My mother was a firm believer of the former. Telepathy is the sending and receiving of thoughts from one mind to another. Your mind becomes a transceiver, alert and capable. Thoughts pass like electric signals between your mind and someone remote from you. I believe it is possible. Sensing a loved one's discomfort and unease is a power everyone has. Cries of help and anguish, that you think you heard your child utter, even though they are not near you.
Teleportation allows your soul to travel to far off places. Renowned saints and great men have done it, or so the stories say. Bengalis have had their own teleporting men. Shri RamKrishna Paramahansa is one prominent saint among them.
My mother never believed in the plausibility of teleportation. Until she heard this story from one of her friends.
Animesh and my mother started working together in the same bank. He had joined their department recently. He was a family man. Totally and absolutely devoted to his wife and child. His wife was a home maker and his daughter was a mischief maker. Together they were the life and soul of his existence. My mother became a good friend of his - they both shared anecdotes of their daughters and took joy in the mutual love for their family. Animesh's was an average Bengali household with nothing exceptional.
It was soon time for the yearly review. When the results came out, it was a double shock for Animesh. He was made a manager and transferred to Cuttack, Orissa. It meant leaving Calcutta and his family. His daughter's school year was just half way through and it didn't make sense to relocate her to Cuttack. It was decided that his family would join him after a year.
Animesh departed with a heavy heart. Everyone who knew him, knew that becoming a manager did not make him any happier. In Cuttack, his work failed to immerse him. He missed his family sorely. When he came back home in the evenings, the silence haunted him. He missed the jangling of utensils in the kitchen, he missed the shouting of his naughty daughter and above all he missed the humdrum of his home.
Communication in those days was rather slow. Hand written letters and telephone connections were the best means. Phone calls didn't always go through. Animesh's neighbor had a phone and every time he called they had oblige him by calling his wife. To keep the disturbance to a minimal, he called once a week. He wrote everyday. Letters to his daughter and his wife.
One such phone call later he found that his daughter was sick. It was fever but she had become really weak. He became agitated. He wanted to get back home. Work wouldn't let him leave. At least not immediately. He sat down in his chair, depressed.
"If only I could see my daughter", he wondered.
He started recreating his flat. Those shabby yellow walls, the brown door that led to his home. That sofa, pointed to his TV, where he spent most of his waking hours. He was deeply lost in thought.
On the sofa he saw his wife. Clad in a green sari, she was busy knitting a pink sweater. Perhaps it was for his daughter.
Down on the floor, his daughter half-squatted, half lay. She was busy painting her coloring book. It was a mess. Nisha was not good at drawing.
"But why was she on the cold floor? Had her fever left? Was she fully recovered?"
"Nisha ..," he called out.
His daughter looked up. "Dad", she said in delight.
His wife's reverie was broken.
"Arrey you?" , she asked in shock.
The scene dissolved immediately. Animesh zapped back to reality. He was back, sitting on his stone cold chair, in a dark and gloomy room, in Cuttack.
The next day, he received a phone call at work. His wife had called during working hours, something she never did before.
"I saw you yesterday. You were wearing your grey kurta and standing in front of us. Nisha saw you too. Your face had a very dejected look. I have never seen you this grave. It is impossible and yet both of us have seen you. I think I am going mad. Animesh, please come home..." His wife sobbed on the noisy phone line.
Animesh eventually gave up his promotion, got back to his original level of work and happiness and joined his family in Calcutta.
He narrated this tale to my mother and his colleagues to tell them how this separation was affecting his mental sanity. It was also a living proof that he had managed to project his soul over a long distance. He had teleported.
As I sit in California, wondering what my parents are upto now, I wish I could teleport as well. I wish it was on demand. I can't.
I have to reconcile myself with video chats, thats semi-teleportation, after all. :)