But Just Say I Love You - 14
by Jaysree Vijay
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Back to Chapter 13
Chapter - 14
Vijay was still staring at the curtains as he narrated his horrifying past. Shyam sat on the couch with his hand on his head.
“As I promised, I have narra...”, as Vijay spoke, Shyam interuppted.
“You have made the worst decision. You have been punishing the wrong person,” Shyam uttered.
“I know. I have been chastising Harini for Arvind's insanity. But my personal life is at stake too,” scoffed Vijay.
“Even if you had punished Arvind, you would still be wrong. It was not at all Arvind's folly the other day,” Shyam expressed in dismay.
“What?,” Vijay turned towards Shyam.
“Just a sec”, Shyam excused himself, as he searched for something in his bag. He took out a chip. It looked like a memory card. He inserted the same in his mobile. He played a video.
“So, the prince is alone in the bus today. Where is your escort? Your brother will learn some good lessons today,” Suresh scorned at Vidyuth.
“Hey dude. We might get into trouble.” Bharath pulled him back.
“His dear brother needs a lesson. He cannot ditch me just because he got new friends”, Suresh gritted his teeth.
“Hey, Arvind is coming”, signalled Bharath. "Let him come,” Suresh turned towards Vidyuth again. Arvind took his seat beside Vidyuth.
“Hey, bro.” he patted him on his shoulders.
“They are ragging me,” Vidyuth complained helplessly to Arvind.
“Hey, That is your brother's bestie, Suresh, he wont harm you”, Arvind assured.
“Bestie?, yeah really”, Suresh rose from his seat. He walked towards Vidyuth “Come on. Entertain us with a pole dance. Come on”, demanded Suresh.
Bus had started to move now. Vijay could sense it because the video was shaky.
“No, he won’t”, Arvind stopped Suresh. Suresh was furious.
“Mind your own business,” Suresh snubbed Arvind.
“Get, up. Dance,” exhorted Suresh. Vidyuth obeyed timidly.
Arvind too rose from his seat, blocking Suresh's way towards Vidyuth. Vijay now could hear the Bus driver's voice, asking the students to sit, though Vijay could not see him in the video.
There was a sudden screeching of the wheels, Arvind who was standing in front of Vidyuth, confronting Suresh lost his balance. He fell on Vidyuth. Vidyuth, who was now almost near the bus entrance, tripped and descended rapidly backwards through the bus steps. As the situation panicked, Vijay could sense that the phone in which the video was being recorded was dropped.
“Hey guys”, Vijay could hear Shyam's voice for the first time.
“Anna, stop the bus”, he could still hear Shyam's voice.
Now Vijay could hear a lot of voices. He was able to make it out that Vidyuth had fallen and the crowd gathered around him.
Shyam stopped the video. “I was the member of anti-ragging committee. I thought it all started in a normal note, I kept recording just to make sure Suresh's behaviour was escalated to management.
I safeguarded this memory card with me, just to hand it over to college management. But they closed the case as an accident. I was not able to handle it. Every time I saw the video in my phone, I kept thinking about the poor guy who was ragged. When I saw you in college, after the incident, I tried to tell you the truth. But I was not sure if it would bring back all the remorseful memories for you. I was not sure why, but whenever I tried to discard this, my instincts asked me not to. Now I have things falling in place. I had been keeping it safe just to ensure your love life is restored and your wife is saved.”
Vijay was agape in incredulity. His body trembled. Harini, the one who showed him just love, unconditional love, had been suffering due to his prejudice. His mind raced. Where was Arvind now? He did not even bother to think about him. His mind stopped there.
“But..”, he spoke for the first time in the past twenty minutes. Shyam was startled by Vijay’s voice.
“Why did not Arvind protest when Suresh blamed him during the pre-wedding party?”, asked Vijay.
“Suresh was astute enough to make Arvind believe that he was the one who pushed Vidyuth. It was where Suresh had been a conniving man. That was how Suresh deceived Arvind.” Shyam almost lost his temper.
“That was how he had deceived me too”, Vijay’s eyes were moist. He never knew why tears rolled down. Was it for Vidyuth or Harini or Arvind or for himself, he was not sure.
Harini, what has happened to her?, Vijay collapsed on the chair.
“Shyam, how are you going to treat Harini? Split personality disorder is something that I have just read in fiction novels and have watched it in movies.”, Vijay spoke helplessly.
“Well, I can explain. As you might be aware, Split personality disorder, is a mental illness, in which a person transforms into the other. The other person is called alter. There might be several reasons for the birth of the alter. The most common reason is the mental pressure. Failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness in a single multidimensional self, causes the birth of the alter. Hashna should be one such form of Harini. They always named themselves in rhyming. Harini, Hashna, hope it makes sense." Shyam tried to simplify the medical terms for Vijay.
Vijay still threw a skeptical look. Vijay narrated Shyam about the incidents that happened; the official paper incident, jewelry mortgage and of course the confusion with Kamini Aunt’s house.
“But how did you quickly conclude it was Split personality disorder?”, asked Vijay.
“I saw a woman talking to my mom. She was strange. She did not appear normal, mentally. But when I saw the same woman again in your house, with the most innocent eyes, It rang a bell in my mind. I knew both were same, but still with few differences in body language, expressions. I thought it should be DID.”, Shyam justified his quick diagnosis.
“Do not worry. You have had too much for today. Just relax. Please bring Harini to my clinic tomorrow. We shall talk”, assured Shyam. As they were speaking, Harini who was now awake slowly opened the door and approached Vijay. Vijay looked at her confused and terrified. “Harini does not know anything about Hashna. That is the worst part. Harini is totally unaware that there is an alter within her. So keep yourself calm”, Shyam spoke to Vijay under his breathe.
“Vijay, what happened to me? Why my left hand wrist is tied with this cloth? And may I know who is this”, she asked pointing to Shyam.
“I am Shyam; Your neighbor. A doctor too. You fainted due to head ache and hurt your wrist. I have just treated you with an antiseptic injection and head ache tablets. There is nothing to worry. Your husband and I have become good pals.”, spoke Shyam, as he smiled at her.
She smiled back, weakly. “Why don’t you both visit my clinic tomorrow?" invited Shyam.
“Sure”, Harini replied as he saw Vijay. Shyam took a leave. Vijay locked the house. It was almost late in the evening, when Harini felt her stomach was growling. She was tired. She sat on the couch.
Vijay was not sure whether to talk to her or not. Where would he begin? Could he muster his strength to tell her that he had been wrong all this while? Would he tell her about the strange mental trauma she is been affected by? He was not sure. He toasted few slices of bread for him and Harini. He made sure she ate. She dozed off in the couch. He sat beside her, staring at the dark walls, listening to the chirping of the night birds and insects. *** To be continued here.