I was brought up in a metropolitan environment. In this background, we never used to hear about incidents relating to ghosts, demons, devil etc. However, through books and usual stories narrated by my grandmother, I got interested in this field. The incident I would like to narrate had happened when I was doing my sixth or seventh standard. In summer holidays, generally we used to visit our maternal grandparents house situated in a township around 60 kilometres from Madras. The house was an old-fashioned village house with lot of open spaces inside, garden, cowshed with lots of cattle. Because we were used to city life, the independence and the spacious surroundings had come like a boon to the children. We used to play a lot in the garden, tried to learn milking the cows from elders etc. We were also mischievous.
In that particular year, we were advised not to go near the cowshed. We enquired about the reason and were informed by the elders that nearly for the past 6 months, whenever a cow bears a calf, the calf dies within 3-4 days, however, healthy both the cow and calf are. Nothing happens to the cow but the calf dies eventually. This has made the cows somewhat erratic. Hence, we were advised to stay away from playing with the cows, which we generally used to do. There were more than 20 cows at that point of time. When we were staying, one more calf died. On that particular day, the milkman was talking to my grandmother to contact a priest, Ponnambalam, who was residing nearby since he feels that something unnatural is happening continuously. The belief in the villages and towns in those days cannot be understood with the background of rational and metropolitan atmosphere and surroundings, which we are used to. My grandmother contacted the priest Ponnambalam and he also consented to come the next day, being Wednesday, early in the morning.
Next day, at around 6.00 a.m., the priest arrived. I was quite ready since I was from the beginning interested in these kinds of fields. He went to the cowshed, garden, the well with a stick in his hand and went back to the shed once again. Then he went around a tree situated near the cowshed. He stood there for a few minutes with closed eyes as if meditating. Thereafter, he returned to the house. He told my grandmother that it was because of a demon that was present in the tree near the cowshed, the calves are dying. My grandmother asked as to why the cows are not dying and only the calves. To this, the priest said that each demonic appearance manifests in itself different characters and that this demon takes the lives of the calves as and when they are born. He asked us not to worry and stated that he would perform poojas to drive away the demon. He also told that he would start right away and would take minimum of two days to complete the pooja. He asked us to buy some pooja materials for that purpose.
The priest, Ponnambalam, started the pooja around 9.00 a.m. And went upto 12. 00 noon. This he did for nearly three days. The reaction we got was unheard of and unthinkable. I never experienced such reactions from the demonic force. On the open spaces, there were flurry small stones hurled at the house. We initially thought that it was some mischief from some persons staying nearby. We went to the rooftop and started watching. But, even in our presence, the incident was happening. There would be a gap of 5 minutes and once again, there would be black sand thrown in open spaces as if it was being showered from the sky. But, the one that came next was the most nasty happening. From out of the open space, human excreta were thrown at the house. We were shocked. This continued until the pooja was over at around 12. 00 noon on the first day. The priest said that these are the acts of demon trying to scar us and advised us not to be unduly worried and said that he would come back the next day. We were really shocked and afraid and asked him what if the demon comes inside the house and started attacking us. To his, he smiled and said that we have the Thulasi plant (Holy Basil) inside the house and no demon or devil dare come inside the house. But, we were still worried and had sleepless night that day. However, nothing happened. But, the stones were hurled in the open spaces on a frequency of 3 hours, however, without much intensity. Fortunately, no human excreta was thrown inside the house.
Next day, once again when the priest started the attacks. But, this time, the frequency increased to such an extent, we went inside the pooja room to request the priest to do some thing to stop the attacks. He said that these cannot be stopped and told that he is also experiencing pain in his back frequently as if someone is beating him with a stick. He has continued his pooja. When he was leaving the house, we were able to see the scars on his back as if someone had really beaten him with a stick. The problem with the whole aspect was cleaning the ground of these stones, sand and excreta. But, after the second day's pooja, there were no attacks thereafter.
On the third day, there was no stone hurling or sand throwing etc. But, the priest was put to a lot of hardship and tears were coming out of his eyes. He must have been facing a lot of pain during the pooja. On the third and last day, the pooja was extended upto 3.00 p.m. By 1.30 p.m., there was some clarity on the face of the priest, Ponnambalam, and he finally did some "Yenthras" and nailed it in the cowshed and the tree adjoining the shed. One more Yenthra was nailed on the front door. He said that there would be no more demon attacks and that he had successfully driven out.
My grandmother wanted to give him some money but he refused to take it. He said that he was not in the habit of taking money. Despite our persuasion, he refused to take any money or gift etc.
But, as things stood, there was no untoward incident since that day either inside the house or the dying of calves as it used to happen in the previous six months.
This particular incident made me take more interest in the occult and parapsychological phenomenon. While that happened more than 30 years ago, I still so vividly remember the fear and anxiety with which we were put to during those 3 days.