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What if.







This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 7; the seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

He just sat there lifeless with unfocussed eyes and the look of someone filled with dread. Flashes were flickering from the cameras in the trembling hands of the reporters who knew that they have a story that they are never going to forget. Some of the police constables were wearing a look of impending doom, a few were even praying for they did not want Raj to be convicted. He shuddered with a tremor passing through and saw up slowly to catch the red and swollen eyes of his sister who was sitting among the huge crowd that has turned out to witness the trial. For this particular incident has jolted the peaceful town of Vizag and sent jitters down to its very core.
It seems like ages since he first met her. Some other time time, some other world, like it was in another life. For he has wasted away so quickly during the last few months, his sister could not stop weeping everytime she came to meet him.
He met her at a friends party.

Who is that angel? Is she for real? Oh God, I will do anything to spend the rest of my life with her. Is she looking at me?
His heart started to race and suddenly his palms and feet became cold and sweaty.
I cannot risk losing her. I don’t know what will I do without her!

Hi, I am Raj. Can I get you something to drink...........

Within a year they were married. Life looked rosy, his company has started to reward his hardwork and finally he started getting the recognition that can take him places in this dog-eat-dog world, he found the love of his life and he said one day to his close friends.
I am living out my dream, what else can a man want.

But then something somewhere went wrong. Horribly wrong. Things started to turn murky, he started to hate everything in his life, his job, his home. He knew that he still loved his wife, but somehow he always ended up snapping at her, which made his mood even darker. The company had sent him off for counseling.
You are suffering from Dysthymia which might in time lead to a Major Depressive Disorder. You see, it runs in your family, your aunt, grandmother also suffered from a similar diagnosis.

I suggest you start taking a medication course.

But the doctor did not mention to him that medication does not always make a patient better, he can only try.
His life then became more like a machine, monotonous with a job that has been reassigned by his company keeping his condition in mind.


Off late, fed up with this life, he secretly started decreasing the dosage of his antidepressants which always seemed to dull up his senses and thinking.
What is happening to me, this is not how I dreamed my life to be. I need to get myself out of this rut. They will not understand why am I doing this right now, but I know I can get better. I have to win her back.

and he threw out his medicines from the car window. He felt justified in doing so, because his marriage was failing. He started to fear if his wife will leave him someday. He had to re-ignite the romance of the old.
Honey, I have a surprise! I have bought a Tempo Traveller so that we can live up your dream of traveling through India and visiting places and still have our home with us.

He said winking.
She also noticed very gladly, the wonderful change that was coming upon her beloved husband.
Maybe the doctor’s fears were wrong, maybe I am witnessing a miracle and he is recovering.

Wow! Really! I love you Raj.
Life again started to look beautiful. Infact he started to feel very bright and chirpy again and he noticed that his wife was also very happy and that she also seemingly ignored visiting their family shrink or if he is still taking his daily dose.
He was bubbling around and was full of life and she started loving every bit of him again. He started loving every bit of himself again. For he is winning her back.
Honey, this is the wondefull city that I had promised to take you too.

This is where I was born.

This was my childhood school. I am taking you to a place that you might actually feel like heaven on earth.

They set up camp at Jungle Bells, a camping site on the eastern ghats near Vizag and started to recapture the love that seemed lost from their lives. When, a group of unruly teenagers came about their camping site. He had quarreled with them, but they never seemed to stop the jeering and name-calling. There wasn’t even any authority in sight.
Hello.
Hello is this the tourism office?
Yes.
We have a problem here at the camping site in Jungle Bells.
Please sir, do tell us.
There is a batch of hoodlums here who are disturbing our vacation.
Sir, we are already short staffed now, can you please try to hold on, we can send you someone within a couple off hours.
But this is not what I paid up for! Please connect me with your superior!
Please sir, don’t get angry, if it is alright for you, why don’t you shift your camp to No. 42 then. We promise that we will send up a team to check on this batch that you have told us about.
Alright, how can I reach there.
Please, take out your map sir...
Yes.
Can you see the...........

Though this was a small incident, on hindsight he was ready to give anything in exchange to have avoided one such as this.
Oh my God! Raj is really shook up by this. Why can’t he understand that I am still alright.

Raj, what you are doing for me is something very special. You took out your time from your job and you gave me by far the best time of my life dear. You do know that I love you more than anything else in this world. More than myself.

Night had fallen and he was sleeping. Then suddenly he heard some rustling sounds and then some low whispering like noises which seemed to come near. What he feared was coming true! Those demons were trying to get back at him! His heart again started to race, he waited for the right moment, so that they will not know that he is awake and waiting to get them.
The moment seemed fine, one had entered his trailer and within his arms reach. He reached out and then attacked with all his force suddenly which had seemed to take it by surprise. His ploy worked and though the rascal seemed to fight back and struggle out of his hold, he wrestled it and bought it into some kind of an improper headlock.
He doesn’t know that I was a karate champion in my college days.

and then he suddenly opened his eyes in the morning, the beautiful sun was streaming by though the window onto his bedside. The golden rays ended beside him on his wife dark and shiny mane.
Wake up Anita, we have got a lot to do today.

He dialed 100 and he was shaking violently while he spoke on.
What have I done? I’ve been trying to wake her. I think I killed her. I think I have killed my wife! Oh my God! I thought someone had broken in. I was fighting with one of those boys, but it was her. What have I done! I must have been dreaming or something. Oh Lord! What have I done? What have I done! Can you send someone.

He was sobbing by the time the call ended.
The police were aghast, they hardly saw much of crime here, a few accidents, yes, but murder by strangulation was too much to take for them. But then also was the behaviour of the repentant husband who did not speak anything except periodical mournful personal lashing that he had killed her, he had killed her.
They went through his belongings and registered a case of homicide against him and informed his sister about the incident. It was her who brought a lawyer and told them that her brother was under psychiatric care. They did not believe her, because this was one defense that every other criminal seemed to hide behind, though the Sub-Inspector who had arrested the man seemed to believe so. So, finally the police chief relented and had the man checked by a psychiatrist.
He suffers from a condition called automatism. It means that during his sleep, his mind is not in control of what the rest of his body is doing. Also this particular incident looks like a perfect example for pavor nocturnus also known as “night terrors”. The patient had stopped taking his antidepressants which had led him to develop a bipolar condition, where the patient experiences mood swings, which might have made his condition more acute.......

But all of this was not important for him. He wished he was punished with the strongest and harshest possible judgement, that of death, because he had lost the will to live. He was unable to pardon himself in his own personal court of justice, he was found guilty for stopping to have his medicines and then letting such a ghastly act happen.
Not Guilty.

The Judge also seemed to know the harshest punishment to Raj, that of life, that of a lifetime of repentance.....



Epilogue

I am not a doctor. I am not a medical student. I hated doing the background work for this story. Why can’t story writing be much easier!

Dysthymia is a chronic long lasting form of depression sharing many characteristic symptoms of major depressive disorder. However, these symptoms tend to be less severe but do fluctuate in intensity.


A person suffering from a unipolar disorder tends to have a consistently low mood whereas one with a bipolar disorder has extremely fluctuating moods.


A dialogue from Watchmen.
Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says "But, doctor...I am Pagliacci."
Happy Reading!!!

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36 comments to “ What if. ”

  1. That had some research go into it ! :-) . Liked the thought behind it and the scientific justification of the end. Good job.

    His wife's name was Anita ? I'm smiling at that....

  1. Great job.....
    quite unique among all the posts i have read till now...

  1. Debosmita says:

    hey, it was interesting to know the medical conditions; made the story more believable :-) and it was a completely new presentation! loved it :-) all the best for BATOM

  1. Haha, I like your epilogues. Looks like you do alot of research before writing which is good. Good luck for the batom.

  1. it made a nice reading on a leisurely sunday morning.but why so many colours on a black background?

  1. Nice story. Good first attempt! I just wish you hadn't portrayed bipolar in this way though...coming from a psych background, I am aware of the stigma associated with mental illness and it kinda makes it seem like bipolar is 'scary' when in fact, it's more troubling for the individual who can be impulsive but is not someone who will kill another person as a result of the illness.

  1. Mural! says:

    @Madhu Rao I take that "Anita" touched a cord with you........nice coincidence! :D thanks for ur appreciation and for the first comment :)

    @Mahesh Kalaal wow, thats huge praise and thanks for dropping by!

    @Debosmita thanks for your comments, glad you loved it :) but I cannot seem to acess your post for blog-a-ton.......?

    @Sureindran hehe thanks, I wrote the first statement after getting tired completing the post :D, nice name you got, i spelt it as sureindian the first time around :)

    @Rajendra Kumar thank you for dropping by and putting in a piece of appreciation....I tried to use the colours to differentiate between the narration(white), the dialogues(yellowish-orange-ish) and the thoughts(blueish)

  1. Mural! says:

    @Psych babbler, thanks for dropping by and putting in such an encouraging comment :) I tried to only use the condition as a tool to put a twist and some gist in my tale. I will try to make up to you and try to show it in a much better light by the month-end :) and btw you got an ossum blog going on!

  1. nice story and great justification not to mention the style keeps the reader intrigued

  1. Shahid says:

    vey unconventional...and gripping....lovely work...I think psych babbler was right in one way but I think this is the kind of creative freedom you can take cant you....this is a very gripping tale dont change it


    Shahid

  1. Yemiledu says:

    Hey that was a captivating story!
    The research work you put in was god too!
    The dialouge at the end was really nice.

    :~)Good work!!!
    Liked it so much!!

  1. yojitA says:

    i like the color pattern!! and that must be a lot of research for you?? nice read though!! i am so familiar with these words but i dont have the ability to make up a story from that,infact from anything!!good one ..man!

  1. Felt like reading short story written by Sidney Sheldon... Awesome!

  1. Karthik says:

    Story after a long time, I guess. I am only glad.
    It made for a wonderful read, dude. And technical details gave a lot of strength and it looked credible. Enjoyed reading.

  1. Nethra says:

    The story was beautiful but what does "what if" has to do with the story. Anyways, I gotta say you kept me hooked until the end. It was too good. All the best! :)

  1. Karthik says:

    seems bollywood .....

  1. "Anita" happens to be the name I chose for my character's wife as well..

  1. Mural! says:

    @Anshul thanx buddy!

    @Shahid I'm not going to change this tale......yes creative freedom vs responsible writing, well.............I am very happy reading your compliments from someone who wrote such a great post :)

    @SivArchana thanx! yea, that's quite a famous dialogue from the movie "Watchmen"

    @MangalagiriYoji thanxalot first time anyone appreciated my color pattern, that also had some amount of thinking put into it you know :P Well the story took me 2.5 hrs withoutabreak......guess its quite a bit......thanks for the appreciation!

    @Reddygaru wow! thats a huge comparison......I know you are being just too good :D

  1. Mural! says:

    @Karthik thanx dude......I've been procrastinating a bit too long when it comes to my blog now-a-days :P

    @Karthik is that a compliment? not everyone likes bollywood movies......so thanks if it is.....otherwise, you'll see me at your room later to retract ur words :P

    @Madhurao now thats a coincidence....I missed your blog earlier, as you put it in your webpage...I will go through it now :D (ps: do tell me, did you also kill her off? :P :D)

  1. Mural! says:

    @Nethra well I was trying to be smooth like a soap :P Well on a much more serious note:
    1. Most of the people want to have motivations inorder to move ahead in life, in order to achieve something......once they achieve what they want, they either find something else to be motivated by or waste away until they find something else, what we call being demotivated.........
    2. Living a dream is always not a good thing......because in the rarest of circumstances, among the fewest of the people, there might be someone who doesn't have any other want in life (which may be normally good). Having no desire in life is also one of the symptoms for depression.........what if he did not marry anita..........would he have been better off?
    3. He stopped taking antidepressants which dull up his senses n thinking inorder to reignite the romance.......but ended up developing a serious case of night terrors which finally resulted in me getting a twist for the story......

    Maybe my fault, I thought that instead of stating these facts I wanted the reader to think about them and come to their own conclusions

  1. M S says:

    Say.....kinda concur with Kartik's observation....no matter you may wish to meet him in his room....there is a distinct incline towards melodrama..."pavor nocturnus"... ofcourse..is didactic....but the theme has a sense of....er .... despair.... for a young prospective photographer...(wildlife or otherwise..).....ok jokes apart....good post Murli.....the color patterns .....and and the narrative is absorbing!!(I'm Surprised !!!)

  1. Megha says:

    Good work..background study sometimes makes the story stronger and glad you did it. You made me hook to the story till the end. It's true that life isn't fair with people with mental sickness, really sad.

  1. Karthik says:

    I dont like bollywood...but they are many who lov it :P

  1. Makk says:

    I guess there are at least two movies(name i am not recalling right now)..on the more or less same story lines.

    Am i right Karthik?


    anyway Keep blogging.

  1. swayambhu says:

    Loved the story....looks like a lot of effort has gone into it?? All the best for BATOM

  1. dmanji says:

    Good that you did the research for this story actually factual accuracy makes the story very authentic...

  1. √ij@y says:

    Quite unique.....Literally you have written well..
    Keep goin
    :)

  1. Mural! says:

    @Seenubava is this new template any less disturbing :)

    @Megha thank you very much for your compliments, yes but life is like a mirror, its only as good as one makes it out to be, no two ppl can ever be comparable :)

    @Vijay, dmanji, swayambhu thanksalot for your appreciation!......keeps me going on :)

    @makk, but I donn't seem to know any............

    @karthik since when is that? Aren't you the same guy who saw 18 films in two months time......aaaaaahaaan! ;) :D

  1. Thats a very very interesting story. Great job.
    Good luck to u..

  1. M S says:

    Dear Murli....I still maintain....the earlier template was....apt .... for the theme....very apt..!!!
    (the theme ..WAS....disquieting....WAS.....but I see the popular choice....NOW !)

  1. nil says:

    Wow, absolutely wow. I came across your blog through West Wind.. Im so glad I did. You've done an amazing job at penning down your ideas and turn it into what my eyes behold.
    You've earned yourself a new follower :)
    Hope you visit my blog,too. Keep writing please! Eager to read more!

    Cheers :)
    Nil.

  1. Mural! says:

    @dileepa thanks!

    @Seenubava well change beckoned and you helped in giving not too small a clarion call for it :P :D

    @Nilanjana wow! I am amazed by your high praise, thanks a lot for following me too, ofcourse I am going through your blog now and very eager to read your works! do recommend some of your older ones for me to read!

  1. nil says:

    well you did a good job finding my fav posts anyway! :D
    im waiting for you to update!! :)

  1. Saro says:

    Crap! I just saw this too.. well apparently we both started together. Sorry Murali. This was a nice read too. And well, keep writing!

  1. Mural! says:

    @Saro hehe I was chuckling when I saw your first comment, no need here for apologies :P thanks for dropping by :)

  1. Dreamer says:

    just read this one... you certainly write good fiction!

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