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The Devi Insideby: Roy Del Frink
David Johnson couldnt believe his good fortune. Hed just the grand prize in the Calcutta Curry Companys Win a Trip to India Sweepstakes! He figured hed be lucky to win fourth prize, a coupon for a free Chickpeas and Lentil Dinner. David could sure use some good luck like that, too. The elderly mans wife of 43 years had died four years ago, with no children. He had no close relatives anywhere in the whole U. S. of A. And the Acme Doorknob-Polishing Co. had laid him off two months before due to "corporate restructuring," which really meant they were trying to trim the payroll to increase profits. He was old enough to collect Social Security, but it wasnt nearly enough for David to live on. The 70-year-old had thinning white hair, beady blue eyes, wrinkles all over the wazoo (and everywhere else), and was losing all the strength and vigor his once-youthful body had. Preparing for his trip, David put on his traveling suit, wing-tipped loafers, and a brown homburg. He packed the usual necessities, left for the airport, and boarded his first-class seat.
During his flight, all David could do was think about India. The land of Gandhi, the home of Hinduism, the worlds most populous democracy. The culture, the people, the food! All of his senses overflowed with the thoughts of this land of many peoples. Hed learned a lot about India in history during high school, and had a pen pal there. He knew the place quite well. So well, in fact, that he didnt need an interpreter. He knew Hindustani as a language reasonably well; he wrote his letters in Hindustani as a challenge, and had taken a course on Hindustani at a night school. Combined with English, his two languages would allow David to speak to anyone. After two hours, the old man fell asleep on the plane. He didnt wake up again until the plane landed.
After David exited from the 747, he looked at the ticket. He would be staying here in Delhi for the next two days before moving on to Bombay. Well, David figured, may as well enjoy it here. Just before he entered his hotel, David saw a strange golden ring on the ground. He picked it up and studied it. It looked like a fairly thick golden band, slightly dulled, but he could easily polish it. It had a small ruby gem on top, carved into the shape of a four-armed Hindu goddess. Actually, it wasnt just any goddess; David knew it was Devi, the chief and most beloved of all goddesses. The ring also had a Hindustani inscription. After reading it, he translated it into English: "For the soul who cannot find his way." David didnt understand this, so he pocketed the ring and went up to his hotel room. Inside, he polished it with his handkerchief. The ring glowed brighter than the sun, or the lamp. Shrugging, the old man put in on his right hand.
David felt a strange tingling coarse through his whole body. He felt his six-foot body shrink almost a whole foot in height. He regained some body muscle, but mostly he lost weight. While David had been building up a "beer belly," the fat inside was migrating all over his body. His fingers grew long and slender, his toes turned inwards, his legs changed from thick to tapered, and he could feel a strange buildup swelling over his chest muscles. When David walked over towards the mirror, he noticed his face had become nearly fifty years younger. He stripped, and noticed his body was getting youthful, too. Only this wasnt like his younger years; he looked more - female?! His newly-formed breasts didnt lie. Neither did the beautiful face staring at him in the mirror. The tip of his nose turned more rounded, and he saw a strange red dot form on his forehead. Actually, it wasnt strange at all to David; he knew many Hindu women wore it as a symbol of their "third eye". But that meant - ?? Could it possibly be?
As David watched his skin darken to a golden brown, and his eyes and hair turn brown, he knew exactly what was happening to him. Another change occurred between his legs, as his last sign of male-ness disappeared before his eyes, replaced with the one female thing belonging there. Then his transformation took on one last, rather bizarre turn. David watched two rather large bumps form under his armpits. As he stared in shock, the bumps lengthened and started taking on familiar shapes. He now had four arms!
David stared back into the mirror, and looked over his new body. He realized he looked like a Hindu goddess. In fact, his body was now that of Devi, the goddess on the ring! David stared at his body, and used all four of his arms to explore his naked form. Gosh, Im beautiful! he realized. I now have long, luxurious, full hair, Im only about twenty-five years old in appearance, Im worshiped by close to a billion Hindus worldwide, and if Im lucky, maybe I have Devis powers, too! Ill have to wait and see.
David ran all twenty of his fingers all over his body. His skin was smooth and velvety. He couldnt find any traces of the wrinkles the coated his torso just minutes before. His face shone with the grace of a goddess, fitting for Devi, he realized. Just for fun, he explored his new nipples and crotch. Yes, he was all woman now. And since he had four arms, he could easily explore all over himself! It took a couple minutes to get a hang of the additional limbs, but once he did, it was pure bliss.
Suddenly, David heard a ladys voice at the back of his mind, speaking in Hindi. It said, "Sir, you have found this ring. I congratulate you on reincarnating me."
"But what have you done?" David asked out loud, surprised to know his voice sounded EXACTLY like the one in his head.
"I have turned you into me. I am Devi, and its time for me to take my next incarnation. One of my helpers placed the ring on the sidewalk, and you picked it up. I was expecting a native Indian Hindu to do the honors, but youll do the divine plan justice. Simply put, youre Devi now. Just be patient, and youll learn how to be me."
"But how?" the new Devi asked. Just then, she decided to show herself to her worshipers. She picked up a sheet off the bed, and wrapped it around her body in the shape of a sari. She left her room, then met the hotel clerk.
"Hello. Do you know me?" Devi asked in flawless Hindi.
"By the Gods, its Devi herself!" the clerk yelled back. He called the local news media, and within an hour, a thousand people has rushed into the lobby to meet their beloved goddess, along with two dozen reporters. Almost a million more crowded around the hotel, pushing and shoving to get in.
The reporters tried to interview this long-lost goddess. "Ravi Krishna, Delhi News. Devi, where have you been all these centuries? Why are you returning now?"
She replied, "Ive been watching all my loyal followers from the heavens. I heard about all the overcrowding youve experienced lately, and I wanted to help Bharat ease the problem."
"But weve been this way for decades!" a female reporter rebutted.
"Simple lady!" Devi carelessly laughed and flung her lower left wrist at the female reporter. "For the gods, a human year is but a day. I feel like Ive been in this room for mere seconds."
"Indira Punjab, Calcutta Sun. Can you prove that you are, indeed, the great goddess Devi?"
"Certainly," she replied, pointing towards the lobbys front door. "Let one person in, and Ill demonstrate my powers."
The manager ran over, briefly opened the glass door, and quickly closed it. An unkempt gentleman walked in, along with a teenaged girl. The man wore a black turban that was slightly untied and a white cloth around his waist. His beard desperately needed a trim, and his face carried a sinister smile. The girl had a red sari on, and a nose ring. Her black hair was tied into a pigtail, and her face betrayed despair.
"My name is Nadia, and my wicked uncle Jawaharlal here has circumcised me!" the girl said.
"Why, yes I did, and Id do it again in an instant!" Jawaharlal replied.
Devi clicked her tongue, then walked towards him. "No, no, no, my son. That will never do. No man must ever defile the lovely young women of Bharat like that." She stared him sternly in the eyes, then sneered, "You shall see the error of your ways, fool!" With that, she slapped him with her upper right hand and spat in his face. Instantly, his body transformed into a duplicate of Nadias. Jawaharlal looked exactly like her in every way, including the female circumcision. The new Jawaharlal started crying like a confused young girl, begging for mercy.
"But I dont wanna be like this!" she cried.
"Now you know how I feel, my new twin sister Nutan," Nadia slyly told her former uncle. She just smiled and comforted Nutan out into the crowd. (Later, when she got home, Nadia realized her ritual violation had been undone by that blessed lady.) Just then, the front wall broke, and the whole mob forced itself into the room.
"That should answer any doubts about my identity. I bid you good day, loyal followers." With that, Devi escaped into the crowd. Since all Hindu goddesses are considered different forms of Devi, in a sense, our still-new Devi realized she could transform herself. So she became a young Dravidian female and escaped the crowd. She was also able to move through the mass at an unbelievably fast rate. She attributed it all to her newfound divinity. She knew what she had to do now.
THREE MONTHS LATER:
On the banks of the Ganges river, Devi had set up her new earthly base of operations. She was glad shed found the ring, and had no desire to return to the drudgery of life as David Johnson. She spent her time catering to her subjects requests. When an emergency arose, such as a massive monsoon or unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, she would quickly save the people like Superman or some other Western superhero. She also learned she had the ability to speak in any language native to the Indian subcontinent. This made communication so much easier.
A muscular gentleman standing at Devis side bellowed, "Number 238,526 wishes to see you now." Devi sighed. So many subjects, so little time to deal with them. Devi asked her guard to let him in.
He walked into Devis shrine and kneeled in front of her. It was a small boy, about five years old. "Oh Goddess of Goddesses, my name is Ashok. My mother has borne eight sons, for which she is eternally grateful to you, oh great Devi. She always wanted a daughter to teach the joys of housekeeping and beauty, and pass on some family heirlooms. Alas, she never had one. And since shes reaching fifty, shell probably never get a chance again. Mother also feels eight children in one house is enough. Oh great one, grant my mothers request. Give her a daughter. If anyone can do it, its you, your holiness!"
Devi rest her upper right hand on Ashoks head, then stroked his chin with her lower right hand. She stared him, into his sobbing eyes, and said, "Ashok, you have great confidence in me. For that, I shall reward you. As soon as you leave my shrine, your mother will have that daughter."
"Oh, thank your, dear Devi!" Ashok jumped for joy and kissed her. Devi politely patted him on the back with all four hands, and bid him good day.
Devi wistfully stared back at Ashok as he left. She just hoped he could handle his new life as Asha. It was just another day on the job for her. The goddess then stared at the guard and said, "I hope number 238,527 has as interesting a request."
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