nadia masood

Looking at Old Trees From the Bathroom Window

When we used to visit our maternal grand father at his place, back when we were still in grade school, my sisters and I dreaded one thing:  the bathroom.  It wasn’t a normal bathroom because it was located outside the house, way back in the back yard, where huge trees grew.  The kids from the neighborhood used to tell us that they had heard (from reliable sources, like their parents) that dwarfs and witches roamed about grandfather’s backyard at night.  “They hide behind those old trees in the dark, waiting for fresh blood to feast upon,” they told us.  My sisters and I had, therefore, always tried our best never to go to the bathroom after dark.  And when the situation becomes unbearable, we bring an adult with us.

I don’t know about my sisters, but the fear for huge old trees remained in my mind.  I’m fine during the day, but once dark fell, I don’t like looking at trees.

Here in the old haveli in Mumbai where we will be staying for the next three weeks, the bathroom is (fortunately) indoors.  It’s a very old structure, built by the British sometime in the early 1900.  The huge mansion is made of wood, has a very high ceiling, with huge doors and windows.  I threw all the windows wide open the moment I stepped into the rooms, and breathed in the fresh air.

Then I walked into the bathroom and opened the window.  Here’s what I saw …

nadia masood

It was broad daylight, still the first thought that came to my mind was, “Oh no!  Not old trees!”  I decided to keep the window close before sunset.  Better yet, I decided to not use the bathroom at night at all.  On our first night here in the haveli, I told Masood, “If I ever needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I’ll wake you up.”

Tonight, I looked out of the window (bedroom window, and not the bathroom) and saw this …

nadia masood

I need to overcome my fears.


  1. Hahaha..enjoyed reading your post and happy to see the mind blowing pictures, can’t believe it’s you who took the last picture, great Job 🙂

    Thank you 😀

  2. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Im with you all the way 🙂

    I think we see the same things 🙂 x

    Yay, I’m not alone! 🙂

  3. in our old home (in the village) in Bangladesh the bathroom was always a bit away from the main house. God bless my grandpa who later built on adjacent coz once in the middle of the night I woke up and I could swear Jinns were there!

    lovely pictures though.

    So this trend of building bathrooms in far away places (amidst forests) used to be global 😀

  4. The night picture does look horrifying…. Indian people have a thing about being in a web of superstition… you probably have not seen Indian documentaries and films on trees 🙂 *horror*

    No, thank goodness I haven’t … and I do NOT intend to watch those ever.

  5. Beautiful story and funny too. Even though I am older, I still have those night time fears of big shadows, so I feel for you.

    I love the photos too! ♥

    MaryAnn, welcome to the blog! *hugs*

    Aww, thank you. It’s the shadows that’s creepy, something that you can’t see (but think it’s there).

  6. Creepy story in time for the Halloween! Good thing that you have Masood in your side.

    Oh, I would never stay in this house without him 😀

  7. LOL …. I know those ghost stories …. some mayb true but others are just made up stories …. but even if it’s true we can still protect ourselves by reading the Ayat al Kursi and the morning and evening duas and sleep dua and dua for entering and leaving the toilet and home and while eating …. We’ll always be in Allah’s protection by doing this Insha Allah …

    Most of them are made up, but it’s still scary. I do read duas ALL the time. But I still feel this fear for old trees (in the dark) I can’t quite shake off.

  8. Happy to know you still remember our old house in Ormoc. Especially Tatay….I miss him so much.

    There are lots of good memories associated with that house which I’ll never forget. I miss him so much too 🙁

  9. Since I grew up in a farm, out of town, It has often happened to me to go back home in the night, walking between two rows of big trees, which were so familiar to me, during the day, but even so mysterious in the darkness, although, I have to say, I’ ve always felt their “protection”.
    My husband told me that in Senegal, a lot of people are scared to cut and even to touch or walk next to some huge old baobab trees, ’cause some are considered to be jinns’ home.

    Just when I read your “…in the night, walking between two rows of big trees …” I’m thinking: what a brave girl! In Pakistan/India, it is also commonly believed that jinns reside in those old trees.

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