(M)onkey Hair And (M)oving Backwards

(M)onkey Hair And (M)oving Backwards

At around 5.20 PM the ward boy who was assigned to Anandi’s ward came up to where Gayatri and Varun were seated. He looked at Varun and said, ‘Sir, are you Mr Varun?’

Varun nodded and the boy said, ‘Dr Peter wants to meet you immediately. Please hurry.’

Varun and Gayatri walked over to Dr Peter’s room and entered without waiting for the secretary to usher them in. Dr Peter told them to be seated.

He said, ‘Mr Varun, as you already know we had sent the liquid in the pustules on your wife’s face for advanced analysis. Since yesterday afternoon, some hair has also started growing on your wife’s hands and legs. I was disturbed by that and decided to send the hair growing on her body for advanced analysis too. I am afraid we have got some very alarming news regarding the hair. Our technicians have analysed those samples and have declared with 95% certainty that the hair is Simian in nature. In other words, it is the kind of hair that grows on a Monkey.’

Gayatri and Varun gaped at Dr Peter in open mouthed horror. Dr Peter continued, ‘Under these circumstances we feel it would be better to isolate your wife in a separate VIP ward. Are you okay with that?’

‘Of course, I am okay with that.’ Varun said harshly. ‘I don’t care how much money we have to spend. We must pull Anandi out of this rut. And by now, I honestly think there is something supernatural involved in all this. Do you believe in the supernatural doctor?’

‘Look Varun, being a physician, I don’t believe that anything happens without a cause. I believe in cause and effect. I believe that there is a sound reason why your wife has been affected this way. I am a doctor. I will try to find a medical cause for her state of health. You on the other hand should take steps to find out things as per your beliefs.’

‘You are being very diplomatic doctor, but I get your point. We will take leave of you now.’

Gayatri and Varun got up from their chairs. Dr Peter said, ‘Best of luck to you Varun.’

Varun turned around and said, ‘Thank you doc.’

The time was almost 6 PM by then and Varun and Gayatri moved towards the gates of the hospital to keep their appointment with the security guard. But the guard was already in the lounge, and he was in plain clothes. Varun recognized him at the same time the guard recognized the two of them. He said, ‘Hello sir, here I am. We will have to go through the back gate if you want to avoid the reporters.’

‘Sure, let us go.’

They were soon walking through narrow lanes full of slush and old shanties. It was all very smelly and at several places they had to hold their hands over their noses. Many children stood and gaped at them. Soon the guard came to a stop in front of a shanty that was slightly bigger than the others.

The guard knocked on the door and the woman they had seen at the gates of the hospital opened the door. She looked at them in glee and said, ‘I knew you would come… I knew you would come and meet the lovely gypsy.’

‘We want to talk to you about my wife…’

‘Come in sir, I am a gypsy and a Shaman who can talk to dead souls…’

‘I will take leave of you sir…’ the guard said and left.

‘You and the pretty Memsaab, please do come in.’ The gypsy said.

Varun and Gayatri stepped in. They could sense something eerie in the atmosphere of the old hut. Varun could feel Gayatri’s hands gripping his tightly. The room was full of odd things. Figurines of all kinds made of wood and brass were placed at several corners of the hut. Varun was a very bold and courageous man but even he could sense the frightening atmosphere of the hut.

After a few minutes the gypsy indicated the floor. She said, ‘I know what you have come to me for. I can tell you what you must do to cure your wife’s illness. First, we must conduct a seance and I will contact the spirit world. If you do what I tell you, you will get your wife back.’

Varun suddenly felt like a fool listening to this old woman with Elephantiasis. He looked up and had half a mind to abandon this wild quest. But somehow the solemnity in the old woman’s voice stopped him.

The gypsy picked up a figurine and placed it on the floor. Then all three of them sat down in a circle holding hands. The old woman said, ‘First let us close our eyes and stay put for 5 minutes.’

Varun and Gayatri closed their eyes dutifully. They waited for 5 minutes. Slowly they began to relax. There was pin drop silence in the room. Then a voice spoke in a low and frightening whisper. It was not the voice of the Gypsy.

Move backwards in paths,
Known, well known,
Trace the route,
By which you came.

Move upward,
Go up and up,
Till you find what you want,
Then free it from its prison.

But whatever you do,
Someone must pay the price,
Someone will be fine,
The other will take the heat.

The gypsy said, ‘You can open your eyes now.’

Varun and Gayatri opened their eyes. Varun was staring at the gypsy. He said, ‘That voice did not belong to any of us here. Anyway, what are we supposed to do now?’

The gypsy appeared reluctant to speak. Finally, she said, ‘Do what you were told to do.’

‘But that was a lot of mumbo jumbo!’ Varun protested.

Gayatri said, ‘Let us go, Varun. I have the verses in my head. We will decide on our future course of action once we get back to the hotel.’

They said goodbye to the gypsy, but she did not even notice them. She seemed to be lost in her own world, a very sad world…’

                                                                                             To Be Continued...

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter M

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