A Tail Katha...

A Tail Katha...

8 mins
395


I woke up on a disturbing note. It must be the dream.


It’s still dark outside. I reached my phone to check the time, which showed 3.30 am. My eyes bulged out and mind, voiced again – it’s definitely the dream.


“I have an early shift tomorrow. How do I sleep now?” I bite in frustration.


“And what is this stupid thing on my back!” Unable to resist this unpleasant, strange sensation on my back, I reached out to feel a tiny rubbery thing stuck on my lower back. I tried pulling it off. Holy shit! I screamed in pain.


And then I realized that it’s not stuck, but protruding from my back. Ah! It’s a Tail.


I took my phone and clicked some images of it to have a better look. The tail looked strange, somewhat similar to the dog’s tail I had seen yesterday. But it also had feathers like the Hornbill, similar to the one I saw the day before. For a moment, my face was glowing like the Super Worm Moon. The lovely encounter with Hornbill took over my thoughts. Its whooshing cacophony while on flight and its onerous call, both unpleasant yet distinct enough to amaze every living creature on earth. What a sight!


Conversely, I jolted back to present after witnessing this picture of the tail – MY TAIL – on my phone. I jumped out of my bed in horror! Only to see that I wasn't standing on my bedroom floor anymore! My feet covered with mud and I looked around to see the tall, majestic trees around. The very sight of it left me flabbergasted! Delighted, I took a stroll through the serene woods.


The yellow maple leaves and gigantic Sequoia mesmerized me. I was struck with wonder. In the meantime, a giant elephant splashed water on me from nowhere. Alas! It was a dream. I was rolling on my bed and hit the water jug on the lamp table nearby. The water was all over me. Frustration took over the pleasure of forest walk.


“God! I should stop this,” I grit my teeth.

The tail is the real issue now, not forests or Hornbill. What do I do?


Tail – Just a simple word, but strong enough to send chills down my spine. Subsequently, my uneasiness just rushed through my veins.


What has happened to me?? What will people say if they see it? Should I show my mother or wife about this? Or should I just tuck it in my pants and leave for office? I was contemplating my thoughts.


Finally, I composed myself to the office. My plan is to tuck my tail into my pants. But it was not comfortable at all. Every time I hopped over a hump, it popped-out, leaving me stressed for the entire ride. My thoughts were so blank that I was unable to focus on the road. Somehow, I reached the parking space of my office, sweating profusely because I didn’t know how will people react if they come to know about my tail.


One way or another, I managed to grab my seat before anyone noticed. But the seat was so high.

Why is this so high? Gosh! Not again why do people grab my chair and adjust it?


Consequently, I bent sideways to adjust it, only to find that it’s all down. Sensing something was amiss, I dashed to the washroom. And the result added fuel to the fire.

Yes!!! My tail is growing.

***


One day my tail grew longer that I couldn't keep it as secret. My pants couldn't hold them anymore. It was embarrassing. I didn't know what to do. I was clueless.


The thoughts grew larger and larger over time, giving me an unbearable headache. I could feel the heat during those times. It was intense. My heart will go to the level of explosion. But when I control the thoughts, heat goes off.


One day thoughts took control of me. The heat surged through my head and choked my throat. Unable to control, I coughed and was astonished to see my pillow on fire. I was confused and panicked. Moreover, there was a sense of relief in my head.


Yet in shock, I whispered I breathe fire? Am I a monster? and swooned.

***


I could still feel the heat running inside my head. My body was shivering, in the interim. My heartbeat racing high as ever.


And I am tangled with thoughts and emotions. A thousand questions came crushing my brain!


Will my family accept me? What could have caused this? Should I consult the doctor or will I scare him off? Is this reversible? Is it a dream? Maybe, tomorrow morning when I wake up, I would be back to normal?


Unable to stay calm I rode my bike to the Velrampet lake (Puducherry) to gather my thoughts and chalk out my next course of action. After all, nature is the only being to calm me down.


On my way to the lake on the bike, I heard continuous honking from behind. The noise was maddening. Infuriated, I stopped my bike and looked back.


One guy shouted, "A rope is dangling from your bike. Pull it up, man. It’s risky." It added insult to injury. My tail has grown even longer. And I heard him laughing out loud.


Am I going to chalk out my thoughts at the lake or jump into it? I hit myself.


I tried coiling it up and rode further. The placid lake calmed my soul. I took a step further trying to ease myself but was in vain.


I caught my reflection and startled, "Oh dear god!!! What is this? What am I seeing?" It was a frightening image of me almost identical to an ape. Also, I got reminded of evolution stories and Darwin’s theories, which I felt as unidirectional. But now things are going in different directions.


Am I living proof of reversing evolution? Am I a human anymore? Or I am evolving/evolved to become a new species. Would I become a research specimen?


Scientists will be astounded to hear about this, I am pretty sure.


I stepped back in terror and do not want to go back again. Yet my heart wants to go. Hoping to see my old self. The face that’s not so pretty yet attractive without hairs or big nostrils. The face that is less panicking for birds, enabling me to have a better look of them. A body without a tail enabling people to approach me. Or maybe a better look to sway my girlfriend; hold your thought, that’s my wife.


And then I saw, from the distance, a figure approaching me. He looked surprisingly familiar and as he came closer and stood face to face with me, I was spellbound. Because I was seeing the face that I have been seeing in the mirror for the past 30 years. Yes! It’s me! A tail-less me! I was awe-struck with enchantment.


While he came closer, I could see a book in between his hands wrapped in some kind of gelatinous material. It was radiant and distinctive. Maybe, there is something about that book. It was attractive, even in that bright sunshine. He stretched out his hands trying to offer that book to me.


I was totally confused. My heartbeat racing wildly. Loud enough to agitate butterflies and damselflies. Their reckless behavior clearly conveyed it. I stared at him (or rather myself) for a while before proposing to receive the book.


In the meantime, I tried to peek beneath that gelatinous translucent cover to find something like this – A Tail...

Thrilled, I extended my hand and said, "Hi..."

***


I rubbed my eyes. I was lying down on the floor. An old man with long white hair was sitting beside me.


"Lie down. You are perfectly alright. You were about to say something to me and then you fainted." He said with a calm and soothing tone.


But I was puzzled.


Am I just hallucinating? Hadn't I seen a duplicate of me, a tailless one? Who is this strange old man? Was he not threatened by my face?


But then, I realized that my face is back to normal. I sensed it, somehow and heaved a big sigh of relief. Yet not so relieved as I could still feel my tail underneath.


Did the old man see my tail? Will he ask about it? What should I say to him?

"Don't worry about your tail." His tranquil voice interrupted my thoughts.


"There are a dozen other people like you, spread across the globe. It is called Entailment Syndrome. There is a book – A Tail Katha – written by Shyam Charan.


“What did you just say?” I shouted anxiously. Something sparked me up.

“Entailment syndrome!”

“No. The one about the book and the name!”

“Yes. A Tail Katha by Shyam Charan.”


I was taken aback hearing it, both the title and the name.

Struck hard, I ran back to recollect my dream or a vision perhaps. Maybe, destiny is hitting hard to convey something.

A tail, beneath those translucent coating.


I closed my eyes, gripping hard to focus and found it right, eventually. The answer, this time, was neither aching nor infuriating. Its divergent and overwhelming.


Its déjà vu. One that muddled Abhimanyu in Mahabharatham. He entered Padmavyuham, which looked familiar to him, but didn’t know how to exit.


I close my eyes again, resting on the banks of the lake, took a deep breath. And like a flash, the scene came over - A Tail Katha written by me, Shyam Charan!



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