“So? This unfulfilled desire is yours or hers?” asked Teja outstaring Rohan.
Rohan fixed his eyes back on Teja; with much more confidence this time and said. “I think it was hers initially, but now it’s mine.”
“Are you sure you never had any desire back then?” Teja asked leaning forward and resting her right index finger lightly on the cheek, supporting her chin with the thumb.
“It seems you have some kind of doubt here?”
“Hey!! I am the Psychologist here. You don’t need to read my gestures and make conclusions out of it. I can be purposefully deceptive if I ever want to.” Teja somewhat made it clear who is the boss here.
Teja Raghunathan, as her name suggests, is a radiant, 5’7″, slim, dusky, South Indian girl born and brought up in Bangalore. She is a Masters in Psychology and undoubtedly one of the best in the city. Whereas Rohan Mehta is a CA from Delhi, working in Bangalore since 3 years with his small family.
“Okay…so let’s not make any conclusions on this right away. Let’s start it from the beginning and then I will decide who had the desires and who didn’t.” Teja tried making things bit friendly with an infectious and incredible smile. Rohan just nodded his head, again looking away from Teja.
“Are you okay? Do you need some coffee?”
“Ah yeah! Just little heavy due to constant thinking of unwanted things. Coffee will be good” Replied Rohan staring at his own palm and playing with his wedding ring.
“Here’s your coffee. Tell me everything you can remember right from the start.” Teja said placing the coffee cup in front of Rohan.
Rohan still staring and playing with his wedding ring looked like he was thinking about something or maybe he was just trying to recall the episodes which happened 3 years back with him.
“I do remember most of the things very clearly. This all started three years back when I was in Delhi and had just started a new job.” Rohan began pouring out his story to Teja. It looks like he remembered almost everything in detail like it happened yesterday.
“As you know, I am married and ours was a perfect Indian arranged marriage.” said Rohan. “We spent considerable amount of time together after engagement which really helped us understand each other. We used to meet almost every weekend and occasionally we invited our respective friends for the parties. So, by the time we finally got married, we knew each other’s friends quite well. “
“It was a perfect marriage; it still is!” Rohan said after a small pause. It seemed that more than Teja, he was trying to convince himself that there were no problems back then and things were going smooth even now.
“Keep going…I am all ears.” Teja broke the 15 seconds silence. She was eager to prove her point about Rohan’s desire, wanting him to confess the truth himself.
“One fine leisure evening, I was having cigarette and casually checking my whatsapp when this message suddenly popped up on my screen. It was Nandita’s, my wife’s best friend”, a sudden glow appeared on Rohan’s face when he said the name ‘Nandita’.
“What was so special about the message?” asked Teja.
Rohan recalled “It was a cheesy message. Quite unusual and bold one from her”.
“That’s normal these days, right?” Teja questioned.
“I completely agree and she was not the only one to send me such a message. I have got a handful of female friends so this was normal.”
Rohan continued, little bit annoyed at this time. “The thing that made it special and surprising was the fact that Nandita was my wife’s best friend and though we had spoken occasionally, we had a very casual friendship, not the type where one would be comfortable to forward a cheesy message.”
“Okay, let me believe you for the moment. So, how did you respond at that time?” asked Teja.
Rohan suddenly started laughing “I replied, ‘HAHAHAHA, that’s too bold!!’ “.
“Why are you laughing now?” asked Teja with a puzzled expression.
Rohan replied with a serious face this time “I just let it go with a laugh…”
“OH!! So you regret it now?” Teja quickly bowled the question at Rohan, trying to catch him off-guard.
“No… I don’t regret anything. I just think, I should have either stopped her right there or should have gone with the flow” one could clearly see the pain and emotional turmoil Rohan was going through.
“Hmmm…I see! Then what happened?” Teja was desperately trying to be an active participant in the conversation, encouraging Rohan to pour out as much as possible.
Rohan started recalling the events after this first message.
Nandita was a bold and beautiful lady from Delhi itself. She had grown up with Rohan’s wife Ritika and were neighbors since childhood. They even went to the same school and then college. They were like family to each other. Nandita was still single at that time and her parents were trying to find a good match for her. Nandita had an infectious smile and Rohan had not failed to notice it. In fact, he would often say that her lips curved in heart shape whenever she smiled. As per Ritika, Nandita was a self-centered person and loved people who could shower praises and complements on her. Nandita’s and Rohan’s relation was very formal and they talked only when required. In fact, for Rohan, Nandita was just another friend of Ritika.
That’s the reason, the first message from Nandita was a bouncer for Rohan but he did send her back a couple of similar cheesy messages in reply. That was the start of the story… Soon, exchange of such messages became a daily routine. Both used to wait eagerly for the messages and their relationship was getting frank day by day and there were limitless topics and discussions. However, the discussions slowly shifted from general to personal and soon they were sharing personal and past life details without much hesitations. They had forgotten the kind of relation they were supposed to have and the consequences they would have to face if Ritika came to know about it. It was just fun to be cheesy all the time. The nights started getting shorter. Late night chats became so frequent that Rohan started looking at Ritika as a disturbance. The consequences of Rohan’s and Nandita’s closeness had started having its effect on Rohan’s and Ritika’s relationship.
Slowly but steadily Rohan’s and Nandita’s relationship started getting closer and their talks turned more personal. They started sharing more intimate events of their life. One fine day, Nandita opened up about her previous relationship with her colleague and she confessed she wanted to get out of it. Rohan still maintaining his relation as a very close friend provided her tips on how to get out of unwanted relationship. He was also aware of the hints he occasionally used to get from Nandita and he found himself getting dragged and attracted towards her. In the tug of war between right and wrong, he was finding himself unable to admit his attraction. Nandita on the other hand was bold enough to say deliberate things to Rohan, hoping for some action on his part. But Rohan never had the guts to express his inner feelings… rather dark desires and slowly they started losing the fire between them.
“So how did it end? Did you ever express your feelings to her?” Teja enquired after a good 15 minutes to Rohan, who still looked lost in his past.
“No, I never had the guts. Though I wanted something nice out of this but I failed to admit and that was the end of it all.” replied Rohan with his head bent down in regret.
After a pause, Teja asked again. “Did she ever admit her feelings for you or whether she wanted to have the next level of relationship with you?”
“Not really… but I was not a kid not to have understood her hints” Rohan clarified.
“But you may have been wrong…”
“I know very well I may be wrong, but let me tell you one incidence which will clear the air.” replied Rohan.
“Once I was telling her about a friend of mine who insisted to make out with me for fun and to avoid her, I mockingly said I promise you we will do when we grow old.”
On hearing this, Nandita had instantly replied, “I promise you too!” and I was like… “What!!! You nearly killed me when you said that!” to which she had responded “I said it deliberately!”
Teja tried to calm him down. “Relax Rohan…I am just trying to clarify my doubts so as to reach the right conclusion and help you in the best possible way.”
“One thing I want to clarify before you come to any conclusion. I am still not regretting my decisions. I know I did right at that point of time. I just wanted to help her get out of previous relationship. What I didn’t realize was the fact that I myself was getting stuck into a relationship. I knew she was vulnerable at that time and I could have easily taken advantage of her.” For the very first time during the whole conversation, Rohan sounded like a matured & responsible man.
“You didn’t answer how it ended?” repeated Teja.
“Nothing much happened thereafter. We just stopped sharing messages and one fine day she declared that she was out of our relationship and was no more interested in discussing things further” Rohan replied with heavy words.
“You think you were used?” another quick question by Teja which pierced Rohan’s heart.
“Yes, I do feel like it sometimes. But I don’t think it’s her fault in any way. She was in need and I didn’t fulfill her need… so, she decided to move on… as simple as that”. It seemed Rohan already knew the solution for his miserable state of mind and had come to peace with it.
Teja knew she isn’t dealing with any serious case here. She said with a smiling face “then what brings you here Rohan? I guess you already know the solution to your problem”
“I need to move on and forget everything?”
“Yes, exactly” smiled Teja.
“Actually, I recently met her at a function and without a second thought I confessed my past feelings for her” said Rohan.
Teja hadn’t seen this coming as she had almost reached the conclusion that Rohan was a sorted personality and won’t be needing much help from her. So, this was a complete shocker for her.
“But why now? After all these years when both of you are happily married and you had no contacts whatsoever with her?”
“I know there wasn’t any use of me expressing my feelings now. But, I am not going to meet her again and it was my final chance to let her know what a jerk I had been…”
“There you are…” Teja said with a mischievous smile and lifted her hand in a thumbs-up.
“Not because you hadn’t expressed your feeling at that time but for rightly expressing it atleast now” she quickly clarified.
“I am still not getting why you are here though” asked Teja.
“I think I just needed someone to listen to my story in an unbiased way and nothing better than sharing it with a psychologist. I am not here for a treatment or something” Rohan clarified his side.
“By the way, what did she say when you finally confessed your feelings?” Teja now seemed interested in listening to the complete story.
“Hahaha…she said….nothing” Rohan said with a sarcastic laugh.
“I think that’s okay…somewhere within even she knew that there is no point in saying anything and admitting to things which never even happened”, Rohan now sounded like a psychologist himself.
“Rohan, let me tell you something frankly”, Teja said after listening to complete side of Rohan’s story. “Though, I had initially thought of you as a much sorted person who wouldn’t actually be needing my help, now I strongly feel inclined to have a couple of more sessions with you. I can see some personality traits in you which need immediate fixation before they aggravate.”
Rohan looked absolutely surprised with this statement of Teja. He was quite confident that there was nothing wrong with him and his only purpose to visit Teja was to find a trustworthy person to lend an ear to his story.
“You think I am crazy?” Rohan questioned Teja in annoyance.
“I didn’t say that” Teja said with a calm and smiling face. She knew she had touched a vulnerable nerve of Rohan and he was bound to get excited.
“There is nothing seriously wrong with you. But if you don’t seek expert help at this point, you will surely end up becoming crazy very soon and as a phycologist I can’t let that happen to you.”
Rohan was unable to understand why Teja was insisting on more sessions. He just wanted someone to listen to his story and nothing better than telling it to a psychologist who can keep your secrets behind the closed doors. But anyways he decided to cooperate and scheduled his next sitting with Teja.
As soon as Rohan left her clinic, Teja took out a blank file and wrote his name on the front Page. She sat there for some time staring blankly at the page holding a pen in her mouth, engrossed in some deep thought. She finally penned down her thought on the blank page….
“A First Degree Case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”
Rohan on the other hand was on his way back home and all along he was thinking about the whole session with Teja and why she had suggested of extra sessions when he was absolutely fine.
“I am not crazy, nor am I going to Delhi behind her. In fact I have already stopped thinking about Nandita, or haven’t I” the thoughts of Teja and Nandita were playing games in Rohan’s mind and he was already feeling exhausted… both mentally and physically and all he wanted at that moment was to slip into his bed for a peaceful sleep.
He tuned in to his favorite song on YouTube, a song that had kept him going for the past 3 years…
Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn’t stop the pain
If I see you next to never
How can we say forever
Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you….