Tovil for Soma (part 2)
By Nadeesha Paulis.
Dusk merged into intense darkness as the bright lights and the rhythmic beating of the drums soon drowned out the horrified gasps of on lookers. The Kattadiya and the broken white clad figure on top of the roof continued their arguments. Under the control of the evil entity, the eyes reddened, mouth foaming and sweat drenched figure was now home to not one but two souls, one of the daughter and one of the father who was evil beyond belief. All his life he had been a cowardly low life thug, but now death had released him from any inhibitions about the law.
The exorcist in turn was not ready to back down. He began to mock the demon. He provoked the entity by poking fun at his choice of victims. "Have you no shame to possess this little girl? You think this is something great? Any other man would possess someone far more difficult to control." For which the rasping voice replied "This belongs to me. And I shall do with it whatever that pleases me! I always have done whatever I want! " this compelled the entity to further prove his point by shaking and jerking the body violently. Anger aroused in the entity seemed to be dangerous but, the kattadiya knew what he should do next. He began playing the 'straight-man' and directing clever and crude insults at the spirit.
His aim was to invoke the spirit, to believe itself foolish and deprived of significant intellect as compared with others. The wordplay used continued to disorient and confuse the spirit. He continued to degrade the actions of the spirit as though they were done by someone mad and stupid so that the proceeding conversation resulted in the loud outbursts of laughter by the audience. The tension of the atmosphere began to lessen as the on lookers too joined in the verbal insults with loud wolf whistles and applauses as though the whole enactment was a drama done to amuse them and not scare them. Many crude words escaped the girl's mouth in that frightening voice focused at the kattadiya. But the amused atmosphere of the crowd proved otherwise.
The Kattadiya conducted this drama well, under the logic that what you can't take seriously, you can't fear.
Finally…'Look at you, running about in a woman's clothes," jeered the kattadiya which was accompanied by hoots from on-lookers 'who would have thought that the great tough Barawe Chandiya, would finally be reduced to this one day? We can see your frilly knickers!'
This was altogether more than the entity could bear and a spine tingling roar of frustrated rage shook the air as the body lifted into the air, went limp, fell to the roof and began to roll off as though it weighted as much as a rag doll.
Men nearby, cousins of the unfortunate Soma, managed to rush to the spot with an old mattress with which they managed to catch the body of the girl before it fell brokenly to the ground. They laid her on a white cloth so that the unconscious girl was safe. She was thankfully still breathing and very much alive although some of her bones in her fingers seemed to be broken. The kattadiya continued to chant certain prayers and charms in order to build protective barriers against any future intrusion of the evil spirit. More charms were placed around the outside of the house, to ward off any bad spirits, demons or other misfortune from coming closer to her as she was in a weak state.
No further paranormal activity was reported by the family and that the girl in time recovered from her physical wounds. A cleansing on the house had been carried out and a priest had preached 'Bana' in order to calm the mind of the unfortunate girl. The family and relatives sadly admit that the girl never did truly recover from the ordeal and the fear she had for her father. And of course she was fated to be shunned by traditional society and no one would marry her because she was supposed to be 'the one who ran about hoisting her skirt'.