The Hanuman monkey god manIf you do not have a proof of our evolutionary past, here comes this tea estate Indian worker: Chandre Oram, from Alipurduar of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal has a 13 inch (32.5 cm) long and one inch (2.5 cm) thick tail. Far from being frightening, this tail attracts thousands of poor people worshiping him as a human incarnation of Hindu monkey god Hanuman. The 5.6 ft (1.68 m) man enjoys climbing trees and eating bananas for breakfast. The Hindu epic Ramayana says that Hanuman was a devout of god incarnation Rama and helped him rescue his fiancée captured by an evil king.
"I was born on 'Ram Navami' (birthday of Lord Ram, of whom Hanuman was a devotee). People have a lot of faith in me. They are cured of severe ailments when they touch my tail. I believe I can do a lot of good to those who come to me with devotion," Oram told the Press Trust of India.
Oram has set up a small Hanuman shrine in his courtyard, receiving offerings on Ram Navami which he offers to the deity. But if worshipers are convinced by Oram's tail, women are not.
"Almost 20 women have turned down marriage proposals. They see me and agree, but as soon as I turn around, they see my tail and leave. I have decided to marry the woman who accepts me and my tail. Or else, I'll remain a bachelor like Hanuman."
Still, doctors say there is nothing holly in that tail, but a developmental birth defect called spina bifida, and they have offered to eliminate the tail via surgery, but Oram rejected their offer.
"He will not survive without his tail. It has become part of his being, his existence," said Oram's sister Rekha.
True tails (which would represent atavisms) are extremely rare. They are made by coccygeal vertebrae, while in Oram's case, the tail shoots out from the loin (lumbar) region, a clear mark of spina bifida.
"The coccyx is a vestige in humans and we stopped growing tails from that region a long time ago when we evolved from monkeys. Oram's case seems an aberration, an offshoot of a congenital defect," said eminent surgeon Dr B Ramana.