Khurja, Uttar Pradesh: A four-year-old girl who claims her name is Kalpana Chawla and that she died up in the skies four years ago is drawing huge crowds in a village here in Uttar Pradesh.
Residents of Nar Mohammadpur village, about 35 km from here, where little Upasana is visiting her relatives, think she might be the reincarnation of the India born astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who died when US space shuttle Columbia crashed four years ago.
The news of the girl's claim spread quickly in the area after she spoke to some villagers here. "I am Kalpana Chawla," says Upasana, who reportedly fears the sight an aircraft. She has been telling her illiterate parents that she died in a "crash" up in the skies.
"Upasana has been telling us ever since she started speaking that her name was Kalpana Chawla and that her father's name was Banarsi Das Chawla but we could not figure out anything as we had never heard of Kalpana," Upasana's father Raj Kumar told reporters.
Raj Kumar is a resident of Pata village of Etawah district where he works as a labourer. "Yet Upasana's proclamation led us all to believe that she was actually talking about her previous birth," he said. "She claims that the spacecraft was hit by a huge ball of ice that sent it crashing and ended her life."
Upasana was born barely two months after the astronaut's death in 2003.