What comes to mind when one thinks of a witch? A woman in a black cloak, conical hat with a broomstick, doing hocus pocus? Maybe characters from Harry Potter? Those ideas are sure to be transfigured if you meet Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, the Wiccan priestess in India.
Draped in a black cloak, Chakraverti put 70-odd students of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, under a spell on January 9 as she spoke about ghosts and planchettes and decoded Wiccan symbols.
“Black is a witch’s favourite colour. It stands for enigma and dignity in Wicca. The broom signifies a woman being liberated from household activities and flying away in search of identity. The conical hat is a symbol of concentration and free-flowing thought,” she explained.
Questions about planchettes flew thick and fast but Chakraverti dismissed them with: “I have never tried planchette because I feel it has become a parlour game and people are misusing it.”
Her experience at Bhangarh fort, Rajasthan, a place known to be one of the most haunted in India, was another point of interest for the budding managers.
Chakraverti, along with a 13-member team from Wiccan Brigade, went to Bhangarh in January last year. She shared her experiences and the evidences they brought back. “Our camera captured orbs, opaque blobs of light during paranormal activities, in the corridor of the main fort and two temples. In one of the areas, though it was day time, there was a distinct green light. When I was walking down the corridor, those who were behind me saw a shadow that came up and pointed at me. All these prove that it is a haunted place,” said Chakraverti, who conducted a second round of investigations at Bhangarh last weekend.
“Wicca is interesting. I believe there are spirits but have never experienced anything unnatural. I would love to have the experience she had in Bhangarh fort” —Vishal Rathore, second year
“This is a completely new dimension for me. She is the only certified witch from India. It was great to hear about her experiences. Though I am a rational thinker, I sort of believe in what she said” — Saurabh Mittal, first year