I woke up, went to the bathroom and looked at the mirror.
“What the %&*$”, I started swearing. My heart shaped face, in which my almond shaped eyes were set, had been replaced by a gruff looking manly face with a thick beard. I first thought that someone was playing a practical joke on me. But when I touched the reflection I realized it was my own. I looked down at my body.
“What the &^$#&*&^”, I swore some more as I realized that my tall, slender body had now been replaced by a short, portly one. Alarmed I took off the tank top that I was wearing and shrieked in horror. A flat, hairy chest was staring back at me from the mirror.
I tried to recall when and how I had turned into a man.
I had come to Hong Kong a week back on a business trip, and was due to return back to India today. Yesterday, being my last day in the Hong Kong office, one of my colleagues had promised to take me to a popular night club. Dressed in a short skirt and a tank top, I walked jauntily to the pub when a group of men started making crude gestures and passing some vulgar comments. I felt disgusted and wished that I was a guy, so that I could have complete freedom in my life. Freedom to wear what I want, to go whenever and wherever my heart desired.
I had had a dozen drinks at the pub, danced till my feet ached and then my friend took me to an old wishing well at the heart of the city. I couldn’t remember why we went there but, once we reached the old well, I threw a coin in and wished that I turn into a man. I wanted to be free, to live my life to the hilt. In my inebriated state, somehow my wish had made sense then.
An old lady watching me had come forward and whispered in my ear that my wish would come true for a day. A 24 hour freedom was what I was granted. Then my memory became hazy and I couldn’t remember the rest of the evening.
And now I am a man, with an extra piece of flesh dangling between my legs. I suddenly jumped up and started frolicking. I was granted my wish. My only grouse was, that I dint like being a short, stout man with a hairy chest. I wanted to be a smart, suave and a charming guy. Well, I couldn’t do anything about it now. I had to do with whatever I was given for a day. I decided to hit all the pubs and discos in the town and paint the city red.
But first I had to shop for men’s clothing. I wore my jeans, which I couldn’t zip up, due to my protruding belly and a loose shirt that I often slept in and, off I went shopping. I bought myself a couple of party wear shirts and trousers. Dressed like a man in search of some fun and adventure, I hit the disco joints. I drank, I danced, and I was a free bird. No guy came up to me, ready to buy me drinks or wanting to know if I was single or enquiring if I wanted to go back with him for a “coffee”. No one judged me based on my looks. Just me and my drinks.
But then fate had other plans. As I was dancing without abandon, I accidently hit against the bosom of the girl next to me.
“Hey, what the hell are you trying to do”, the girl shouted.
“I am shooo s...s…shorry. Your bosom is coming in the way when I dance. Can you keep them aside”, I managed to blurt out in my intoxicated state.
“What? Harry, Harry, this guy is trying to act smart with me”, she yelled.
Harry turned out to be a 6 foot tall guy with muscles built like Arnold Schwarzenegger and, it dint take him much time to beat me into a pulp. I was shouting, trying to explain that I was a girl, who had turned into a corpulent man. I dint want to be a man after all, I decided. I wanted my old body back.
The alarm clock went off and I woke up with a start. I was sweating profusely and my heart was beating rapidly. I ran to the bathroom and looked at the mirror. My beautiful, heart shaped face looked back at me. I was a girl again. My lean and willowy body was back. Was it a dream or had I really turned into a man? I was baffled and relieved at the same time.