Sunday, November 2, 2008

When Things Go 'Swoosh' Past Midnight

THE Medang Serai enclave in Bangsar, just off the main road within walking distance from Bangsar Shopping Centre, is home to several prestigious housing development, the kind favoured by the expatriate crowd, retirees with deep pockets and corporate kids still wet behind the ears yet already earning indecently fat pay cheques.

Within that napkin-sized, frighteningly pricey parcel of land are several condominium blocks and a few rows of townhouses, the latter being three-storeyed, overpriced rabbit hutches much sought after by yuppies for their cosiness and upscale address.

When I started my public relations consultancy in 1991, despite being a new kid on the PR block, I was fortunate enough to have been given a chance by McCann-Erickson, one of the country's largest multinational advertising agencies, to provide PR services to a number of their top clients.

Public relations being what it is, image is an all-important thing. It followed that I needed a 'good' address to ply my trade. Because I had both a small outfit and a preference for SoHo (home-based office) kind of set-up, a Medang Serai townhouse fitted the bill just nice.

I turned the two upper floors into family quarters and the main floor into a workplace, complete with all the trappings of an office, including a pantry. Clients, agency people, suppliers and the media gang all knew that I also lived there and that I worked long hours, way past midnight every day.

Because of that, my office became a favourite 'lepak' (lounging) joint for everyone. Sometimes they would drop by for coffee, occasionally just to chat and lounge about watching TV. Most times, however, I would be working alone at the PC, with only Mimi the cat for company.

Mimi, despite its female name, was anything but. The black and white feline came to me as a stray; the kids found him somewhere and took him home. He was the very first cat I had since the big D four years before. Needless to say, Mimi and I were so much in love that he even shared my bed.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened in the first few months of my stay, although I did get the occasional unsettling sensation of being watched. Nothing tangible, just an uncomfortable feel. I put it down to my unfamiliarity with a new place. Nothing to worry about, I consoled myself.

It was not long before I realised Mimi was reluctant to stay with me when I worked late. I also began to notice there were moments when he would either growl or whine without rhyme or reason, followed by a mad dash upstairs.

Soon enough weird things started happening. For a few consecutive nights that I was working on the PC I felt a series of swooshes behind me. It was as though something was flying past. The nights were still, so it couldn't be the evening breeze. But I saw nothing.

I rely on my inner self a lot when confronted with the unexplained. It all has to do with "feel"; good or bad. if the "feel" is ok, then I usually do not give it a second thought, but if an element of fear somehow creeps in, then my senses become acute.

The swooshes, however, didn't trigger my internal alarm. I didn't feel spooked. All the same I was intrigued. I knew there must be something to these invisible fliers.

Frankly, I didn't ask to be shown who or what they were - I certainly wasn't foolish enough to scare myself silly should they make an appearance and look nothing like Richard Gere or Harrison Ford!

But there is a lot to be said about "kata hati", the unspoken words within. Deep inside I guess I must have asked that very question that the mouth refused to utter, because from that day onwards, I started seeing flashes of white swooshing by, from the corner of my eye.

They seemed to 'travel' in groups, these 'things', and they came in waves. While I wasn't exactly peeing in my sarong, it wasn't long before the 'trespassers' started to affect my mood and concentration.

A friend well-versed in the ways of the supernatural stepped in to help, only to discover that the entire span of my townhouse living room and kitchen was in fact the PLUS Highway of the other world!

The developers had inadvertently built the unit directly in the path of their 'road well-travelled', so to speak (it does provide a surreal twist to Robert Frost's famous offering, doesn't it?)

Apparently, the path ran the entire length from my humble kitchen exit door to the sliding doors of the balcony, both of which in direct alignment to each other. Can't blame the developers for not knowing; otherwise they would surely have considered repositioning the doors.

After knowing the whys and wherefores of things, I decided to stay put. They didn't set out to do any harm, so there was really nothing to be afraid of. Furthermore, they shouldn't be faulted for 'disturbing' my peace. In fact, it was us who should apologise for messing around their lebuhraya (expressway).

I hope none of them had the misfortune of running smack into my balcony glass doors. I am inclined to think none did, otherwise they would have haunted me till kingdom comes!

Note 1:
I think this is going to be my last eerie tale for now. I am beginning to feel rather spooked myself recalling all these episodes!

Note 2:
I was once told by someone knowledgeable about the realm of the supernatural that, if you have that 'something extra', rest assured you will be tested time and again. It seems that these beings from the other dimensions are also pranksters of the first degree - much like their garden variety kind from this tired old world of ours.


Kak Teh said...

hahahaha!! The PLUS Highway of the other world! That made my day and warmed me up this cold morning.
I have heard of people in the commuter service sighting P Ramlee as they passed a certain station...forgot which one.
These are the urban legends that will certainly pass on to our young ones.

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yg alim.

Ala, baru nak berkenalan dgn Mimi, kata Pak Malim sambil makan mi. Tengok2, kucing jantan, kata orang utan. Saya kecewa, kata Pak Malim sambil memeluk ular sawa.

Anonymous said...

Kak Kama tak pa tu semua,

Saya punya kes lagi pelik..siap angkat kerusi masa tengah menaip..

dia ajak gurau jer kot..bukak paip air semua..tapi dia sikit pun tak jentik telinga.kita..

masa depa dok sorong tarik kerusi kat dapur saya jerit jer..letak balik baik baik..

semua dia ganggu..tapi..alhamdulillah..lepas baca surah..surah ayat alquran tu..depa tak ziarah saya dah..

sesekali tu..dia mai buka tutup pintu bilik air jer..saya jerit lagi..jangan hempas...

belakang rumah saya memang tempat laluan dia..nak buat macam mana ...

saya suka semua ni pulak..

banyak gak saya lalui..tapi tu lah..satu pun tak jentik telinga saya..

Pi Bani said...

Ah, I bet depa pun pelik, apasal lak kat expressway depa tiba-tiba ada rumah tol! :)

mamasita said...

Teng teteng teteng teteng teng!Another spooky tale that will definitely increase the electric bill for many!Mak oi!Malam ni tidur with the lampu on again!U ni brani betul lah!And ingat pulak tu!Adoi..

kay_leeda said...

Kak Puteri,

Swoosh..swiish in a group!! Aduss..naik bulu roma.

My believe is that when you really feel "their" presence, memang dia ade. Once I was in the pool, one malam Jumaat, after my 14th lap, I felt as if "something' was watching me. In the beginning I just brushed my funny feeling aside. But it felt even stronger after my 15th lap. Lepas tu kecut perut, terus keluar from the pool, changed and went straight home.

My fault jugak I think, malam-malam jumaat dok berendam. Haa...dia mari challenge lumba berenang!!

Queen Of The House said...

Ooooooo .... the unseen also travel on highways??? But no doubt on our highways too they do exist. My husband is one of those who can see 'things' ... tapi tengok ajelah, tak dapat nak buat apa. Another in-law pulak, can hear those things but she can't see them. I just don't know which is worse (or better) .... eeiiii.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Kak Teh - awat, ingat kita saja ka yg ada lebuhraya ekspres? Depa pun dah masuk age of technology gak..!

wahai pak malim kucing ray yg alim

jangan cuba mengorat mimi
kata kama yg bukan anak mami
mimi tu kan jantan
sat lagi parah kena belantan!

anon 9.01 - aya tak pernah kena jentik telinga. sentuh takder, ganggu banyak kali.

Pi - tu la pasal depa hot, dulu highway free, tup tup ada toll plaza..LOL

Mamasita - datin nak takut apa, pi paut kat pak sak tu..abih cerita! hehehe

Kay - yr story reminds me of the movie "Woman In The Water".. scary

QOTH - yang mana baik tengok ka dengar? eee.. dua2 mnyeramkan..

Malaysian Tigress said...


Oh...thank you for this piece while I am working alone at nak pi kencing pun takut, kak oi!!!

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, depa pakai Touch n Go ka? hahahaaha - kak teh pun tak jadi kerja.

D said...

OMG! Last night we watched Kekasihku Seru via and now my kids are always tailing me, and scaring one another with "Waris", the hantu in the cerita. LOL.

Gulp - goodnite, I'm off to bed now!

ArahMan7 said...

Entah2 Kak Puteri tak bayar tol kot? Tanya Samy, mungkin dia tahu pasal ni masa dia handle lebuhraya (Highway PLUS) ni dulu2 tu. I'm just guessing. I may be wrong, but then ... I may be right! Yeah, it's kinda spooky, ;-)

Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

MrsNordin said...

Cats have that gift to see the unseen. My cat Austin always go wide-eyed and looked pretty scared whenever he saw "things" in the house. Most often, in our bedroom. Sometimes, behind me.

But to me, as long as I don't see it, I'm ok. I don't want to know.

Hi&Lo said...


I had an encounter in the Chemor rubber estate one night almost midnight. I stopped in my tracked by a white apparition. It was like a man going to mosque.

Had totally forgotten abt it after all the years until I met a nurse here who was from Ipoh. We talked abt the Emergency and she reminded me of soldiers who were killed airborne when parachuted to the chemor rubber estate.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

tigress - dont work sorang2 so late, nanti ada yg tempted..:)

kak teh - kita ni memang dah sah sewel..LOL

d - i am penakut first class where tengok wayang cerita hantu is concerned... that's the strange part cos when it comes to the real thing.. less scared. pelik betul.

arahman - ayoyo samy sudah history..kesian dia:)

Mrs N - indeed cats, like moist animals, have that sixth sense. they can see what we dont.

hi & lo - oh dear, i am terrified of this kind of apparition - out of the blue menjelma in front of you..

Kama At-Tarawis said...

ayoyo..most* animals.. moist tu lain cerita la pulak..LOL

ArahMan7 said...

But at my age I still love the wet stories. Not particularly moist le, hehehe.

As usual, Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

p/s Hola Chemor!

ann said...

I share with you (and Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim) the origins of Mimi.

We found Mimi in 1991. My brothers and I were in the car waiting for Bapak buy some stuff in a pharmacy in SS15 Subang. It was night time and raining very heavily. We heard a kitten crying. Naj spotted the poor thing seeking shelter underneath a parked car across the street. All of us just stared at it helplessly for awhile. The cries became louder, kesian, it was really cold.

Naj couldn't take it. He dashed across the street, crept underneath the car, grabbed the soaked kitten and we brought it home.

Bapak wasn't too happy. He lectured us about responsibility (I think he was more worried about kitten crap), but he gave in to our pleas. He told us to spread some butter on its paws if we wanted the kitten to stay, which we did before going to bed. I remembered hoping so hard that the kitten wouldn't run.

We rushed down the next morning and found the kitten tengah guling2 on the floor. It just had breakfast; Bapak woke up bright and early to feed it.

My brothers told me to check its gender, they didn’t know how. I peeked, called it a female and gave the name Mimi (I didn't know how to check either, but I wasn't gonna let them in on that!).

Then Bapak had to go to Mexico for two weeks. We passed the cat to you because we had school. When I called you to check on Mimi you said, "Mimi amende? Kucing tu 'mamat' lah!" Hehe, my bad.

When Bapak returned from his trip, we asked for Mimi back but you said no. You gave some feeble excuse about how it wasn’t good to move the kitten about after it had pretty much adapted to its new surroundings.

But we knew better :)

JLKM Page said...

Ini cerita benaq. Harap kaMa boleh translate ke English , biaq depa yg prefer baca dalam English enjoy.
"Aku sedaq2 dah dok ada di hospital SP". Ini yang MatAli mula2 sebut bila orang tanya dia,"Hang kena apa?"
Ada sorang nama MatAli balik kampong mertua dia ikut jalan Jeniang (nun kat Kedah).Dia drive Datsun Bluebird. Time tu dah lebih kurang 9.00 malam. Lebih kurang dekat batu 15 Jalan Jeniang dia kona masuk jalan kampong. Malam tu tak la gelap sangat. Dari jauh di nampak macam buah dereyan dok bergolek turun gon. Wife dia dah habaq kata la musim dereyan luruh. Bila dekat baru dia realized yang dok begolek tu tengkorak - ada beberapa bijik dok bergolek. Dia pederaih kereta sampai kat satu kona. Nampak sorang lebai dok berjalan kaki sambei bawa toslait. Nampak dah ada orang boleh buat kawan, dia semawa la naik kereta. Dia habaq la, "Tadi saya nampak macam buah dereyan bergolek, tapi tengkorak!". Lebai tu balaih balek,"Tengkorak lagu nie ka?" sambei dia letak sebiji tengkorak ataih riba MatAli".