When I was very young, maybe 7 or 8 years old, a peculiar thing has happened in our neighbourhood. We were living in the heart of the city of Madras. If you can think of what Madras looked like about 35-36 years ago, from the present improved city, we would be surprised. One of the families living nearby my household was a joint family. My friend, Manoharan, also lived in that family. It was a big family of over 13 persons with cousins, aunts, uncles etc living under one single roof.
We used to have a lot of fun and the boys and girls of my age group used to play with each other. Elderly boys and girls would be among themselves. It was real fun to be with their family since our family was quite smaller in size. My friend Manoharan's cousin, Rajeswari, was 12 years elder to him and she also lived in the same family in our neighbourhood. They used to dine together, play together, celebrate together etc. Once, Rajeswari, went to a village to attend a marriage of her relative with some of the family members.
When she came back, there was a change in her attitude. She started behaving like a man quite often. Initially, we never got used to that. But, one day when I was in my friend's house and they were sitting together to have their lunch. Suddenly Rajeswari in a loud and manly voice said, "Hi, I am hungry and I am going to eat." I could not believe my eyes, she ate all the things that were kept in that hall and everyone was dumbfounded. We, children, were scared to the bones. When I asked my friend, Manoharan, he said that this was happening for the first time. After she took the food, she asked for a cigar. Manoharan's father gave her a cigar and after she smoked, she fell down. When she awoke, she was quite normal and said that she was feeling hungry. By that time, it was well over half an hour from what had happened and Manoharan's mother and his aunts, started cooking fresh food for the rest. To my dismay, when the food was cooked, she ate like everybody and was her usual normal self. I was told by Manoharan's father that this continued for 3-4 times after this first incident.
Later realizing that something must have happened to the girl, they called a priest to find out what had happened. The priest made elaborate arrangements and put kolam and asked Rajeswari to sit down in that kolam. We were seeing the ritual with all seriousness and fear. After some time, the priest started asking questions to Rajeswari. She did not answer well for the first 15 minutes or so and suddenly, we could feel that somebody or something in her body started talking to the priest. It said, "I am Muneeswaran. When she came to kattupakkam village, she was wearing a white half-saree, she was with her hair untied and I was in the tree and I wanted to enter her body because I was attracted towards her and I entered her body." Every one was shocked. But the priest continued and asked whether it would go away. To this it said, "Yes. I would. But you should give me a feast with non-vegetarian food, liquor and cigar. Then I would leave."
The priest immediately ordered Manoharan's father and Rajeswari's father to arrange for the feast. It was a grand feast with all non-vegetarian stuff, chicken, mutton with spiced items besides a bottle of local liquor and a pack of cigars. We were witnessing with awe and to our dismay, it finished off the entire feast single-handedly and started drinking the local liquor without any hesitation. It smoked 2 cigars and later told the priest that it was satisfied and bade good bye. Rajeswari fell down and was unconscious for over 3 years.
When she woke up, there was nothing unusual about her and she was her usual self. From that day on, her behavior was normal and without any aberrations. But, for those 15-20 days when she was under the control of Muneeswaran, we were literally scared to go near her. Even after all these rituals happened, it took more than 2 months for us to go near her and started interacting with her.
Recently, Manoharan, my friend and me, we went to Rajeswari's house. She is now quite old with grand children and we recollected the scary incidents in retrospect.