When we talk of spiritualism and the paranormal, it’s hard not to conjoin it with some amount of skepticism. Gaurav Tiwari, founder of the Indian Paranormal Society talks to Janvi Manchanda about what it’s like to be a believer in the midst of non-believers
YOU WERE BORN TO A FAMILY OF NON-BELIEVERS. WHAT CHANGED YOU FROM A NON-BELIEVER TO A BELIEVER?
There have been a lot of incidents in my life that accounted for turning me into a believer. Though I was born into a family of non-believers, my parents always encouraged me to not to believe in anything that is illogical or irrational. So my profession and my education never gave me a chance to believe or even look for irrational subjects in the society. It all started when I was in America, training to become a commercial pilot and that is the time when my belief changed. I was living in an apartment provided by my flight school, when me and my roommates started experiencing things which were beyond our understanding. Initially, we believed that whatever we were experiencing were just pranks. As the activities started escalating we were convinced that it involved an outer body intelligence. Post these experiences, I began my research in the metaphysical field, being a part of Paranexus Institution in Florida. This actually made me find logic in things which earlier seemed to be illogical to me.
WHAT ENTITIES DEFINE THE WORD ‘PARANORMAL’?
Paranormal is anything that cannot be replicated in a scientific laboratory.
FROM PILOT AND ACTOR TO FOUNDER OF IPS, WHY SUCH DRASTIC CHANGES IN YOUR CAREER?
I believe life is always about moving on. If you don’t move on or change, you will be forgotten and ruined like those old buildings which have not been renovated or changed over time. I’ve always tried to explore new things in life, to understand reality and the grand scheme of life. So when I joined this field, I realized that this is what everyone wants to do in this world; despite whatever they are doing.
HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN PARANORMAL ACTIVITY AND HOAXES?
We have designed several techniques to interview people that categorises their problems into psychological, physiological and paranormal. We believe screening the clients is the key to understand the actual problem.
WHY DO SPIRITS OR DEMONS HAUNT CERTAIN PLACES OR PEOPLE?
Their wish! Any place could be haunted for a 100 years without the residents knowing about the paranormal activity. It all depends on the emotional need of the entity, why and how they haunt the place. Mostly, it is the deep attachment or the fear to move on that makes the entity haunt a place or a person.
HOW RELIABLE IS THE TECHNOLOGY YOU USE TO COMMUNICATE WITH AN ENTITY?
There are numerous ways to communicate with the entities. Many times, we receive false positives during our communication, but as an investigator it is our duty to rule out any possibility of false positives. We also analyze our recordings and evidences in order to understand if it was a real communication from the after life.
IN ALL YOUR YEARS OF RESEARCH WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED?
I discovered that there is more to understand in life. What we have studied at educational institutions is only a fragment of the reality. Life is only about moving on and achieving enlightenment that is self-actualization and also the fact that life never ends.
DID YOU EVER REGRET YOUR CAREER CHOICES?
I never regret my choices. I’ve learnt to live up to my choices and not repent them. Though everyone faces a lot of challenges in their lives, those who know what, how and why they are doing it never regret.
ONE CASE THAT YOU ENJOYED SOLVING THE MOST?
Out of the many cases that I’ve been to, the Karkadooma case has been one of the most interesting cases I have worked on. As a matter of fact, our team (IPS) has been the first investigation team in the world to have been called to investigate a functional court of law.
HAS ALL THIS AFFECTED YOU MENTALLY? IS THERE ANY EVENT THAT TRAUMATIZED YOU?
There has not been an event that has traumatized me. I’ve always learnt to face my fears, though there have been events that have affected me emotionally due to the entities strong emotional energy but nothing had a long term effect over me. Now I really enjoy going to scary locations.
IS THERE REALLY SOMETHING BEYOND HUMANITY AND AFTERLIFE?
Let me ask you a question! Are you a human mentally or physically ? If you cannot be a human mentally you cannot be a human physically. Our life is in our emotions and our physical body without our mind acts like a non living object and there has been a lot of empirical evidences suggesting that our consciousness (mind, thoughts and emotions) can survive physical death. It is also known as survival hypothesis.
WHY DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF THE GRIP ACADEMY? HOW DOES IT HELP THE GENERAL PUBLIC?
I came back to India with the motive to end the social stigmas/superstitions related to the paranormal field. There was a lot of misbelief among the people which was created by a few so-called professionals who did not have an in-depth knowledge about this field. GRIP has helped people understand what the research field is all about and also helped to eradicate the myths and superstitions relating to this field. Our members are aware and also believe in helping others understand and cope up with the reality of the paranormal field.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
* FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE
* FAVOURITE SUPERSTITION
BLACK CAT CUTTING YOUR PATH.
* FAVOURITE HINDI MOVIE DIALOGUE
“LAGTA HAI TUMNE GHATIYA SHRAB PI LI HAI BARKHURDAR” – SHARABI
* FAVOURITE FOOD
HYDERABABDI CHICKEN BIRYANI AND MEXICAN BURRITO BOWL.
* IF YOU WERE GIVEN A CHANCE TO BE SOMEONE ELSE, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
STEVE IRWIN. I’M FOND OF ANIMALS.