exorcising the ghost

exorcising the ghost!!!
I don’t believe in Ghost.
However one of my family’s legend is the story about Marty’s ghost. ( marty is not his real name)
Marty was an Anglo Indian. ( How he became a part of my family’s legend is another story)

Apparently Marty’s trade mark was his guitar and his dinner jacket. He always wore a dinner jacket. ( Imagine the heat in Kerala and wearing a jacket all the time)
A very beautiful suriani kristiani woman fell in love with this handsome blue eyed malayalam speaking, guitar playing singer and her family got her married to another suriani before the end of the day.
What happened to Marty after that no one really knows. He was supposed to have gone to goa and was busking there. Then it was told that he went to England to study.
Many years later the suriani kristiani woman’s husband died in an accident ( one of the first cases of drink driving casualty in my family..Our man drove the car straight to the jackfruit tree that stood there in the same spot for over 30 years. Both the driver and the tree died and the wood from that tree was used to make a wooden trunk..( I will write about that petti may be tomorrow)
Our Suriani kristiani beauty never really forgot about Marty and used the usual gossip networks to find out where he is. By then Marty had a son..he also had TB.
Now is the most interesting part.
One hot summer evening, Our beauty was sitting down in the veranda and drinking her coffee. From where she sat, there are steps leading all the way down to the main gate which is by the side of the main road. I still remember the gate..blue colour with spikes on top to prevent anyone from climbing in and out. I can’t remember how many steps were there.It was like this.. few steps, then a little platform, then more steps and more platforms. There were either two or three platforms. Where the steps become a platform, there were pillars on either side and each pillar held a flower pot. I don’t remember any flowers in those pots, all I can see is grass, so probably there were plants in the beginning and then no one bothered to take care of it.
Anyway from the veranda, you can hear if someone opens the main gate, which our beauty heard and she got up to see who came.
There right at the bottom of the stairs was this old haggard looking man wearing a dinner jacket.
If this was a hindi movie, you would hear a song and can now see the lovers running in slow motion to each other’s arms. Alas, this wasn’t a hindi movie and I was told that the beauty was too shocked to even take a step further. Marty was a coughing a lot and it took a while for him to climb all those steps and reach the veranda.
What we all were told was, The beauty invited Marty to come and sit and he refused. He said he only wanted to see the beauty and he has to leave.
He left.
The beauty always insisted that she could smell something funny when Marty was standing in front of her.. ( something that smelled like athar)
Few days later, our beauty’s daughter brought a news paper cutting home to her mother.
Marty’s obituary.
Marty visited her on the day of his funeral..
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t believe in Ghost.
My sister met Marty’s son in Goa, He is also a singer and loves busking like his father.

Years later, I was living in Penang. I had just given birth to my youngest and it was a very hot afternoon. The house in Penang had a wet and dry kitchen. I was going to cook some lunch and because I am deaf, I can’t hear the kids crying if I switch on the exhaust fan, so I took the kids to the dry kitchen whenever I cooked. Kitchen didn’t have any aircon and the doors and windows were open.
Yaya and toothless were sitting on the kitchen floor and playing with playdough. I made my own playdough and each day kids got to pick the colour. That day it was green. I had baby in my hand and I could smell this funny smell..As though someone dropped a bottle of neelabrungathi oil. I didn’t have any neelabrungathi. But the smell was so strong. I felt so uncomfortable. I remember asking yaya, is your great grandmother somewhere here? The house behind mine belonged to a Chinese opera singer and she was in Hong kong. The house by the side belonged a to Malay couple and both were at work. So there was no way the smell could have come from the neighbours house. I took the kids and went to the living room. The windows were all closed because the aircon was on. I remember opening all the windows to get rid of the smell.
I convinced myself that I had just given birth and my hormones were acting up or may be I was becoming Schizophrenic!! ( it didn’t help that I also had a patient who could smell things!!)
Months later, chechy went to Chengannur and found out that my grandmother had passed away in January. ( I gave birth to my daughter in the first week of january)
Why this post? I was thinking of exorcising the ghosts in my life ( memories) and I remembered both the incidents and thought I will write about that. We will get to the story of the thadi petti and thukal petti someday..

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