Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chro: Jan 3, 2008

Steven did not come that day, he was off on a hunting vacation. They send a junior doc who looked intelligent.

Jr Doc: Jim, Good day?

Yes. Good day, except Steve is out hunting, which does not sit well with me.

Jr Doc: I wonder why it does not sit well with you!

Well, it brings back old memories that I do not like. Forget about it.

Jr Doc: No, tell me. Steve has told me you're a good conversationalist.

That's charitable of him. Personally, I really like to forget the 1930s. It was like I was doing God's work, helping the villagers stay safe. I was in Kumaon, in British India, and the region I was in was infested with tigers.

Jr Doc: Wait a minute. You said 1930s?

You asked for it and a good conversation you shall get. If you will not interrupt, the villagers called me Corbett the Savior, and I used to go alone to hunt down the tigers that cost them their livelihoods and in some cases their lives. It was an enriching experience. I wanted to write a book about the man eaters of Kumaon, but before I could write that, I ended up here. [Sigh]

Jr Doc: Oh Really! What happened that brought you here?

I know you don't believe what I'm saying. You think I'm cookin up stuff. Not that I care what you believe, so here's what happened. I was hunting these terrible animals down with the zest of an evangelist who wasn't afraid to take the gun. Then one fine day, I was sitting there in my pajamas, planning my offensive, smoking a bidi, when a little kid called Biddu came up and told me in Hindi "Saheb, you have started looking like a tiger." I thwacked his head jovially, and walked into the forest to hunt the menace which was the bloodiest I've ever encountered. This tiger had killed 3 people in the last 2 weeks.

Jr Doc: Ok...

Truth be told, I emerged victorious in a jiffy. The tiger was distracted or idle after a fine man-meal, and I shot it dead easily. Then I stopped to drink water from a light current flowing nearby and I saw my reflection in the water - my face was furry. My moustache was longer than usual with the strands separated in a sweet polished feline fashion. I blinked at the reflection and my eyes looked bloodshot.  My mouth went dry and I used my tongue to wet it and my tongue came up to my eyes. I then remembered what Biddu mentioned, and I ripped my fatigues apart and I saw - I had them stripes on my chest - of the tiger. In anguish, I cried aloud, but it sounded more like a fierce roar in the forest. I had become the very animal that I wanted to hunt.Grotesque!
Or so, I made myself believe that day.

Jr Doc: Why couldn't you shake yourself off that thought and get back to life?

I did get out of that, but before I could do it, the villagers heard my roar and came running. I bit Biddu's dad's head off  before I knew it. The next thing I know, I'm in your facility.

Jr Doc: Hmm - Too bad. [Injection] This should help you sleep for a while - Mr. Jim la la Corbett.

The drug that is flowing through my veins seems to help, after a long gap of about seventy five years. Hey Doc, look..

Jr Doc: What?

Look at my sharp claws.[Sink]

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