Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Law Suit From Hell (告阴状)

Old Chinese folks believe that if a person is being mistreated unfairly in this materialistic world and that there is no other possible ways to redeem his/her justice through this human court of law; then this person can take up his/her case with ‘Lord of Hell’ (阎王) or ‘Lord of East Mountain’ (东岳大帝).


The method is pretty simple:


First this person must write an official letter addressed to the Lord of Hell. The letter should be written on a piece of green or white paper using black ink. All details must be furnished just as with the human court suits… Only that no lawyer is needed but one may invite a Taoist or an elder to be the witness.


Once the paperwork is done, the person should go to the temple of the lord with some food offerings and joss papers. He/she should kneel down in front of the Lord’s statue and recite aloud his case and demands that justice is swiftly carried out within this life.


It is said that the law of underworld is very different from the human law in that the human laws can be twisted to one’s advantage and according to the lawyer’s wits. No such things in the underworld as the lord will only listens to the reports of his messenger and the judgment is final.


Now, let me tell you a personal story of an old granny who has lodge a formal complaint to the hell…


When I started my first job with a fabrication company in Ipoh, my neighbor was an old granny whom I called her Ah Mah. She was around 80 years old but still strong and managing a small food stall just in front of her house.


I used to stop over her food stall to enjoy her economic fried vermicelli and red bean soups. At times when this Ah Mah was happy, she even provided her food for free too! She said she only wanted to pass her time but hate to sit idly in her house.


Ah Mah only has a son, Robert. But Robert wasn’t anywhere resembled his mom, he liked to gamble and many times at night, I heard sounds of people quarreling came out from the Ah Mah’s house. Apparently Robert had lost money and wanted to dig the poor old Ah Mah’s hard earned money. The concerned neighbors did advised Ah Mah to lodge police reports but the old granny just wanted to protect her son.


One morning I visited Ah Mah’s stall to have my breakfast as usual before my work. I noticed that Ah Mah’s left forehead had a very bad bruise and that there was a black green circle around her left eye socket. Apparently that Robert has gone overboard and physically abused this old woman when she refused to give her beloved gold heirloom necklace up. It looked like Ah Mah was very sad so when I finished my work that day, I paid her a visit as I was actually quite worry of the old lady’s well being.


When I was at Ah Mah’s place, she cried most of the time as she was so disappointed with Robert and she wanted to make an official complaint to the Lord of Hell and her family ancestors. Since she was illiterate, she asked me to help her in writing the letter.


So as she narrated, I start writing.


When the writing was done, I brought her to a Lord of Hell shrine nearby and burnt the paper as requested by Ah Mah.


I left Ipoh soon after that for a career change.


Three months later, I heard from an old acquaintance that Ah Mah had passed away peacefully and that Robert had met with an accident and now crippled the night Ah Mah died.


I am not sure if it is retribution on Robert’s not filial (不孝顺) or it was merely a coincidence.


Perhaps we will just leave it as an urban legend for now…


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