RAGLAK TWO SHOT – Wish I could remember
Hey, It’s Anjali back with her first two-shot! Please do tell me how you like it 🙂 🙂
The room was plain. The walls were such a bare colour. Cream. Should this reassure him or scare him. In a corner of the room, a receptionist sat typing something on the computer. God, this was supposed to be a relaxation clinic, Not a hospital. But it even smelled like one. Finally, not able to sit any longer, He went and approached the receptionist.
Man : Excuse me.. Do you know how much longer it will take?
Receptionist : I’m so sorry, Sir! Dr Sinha will be free in a few minutes. Please take a seat.
He sighed and sat down again. Fifteen minutes later, The receptionist called him and smiled.
Receptionist : Mr Mehra? Dr Sinha is read to see you now.
He followed her to the adjoining room and forced a smile on his face. As he entered, A musical voice was heard.
A musical female voice.
Voice : Well! Mr Sharma! I’ll see you next week, Same time. ok? And make sure not to gorge yourself again. Will power! Ok?
A man left and Laksh was ushered inside to meet Dr Sinha! He was expecting a female, say in her late 40s to early 50s, but to his surprise, he found a very young, attractive woman. She was wearing a blue salwar with a small shiny bindi and jhumkis in her ears. Her smile was bewitching, warm and inviting. Her hair was tied loosely with a barette.
As she turned to greet him, Laksh was mesmerized by her eyes. Her perfect, large, brown eyes that widened in shock and recognition for a fleeting second before settling down into a soft expression.
Dr Sinha : Mr Mehra! Please enter.. So you’re my surprise client… Please have a seat (pointing at a comfortable sofa)
Laksh straightened and smiled at her warm , welcoming voice.
Laksh : Please… Call me Laksh!
Another expression crossed her features before she smiled at him.
Dr Sinha : Of Course, Laksh! Please… do sit! (He sat) Dr Rathore recommended me to you?
Laksh (nodding) : Sanskaar was very worried for me. After my accident….
Dr Sinha (interrupting) : Your accident? What and when did this happen?
Laksh : It was about 2 month ago. I have no idea what and where it happened. I don’t know why it happened. My fiancee…
Dr Sinha (interrupting again) : Fiancee? You are engaged?
Laksh : Yes! We got engaged a week back.
Dr Sinha : I see. So please continue.
Laksh : Well, My fiancee told me that I was beaten up by some people and left in a really terrible state. I was unconscious for a week apparently.
Dr Sinha : And Dr Sanskaar Rathore asked you to come see me because?..
Laksh : I’ve been disturbed lately. And he thought you might be the perfect person to talk to.
Dr Sinha (her eyes widening) : You’re paying me Rs 1200 every session just to talk?
Laksh looked around the office. The decor was a really relaxing blue… It reminded him of the sky. The slight calm breezy sky. He looked at Dr Sinha’s waiting face and hesitated. He was usually good around people. He was calm and friendly towards strangers and loved to mingle. But this Dr Sinha! She made him feel transparent. Like his inner most secrets were on display.
Laksh : Well! Sanskaar thinks I need to think and talk. He told me you were the perfect person for that. So.. Yes! I don’t mind. (eyes crikling teasingly) Vaise, You mind?
Dr Sinha : Not at all… Is there something in particular you’d like to discuss?
Laksh frowned. Was it his imagination or did Dr Sinha’s voice sound sad and hopeful, Both at the same time? But it was not even a fleeting expression. She had settled into a soothing gentle smile once again.
Laksh couldn’t stop staring at her. This Dr Sinha was the most beautiful woman he had seen. Her brown eyes matched her fair complexion perfectly. Her hair, an envious straight mass of black hair was so mesmerizing. If his hand ran through his hair? Oh God! What was he thinking? He’d been getting a lot of these strange feelings ever since the accident.
Dr Sinha : Laksh! Is there a problem?
Laksh (clearing his mind) : Sorry Dr Sinha! No… Nothing’s wrong. I don’t have anything in particular. But Sanskaar thinks I am mentally disturbed.
Dr Sinha (vaguely amused) : Why is that?
Laksh : As I said…. The incident… I was protecting someone, I am pretty sure of that… But before that, I don’t remember anything.
Dr Sinha : Do you remember who you were protecting?
Laksh (shaking his head) : No! I’ve thought a lot about this, But I really don’t. In fact, I’ve tried everything.
Dr Sinha : And does this memory loss affect your way of living?
Laksh (giving a wry smile) : How is it supposed to affect me if I can’t remember anything?
Dr Sinha ( grinning) : Well, I know Dr Sanskaar and if he sent you here, he must have a very good reason.
Laksh : Perhaps. Sometimes, I have these flashes. They’re just feelings mostly. They make me feel warm. But not anything else. (answering the doctor’s smile) I told Sanskaar about that and he told me I had to see you.
Dr Sinha ( dubiously ) : Just because of some feelings? I’m sure there’s more.
Laksh (admitting with a grin) : Fine! I do know a little. Sanskaar told me… I was trying to protect a girl… She was somehow involved. But Sanskaar won’t tell me who the girl is.
Dr Sinha : Shouldn’t that bother you?
Laksh : I was curious, yes! But I don’t remember her, So it doesn’t bother me.
Dr Sinha : Hmm… Did he tell anything else?
Laksh (not really hearing her) : Kavita knows.
Dr Sinha (politely) : Kavita?
Laksh : My fiancee.
Dr Sinha (her voice different) : Your fiancee…
Something about her tone made Laksh. But she sat there with an easy smile. Taken aback, he watched her cross her leg over her knee.
Dr Sinha : So Kavita knows about the incident?
Laksh : She was at the hospital with me the whole time.
Dr Sinha : What did she tell you?
Laksh didn’t have to think. The questions Dr Sinha was asking were something he had asked himself a long time ago. The answers now came out mechanically. It was meant to be light, But the feeling in the back of his head just wouldn’t shut up.
Laksh : She told me that someone had hit the back of my head. I lost my memory of the last few months. (frowning) I don’t remember anything. There was one more woman at the hospital…. With Kavita! She had black hair (looking up at Dr Sinha) Just like yours. I was half-conscious at that time, and she left quickly. Later when I asked Kavita about it, She told me she didn’t know who that was.
There was silence. It was an uncomfortable silence for Laksh. He couldn’t take his eyes of the doctor. She was a mask, and that made her look unfeeling. But finally. her lips tilted into a soft grin.
Dr Sinha leaned forward and Laksh nodded in expectancy. A sudden flash of pain showed in her eyes that hurt Laksh. His chest ached. She was too beautiful and innocent to hurt.
Dr Sinha : Have you ever had your heart broken?
Laksh (blankly) : I don’t think so. I certainly don’t recall anything.
She giggled lightly and drew out a breath.
Dr Sinha : Well, That’s good then! How do you feel about this incident?
Laksh (after a pause) : Indifferent.
But that was not true, he wasn’t indifferent. He was having strange feelings… flashes of something that he couldn’t seem to remember at all. He wasn’t indifferent. He was frustrated and agonized that he would never know the absolute truth. It would always elude him.
Dr Sinha (eyes focusing on him) : You are not curious? Why exactly did you lose your memory?
Laksh : Well, The person who punched me or who caused my accident must have done that. There was force behind the punch.
He winced, as if remembering the pain. He looked over at Dr Sinha who seemed to be concentrating on something. But her eyes were glazed, showing that she wasn’t really concentrating there. Her mind was elsewhere.
Laksh (continuing) : Kavita told me not to bother with the details. She spoke to the hospital authorities and took care of everything. I met the doctor two days ago and he said that everything was alright. I’ve recovered. But….
Dr Sinha :But?
Laksh : But I haven’t. I know I haven’t recovered. Something’s missing, but I don’t know what it is. So, I can’t really ache about the loss, can I?
Dr Sinha : That is interesting, certainly. I do want to give you an assignment though! (Laksh groaned and she laughed) Don’t worry Laksh… It’s not a huge assignment.
She smiled sweetly and Laksh couldn’t deny her.
Laksh : Alright Dr Sinha!
Dr Sinha : Well then, That’s all for now, Laksh! Our time for today is up.
Laksh (standing up) : Thank you Dr… (Realizing that he didn’t know her name) Do you really want to be called Dr Sinha? It sounds so old and formal. And that doesn’t suit you at all.
Dr Sinha (a slight patch of pink appearing on her cheeks which fascinated Laksh) : Right now… Dr Sinha will do. But maybe I’ll tell you soon.
That evening, As Laksh was sitting down in the living room, having a drink, Sanskaar came to visit.
Sanskaar : Drinking? Seriously?
Laksh (tiredly) : Aur kya karoon?
Sanskaar saw Laksh look out the door through which he had just come in.
Sanskaar : You looking for Kavita again? (distastefully) Where is she anyway?
Laksh (chuckling) : You seriously don’t like her. Why? She has gone out with her friends.
Laksh felt his head pounding again. But since Sanskaar was here, He merely winced and willed the pain to go away. Ignoring the ache, he continued to sip his drink. After all, If Sanskaar found out about this, He would be worried and think it was even more necessary for the therapist.
Laksh : So, You wanted to talk about something important?
Sanskaar : My friend! do I need a reason to talk to my best bud? (grinning which faded when he saw Laksh looking at him calmly and silently) How did the first session go?
Laksh shrugged. His mind flashed to the brown-haired beauty, and he frowned at the instinctive feeling of protection he felt towards her. It was ridiculous, but it was there. She was so small and at times, sad. He felt it from the bottom of his heart.
Laksh : She told me to write anything down that I remembered from my flashes.
Sanskaar (incredulously) : You actually spoke only about yourself?
Laksh (laughing mildly) : It is a session for ME! Who else will I talk about? Also, YOU are the one paying. Why waste the money already than I am. Why am I doing this Sanskaar? Why?
Sanskaar (quietly) : It is not a waste of money.
His eyes were sad. They grew silent. Ever since Laksh told Sanskaar that he was proposing to Kavita, the former seemed to act disturbed. The questions came, the accusations, and finally, Sanskaar’s demand for him to see a therapist. Of course, he questioned his best friend’s sanity. Sanskaar was fine with the incident; he didn’t pressure him to remember. But now….
Laksh (sighing) : It’s not a waste. But why am I doing this?
Sanskaar responded with an enigmatic smile.
Sanskaar : Because you’ll be making the biggest mistake of your life if you don’t.
THE NEXT DAY
She was wearing a green blouse with a yellow skirt. Her hair was a cascading waterfall of brown and black behind her back. Laksh straightened from his sprawled position on the chair he claimed to be his, and watched Dr Sinha rush into the room.
Dr Sinha (murmuring) : I’m late.. I’m late.. Oh no! I’m late.
She seemed to freeze midway when she realized that he was inside. Biting his lip to stifle his smile, he raised a hand in greeting.
Laksh : Don’t worry Doctor! You’re not late.
An embarrassed giggle spilled from her and she straightened, a faint flush appearing on her cheeks. Amusedly fascinated, he watched her tilt her head, her hair slipping over her shoulders. A small frown quirked his eyebrows at the sight.
He suddenly flashed out as he remembered something.
” I’m not mad… ” She said as she tilted her head to one side. He watched the way her silky hair would fall over her shoulders and he resisted the urge to tuck her hair behind her ears.
Laksh (gruffly) : One mintue, Dr Sinha! I just… I just need a moment!
Dr Sinha : Of Course, Laksh! I shall settle down by that time as well.
She dropped large files on her desk and turned her heel. Laksh turned the other way and dazedly he watched the spot she was previously standing in, desperately trying to search the memory in hopes of an extension. He clenched his hand, and without thinking, he grabbed the blank notepad in his pocket she handed him a few days ago and wrote what came to mind.
Unseeingly, he stared at his scribble, not bothering to read what he’d written. He knew that he would find it absurd and scratch it off. Maybe he’ll keep it, this one time. Not for him, of course, but for Sanskaar… because he was paying for this.
Laksh chuckled darkly at his thoughts and pocketed the notepad.
Laksh (thinking) : God, I’m going crazy.
Dr Sinha spoke suddenly. Laksh turned towards her and was dumbstruck by her bright and beautiful smile.
Dr Sinha (speaking in a rush and softly) : I’m sorry Laksh! I was told that you were coming in today, but I’m so used to my old schedule… Sorry, that makes me seem unprofessional. (She grinned sheepishly as she took her seat) But I am, I promise.
Laksh smiled as she earnestly tried to reassure him.
Laksh : Dr Sinha! Please relax… I believe you.
Dr Sinha (smiling sweetly) : So… How are you?
Her voice was genuine, as if she truly cared about his well-being. Laksh shook his head and leaned forward, his elbows supporting him on his thighs.
Laksh : I’m…. fine. (grinning slightly) What about you?
Dr Sinha : Oh.. I’m fine. (she straightened herself, then wagged a finger at him) But this is your session.
She laughed and Laksh could not help but note the way her green shirt brought the colour out of her eyes brilliantly.
Dr Sinha : How is life at home?
Laksh : I live alone, so there isn’t much, except for work and lounging in front of the television.
He shot her a crooked grin. He felt at ease in her presence, almost as if he were talking to an old friend.
Dr Sinha (amused) : And do you cook?
Laksh (smiling sheepishly) : Does the microwave count?
Dr Sinha : I don’t think so, Mr Mehra!
Sighing, she leaned back and gave him an assessing look.
Dr Sinha : Now that we’ve eased into the conversation, How is the note book going?
He practically felt the burn of the words he wrote. Strangely enough, he didn’t want to show it to her, at least not yet. Instead, he shook his head.
Laksh : It’s blank!
Dr Sinha (calmly) : Koi baat nahi Laksh! I’m sure the memories will come in its own time. So, What does your fiancee feel about these sessions?
Laksh (shaking his head again) : Sanskaar told me not to tell her until my fifth session.
Her eyebrows shot up. Somehow, he expected that reaction from her.
Dr Sinha (reproachfully) : You don’t think she will feel bad?
Laksh (laughing shortly) : Maybe.
Dr Sinha (interested) : That sounds intriguing. Elaborate please!
Laksh : Sanskaar and Kavita don’t exactly get along. Well, they don’t get along well, now, I suppose. (frowning) Before the incident, I knew for a fact that they were good friends. But they got into a huge fight – she still won’t talk about it – and now I’m the one stuck in the middle.
Dr Sinha ( concerned) : Did Dr Rathore.. umm.. Sanskaar tell you what happened?
Laksh : Trust me, I’ve tried. Now I just leave them alone and try to ignore it.
Dr Sinha stared out the window for some time before turning back to Laksh and speaking.
Dr Sinha : Why don’t you tell me about Kavita?
He didn’t expect that. For a moment, all he could do was stare blankly at her before a smile tugged his lips at the reminder of his best friend. He made a useless gesture with his hand and dropped it with a chuckle.
Laksh : She’s great. We grew up together and…. She’s temperamental and she can be a b*t*h, but I can’t help but put up with her. She’s all I’ve got.
The doctor stared at him with her piercing and calculating eyes and made a statement.
Dr Sinha : You love her.
Laksh (ironic smile) : Well, I am marrying her.
His voice was gentle and soft, but he couldn’t help but feel that there was a strange tone to those words. He was marrying Kavita. He figured that since they started dating, the natural next step would be marriage. Wouldn’t it? She told him she loved him, and she knew he loved her… what was stopping them?
Dr Sinha : Touche, Mr Mehra! So….
Laksh (smiling) : So?
Dr Sinha (leaning forward and placing a hand on Laksh’s) : If you retrieved your memories, what are you planning on doing?
She tilted her head to one side and Laksh zeroed in on the moment.
And suddenly, it was just the two of them in the world. He stared straight ahead, conveniently at her, trying to remember the feeling that suddenly overcame his body. It was soothing, but it made him feel powerful. He could almost feel her small hand in his, the warmth spreading through his chest. and he unconsciously clenched his hand.
He was pulled out of his reverie with a sharp exhale.
Laksh : Pardon? what did you say?
But she had been watching him closely and now asked.
Dr Sinha : What just happened?
He couldn’t lie to her eyes.
Laksh (admitting) : A strange feeling.. That’s it. (silently begging God not to have him repeat what he felt because he knew he would sound ridiculous. She waited patiently, and he inwardly concluded that he had no choice but to tell her, because he knew that he wasn’t going to write this down.) I… I sometimes get this comfortable feeling.. This wave of warmth and love over me, I don’t know. It’s a really happy moment, but I don’t know why I’m happy. I just am.
He shrugged awkwardly as Dr Sinha gave out a small soft smile. He was just happy? How bizarre did that sound? God.. This doctor was going to think him crazy.
Dr Sinha (amused) : So, I think I’m right in assuming that Sanskaar knows nothing of this?
Laksh (smiling back) : Well, You certainly wouldn’t lose the bet.
Dr Sinha : Do you think this ahs anything to do with Kavita?
Laksh (observing her for a moment, then shaking his head) : No.
Dr Sinha : Why not?
Laksh (bitterly) : Because if it had anything to do with Kavita, I would be feeling the same way with her all the time, opposed to those useless flashes I get.
He ran a hand over his face, feeling the exhaustion ripping inside his body. If he stayed on the topic of his incident too long, especially the unanswered questions, he started to feel a little tense.
God, why did he have to lose his memory?
Dr Sinha (gently, perhaps realising that Laksh was in conflict) : Do you think this might be due to something else?
Laksh : Not a question of something… I think it has something to do with someone.
He stared hard at the ground, tracing the pattern of millions of tiny stones. They weren’t even patterns, but it entranced his eyes all the same. His chest was tight with the unrelenting desire to just know, to stop wondering.
But as always, it was no use. No matter how long he sat in silence, racking his brain, he would never remember clearly. Laksh let out a tired sigh. He was so DAMN tired of being this clueless all the time.
Laksh : I think I loved her….
He suddenly said that, looking up from the ground and was startled to see that she hasn’t moved from her position, and upheld the focused look in her eyes. There was a sort of consoling, sweet smile on her face that made him stop and stare. Not because she was beautiful, but because he felt like he’s seen her smile somewhere, before, long ago…
Dr Sinha (soft) : You think?
He was pulled out of his reverie. Shaking his head, he lowered his chin.
Laksh (in a low voice) : Yeah… I think I used to love someone. I don’t remember much.. I.. think I can remember her laugh. It was really sweet and tinkling.
As a small satisfied smile appeared upon Laksh’s lips, He missed the utter look of misery that flashed through Dr Sinha’s eyes at his demeanor. He shook his head roughly.
Laksh : I’m sorry.. but what time is it?
Dr Sinha looked up at the clock and then spoke with a thick voice, after clearing her throat twice. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him.
Dr Sinha : Right sorry Laksh! Our time is up… we will talk next session. It was good talking to you.
Laksh wanted to escape. Barely tolerating the polite exchange of words, He mumbled a hurried pleasantry and was out the door before the doctor even had a chance to get out of the chair.
When he said that it didn’t bother him that he didn’t remember her – he lied.
He lied straight through his teeth.
He stopped running; he didn’t care for the sweat soaking through his shirt, or the ache shooting up his legs. He grinded his teeth, and with a snarl, pulled his fist back before punching the tree conveniently to his right. He ignored the ache and blood on his knuckles.
He felt a frustrated sob rise to his throat, but he didn’t release it. Instead, he swallowed the pain and collapsed on the grass, leaning back as his arms supported his upper body. He stared up at the clear, blue sky.
He wanted it to rain, long, hard and heavy. He wanted to feel the raindrops beat against his skin until he couldn’t feel anymore.
Sanskaar wasn’t stupid. He knew what he was doing, telling him to go see a therapist; he clearly needed one. Laksh sometimes wondered if he was clinically depressed, because what else would this feeling be? It was rampaging his entire essence. It was an agonizing feeling, practically feeling and knowing the memory… but at the same time, he didn’t. It wasn’t his, it didn’t belong to his mind.
It was within his grasp, but no matter how hard he pushed himself, he couldn’t seem to reach it. He just…….. couldn’t.
He let out an agonized sigh as his phone began to chime suddenly.
Unenthusiastically, he pulled it out of his pocket : Kavita…
What was he doing? His mind flashed to the session, feeling the pain intensify within his chest. What was he doing to her? To him? What was SHE doing to him?
Laksh (picking up the call, trying to sound cheerful) : Hey Kavita!
He felt the sting of his hand, and he scowled, briefly berating himself. He was not the type of person to take his anger out on… trees. He felt stupid.
Kavita (sounding excited) : Laksh, Tumhe pata hai… You absolutely won’t believe it.. You know Raksha right? She’s pregnant! Laksh, She’s pregnant. Can you believe it? I’m so excited. I couldn’t wait to tell you.
Laksh (smiling) : That’s exciting news.
But her next words removed the smile from his face.
Kavita (playfully) : I can just imagine our kids, You know?
He froze. The words suddenly made his whole body go cold, and his chest felt empty. A family, huh? Well, they were getting married. Why wouldn’t they have a family?
Kavita : Laksh?
A voice : Mr Mehra?
His head snapped forward, and his eyes met warm,intense brown. Her gaze was worried, but that clearly wasn’t the reason as to why he couldn’t look away.
Kavita (puzzled) : Is there someone with you Laksh?
Dr Sinha laughed a light, helpless laugh before motioning to his cell phone. She knelt down so that she would be at his level and spoke softly.
Dr Sinha : They’re expecting your answer.
Laksh (looking down at his phone) : Shit… Uh, sorry Kavita, but I’m going to have to call you back.
Kavita : Laks…
But Laksh had already cut the call.
Laksh : Dr Sinha! What’re you doing?
She stopped midway from rustling in her giant purse to look up at him in bewilderment. She looked at him blankly, before slowly, deliberately, dragging her gaze to his injured hand. She looked back at him expectantly.
He had to smirk.
Laksh (stretching his hand towards her) : Touche!
She smiled and pulled out a handkerchief.
Dr Sinha : I don’t have a first aid kit.. So we shall have to manage with this.
He watched her wrap his hand; he didn’t bother asking why she was doing this. He had a feeling that she’d only evade his question.
Laksh (curiously) : Shouldn’t you be at work?
After all, His was not the last appointment of the day.
Dr Sinha : I was there. But my client had an important event he couldn’t miss so I came this way. I was worried.
She smiled briefly at the spot over his head.
Laksh : Why?
She pointedly looked at his injured hand, before finally, her eyes met his. She spoke, her gentle voice, making the words sound like a carress.
Dr Sinha (softly) : Because sometimes, you need someone to watch over you.
Laksh opened his mouth to speak.. but she was already walking away.
Have already posted this as a swasan ts…
please do tell me how you like it 😀 😀