Monday, July 27, 2009

Interlude :: Chapter 3

Boy Meets Girl

Whatever I did and Whatever punishment I deserve for doing that , Loosing my eyes won’t be thatRahul said with a hint of his long forgotten determination .” I can’t Loose my identity . I must do something. “ He thought. But what He could have done ? He had already used every trick in book to get himself out of this mess. He had done what he knew best He has searched for every keyword in Google .”How to survive breakup ? , How to deal with withdrawal symptoms ? How to survive lonesomeness? How to make new friends ? pick up lines ? starting over again . what women want ? Secret of happiness? Rahul and Nakshatra ? . You name it and He has done a search for that.

He has tried every thing he could have , everything out side of discussing it with someone. He has never talked to any human about his problem. When it came to his personal life He was a close shell. This was ironic since He was not uncommunicative by any stretch of imagination. On the contrary, many a time He had played the role of agony aunt to his friends. His advice to them used to be nothing more than refurbished knowledge which he had acquired thanks to Google. But He actually believed in what he advised , at least until he was forced to apply them to his own life. All his knowledge was proving to be useless.

So , Its time to seek outside help. “ Rahul thought. “But whom can I talk to ? ? Who will understand my situation and will it be the right thing to do ? “ He wasn’t very inclined to talk to his friends about it. Part of the reason was that He was concerned about the effect it might have on people’s perception of Nakshatra .Most of his friends knew her or heard about her form him “ They are my friends , they will naturally be sympathetic to me and might be judgmental of Nakshatra. I don’t want that to happen “.

But other and main reason was something which He didn’t wanted to admit even to himself. He was afraid to be looked upon as weak . This was last thing he wanted . “ Funny , there was a time when my definition of friends used to be someone before whom you can THINK aloud.” He smiled “ How things changes. You have come a long way Rahul and You haven’t chosen this road . Have you ?? ” He asked himself but didn’t tried to find an answer. There was no answer.

After thinking long and hard He came up with a solution “There is only one way out of this situation .I should consult a professional. A psychiatrist may be .” He thought “I will fake names but tell the true story .” He reinforced his logic by his own approval. Next step was easy .He fired his laptop and connected to internet and searched for “psychologist in gurgaon” . results were not good . So he refined his query for “who is the best psychologist in Delhi ? “ First result in listing was from Yahoo Answers , a Q&A site from Yahoo. Where netziens helped each other by answering Question about everything from Pet care to bike fixng , and Dating tips to meaning of life .Webpage showed that around an year back someone has posted a question there enquiring about “who is the best psychologist in Delhi ? ” . Best rated answer was 5 lines in the praise of one Dr.R Basu , Consulting Psychologist ,Apollo Hospital. This answered was provided by someone with the funny name: romeo_must_die007.

“Romeo will surely die my friend “ Rahul Chuckled , launched another browser window and typed the weblink of Yellow pages. He searched for Dr. R Basu in yellow pages .First entry in the list was the right one. He called the number , a chirpy female voice answered the phone

Good Afternoon. This is Dr.Basu’s Clinic. How can I help you? “

“ Hi I am Rahul, I seek an appointment with Dr.R Basu?” Rahul replied

“Sure. Are you an existing client of Dr.Basu?” She Enquired.

“Client ? since when Doctors begin to call their patient as client . sounds very transactional” Rahul thought .

No . I didn’t have that privilege in past. Its only now that I seek to avail his expertise” Rahul said with a hint of sarcasm. Like most of the females he meet in life Lady on the phone too didn’t understood his humor. She continued with her well rehearsed line.

Oh Ok . Than I am afraid it will be difficult as Dr. Basu is going to Mumbai tomorrow and will be back only after a week. Should I book a slot for Next week? “ She Enquired

No. a week will be too long to wait . I need to consult him immediately.” Rahul said, trying hard to hide his dispersion.

Oh is it ??” she said , He could hear her smiling .

“ I can see him in evening today , at his residence ,if that’s possible “ He suggested, making an unwarranted but accurate assumption that most of the doctor love their private practice and can’t deny an extra buck

“ I won’t take much time. My story is short and not very complicated “ Rahul stressed.

“ I hope …” he clarified himself after a brief pause.

It was not clear whether She didn’t heard the word due to the noise on the street or she had heard them far too many time during the course of her job that it had stopped effecting her. But It was obvious that she understood the pause. Eloquence of silence acted as biggest indicator of gravity of pain.

Let me try .Please hold on for a sec…“ she said hurriedly and proceeded to doctor’s chamber. She came back after a couple of minute

will you be able to make it at 5 o clock today , Dr.Basu will see you for 15 minute. should I make an appointment ? ”

Sure. I will be there “ Rahul Said and started noting down the address.

He hang-up the phone and lit a cigarette. He sucked a deep stroke and exhaled a thick cloud of smoke.

Dr.Basu, You better live up to your reputation “ Rahul said


It was 6:30 PM and Rahul was sitting in the backyard of Dr.Basu’s bungalow at Noida. Dr. Basu was not home yet. He was stuck in traffic. Servant told him that it would take him another 40-50 Minute to reach here. Rahul insisted on waiting and requested the servant to bring him a cup of tea.

He was worried , He was worried that whether he will be comfortable enough to tell his life’s story to a complete stranger. There weren’t many people in world who can make him open up .this was not due to his inability to communicate , Rahul was an excellent communicator but He always maintained a clear distinction when it comes to his personal life . He hardly discussed his problem even with best of his friend. Doing it with a stranger was something out of question .

“I just hope that he is not some , god forsaken jerk who put too much trust in clinical method of enquiry and don’t understand the importance of making me feel comfortable. I don’t know if I will be able to tell him everything… “

There was a sound of footstep in the background. Rahul turned toward the it. He saw nothing. There was darkness all around him . a strange anxiety overwhelmed him . He was not afraid of dark. But suddenly for some reason he thought He has lost his eye sight ..Again . He was on the verge of shouting when He saw a shimmering light .

“Thank god I haven’t lost my sight completely. Thank God ”. Rahul said . It took him a couple of minute to realize the truth . As his eyes got used to of darkness he realized that the darkness was due to dusk. His eyes were OK. He took a sigh of relief .

“ I am getting paranoid a bout this stuff. And what could be a better place to be paranoid than a psychiatrist’s clinic . Perfect Timing …” He thought and a smile sprouted on his lips.

Sound was coming closer , in the dim yellow light of blub, Rahul saw a Silhouette of a person walking toward him .

“There is something ODD about the outline of Dr.Basu’ body “ Rahul thought.

As the shadow walked past the bulb He saw HER for the first time. She was holding a White lab coat and a stethoscope in her hand.She stopped at a distance from her and , looked around . As if She was looking for something . or someone ? Her eyes scanned the landscape with a sense of urgency and uneasiness than she hurriedly walked away toward the chamber.

Rahul was sweating . paranoia was returning , his mind was pacing fast ,

“Who was She ? Dr.R.Basu ? Why didn’t She stopped than . and where She has vanished Now ? “ There were too many question in his mind. And as always, the moment his mind stopped throwing imaginary question, It started working on constructing equally imaginative answers.

“I bet that was the ghost of the Doctor who resided in this building before Dr. Basu. No . She was too young to be a doctor. This bungalow is allotted only to Sr. Doctors. She can’t be that Sr. ………Or …… She might be one of his student from Medical School. Look how carefully she was holding the Coat and stethoscope. Just like the way I used to hold laptop in the start of my work life. Man I even used to shut down the damn thing . I guess Old man would have called her here for extra class and raped her and buried her body underneath the garden .Now her ghost is haunting this place trying to kill his patient so that Dr. Basu’s name ends up in mud. I will be her victim today. .Its my destiny in life to be the collateral damage. God Save me .This place looks spooky“

“You are waiting for Dr.Basu ? “ A female voice enquired . Rahul turned toward the direction of voice and found her there . standing right next to him .”Why didn’t you switched on the lamp ? “ She said and pushed the button . backyard was illuminated with the pale light of sodium lamp . there was a strange comforting warmth about that light .

“I asked , Are you waiting for Dr.Basu ?” she repeated her question ,

There were moments in Rahul’s life when he didn’t knew the right answer, There were moment when he knew the right answer but he wasn’t able to express it in words than there were situation when he wasn’t able to make out what’s being asked ? this surely was the third case.

“But her Question is fairly straight forward and I am suppose to say YES” Rahul thought.

“are you ok ?” she said leaning toward him .

“oh ya.” Rahul said wiping sweat from his forehead “I am fine . A bit Lost I guess, Yes I am waiting for Dr.Basu. can I have a glass of water ?

“Sure “

She handed him the glass , her eyes were full of curiosity on his strange conduct

“Old man is home ?” Rahul asked ?

“What ?”

“Oh I am sorry , I was thinkng aloud “

She smiled

More water ??

“No I am fine “ Rahul responded and gulped the glass emty

And You are?

My name is Roshni , Dr.Basu is my uncle , I am here to tell you that Dr. Basu won’t be able to see you ? . He has already left for airport . He apologized for making you wait”

“ Oh I C “ Rahul said , and got up from the chair

Please wait a minute . Let me switch off the lights and close the clinic. Than I will escort you to the gate “ She said . the composure of her tone was gone , there was a sudden inexplicable anxiety in it .

“All Right “ Rahul said . His mind was already at work thinking for the reason of this sudden anxiety in her voice . “is it because of me ? I mean she find me interesting or attractive ? and walk back to gate with me l because She wants to have few more sec with me. Should I ask her out ? “ He smiled at his imagination and banished that thought for more sane ,rational and probable alternates .

“Should we proceed ? “ She said pointing toward trail

They started walking silently . after few moments , Rahul reached a conclusion for the cause of anxiety .

“You are afraid of Darkness. Right??” He said with the excitement of a six year old who had just solved a difficult riddle .

What ?? What are you talking about ? She replied bewilderment in her tone was obvious.

I am saying that all this “Let me escort you to the gate” thing is crap . You are not doing it out of courtesy. You are doing it because you are afraid of dark” Rahul said

She burst out laughing. No.. They burst out laughing. They high five-ed Like two kids who are co conspirators of mischievous scheme.

May be it was his infectious excitement of discovering a hidden law which did the trick or may be it was the manner in which he said it which forced her to bring down all the guard of social formality . or it was an award of admiration a fighter award to his adversary when he genuinely admire his skill . What it was she didn’t knew and surprisingly, It didn’t matter .

How the hell you guessed that ??” She asked. Her head still shaking with amazement

it was very simple . there was a sudden anxiety in your walk when you stepped in the garden . First thing you did was to switch on the bulb and there was a eagerness in your voice in suggesting that you will escort me out “ Rahul said , with the air of Sherlock Holmes explaining to Watson how he cracked the mystery . he always enjoyed doing that

Now given the circumstances there were only two possible explanation “ He said and paused to look on to her face.

“Go on tell me what were those explanation “ She said amused and astonished.

First You are afraid of dark and using me as a guard to cross the dark patch of garden and second .. Rahul paused . his eyes blinking with the joy of overture .

Tell me what was the second explanation . I am VERY curious now She said

Well …let it go ..its weird . its just my mind . I should move out “ Rahul said trying to escape the embarrassment of sharing his thoughts.

you are not going anywhere . OK ? now tell me ? “ She ordered

“ Ok . if you insist . Other explanation was that you have a crush on me and want to steal few more moment with me . you wanted to walk up to gate with me so that you can have a look at my face in proper light or note down the number of my car .so that you can trace me out later “ Rahul said, in a single breath ,knowing fully well that he won’t be able to say such a stupid thing if he paused to think.

Her eyes were wide in amazement. They stayed like that for a few seconds than she burst out in loud laughter . she was in splits . she laughed for a long time .than after a while When it begun to hurt she sat down on her knees holding her stomach . Covering her lips with her palm . She occasionally looked up at his face but when she that her laughter grew more intense .

Rahul’s face had a look of a man who would prefer to jump from the cliff and die than face the embarrassment of the situation .

Finally after 5 minute of laughing riot . she gained composure . She was still on her knees . She gestured him to sit down , he obeyed . than she laughed again

“Dude are amazing “ She said

“I told you its weird .Now you know why I want to meet Dr.Basu” He said , trying to change the topic .

“Why ?? I guess every guy would have thought something like that . its just that you are verbose enough to put it in so many word and innocent enough to tell me the truth” She said .

“But tell me how you decided that this crush theory of yours is not right “

I noticed that you are in a relationship .when you gave me galss of water I noticed the R+N scribbled on the flip side of that Livestrong band on your wrist.”

He stopped to let his word sink in her mind. She was silent now . her eyes fixed on him

Furthermore I decided that the crush theory was wrong because you don’t look like a grl who will look out of a relationship. Randomly for just thrill .you have a aura about you

There was a deafening silence between them . She stood there trying to make sense of what she just heard . Every single word he said was right .He was reading her like an open book .She should have been afraid , but surprisingly she was not alarmed at all . She was elated to hear his word.

“Thank you . I am flattered . you are very observant . what an analysis .I must say you are Genius”

“ And you are stupid enough to be afraid of dark . specially when your name is Roshni “ Rahul said smiling

“that’s just habit “ She said as they resumed walking toward the exit.

“Whats your name “ She asked

“Rahul . “ he replied

“Rahul “ she repeated “ Its really very nice meeting you . you are a funny man “


They were at the door . in a act of reverse chivalry she opened the door for him . he stepped out .

“My bike is parked around the corner .in case you wanna know the number ? “ He said smiling

She laughed .

“No I don’t want to know that .Good Night Rahul “ She said

“Good Night . Roshni “ He replied and turned around He walked to his bike . thinking about the event of the day.

“Roshni …She is a Nice Girl” he said to himself adjusting the windshield of his helmet.

He was not sure why , for the first time he was aware of the vibration in his vocal chord and why he felt a strange lump in his throat when he spoke her name . that was the night when , after a long time Faint little voice had spoken to him .Once Again .

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