Friday, June 05, 2015

THE BEING AND THE BECOMING-VII

Thimmy left me. I could not talk or think: only listen and see, feel and sometimes remember. Thimmy must have done some magic while inside me. Now I could not only hear people in front of me; sometimes, snatches of talks from somewhere would float to me. "Hallucinated - what is hallucination - seeing things that are not there - thinks he is a cat - lucky, we can put him in the pantry to scare away mice - giggles - better cover up the milk - ha, ha - but looks better, less like a corpse - beginning to drink milk - poor chap."

That reminded me that there was some difference in me. Now there was no feeling that I was in someone else's body, or that someone else was in my body. Legs and arms used to move me, and I used to feel like a fish in a whale's stomach. But, now I was feeling less and less like that. Limbs and I belonged together. It was only a few days back that I roared with laughter when I found that the leg was at the door, a hand on the bed, and the head somewhere else. I lay still, I remember, because I could not run after the leg, hand and head at one and the same time. Thimmy has stitched them together - good Thimmy.

My sight too changed; sometimes I could see the persons, sometimes ghostly outlines with things inside them.

I also found that besides me there were quite a few other bodies there that suffered from causeless laughter and hallucinations.

People here were quite kid hearted - the white coated ones as well as some others. One or two went out of their way to say 'miao', 'miao' or 'puss', 'puss' to keep me happy.

One day the big doctor asked the nurse to give me bits of occupation, diversion, socialisation and lots of realisation.

From then on it was - 'Thimmy, carry this medicine basket for me,' or 'Thimmy, clean the cupboard, dear,' or 'Thimmy, sweep the floor,' or 'Thimmy, sit with these others and listen to music,' or 'Thimmy, water the garden,' and so on; Thimmy, this and that and the other.

I was getting quite popular. They said how wonderful I was with the medicine baskets, how correctly I arranged them in the cupboard, and how cleverly I cleaned and arranged the nurse's and doctor's room. They found that I could write, too, though I would not speak for days, and I was given work writing labels or copying registers.

I was being praised and petted and sometimes I would be given chocolates or cups of tea or cigarettes - the latter which Thimmy politely refused saying that he preferred a pipe, but then he left it at the Depot.

I liked being praised. When praised I would feel as light as air, and smile and smirk and carry two baskets at a time instead of one, or sweep and clean up the room three times a day, and even at night, or run around, snatching things from people and carry them for them. But it sometimes occurred to me that they praised Thimmy and not me! At such times I would go stiff as a corpse, let things fall from my hands; once or twice my body fell flat on the floor, with limbs flying apart and foaming at the mouth. The doctors said that I was prone to fits, too, in addition to ceaseless laughter.

It was getting to be quite troublesome - this body being mine and not mine as and when it liked.

I said that sometimes Thimmy did things for me. Once or twice, they stuck needles into him, saying that would make him better - better than what? Once they put wires on his head and made him kick about and go stiff. I, somehow, knew that he was doing these things for me. Then I felt - ashamed, thankful and grateful, and felt wonderful: The body became mine or I had no body at all.

I also felt like singing when I did not notice who was being praised I or Thimmy. But, if I noticed the difference, the body ran away from me, or I felt pinned to it, and I could not see or hear clearly.

When, however, I was Thimmy, with Thimmy inside me, and I was no longer me, it was even more wonderful - it was great fun, no sense of likes or dislikes - one great sense of delight, and the body, just a cosy coat of warm, cuddly, friendly fur on a winter's day - no sense of me, mine or not mine or who or whose.

But, when I was with Thimmy and talked, I noticed that people appeared quite apprehensive, and some persons used to hastily move away from the scene, though quite some others laughed. Many of the things Thimmy said amused them, but scared them too. Once, I heard a nurse saying, "He is better when he does not talk. When he talks, he talks nonsense, but sometimes, he says things which are true or come true. Sometimes he seems to read your mind, or see things miles away. Quite frightening! He is not an ordinary patient."

They were not only amused or frightened by him; they had some respect for him.

One day, in the middle of the night, Thimmy - I left the bed suddenly, and dashed to the nurse's room, and told her that a baboon was strangling a rabbit in ward 4, and that she must at once go to the rescue. She laughed and asked Thimmy to go to bed, but Thimmy - I told her that she was a goose, and the goose would be cooked by the great Magician if something happened and the rabbit died. She whimpered and doubted, and at last went to ward 4 with another nurse, and found a patient trying to hang himself by a bed sheet tied to a ventilator. He was half-dead when found and had to be rescued with great difficulty. This I heard later, when dozens came to see and thank me, and to find out how I knew. Thimmy - I winked, I remember.

Thimmy-I was getting to be more and more regarded with something akin to awe, and less and less laughed at. Thimmy seemed to be at many places at one time and see and hear and know especially if there was some great danger or need for help.

All this puzzled them, too, though they never could easily tell when he was puzzling or when amusing. 

One day Thimmy-I was asked to help arrange a table for the doctor to do some small operation on another patient. When everything was ready, and they were waiting for the patient, Thimmy-I suddenly got on the table, lay flat with legs and arms stretched apart. Everyone looked aghast.

What are you doing, Thimmy," said the nurse, severely, "get off it, the doctor is coming."

"Quick, quick," Thimmy-I shouted, " first, hammer nails into my feet, hands and tail before I run away; you, junior magicians will get scoldings- otherwise I will kick, bite or claw - come on, don't gape, screw my neck down-Give me that tube," here Thimmy-I took a long tube and half swallowed it "and now the senior magician will come and cut and look for it in my heart or lungs. I think, today's lesson is to show them that the heart stops if it is squeezed; last time they showed that Thimmy cannot breathe if his nose and mouth are stuffed. Don't stand, fool! If you give me the weapons I can cut myself - I know all the methods of putting an end to Thimmy, one Thimmy at a time at least. Come on, come on, open me up before the Magician comes in, and he will eat your head off if he finds me still talking. Now, young magician, and you, lady magician, can you tell me if they have found it yet! Pay attention and don't go on scratching your tails for fleas!"

Of course, they were gentle with Thimmy-I. " It is one of his fits," they said.

"Don't let him into the theatre again, nurse," said the doctor, "he can be a danger. Gosh, he talked like a physiology textbook."

Thimmy-I was taken out,quite excited, growling and grumbling, " Cut me up, tie me up, who knows, you may yet find it!"

That was the end of Thimmy's visits to the magic room.

I was getting to notice the difference between being I, alone, or I with Thimmy by my side, and being Thimmy-I.

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