Murder, Memory, & Reincarnation: The Curious Case Of Titu Singh Toran

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This is the story of Titu Singh Toran, who claimed to remember a past life as a violent criminal.Desi Crime Podcast

Waking up from a dream so real that you fully believe that was your life, convincing yourself that it was indeed just a dream as you slowly let the reality set still not fully persuaded what you went through wasn't real is something most of us have experienced. But for 4-year-old child back in the 80s, it was the opposite. For Titu, the life he remembered was the real one and the one he currently occupied was as alien to him as our dreams are to us - familiar but not quite real. This is the story of Titu Singh Toran, who claimed to remember a past life as a violent criminal. It's a story that unfolds as a fascinating case of possible reincarnation.

From a really young age, Titu displayed an unusual awareness and knowledge far beyond his years. At just eighteen months old, he startled his family by asking his grandfather to care for his wife and children, insisting that he belonged to Agra, not Baad. As he grew older, his complaints about the family's lifestyle — criticising his mother’s attire and the family’s modest means were consistent and unsettling. He vividly described owning a big house, a shop in Agra's Sadar Bazaar, and leading a life of luxury, all of which were far removed from his current reality.

Titu’s persistent memories prompted his family to delve deeper. One day, in April 1987, Titu, distressed when his father traveled to Agra without him, revealed a crucial detail: "I have a shop of transistor radios and I was a big smuggler and gunda. I am the owner of Suresh Radio." Acting on this clue, Titu's brother and a friend sought out the shop and met Uma Verme, the widow of Suresh Verma — a notorious smuggler and shop owner who had been shot dead in 1983.

When members of Suresh’s family visited Baad, Titu’s recognition of them and his detailed recounting of Suresh’s life stunned everyone. He accurately named Suresh's children, described their home, and even remembered specific details about Suresh’s death. His knowledge and behavioural traits strikingly mirrored those of Suresh, including a hot temper and a penchant for asserting dominance.

The physical evidence added another layer of mystery. Titu had a small circular birthmark on his right temple, resembling a bullet entry wound, and several marks on the back of his skull, similar to exit wounds. These birthmarks matched the locations of Suresh's fatal injuries as recorded in his post-mortem report. Titu's behavioral traits were also eerily similar to Suresh's. He was active, intrepid, and had a violent streak, much like Suresh, who had successfully defended himself against previous assassination attempts. Titu’s family noted his ability to operate a car’s tape deck and drive a car, skills he had never been taught but which were second nature to Suresh.

Titu’s case is particularly intriguing due to the conflicting dates of his birth and Suresh’s death. Official records indicate that Suresh died on August 28, 1983, while Titu's was born on either December 11, 1982, or December 10, 1983. This discrepancy raises the possibility of a 'replacement' case, where one soul might have replaced another during or shortly after birth, a concept known in Hindu terminology as 'prakaya pravesh'. If the earlier birth date is accurate, the case suggests that Titu’s original soul may have been replaced by Suresh’s after a brief illness at eight months old. This interpretation aligns with the traditional understanding of reincarnation but challenges researchers to consider alternative explanations, including the possibility of pre-birth knowledge or a foreshadowing of Suresh’s murder.

Titu’s case has garnered significant attention both in India and internationally. It was featured in the British magazine Reincarnation International and in a 1990 BBC TV news program Forty Minutes. These reports included interviews with both families and showcased Titu’s uncanny ability to recall details from Suresh’s life.

Recently, the Desi Crime Podcast released an episode dedicated to Titu Singh Toran's story. Now 40 years old, Titu himself was interviewed, offering listeners a rare glimpse into his extraordinary experiences and the enduring impact of his past-life memories. He has since chosen a more peaceful career path than Suresh. He studied yoga and earned an MD degree in yoga and naturopathy. Since 2012, he has worked as an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi and now teaches naturopathy and yoga therapy.

Titu Singh Toran's story has honestly made me question what I believe is possible when it comes to life and death as I'm sure it did for people around the world when it first came out. It is a compelling example of the mysteries of reincarnation and the complexities of human consciousness, particularly in the way that they challenge our understanding of identity, memory, and the continuity of the soul. You can choose to take both sides of the argument and explain why a case like this is possible/not possible, but in the end, stories like Titu's teach us to get comfortable with not always getting the answers we want. Sometimes, you just have to cozy up to the inexplicable nature of life and existence.

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