This is the story of Kuttichhathan. Kuttichhathan is a tiny but mischievous spirit. In local linguafranca the name Kuttichhathan sounds like a male bastion who is invisible and untraceable. He belongs to the family of Poltergeists: Since he is a poltergeist-family-member his dubious doings are crystal clear. Kuttichhathan is very small in size, but his actions are as dangerous as those of the mighty ghosts of Poltergeist clan.
Once upon a time there existed a small kingdom which the Britishers called Travancore and the locals revered it as ‘Thiruvithamcore’. The kingdom was situated on the southernmost tip of the present day Kerala State in South India. In olden days, Kuttichhathan was the dread and scarce of every one in villages, towns and all across the Kingdom; the Kuttichhathan was notorious in every sense of the term. Whatever Kuttichhathan did, its impact had material presence in the real world situations. His dubious actions were nuisance for everyone. The nauseating deeds he carried out were primarily targeted at houses and its residents. A few of his actions, shortly put were as follows:
When a house wife was in the kitchen, cooking food for the day, Kuttichhathan intruded into the space, threw dirt and filth into the boiling food and disappeared in no time. The house wife became perplexed and cursed Kuttichhathan for the misdeed: Within a few seconds, she cleaned the vessel, removed the filth and started cooking afresh, again.
When everything in the kitchen seemed to be in order, Kuttichhathan appeared from behind: He displaced properly kept vessels and plates here and there and quickly disappeared from the scene. The house wife started cursing the evil spirit again and again and soon rearranged the things in its proper places.
At dead of night Kuttichhathan sneaked out, picked up stones and started pelting the stones at house-tops and walls of residential buildings: The hapless residents then woke up and ran shelter-swelter to trace the wicked Kuttichhathan but failed to trace him out. Tired and trembled, they went back to have a nap.
Those were tolerable incidents to some extent. But there were unbearable and painful actions too that Kuttichhathan inflicted on others. He intruded into the living rooms of people when there were no one around, set fire to clothes, bed sheets and valuables. At other times Kuttichhathan unlocked cupboards, took ornaments and currency notes and fled without getting noticed. The owners became restless and pain struck. Despite every effort they could not find a trace of Kuttichhathan. Ultimately they approached sorcerers to trap the Kuttichhathan. Despite paying huge fees, the Sorcerers utterly failed to catch the Kuttichhathan and the victims found solace in blaming their wretched fate.
Close scrutiny of such incidents and investigations carried out by experts have proved that the mischief attributed to Kuttichhathan were in fact the handiwork of someone among the home dwellers or home-workers. The persons concerned did the mischief during an instantaneous attack of memory loss that lasted only for a few seconds, not even twenty seconds at any rate. During that spell the person became victim of petitmal which belongs to a peculiar type of dementia.
Petitmal is a mild form of epilepsy characterized by brief spells of unconsciousness without loss of posture. The deranged person carries out the mischief as schizophrenics’ do at certain times. When memory returns and persons become normal, they realize the damage and wonders how all the nauseating things had taken place. Because of the blind belief about the reckless evil spirits, everyone around including the victims of petitmal, attribute the mischief as perpetrated by Kuttichhathan who wanders around the vicinity of residential areas.
According to neuroscience, petitmal is an ‘absence seizure’. Petitmal patients lose awareness of their surroundings for up to 20 seconds. During that period, the victims suddenly stop what they are doing. In rare cases they unconsciously do things similar to those mentioned in the case of Kuttichhathan.
In normal situations nerve cells in the brain of a person communicate with one another through reflexes or through the so-called electric signals. Such nerve to nerve communication gets blocked abruptly for a few seconds during absence seizure. Such seizures rarely cause convulsions or collapses despite losing consciousness.
Scientists are clueless about the underlying reasons for petitmal. The reasons may vary from person to person depending upon genetic factors, neuronal infection or accidents which may cause brain damages. Chances cannot also be ruled out about mischief makers who may act as Kuttichhathan, the mischief monger Poltergeist for the sake of fun or for taking revenge.