Friday, June 14, 2013
HOW I BOUGHT A HAUNTED HOUSE
I do hate it when visitors wake me from an afternoon siesta, don't you?
Youre sticky and groggy and you don't know what kind of nightmare it was that you were having and are going to have except that it isnt night, it is the blazing humid tropical equatorial afternoon and you honestly wish you could die rather that face people.
Ceiling or table fans are just no use. Your brain is fried, and next your eyeballs and you cant even make sense of what people are saying. Your dehydrated gut craves caffine even though you know that will raise your body tempreature by another Celsius or so
This time was no exception and whats worse was the very worried look on my mother-in-law's face, as she peered around my door curtain.
" there are some people here to meet you, and they don't look happy' she said gently.
Which was an understatement – they looked furious, the whole tribe of them, I couldn't remember who these people even were except that I seemed to have done some business with one of them sometime back, but where on earth had they got so many damn backups from ? there seemed to be old people, young people, young mothers, offspring – an entire blooming clan.
I raked my groggy caffine starved mind for any idea of what I could have done wrong to them, because they had faces that were completely synchronised in how they seemed to hate me.
It had to be one of the properties I had sold sometime back at the start of my forey into the real estate business. There must be something wrong with the deed or something, but then I was completely immune from that sort of thing having carefully drafted a brokerage contract which limited my liability for any subsequent problems which I could not possibly have found out following a reasonable investigation into the background of the place…
I liked to think that unlike tuk tuk drivers I was doing the land brokering business with a sense of ethnics as well as reasonable standard of professionalism. I actually earned my commissions.
"Take it back! It has problems !you are responsible. You said this was a good place, you recommended it " said the wife of the podgy young man who had done the deal with me – I groped among my turgid afternoon drowsy brain cells for his name. It had been Nuwan. He looked like a Nuwan, or a Lahiru or a Sumith- don't you know the kind who has a three wheeler but does other things, trafficking sort of things. Typically he was being relatively soft spoken and it was his wife who was honestly scaring me now, with the rough way she was handling her squalling new born looing infant while she tried simultanously to shut it up, and to scream at me. I had to sit down to think hard. This was becoming a daylight nightmare.
"Can we discuss this reasonably without disturbing my parents and the neighbours please ?"I asked groping for time.
"Yes we came here to disturb people. You can pretend to be all civilised. Do you know what you did ?" she howled whilst her chubby hairy thug husband made a charming pretend show of trying to tell her to slow down or pipe down.
"I did not carry out this deal with you, please may I speak to the relevant person," I said politely since anything would have been better than dealing with this female; possibly post partum stress was making her this way, new mothers had some strange hormone issues I hear. I turned to Nuwan (or Lahiru or whoever)-who continued
" the house, is haunted we there are problems there from the first day – that is why it has been cheap –"yes it blXXXy well was cheap it was 7 laks and that's blxxxy cheap for a two storey house in Sri Lanka, what did they expect for that price ? you cant even build a garage for that amount these days can you? " you have to take it back, we cant live there, you have to give us the money" Hold on a minute, that was not part of the agreement -
" I don't have the money . I got a regular commission remember, you will have to contact the previous oweners and Im not sure that – " The whole family started bablling at once and it had a decidedly hostile tone to it . They clearly held me responsible for what ever misery happening in that darned place. I wracked my afternoon dozey brain for a recollection of the actual propertly and remembered the day I had gone over to see it . It had been beautiful and yes you couldn't believe that it would be available for 7 lakhs. It was on 15 perches of land to start with so realistically the land value itself in that area was almost 2 laks. Then the house was good, nothing SPECIAL nothing crazy but it was a good house. I had haggled with the owner and brought it down to 6. Which alone should have warned me that there was something really wrong. You cant build a barn with 6 lakhs in Sri Lanka.
You had to travel in lazy village buses through lovely paddy fields and rubber plantations and this house was near a tiny darling little stream, overlooking a paddy field …real Sri Lankan serandipity. The only feeling you got from the house was one of being charmed. It just didn't feel haunted.
" Wait a minute? YOU seriously believe this stuff?" I tried to appeal to the threewheel guys macho sense, and put him down a bit for beleiving silly stuff about spirits – I knew his kind and the only spirits they took seriously were the ones you get from Cargils in large crates on the days before Poya days etc. He evaded my parry and looked to his lactating wife for oral support –
you don't know the things that have happened to us , she bagan to screech and I wonderered how this man lived with her, let alone with the spectres supposedly haunting their new house. You don't know how we are suffering the baby doesn't sleep cries all the time around 6 pm always ( its called colick you dumb lactating bovine, read more of Tharunee or something, I wanted to say- babies get gaseous in the) evenings. Some people should not be allowed to reproduce without a license!!! ) and then there are sounds terrible sounds in our house (I understood- I was hearing one such just now) and the animals all died, our pet love birds and the parrots they were valuable and the new persian cat we brought from the animal fair , she was inside the washing machine, dead ok that is really eww, you really should be more careful when you throw in the nappies, count them or something – and then mother fell down the front stairs and broke her hip- (ok THAT I just don't have a real answer to, have you tried giving her Anelene -its good for the bones - ) "have you tried an excorcism?" I suggested reasonably.
There was another garbled babbling from lots of people including senior citizens, speaking at once, and the answer seemed to revolve around how much capital they had acutally lost in the process of excorcism. I grinned as I imagined the local kattadi adds where they milked their clients dry based on how gullible they were. OK so that had been done.
There was nothing for it but plan B
" Look I don't have to do this because its not my problem, but since I like the place myself I will offer you a deal. A very good deal, I must say. And I doing the best I can mind you. . ."
So that's how I bought a haunted house. And its been that way since then, because I didn't have time to visit the place. And Im not really bothered you know, because I believe that time heals everything. And the best thing, is that in the real estate sector- properties appreicate with time, whether they are haunted or not.
So if you are interested I have a lovely little house in Padukka, near a stream and Ill give it to you at cost, for just 8 lakhs. Send me an email. Seriously.
Posted by aljuhara at 5:18 AM