitchhiker.
Salkia, a small town in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, was the place of the tragedy. The year was 1992.
Mr. Saraswati babu was the local police officer-in-charge (OC) (station). The nature of his work required him to arrive home late, usually after midnight. When Saraswati babu emerged from the police thana after a long day’s work, he was greeted by his driver who was waiting in his car. His late-night journey to Saraswati Babu’s house began as soon as he got into the car.
As usual, it was well past midnight, and the streets were deserted, except for a few yellow streetlights. He was sitting next to his driver in the front seat.
A human figure appeared out of nowhere. Someone seemed to be asking for a ride . As a result, Saraswati babu ordered his driver to pull over and let her out first. Seeing as the driver is a superstitious and fearful villager, he said, “Ea, Sir, Late at night, the roads are deserted. They say ghosts roam the streets during this time, so we shouldn’t give anyone a ride”.
On hearing this, Saraswati babu started laughing and said, “Oh! You superstitious village people..seriously! Why are you so scared ? I am with you, don’t worry about these things”. Even this assurance did not help the driver. Though he agreed to stop the car, he vowed not to look at the woman, come what may. As the car approached the woman her appearance became clearer to Saraswati babu. Saraswati babu could not see her face clearly as her face was very dark complexioned but what was very much noticeable was that she wore a very bright sparkling red sari and lots of jewellery — a set of big bangles and a long necklace — the gold was shining brightly on that dimly lit street.
“I’d like to go to the nearby Kali mandir (temple),” the woman said softly as the car stopped before her. Saraswati babu replied, “No issue at all. You can get in because it’s on our way.” The driver had his eyes fixed on the road and was not even trying to get a glimpse of the woman. In the backseat of the car, she locked it from inside by climbing into it. As before, the journey continued. It wasn’t long before Saraswati Babu began to drowsy. When he stayed up late, he was accustomed to doing things like this. That is when he asked the woman where she lived and was told that the woman lived in the Kali mandir alone.
( There are some people who don’t know, but Ma Kali is a supreme Hindu goddess. In Hinduism, she represents shakti (power) and death, and is a symbol of a woman’s willpower. When she strikes, she destroys the darkness of the evil.)
After losing his senses, Saraswati Babu didn’t pay much attention to what she said and fell asleep. As soon as he opened his eyes, he heard the screeching of his car’s brakes. His driver’s eyes were still fixed on the road when he opened his eyes and saw the Kali mandir through the closed window pane in front of the car. This is what the driver told Saraswati Babu,” Tell her to get off the car”.Awakened, Saraswati Babu opened his eyes wide and said, “Ma’m you can get down.” There was no response to the question.
As soon as he didn’t hear the car door closing, he turned around to call her again, but to his surprise, the seat was empty! The car doors were locked from the inside, and all the windows were closed.
Where is that woman, Saraswati Babu yelled? When did she leave the building? Because the doors and windows are locked from the inside, it’s impossible for her to leave. It took the driver some time to gather his courage to look back at the empty seat and wonder why he hadn’t heard the door close. It finally dawned on him, and he exclaimed, “She was mmmm… maa kk.. kaali.” They were both screaming, “She was maa kaali!! When Saraswati babu heard the answer, he was shocked. He looked at his driver, who was trying to join his hands (respectfully), and he looked at the Kali temple, terrified. It was not only Saraswati Babu who was gazing inwards, but also the Kali idol that could be seen through the closed gate.
Upon closer inspection, he noticed an unnatural, surreal sparkle in the idol’s eyes. “Let’s go home!” he yelled at his driver. Take me home, please!”
After being found unconscious (but alive) the next day, the driver was taken to a local hospital.
In Salkia, the story of Ma Kali riding in Saraswati babu’s car was a sensation. Since then, Saraswati babu has been performing Kali puja (prayer) in his home. Because of his devotion, he was about to lose his job. The Kali temple he built in his town is still standing today thanks to the efforts of his descendants.