It was somewhere in July 1986, when my friend, Raja and I decided to play the role of ghostbusters in one of the episodes of our sojourn on earth. There, about 6 km from a mining town called Klian Intan, surrounded by thick jungle, a small tin mine called Air Itam. Very few people lived and worked there as one need to be brave, more than anything else to stay there. We lived in another small town bordering the land of white elephants, Thailand. The distance between Pengkalan Hulu and Klian Intan is about 14 KM and one has to traverse a winding road that cuts through a thick forest to reach Klian Intan.
One of our friend,Murugesu, was working there and would travel to and fro from his home in Klian Intan. It so happened, just like anyone else, he got married to this pretty girl and the girl could not get along well with her mother-in-law :)). To avoid being sandwiched between the two rivals, my friend decided to stay in Air Itam mining quarters. A couple of days later, he came to see us. "Magen", he addressed me in low tone. "The quarters I'm staying now is haunted. And I need your help." Those years were part of the so called radical and rebellious years of my life as I was an atheist, so I didn't believe in a God nor a Ghost. Knowing my eager anticipation to experience this sort of things, my friend came to me. So, we worked out a plan. My friend Murugesu, would go to work and stay there during the day, in the evening they would return to his father's place. Raja and I would go there at night and stay overnight to see and seduce the ghost!!. Food was no problem, as Muru's wife would cook some curry for us and leave it there for our dinner. Being a bread vendor, my fren Raja, had no problem in packing a few loaves of fresh bread everyday for our dinner.
The first night, anticipated night of horror, turned out to be a total frustration for us as no ghosts were in sight. No strange signs of whatsoever. We slept peacefully. Early in the morning, we made some coffee for breakfast. The kitchen is an extended type, where we have come out to use the kitchen, once used, we would lock the kitchen.
There were moments where we had to beat the curfew time imposed along the road from Pengkalan Hulu to Klian Intan. Being a town famous for Communists and their armed terrorism, curfew time was imposed between 10:00 pm to 5:00 am and anyone found violating this rule would be detained for further interrogation. Somehow we managed to device our own tactics to bypass the army road blocks and reached the mining area.
After five continuous days of plain nights, the morning of sixth day gave us the most anticipated experience. On that day, which fell on a Sunday, we went there as usual. My friend's wife cooked chicken curry for us. We reached the quarters completely drenched as it was rainy season and being surrounded by hills and thick forest, these towns faces almost a long period of wet weather with heavy downpour almost everyday. After changing our clothes, we went out to the kitchen, unlocked the door and started to boil water for coffee. The aromatic spices in the chicken curry really spurred our hunger. After a hearty dinner, we placed the pots on the table, covered them and washed our plates and placed it where it actually belonged. Then we locked the kitchen door and went into the living room.
It was a bit creepy out there, as we could hear howling sounds of wild dogs and some other funny sounds from the bushes nearby. The house had only two low watt bulbs, one in the kitchen and another in the living room. No light in the bedroom. Since the location of the quarters is in the middle of a thick jungle, it is natural to see the houses built on stilts, slightly more than a meter higher from the ground.
Fifth night was our last stay there. We went to bed around 11:00 pm. Suddenly, around 6:00 am the next day, we were awakened by the sound like someone running in the living room. As the floor of the quarter was made of wood, the sound became louder and louder. Yes...someone is running but who??? Raja was already trembling and I began to loose my skepticism. We left the light on the whole night. We opened the bedroom door, but could see nothing. We could see nothing but someone was surely running. Then the unexpected began to take place. The front door opened by itself and the running sound was heard along the veranda, going down the steps and disappeared along the aisle near the kitchen. That's it. What I saw with my two 'very naked' eyes was more than I could bear. We packed our things and waited for Muru to come. While waiting for him, we went to kitchen and lo!!!....the remainder of the chicken curry and our loaves were missing. What left were bones and the crumbs. The door was locked and no sign of breaking in. Someone had had a feast, but who?
Muru came around 9:00 am. Ghost busters as we were, we were busted. We advised him to move out and in fact assisted him to shift all his things. It was a hectic day. But, for me, wonders never cease. What I saw and heard...still fresh in my memory. What was it? Was it ghost?....as Bob Dylan Sang...the answer is blowing in the wind. One day I hope I can tap the answer to this strange happening.
I believe, everything has an answer in this grandeur creation, the universe. But, how fast we get the answer depends on how deep we can venture into our mind. As we explore and lay bare the layers of mind everything else will fall into our understanding. Until then, mystery and mysterious occurrings shall remain obscured and forever devoid of understanding. Just to remind the readers out there, by merely understanding the reasons behind everything that happens around us, we can't go far. The best understanding of all, is the understanding of the Self, our strengths and weaknesses.Then the rest shall dawn to our understanding.