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avestHom
January 26th, 2017, 08:33 PM
1.Blink, Blink
Ides Rize, twenty one at the time, began his descent into madness with a rickshaw ride. And it started on a summer-warm evening, when he woke up from a nap.
Blink, blink.
Something was revolving above. Slowly a fan appeared in sight. It took him a while to recognize his own room. He estimated he had been sleeping for an hour or two. But then something didn’t feel right. The room and all its belonging seemed alien to him. Before he could understand why someone came in. It was his friend AJ, as young as him, but heavy like a bear, with sharp eyes like that of a wolf’s.
“You’re awake!” he cried, as if in disbelief. “Ides! You’re awake!”
Ides felt his eyes widening like a camera lens.
What’s the big deal, he wanted to ask, but something far more strange shocked him. His language motor wasn’t working. And he was sure for he twice formed the question in his mind but couldn’t express himself.
He was still trying when another boy came into the room. It was his other friend, Kalan. Unlike AJ, this boy’s face was glowing with smiles. But as soon as he saw Ides, his smile turned into astonishment.
“He’s awake!” he cried, rooted to the ground.
Questions were firing in Ides’s mind like bullets from an automatic rifle now.
Why are they so astonished? And why are in disbelief? Why can’t I speak? Is this the reality? Or am I in a dream?
Dream was the only thing that made sense, and the only possible explanation. Otherwise how could he not be able to speak?
“Ides!” cried Kalan, kneeling by his bed. “Did you eat anything unusual? Or drink anything unusual?”
Ides’s heart leapt out like a rabbit’s who senses the presence of a mighty python, because the matter, as he thought to himself, was far more alarming. He tried hard to remember eating or drinking anything unusual; but couldn’t.
“Maybe,” growled AJ, “that stupid psychology student has given him something.”
Hearing this Kalan once again turned to his mute friend. “Did Bestower give you anything, some psychiatric medicines perhaps?”
Ides was about to shake his head when a sound came from downstairs.
Trnnnn. Trnnnn.
It was the doorbell. Moments later a boy with a heavy head and round eyes joined them. Both AJ and Kalan were hatefully stabbing him with their looks. It was Bestower no doubt, the boy they’d been just speaking about. The one they hated.
“Ides! Why don’t you-” Bestower paused and totally forgot about his question as his eyes fall on Ides. It was a different Ides. His head was hanged down like a sick bird’s. Setting aside all about how much these two boys hated him, Bestower asked, “What happened to Ides?”
“We don’t know,” Kalan said, helplessly wrinkling his brows. “He doesn’t tell us. He’s been in his room for the past eight days. He eats little but sleeps a lot. This time he’s woken after –“he paused and looked at AJ as if for confirmation.
“Forty hours!” AJ said quickly.
Hearing this Bestower’s princely cheeks turned pale like that of a dead man’s.
“Eight days!” he shouted, “And you haven’t done anything?”
“Oh! We did,” snarled AJ. “We’ve been here all the time. We practically live with him. And he’s almost fine.”
Bestower shook his head pitifully, as if sure something far more dangerous had happened to Ides.
“You should’ve taken him to a psy–“ he closed his eyes as he remembered how much they hated the word psychiatrist – “a doctor, I mean!”
“He didn’t want to,” said Kalan.
“And we respected that,” AJ growled. “If you know what that means!”
Bestower ignored him. His gaze was unfocused for a while as if to process in his mind what might have happened to Ides.
He then pleadingly said, “Ides! You must go to a psychiatrist right now!”
The effect of this was huge on the two others. AJ even bared his teeth as if he’d been just hit in the stomach by a long dagger. But just then something else distracted them.
“I’ve just come out of Plato’s Cave,” Ides said robotically.
They were all motionless. It took them a while to absorb the fact that Ides had indeed spoken. Excited though none of them cared what he’d meant by coming out of Plato’s Cave. AJ and Kalan were even jumping up with joy.
“Welcome back!” smilingly said AJ which somehow suited his cruel face.
“Time to celebrate!” suggested Kalan.
Bestower was the one who remembered to ask, “What happened, Ides?”
Ides looked up like a startled deer.
“I saw people sleeping on the street,” he remarked. “I asked what life means to them.” He paused. Three pairs of eyes were fixed at him as if waiting for him to continue; but he didn’t.
“He’s speaking of that night,” AJ said, “When we left you at One Lounge. I took a different route and we passed a slum on our way. I think he saw something there.”
Kalan didn’t say anything. He was unconsciously nodding to himself as if he knew what Ides had seen.
“Those chosen to be taught the secret of the universe,” he muttered. “Their mouths are zipped and sealed.”
Bestower zipped his ones as if hard to bear such rubbish. He wanted to say so, but before that Ides mumbled a reply.
“I don’t believe in your monkly ways,” Ides said, looking up at Kalan. “I believe in science!”
This was peculiar to Bestower because the word monkly, wasn’t exactly a word.
It’s a sign that Ides suffers from some language disorder, he secretly told himself. And he was certain. So he once again insisted, “Ides! You must go!”
“He doesn’t need to go anywhere!” roared AJ. “He’ll be fine.”
This was too much. To Bestower Ides was clearly far away from fine. Before he could say so however, Ides mumbled again.
“I believe in my kind,” he said. “I believe in their collection of knowledge.”
Bestower raised his eyebrows in confusion. Why Ides had been repeating the words believe and science again and again was anybody’s guess.
At last to Bestower’s delight and the two others’ dismay, Ides said, “I’ll go to a psychiatrist.”
“But they don’t understand human soul,” AJ complained. “They’ll give you medicines and turn you into their experiment.”
“I believe in science!” Ides replied aloofly. “Now you two leave me alone!”
Both AJ and Kalan with their heads dropped left the room.
“Your friends don’t seem to be happy with the division of scientific labor,” Bestower remarked, once he and Ides were alone.
“Leave my room!” Ides growled.
“Excuse me?”
“Leave my room,” Ides repeated, “because I want to change my clothes.”
Once downstairs Bestower roamed around like a disturbed soul, shaking his head again and again as if he exactly knew what Ides was about to face. He stopped when he saw Ides climbing down the stairs, still as disheveled as a beggar.
8888
Finally, after eight days, Ides Rize was once again into the great city of Pune. As his rickshaw snaked its way through evening traffic he sensed something strange. He felt as if he was on a stage in which all the people were playing roles, and he was the only one to watch. He didn’t know why; but he knew he hadn’t had such a feeling before.
Perhaps the psychiatrist might have an answer, he thought.
The psychiatrist’s office was at the tenth floor of Arora Towers. As Ides entered it, he saw an authoritative lady dressed in a pomegranate-red sari and short hair.
“Welcome!” she smilingly said.
Ides suddenly felt awake. She’s happy, he told himself in his thoughts. She’s happy to see me suffering from a psychological disorder.
“Please have a seat,” she said in a soft voice.
Ides sat on a simple chair, while the lady herself sat behind an elegant desk, with a sign on it reading Dr. Madhuri Bhatia. She drew out a book from a drawer in her desk, saying, “I’ll have to conduct a simple test before I produce a final conclusion!”
Hearing this, Ides breathed out in relief. But he was confused by the so called test. It wasn’t like a test in a college. In fact the book wasn’t a book at all. It looked as if someone had poured tiny blots of colors on the page.
“Let me know,” she instructed, “if you could see anything hidden under the paint bolts?”
Ides reported what he saw like an honest scientist. A tiger, a bear, a butterfly, a dragon was hidden in some of these pages, under the paint bolts.
Finally, when Dr. Bhatia was busy writing her conclusion, Ides asked, “What is this test for?”
“It’s called Rorschach Test,” she replied absent mindedly. “Invented in 1921 by Rorschach himself.”
Like a bolt of color dropping into a bucket of clear water, a note of joy spread all over Ides’s soul. Though he didn’t know who Rorschach might be, he assumed the test was accurate. Because it has been around from 1921, he told himself, and has passed the test of time.
But then his eyes blazed as something else distracted him. Dr. Bhatia hadn’t answered his question. She hadn’t told him what the test was for. He wanted to ask the question again, but thought better of it.
She might be hiding something, he growled in his thoughts.
“I’ll give you prescription for a week,” Dr. Bhatia said, still busy with her writing. “But you’ve to promise that you’ll be back to me next week!”
“Why?” Ides shouted suspiciously.
“Because the problem with people like you is that they don’t come back to the psychiatrist and they don’t take their medicines.”
This was bizarre.
Why would someone not trust science, Ides asked himself, unless, he’s insane.
“I promise,” he said at last, to show how wise he was and how much he believed in science.
When Dr. Bhatia began writing the prescription, Ides once again began ruminating what it might be with him.
“It’s not depression, is it?” he asked.
“No,” replied the lady absent mindedly. “It’s schizophrenia.”
The word was as unknown to Ides as the word energy to a caveman. To find out what it might mean, there was only one way.
“Can you write it on a piece of paper?” he said quickly. “I want to read about it on Wikipedia.”
“Of course!” Dr. Bhatia said, scribbling on a piece of paper.
Ides’s heart was pumping like that of a little lamb’s who’s just escaped a hungry wolf now. It wasn’t depression and he wasn’t about to commit suicide.
“Will I get better in three months?”
“Maybe!” Dr. Bhatia assured him smilingly.
Hearing this, Ides’s heart exploded like a birthday balloon and a thousand and one word joyful thoughts showered over his mind. There is nothing to be worried about; and it doesn’t even matter what has happened to me because I’ll be all right in three months.
Ides had half-opened the door to leave, when Dr. Bhatia’s voice came from behind.
“Ides!”
“Yes!” he replied, turning back hurriedly.
He was under the impression that she might’ve missed to tell him something very important. But all she said was “Take care!”
“I will.”
On the way back home, as the rickshaw made its way through busy traffic, Ides held the result envelope tight in his hand, as if it contained an important scientific matter like Pythagoras theorem. He had no idea that the paper was actually a certificate that he was officially insane.
At last, he joyfully told himself, I’ve found a definite answer from the collection of human knowledge; and I’ll be better just in three months.
He was even about to light a cigarette in celebration, when his phone vibrated.
Brrrr. Brrrr.
It was AJ, asking him to come to Sufis, the snooker club they usually hanged out. Sufis was as crowded as he had imagined, filled with noise of young boys and girls, chattering happily about life or arguing over points at snooker game. AJ and Kalan had already taken a table.
“So,” AJ asked, as he made the first shot. “What did the shriek say?”
“She said ‘take care.’”
The two friends laughed, as if it was a joke.
“And what did you tell her?” Kalan asked. “Did you tell her you enjoy a burger more than a woman?”
iDas pursed his lips. They were again making joke of his lack of interest in women.
“I did,” he replied. “She said, ‘look at the bright side, you can run for papacy.’”
They laughed out loud again; Ides didn’t because he was surprised by something else. He had a very strong sense of humor now. And he had no idea where it had come from.
Later that night, when Ides came back home, he opened the envelope to see how the result sheet of a test so funny might look like. A word italic and bold caught his attention. The lady psychiatrist had circled it with a blue pen.
Though he tried to pronounce the word, but couldn’t. He looked around the room for his dictionary, but it was nowhere to be found.
It must be downstairs, he thought to himself. But Feeling lazy to go there, he forgot about the dictionary. And so he went to sleep peacefully, believing in the psychiatrist’s promise: that in three months he’d be not only all right but also energetic and zealous. But he didn’t know that the word he’d found would take away everything from him, his knowledge, his friends, and most importantly the thing he valued above all in life: truth.

Harper J. Cole
February 12th, 2017, 06:28 PM
Strange but interesting! I found some parts hard to follow but am fascinated to know what the word on the report is.

One thing I will say is that it's best to use blank lines to separate your paragraphs when you post on here; otherwise, the text comes out as something of a block that's difficult to read.

HC

bdcharles
February 13th, 2017, 10:05 AM
I love this. I love the weirdness, the names. I love the fact that it's set in the great city of Pune - that's a really different location. I am very curious to know what's going on and what happens next. Stylistically it seems to be pitched about right, at the Hunger Games / Twilight market, though different, better, more original - which is great!

That said it could use a little formatting.

Now there are also moments of clunk; eg:

“Ides! Why don’t you-” Bestower paused and totally forgot about his question as his eyes fall on Ides. It was a different Ides. His head was hanged down like a sick bird’s. Setting aside all about how much these two boys hated him, Bestower asked, “What happened to Ides?”

Whose point of view is this? Bestowers? Try and stick with a single point of view for each section at least otherwise the characters risk becoming unbelievable. What do you mean by "a different Ides"?

Make sure you don't rush your prose and try and jam two many ideas into one sentence. It is okay to use two or three sentences as long as they are good ones.

But great stuff :)