Thursday, April 16, 2009

What's Up That Tree?

I was in our condo's management office two days ago, waiting to talk to N, the administrative assistant, over some matters, when in walked a middle-aged Chinese guy.

Clad in worn work clothes, he proceeded to announce to no one in particular: "Saya potong oledi ( I have already cut it off). Shouldn't be ploblem now."

Apart from N and I, others in the office at the time were a fellow resident, the management's accounts assistant, and Z, the condo's soft-spoken technician-cum-electrican.

"Oh, good lah. Hopefully no more complaint after this," N responded with a smile. "Do you know that Datin J saw it last week and she nearly fainted? That was why I asked you to lop it off fast."

Think what you will, but if you were a bystander listening to that kind of cryptic exchange, you too would be left wondering what actually was going on.

My interest by now sufficiently piqued by the 'potong' insinuation, I shamelessly eavesdropped while pretending to flip through a property magazine.

By the way, I know sprightly Datin J; this pleasant elderly lady headed the surau committee last year and was among the first to welcome us and to make us feel at home when we moved into our unit last July.

Since she was one woman not to be trifled with, and certainly not a lily-livered one who would faint at the slightest provocation, I wondered what was it that surprised her so.

I was still mulling over the mystery when the Chinese fellow bid goodbye and left. As soon as the dust settled, I cornered N, my real mission to the office dismissed for a time being.

Me: "What was that 'potong' thing all about, N?"

N: "Oh, it's that big tree by the side of the walked-up block at the other end; you know, the block that faces the pool."

Me: "What about it?"

N: "Do you know there was 'something' living high up there among the branches? We have been getting complaints and reports from the condo's residents. Quite a number of them had seen 'it' and had been scared out of their wits by 'it.'

"They had asked us to lop off the branches and leave the tree bare, so that it doesn't offer any shade whatsoever to whomever."

Me: "What was the thing?"

N: "A flash of white darting about up there some nights. I don't really like to say this, let alone tell others about it, but those who caught sight of it said 'it' was definitely a pontianak (banshee)."

Me: "Aiiiiiii.... !

N: "At first we dismissed it too. It could be some people's overactive imagination. But when Datin J nearly passed out of fright upon seeing 'it', we just felt there could be some truth in it.

I concurred with N. After all, that God-fearing Datin J, with her kelas mengaji (Quran recital classes), ceramah agama (religious talks), and voluntary work at the orphanage and the hafiz school nearby, isn't your garden-variety timorous old lady. So I am inclined to believe her.

Now, all this is very interesting. I have always thought those scary-looking, long matted-haired spooks with shiny red eyes belong to kapok trees in dimly lit kampungs.

The presence of one in the heart of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, comfortably nestling in a verdant shade by the side of a condo development, and yards away from a swimming pool, really takes the cake.

It does seem even banshees have gone upmarket these days. After centuries of deriving pleasure in scaring the sarongs off kampung folks, they have moved into the realm of the urbanites.

Honestly, I don't know what to think. With so many people chancing upon it, they can't possibly be wrong, can they?

I told Pak Abu when he got back from work that evening. Later, on the drive back home from dinner, my ever-cynical spouse suddenly said: "Let's make a detour to see if 'it' is still there..."

"Not on your life!" came the swift answer!

[PS: I wrote this piece in the comfort of my bedroom, on my bed. 'Takut' to stay in the study alone because Pak Abu and Awwa have gone to bed. That 'thing' flies, doesn't it? You never know, it may just decide to park itself on my window sill!! Oh my, mintak simpang malaikat 44!]


Salt N Turmeric said...

Holy moly! Kak Puteri that's just too close for comfort oredi! Like you, I pun macam tak percaya kat condo in TTDI ada jugak benda2 camtu. takuttttt....

Naz said...

Aiks! seram ni...

Pi Bani said...

What happens when they run out of trees to bertenggek on? Errr... never mind....

kay_leeda said...

Ayooo...I had the same question as Pi Bani. When there's no tree to gayut-gayut, "dia" nak pi mana eh?

Isshhh...memang mintak sempang malaikat 44!!

Pak Idrus said...

Still believe in myth and superstition Eh!. The tree became the victim. What next ?

Have a nice day anyway.

Kama said...

Farina & Naz - I memang penakut pun..

Pi & Kay - They can tenggek anywhere, as long as not on my window sill.. :-)

Pak Idrus - Apa nak buat pak, mentality kampung still, takut hantu et al..LOL

IBU said...

hehehe.... the 'upmarket' version la yg ni....

Raden Galoh said...

Seram saya baca kak! Condo akak tinggi kan? Tingkat berapa akak stay? If tinggi sure dia tak larat nak fly kot...(jgn dia terjelir2 lidah sbb tak cukup nafas terbang naik masa bertenggek kat window sill akak tu dah la ye..opppsss...mulutttt!)

This story reminds me of my son's story a month ago... dia kt dia nampak a little boy cangkung kat pokok bunga depan rumah nenek and it was at night, then theboy looked at my son and waved... not cute faced though...

ish... dah le taknak cerita... naik dah bulu tengkuk!

chapchai said...

Talking about pontianak, can any fellow blogger please tell me if I can get a dvd of the ORIGINAL pontianak film starring Maria Menado(?). I remembering watching that film when I was in my teens, hiding under the seats when P appeared, fangs, talons and all. That surely must be a classic!

Oldstock said...

Salam Kak Aji Kama,

Wah! Dah masuk musim cerita seram nampaknya.

Tapi kan, bila dahan-dahan tu dah dipotong, maka lebih jelas kelihatan mahluk tersebut, ye tak? Kan lebih baik biarkan daun pokok lebat, jadi taklah nampak sangat... heheheh.

Bila dah takde dahan nak bertenggek, benda tu lepak kat koridor ke, tepi lif ke... kan lagi seram.

mamasita said...

Luckily that 'thing' tak tahu baca blog! Otherwise you lah kena 'interrogate'! haha
Tumpang lalu Puteri, thank you.
Pak Idrus, bukan myth.
Belakang Pahang Art Gallery in Kuantan ni atas pokok2 besar ader!!
Artist2 yang tidur kat sini tak bohong!They saawww!!Iyyaa!

typhoon sue said...

Ish... kak puteri nih..!! It's almost midnight now and I'm all alone at home. How am I gonna ever fall asleep after having read that???

Kama said...

ibu - itulah progress namanya! makhluk halus pun ada vision 2020 kot!

raden - eeee, this is menyeramkan! once, my niece fell sick in taman negara and kept telling her mother of the 'beings' coming to visit her. ada yang bertenggek atas tingkap, ada yang bergayut kat tepi katil.. she described them one by one.. berdiri bulu roma!

chapchai - let's hope ada yang baca your request. I remember watching this movie eons ago.... seram sejuk dalam panggung wayang!

oldstock - I heard they had a prayer session. I can imagine terserempak with 'it' tepi lift or tangga.. WOWO TAKUT!

mamasita - I do believe in these makhluk halus. the worst part is I can feel them, tu yang tak best sikit tu..

sue - alaahai, kesian adik I.. lol.. kalau takut baca ayat kursi.. sah tenteram.

Queen Of The House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Queen Of The House said...

Aiyooo .... now I gotta go tutup tingkap in my top floor apartment. How not to pandang keluar??!! You scared me oledi!

Without the leaves, that will make 'it' more visible, because surely 'it' will not easily leave its tempat bertenggek/tree. Eeeiiiiii!

edelweiss said...

i tak pernah nampak tapi pernah denagr mengilai...tapi bunyinya bukan macam pontianak sundal malam lah...lebih kepada shrieking sound gitu...

nak kata mimpi mom was there next to me when both of us dengar...! Sah lah i tak mimpi kan.. I was in her room watching 'Planet of the Apes' when i was 14 or 15 gitu. My dad was away from home [menjaga keselamatan negara di sempadan]. Tetiba dari jauh sayup-2 sayup bunyi sampailah bunyi tuh betul-2 di atas bumbung rumah...hah!!nak pengsan dibuatnya.

However my uncle kat Kg Padang temusu, Sungai Petani pernah nampak. Dia tuh dahlah kering hati..tapi the sight of that 'beings' boleh buatkan dia pengsan...hahahahhah!! I got this first hand story from both my arwah grandpa & granny.

So, memenag percaya benda-2 nih wujud! Mintak simpang malaikat 44...i tak nak nampak bentuknya...

Tommy Yew said...

Hi Puteri,

Who do u call? Middle aged Chinese Ghostbuster…hehheh? Bet he’s no match for my numero uno spooky characters, ‘P’ (Casper is last on my list). I tot ‘she’ only target frisky fellas like bangkai type mah.

No, u guys shouldn’t upset ‘her’ like that, management should had tried to appease ‘her’ by ‘helping’ her to relocate to her rightful place.

Now where’s my 6 inch nail.


Kak Teh said...

Puteri, this is indeed scary. I heard a story from my niece and nephew who drove to baling. driving back, they went through some hutan...and suddenly right before their eyes, straddling across the branches..... everyone went quite and couldnt speak - but they all saw the same thing.

Well, some years ago, i did a study onthe monstrous feminine - ya, they do like places high above like that...Freud pun kata macam tu.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear Kak Puteri,

Itu baru nampak, belum dgr dia mengilai lagi! Kalau dah togel branches tu, nanti dia nak dok kat mana? Eeeeeeeeeeeee.....seram la.

─╣aptop™ said...

You can catch your wayward guest using delayed exposure infra-red camera perched on your window sill. It would be a good addition to your photo album. You can definitely make some dough selling your "What's Up That Tree" with some supporting photos to Metro :-).

Anonymous said...

my guess, its a burung bangau puteh-lah bcas nowadays these birds are becoming more common plus they normally find the biggest tree to rest !. Poor tree kena tebang tak pasai pasai Geeee !. Sayang pokok jadi mangsa-kan ?.
hantu hantu ini semua nya karut,,,Pagan belief-lah, tak baik terikut ikut cerita seperti ini tau. Budak budak hantu banyak kat pulau-lah. hehehe


mekyam said...

hjh princess,

tapi kalau dia tak kacau orang, biar ajer lah kot. i mean what harm was she doing, or could she do?

also, is it her fault that orang takut? maybe dia tak tahu pun org takut.

entah2 in their own realm pulak, when by some quirk to the dimensional quantum folds, tiba2 kita lak yg terjelma kat dorang, sure org dia takut gak. after all, as is beauty, hideousness too is probably in the eyes of the beholder. :D

lagipun kesian pokok tak berdosa kena cantas as collateral damage.

perhaps the condo mgmt shd have called some org pandai to "zip that rip in the ether". or failing that, some msian pontianak-whisperer to help pujuk her pontianakness to jgn tunjuk diri.