Grandma’s Advice

According to my grandmother, the old people in the kampung days, believed that pregnant women, especially those pregnant with their first child, gives out a scent that will attract the evil spirits, namely pontianak and penanggal. So these women, are not allowed to leave their homes after dusk but if they have to, they would have to bring with them a small pouch containing several sharp and metal objects and some herbs that will ward off these evil spirits.

Well, two years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, my grandmother, obviously, made the small pouch for me to carry around and not wanting to offend her, as I do not believe in all these matters, took it from her but later stashed it away in my cupboard. An act which I later regretted.

On that fateful day, I had to stay late at work. My husband fetched me at about eight o’clock. I was already in the seventh month of my pregnancy, so, ultimately, felt very, very tired. After he parked the car, we started our way to our flat. That’s when I smell a very strong fragrant odour. There was no one else there except the two of us. I asked my husband if he smell the perfume but he asked me to stay quiet and quicken our pace. The smell got stronger and stronger until I felt as though I could not breathe. I was suddenly gasping for breath and my husband realising my condition, stopped in his tracks and muttered some Quranic verses under his breath and I immediately felt better.

Upon reaching home, I rested for a while and later bathed and perform my prayer. I was still a bit weak after that incident so I went immedaitely to bed. I thought it was over but I was wrong!!!

At 2 am, my husband and I were awaken by a scratching sound on our windows (luckily it was closed as we had the aircon on). Then the sound of stones or something like that being hurled at my window(mind you, my flat is on the 18th floor!) I was trembling with fear and I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my tummy. My husband, surprisingly, remained calm. He asked me to rest on the bed, perform ablution and sat next to me reading the Quran aloud.

Then there was a loud and shrieking laughter outside our window.(Thank goodness, I could not see outside the window as it was closed with a curtain!) The scratching was heard again. This time more ferocious. My hubby read even louder and he start reciting some verses that are for warding these evil spirits. The pain in my tummy got worse. The shrieking grew louder but my husband kept repeating the verses over and over again until the shrieking was gone. And coincidentally, the pain in my tummy vanished. The horrific incident left me trembling and I was sick for the next few days.

That was an experience I will never, never forget. I told my grandmother about it and she was angry because I did not heed her advise. She said the thing outside my window was the pontianak either trying to lure me out or trying to get in herself. I was so relieved that my baby is alright and I have learnt my lesson the hard way!

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