Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mind Your Actions (谨慎言行)

It is a common local belief that ghosts are afraid of fierce people. So, the louder and dirtier words that can be uttered from your mouth the better it is to drive away ghosts. But, is this always the case? I can tell you this story, but please don’t try it for I shall not be held responsible to what happened to you later:

During my school time perhaps in the early 80’s, some of my school mates from Aulong new village learnt Mao’shan god’s strike (神打) from an old sorcerer. As I was told that the god’s strike mainly invoked the presence of ghosts while the god’s invulnerability (神功) invoked the presence of gods. Having said so, no one could be sure what possesses a practitioner as no spirit would claim to be a ‘ghost’ anyway.

In those days, youngsters of 15 or 16-years-old would think they could take up the whole world with their god’s strike. And, one of my friends; Kow even believed to be possessed by monkey god in the science class and jumped onto others’ desk causing huge commotions in the school. The monkey god asked the science teacher for banana but the teacher passed him a shoe instead. Consequently, the monkey went amok and grabbed the students’ workbook and then threw at the teacher.

The school subsequently called up the local hospital and the monkey god was subsequently being bounded into a stretcher and spent a few days bed ridden.

Then, in order to test the powers of god’s strike, those young ones would go to the Chinese cemetery at night to challenge those ghosts in the cemetery. A game they used to play was to summon ghosts with an oil lamp and a piece of white cloth. The cloth is stretched by two persons each holding onto one end. And then an oil lamp is lit in the background. When this is done, the kids would start chanting mantras to summon the ghosts. After a while, some shadows would be seen on the white cloth.

Once I followed Kow’s group to the cemetery to ‘play ghosts’ (玩鬼) and on our way back home, as we passed through a narrow mud path; many pebbles flew at us striking our bodies and caused many bruises and swollen parts. Interestingly, as we ran for cover; we could hear many cursing and swearing voices around us. The Mao’shan master later warned us to behave because we have offended the good brothers and sisters in the graveyard.

Of course, the kids never learnt. During one of the Ghost Months, Kow was challenged to go to the grave of a deceased pregnant lady with stillborn. He was to sit in front of the gravestone and start cursing the pregnant lady for half-an-hour or so. If Kow has successfully completed the challenge, we would give him $20 as reward. FYI, $20 in the 80’s was a lot of money then.

So, right on full moon night, we sent Kow to the cemetery entrance and let Kow went into the cemetery with me as the witness.

We arrived at the lady’s grave after 10 minutes later. Kow sat directly in front of the tomb stone while I sat on the left side of the grave witnessing what Kow did. Once Kow started his four letter words, I started to take the time.

About 10 minutes or so, Kow didn’t show any signs of tiredness; four-letter-words continued to burst out from his mouth fluently. For once I thought had Kow be so fluent in his languages, he would have been a lawyer by now. Then, from a distance, I saw a white mist started to take shape in front of Kow while he continued to churn out the four-letter-words.

At some point, Kow suddenly became silent and stared at the tomb stone in front of him. Then he yelled out horrifically and fainted in front of the grave. At the same time, I saw the white fog transformed into the rough shape of a lady holding her baby. The ghostly figure first looked at fainted Kow and then she turned her face at me and gave me an eerie yet sinister smile.

I too yelled my lungs out and ran in panic towards the gang that was waiting at the grave entrance leaving unconscious Kow behind.

Kent caught hold of me as I ran passed him and he asked: “What happened?”

I pointed my finger towards the darkness and said: “It’s Kow…”

Kent asked: “What about Kow? He is just right behind you…”

I turned my head and there I saw Kow was indeed right behind me! He was with the weirdest expression since I knew him. His half angered and half smiling face gave me the creeps.

Before the gang wanted to congratulate Kow for successfully completed the challenge, Kow uttered some words without opening his mouth: “You dead kid’s wraps (死仔包) disturbing my peace and scolding me four-letter-words for nothing! You must ask your parents to make offerings and apologize in front of my grave tomorrow morning or this kid (Kow) would accompany me to the underworld!”

After that, Kow dropped onto the ground unconscious. We had to carry Kow back to his home and the whole gang was being scolded again.

The next morning, our parents went to the pregnant lady’s grave to express their apologies but Kow just wasn’t his usual self anymore. After the incident, Kow became a little bit wacko as his words didn’t make any sense. At times he would come to my house and talked a lot of nonsense and after that, I have not seen Kow anymore until I shifted to Penang.

So, the moral of this story is: please use the four-letter-words wisely or the risk is yours! Ha! Ha! Ha!

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