Believe it or not…

Curling my toes to grip the ground further

I stood with the stars and awaited

the assault.

As the lustre was sucked-in slowly

a bright shadow glowed over the mercurial

flow that surged towards me with a roar.

Balanced on the silvery surface,

I stared out a fierce defiance

and in the distance the flickering lights

winked their silent


I am very sensitive to environment and the hostility permeating from this place was obvious to me from day one. Not a single tree, bush, flower or building had music. Initially planning to write something scathing about the place where I was for over a month… but, there is really no point…and this episode supersedes everything. It is intense enough to even boggle my senses and I do constantly try and rationalize everything. However, once again I have no answers and the reader is at a liberty (when aren’t they) to dismiss this post as delirious rendering.

Technically, six people should be able to connect a link as this post has to do something with my life, but, I think only three are going to really react in their own ways. The others are not even aware that I have a blog.

And so….what you have here, this time is a re-construction of images and voices.


One night – as I stepped out of the main building – I was pole-axed, as it were with invisible bolts of lightning packed with the hardwood of baseball bats. The pain was sudden and excruciating and I thought that I was going to die. It caught me by the throat, induced nausea and severe headache. The heart was pounding and bellowing to tear itself out. Even though the body felt on fire the cold was numbing and the shivering uncontrollable. It came from nowhere and I remember looking up and rasping, “Oh God! Not again!”

Binsar blazed a memory trail.

But I do not want to die here I thought dispassionately – not like this – and so, I kept walking, short steps. Had to get back to my guest-house room. To die there?  Short steps, Arun! Short steps! Watch out for those wild boars. Don’t want to be gored too? Look at the Big Dipper. One more step.  Where is Orion? Is Betelgeuse exploding? Don’t fall! Another step!



The annoying and maddening sound of the doorbell slowly needled its way through the stupor of my numb feverish pain and I silently cursed the other two guests in the adjoining room for not going down to check who it was?

In my own rather strange manner – which has been the case as long as I can remember, I observed from a distance – ergo, I watched myself lying shivering on the bed, clutching the hot water bottle; covered with two blankets; tossing and turning occasionally trying to cope with the pain. I have always been able to do this – to watch myself that is – and whilst watching I utilize the mind from the body that I am watching. I am sure this is absolutely complicated and significantly bizarre for those reading these lines, but believe me it’s an absurd situation for me too and I can’t give explanations. That is why I am probably, for the first time penning an incident that is still recent.

So, through my mind inside the body on the bed, I vaguely heard young voices speaking to one of the other guest who must have gone down, and then, footsteps coming-up the staircase. There was shuffling of feet and tones that seemed vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t identify anybody. Somebody saying “Go on! Knock!”

Immediately after hearing the voices, a soothing wave of calm and relief rippled through his body and he promptly fell into a fitful but deep slumber.


The woman softly opened the door of the room and found seven young men looking at her in wide-eyed surprise. She smiled gently and said, “Yes?”

“Umm….Err…Sorry…ma’am! Um…We wanted to see Mr. Arun…Err…Sir. We…” they all stammered with great embarrassment.

She just stood there looking at them with mild amusement. One of the boys bolstered his courage and said, “We heard he was not well. We came to see how he was actually…..”

The others nodded their heads vigorously.

“Sorry to have disturbed. We didn’t know that, err….he had….”

“Company?” said she with a smile.

“Yes…no, no…That’s not what we meant. Ahhhh….ummmm, you see ma’am…” the boys chorused as their combined will began to snap.

Finally, the youngest of the lot blurted out, “Excuse me, ma’am, but who are you?”

“Well I am exactly what I said. I am Arun’s – your Sir’s – companion. A very old friend if you want to know and, yes, I just arrived because he needed me.” Said the woman still standing at the door watching the young men squirm. “Would you like to see him?” she suddenly added.

The young heads nodded nervously in rhythm with their Adams-apple.

The woman stepped back and opened the door for the boys and said, “Don’t wake him up as I have lulled him into sleep a few minutes ago.”

The boys collected inside the room and craned their necks to gaze at the blanket-covered figure lying on the bed; eyes closed and breathing heavily.

“What’s wrong with him?’ asked one of the young men.

“Oh! He is just tired, that’s all” said the woman.

“Will he be all right?”

“Yes, he should be fine by tomorrow morning,” assured the woman, “I bet he will be back…weak and little scatter-brained, but he will be fine.”

The boys’ eyes oscillated from the resting figure of their teacher to the face of this unknown lady.

“Has he fallen sick like this earlier,” blurted out one boy awkwardly.

The woman, who had been standing there motionless, said, “He does now. More than he used to earlier but…”

“Why does he fall ill?” the same boy again.

The woman silently contemplated this question and just as the boys thought she had not heard, she whispered, “Because his strength is failing.”

Then she turned towards them and said kindly, “You must leave now, gentlemen. Thank you for coming but he needs to rest some more.” And the boys went red in their faces, hastily mumbled their thanks and goodnights and left.


The woman looked down at the animated group of the departing seven from the first-floor window. Absently, she rubbed her hand over her stomach and then turned and looked at the man on the bed. With a wistful smile she climbed into bed and crept under the blankets to hold the pain wrought body and gently caressed his head with cool gentle strokes.

Who was this woman? And that is what I kept thinking as I watched.

I don’t know if I passed-out and whether these images and conversations are actually part of my delirium. The following morning, when I did wake-up, groggy but feeling better – I had no recollection of the previous night. There was no pain even though I felt extremely weak. But I was able to walk to my classroom.


The boys had now been joined by the girls who made up of the special workshop. All seemed to be excited about something. They grinned and nodded in their ‘teenagey’ approach and I had no clue as to why they were behaving in this rather obvious ‘we know’ manner. But I am used to people conducting themselves in odd ways around me.

And then one of the boys asked, “How are you feeling now, Sir?”

“I am fine” I said cautiously.

“We came to see you last night.” Said another.

 “Yes, I think I heard you guys,” I commented remembering nothing.

“You had passed-out,” they pointed with obvious relish.

“How do you know I had passed-out?” I asked.

“We saw you!”

“How?” I asked with amazement.

“We were in the room.” They grinned.

“In the room?” I piped, “But the door was locked.”

“No Sir, it wasn’t.” Huge grins now, “We knocked and ma’am opened the door.”

“Ma’am…” I spluttered incredulously, “What ma’am?”

“Err…the lady…companion…your friend…who was visiting.” They mumbled looking warily at me. The girls were watching me carefully too and their eyes reflected ‘weirdo!’

“Friend? What friend?” I growled, “Is this some kind of a joke?”

“No Sir!”

“What lady? She has a name?” I continued totally mystified.

“We didn’t ask, Sir”

“What did she look like?” I asked the bewildered lot who I guess were convinced that I had tripped the hereafter.

“She looked… ah…okay,” voiced one.

“She had a mole on her upper lip.” Added another.

I froze and everything came flooding back – everything!


Once again I found myself looking down at myself looking at a group of kids who were looking at me totally convinced that I had gone bonkers.

Was it the result of my delirium?

Believe it or not…but I have witnesses – seven of them. I guess the boys will always wonder who the woman was.

1 Response to “Believe it or not…”

  1. 1 Meghana
    March 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    i do believe…and you know why…

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