A 65-year-old woman from a village in India’s West Bengal has allegedly spent every day for the past two decades submerged up to her neck in the waters of a nearby lake, due to an unknown disease.
Before getting into this strange story, I have to disclose the fact that it is unverified. It went viral in Russia (of all places) last month, and I’ve been trying to find a credible source ever since. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck. Apart from dozens of Russian news sites and a few dubious English blogs, I have found no mention of this woman anywhere. Normally, I wouldn’t even have bothered writing about something like this, but what really intrigued me about this story is that it comes with a video of this woman siting idly in a lake, all by herself, as other people look on from the shore. There’s definitely a story here, I just don’t know if it’s the one I’ve found. So if you’re reading this and can provide any credible insight about this news story, I’d love to hear from you. Anyway, here’s the Russian version:The 65-year-old woman allegedly lives in an unspecified village in West Bengal, India. Every morning, she gets up before sunrise and walks into a nearby lake where she remains submerged up to her neck until the sun sets. She has been doing this religiously since 1998, when she started suffering from a mysterious condition that left her body inflamed and sore. The only thing that seemed to relieve the woman’s pain was water, so she started spending her days in a lake close to her village, and she’s been doing it for over two decades now.
Pataruni Gosh (name translated from Russian with Google Translate) reportedly spends between 12 and 14 hours in the lake every day, as she and her family live in a remote area of West Bengal and are too poor to go to a hospital for treatment. At sunset she rises from the water and goes home, where she does whatever work she can before going to sleep.
The “Indian mermaid” reportedly eats only a bit of rice and some vegetables all day, as her condition and sedentary lifestyle have affected her appetite. Her relatives usually take her meal to the lake, and she eats in the water to protect her skin from the sun.
Pataruni can’t stand being alone, so members of her family and other villagers regularly come to see her and keep her company from the sure. While her relatives have expressed concerns for her well being, they don’t know how else to help her.
The superstitious people of Pataruni’s village believe that she will one day become the spirit of the lake, after spending so much time in it, but her family hopes that they will be able to one day take her to a doctor and cure her of the mysterious disease.