Wednesday, June 18, 2014

They Want To Go Home (她们要回家)

I met Johan at the base of Gunung Ledang (Mount Opal) while hunting for a special type of plant known by Shrub Sterculia (假苹婆) which is only found in that particular area. Johan approached me when I was taking photo of the plant and when our chatterboxes were activated; there was no way for our big mouths to shut in a relative short time. Hence I learnt that Johan was then a member of forest rangers and also search and rescue team.


According to Johan, the forest search and rescue team is always put into standby mode during holiday seasons; this is especially true for school holidays. The reason is that most of the merry makers who come for hill hiking are not prepared for what they have bargained for.  These folks lack proper survival skills that are of utmost important for sustaining lives in the wilderness should anything happened.


Believe it or not: there are mainly two types of folks who will get lost in the mountain?


The first is the naïve who think that they can conquest the wilderness without fully prepared; and the other types are those who want to find a God forsaken place to commit suicide. Whatever case it may be, please don’t copy what I have just said and end your lives the same way.


This is the story of both the naïve and the ones who wanted to end their lives which happened about a decade ago:


It was yearend school holiday season again and Johan was requested to be on call 24 hours as many visitors are expected to flock Gunung Ledang when the holiday begins. He wasn’t particular worry about the ordinary folks who just want to camp beside the waterfall area; instead it is the jolly mountain hikers Johan was and still is more concern about I think. The reason is that the later groups are prone to unforeseen incidents one way or another.


It was on a rainy Thursday night after 9pm that Johan received a call from a frantic school teacher about his missing student. The girl was reported to have dropped out while trailing the team as they were descending the mountain after a day’s hiking trip. The disappearance of the girl was only realised when the teacher made a roll call at the base.


After receiving the report, a search and rescue team headed by Johan was mobilized first thing in the morning to search for the girl. To make a long story short, after continuous searching for 2 days by the team and volunteers; the girl was finally found lying lethargically on a river bank.  Not far from the school girl, they found two corpses of a couple believed to have committed suicide.


This looks like this is a bizarre case of “one missing, two dead”.


When the livings and the dead were at the base, Johan gave a cup of hot chocolate to the school girl with the intention to calm her so he started to ask the girl what she had experienced on that particular day.


The girl told Johan and her teacher that as she was trailing the group, she heard voices calling out to her. Out of curiosity, she followed the voices and found scenery in front of her changes into a beautiful garden with untold kind of beautiful flowers blooming. For every few steps that the girl took, the scenery keep changing until subconsciously that she felt it is time to join her group. But the group was nowhere to be seen and she kept walking until she dropped onto the ground due to extreme hunger and fatigue. She only regained consciousness after being carried to safety by the rescue personnel.


Johan believe that it was the spirits of the couple who had committed suicide that had led the school girl to the place where they have committed suicide because they want to go home. Even the dead wanted to go home, so please don’t do anything stupid by ending ones lives; something for us to ponder about indeed.


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