I don't know why I chose not to send the following two experiences or encounters for submission earlier. I was continuously thinking of how to stretch each of the stories to 1500 characters but until now never thought to sending it to the site together.
Both the experiences I had while I was working at Coonoor. First one happened while traveling to a village near Salem to attend the marriage of one of our colleagues. The second encounter was while I was traveling from Coimbatore to Ooty in the night by car along with 2 other colleagues.
I was posted to work at hill station branch of my bank in Coonoor, the moment I joined. It was the usual practice because new entrants would be generally bachelors and hence, they would go to difficult, hardship places for work including those with extreme weather conditions. During my stay at Coonoor, one of our colleagues, Rajalingam, got married and his marriage was fixed and scheduled to take place during second half of January, 1987. I do not exactly remember the date. It was to take place in a village Mookanoor, a village near Salem. 3 of us, myself, Sivaprakash and Samson, went to attend the marriage and after getting down at village bus stop, it was around 0100 hours. Rajalingam's brother was waiting for us with a horse drawn cart. It was called "Jatka". We huddled together in the Jatka and were traveling. We were to travel about 3 kilometres to reach the marriage hall. We were going in a quite reasonable pace. There was nothing on either side for a while and nearly a kilometre into the route, suddenly the horse stopped. We felt the jolt because of the horse stopping suddenly.
It refused to move and was dragging its feet a little backwards. The horseman was frantically trying to make it go forward. Then he said "Kathu" to us, meaning that some paranormal entity was present and that was the reason why the horse was refusing to move. He asked us to just look forward along the left side. I was sitting just behind him and Samson was sitting on the other side, so that we could see clearly. There was an apparition like a woman standing with her hair untidy. We could make it out clearly. She was like gazing beyond us, facing us. We were really shocked and I was scared to the point of getting fainted. Rajalingam's brother was not so perturbed as he was used to living in villages and Sivaprakash was also visibly upset. We were just seeing this apparition, definitely a woman but was like we were able to see through her. It was definitely a paranormal entity. It would have been nearly 5 minutes but to me it appeared as if it was hours.
Then suddenly horseman, Munuswamy, asked me to move a little bit. Beneath my seat, he was having a little bit of a branch of Neem leaves. He was also having slack lime. He just jumped from the front with the branch with Neem leaves and with slack lime used for beetle leaves, he was just proceeding towards it, shouting at the top of his voice to get away. I was really scared because if something happens to him, I was worried how we would be doing to save our lives. He went almost near to the apparition. It would have been around 3 feet between them and suddenly, the apparition vanished. He stood there for nearly 2-3 minutes and came back. He was telling that these kinds of entities often come but only thing he advised, especially me that we have to be courageous. He also said that since Neem leaves are favourite of Goddess Kali, it would ward off evil spirits. By the time we reached, I was terribly shaken and it took nearly 2 days for me to recover from the shock even though we returned immediately after the marriage next day to Salem in daylight.
The second incident was during May, 1989. Myself, Samson and Deenadayal Naidu were proceeding from Coimbatore to Ooty in the night. The time was around 10. 30 p.m. It was a normal summer night and we were returning to Ooty after seeing our friend, Mr. Raju, who met with an accident and was hospitalised in Coimbatore. It was a hilly terrain and Samson was the driver. Deenadayal Naidu was sitting next to Samson and I was sitting in the back seat.
Suddenly Naidu and Samson were yelling, "What is this". I was half asleep and asked them irritatingly what was up. Samson just showed his fingers to the front. There was a old lady walking in the middle of the road, he was honking his horn as she was almost walking in the middle of the road. She never seemed to care. We were quite near to her. Suddenly she vanished. Trust me, in less 10 seconds, we would have hit her, but she vanished. But again it appeared to us that the lady was walking nearly 50 feet down further in front. Again when we were quite near to her, she vanished and again appeared 50 feet away.
We could not see her face or the front portion but from the appearance, it was like an old lady. It happened several times continuously. Samson and I were quite scared. But Naidu started reciting some slokas. Samson did not know what to do. He was just driving and I could see his hands shaking. For nearly 2 kilometres or so, we could see the lady appearing and disappearing. Then there was nothing. We were too scared to turn back and see whether the entity was there or not. Samson was driving like a maniac until we reached Ooty. Next day, I had fever and was able to recover only after 4 days. Samson was also scared and he told me that for a long time, he did not drive in the hilly terrain in the nights. But Naidu was as cool as ever.
These were the two experiences I had while I was working at Coonoor.