When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
- Ernest Hemingway
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On a rainy Friday night, Varun entered the People’s Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) campus raging through the droplets and parked his bike at the entrance of the Pharmaceutical Science Research Laboratory. He entered the block with great anxiety only to find his friend Ashok smoking in the corridor admiring the rain. Varun asked Ashok pointing the lab door “is anybody in?” “No” said Ashok wondering why this guy is here fully drenched at 10 pm. Varun grabbed the cigarette, smoked two puffs, threw it and grabbed Ashok’s hands pulling him inside the lab.
Varun closed the lab’s door and asked Ashok looking into his eyes “I need Mizadolem-RA”
“MRA? For what?” asked Ashok.
“Don’t you know the purpose of MRA?”
“OK then, why?”
“Surya broke up with me” said Varun in a brittle voice.
“So what is MRA going to do with your break up, it is not a drug that gets you high”
“Though I’m in ‘break’ I’m still a MBBS student and I know what MRA is capable of”
“So you are going to induce amnesia to yourself and erase the memories of Surya? Doesn’t that sound foolish” asked Ashok.
“No, I’m not a fool to erase the most cherishing memories of my life, I’m going to induce amnesia to her” said Varun searching for the drug.
“Can you explain me in detail what happened between you two and what you are up to now?” Ashok yelled.
Varun walked towards Ashok, made him sit on the chair nearby and started to narrate the incident that happened three days ago.
“This Monday I called her in the evening around five as usual to pick her up. She didn’t answer the call and called back an hour later and told that she is in a special class and it will be over around 8. I said OK and call me once the class is over so that I will come and pick you up. The clock passed 30 minutes past 8 but still she didn’t call. I called her and she answered “I’m really sorry baby, I just forgot to call you”
“That’s OK, shall I come now?”
“No, Arvind is dropping me and Priya”
I was extremely irritated and hanged up the call without speaking a word after that. After sometime I called her back and asked her whether she reached home. She said “yes baby” as if nothing happened. This got my temper out of the gauge and I started yelling at her.
“Do u think I am a fool. How can you answer so cool as if nothing happened between us?”
“What happened between us? Why are you shouting now?” she asked, again with a cool tone.
“Do you remember? I called you for picking you up, you said you will tell me once you class is over, but you didn’t. When I called you back, you are saying that Arvind is dropping me. Not only that, you also completely forgot that I’m waiting here for your call.”
“That’s why I asked sorry. I don’t want to lie but I really forgot that you called, I still wonder how. After the class me, Arvind, Priya were coming out of the block talking and by that time Priya said that Arvind will drop us both and I just got in his car. I’m extremely sorry baby, please don’t make this another fight, please I’m sorry”
“Even I’m still wondering how you forgot me and came home with that bastard?”
“Why are you swearing him unwantedly?”
“Yeah, why should I swear him. I should either swear myself or the bitch I’m in love with”
“Varun, this is too much don’t show your frustrations on me, this is not such a big issue, you are just blowing up things”
“Frustrations? What frustrations I’m showing on you. My only frustration is you. From the day you told that you are in love with me, I lost all my happiness”
Surya was silent for a moment, she was trying to control the words at the tip of the tongue but she couldn’t “Not from the day I said I love you, from the day you failed to clear the exams and forced in a break in your collegiate”
“So you are saying that I’m reflecting my own stress and frustrations on you”
“Yeah of course, you feel insecure about yourself and think that I will leave you just because you are in a break. That’s the reason you always yell at me if I talk with any other guy or get along with my friends. All you want is I have to be within your shadow always which I did so far, but not anymore”
“Not anymore means?”
“I meant what I said”
“So you are going to breakup with me?”
“Yes” said Surya with a broken voice followed tears in her eyes. She continued “why should I be with you when you are not at all happy with me. Let me depart and not disturb you anymore. Goodbye, I love you”
“Why is I love you accompanying that goodbye. Your actions say that you don’t love me. Stop your drama and get lost” I said hanging up the call. Though I said get lost I didn’t mean it and I thought that she will speak to me the next morning. It’s normal to fight and get along the next day between us, but she didn’t call me or text me the next day until I did.
I apologized to her for what I did and promised that I will control my temper but she was not ready to accept me as she used to. She said that she is still in love with me but she could not digest the fact the I’m not happy with her. Though I said that those words are out of anger, she is not ready to believe it. I tried hard enough to explain her but she was very clear with her decision. She feels we both are not made for each other and though we love each other something is not working out between us.
“And how is MRA going to solve this issue?” asked Ashok.
“I am going to erase the memory of the words that she remembers “I’m not happy with her” which is the reason she is not getting back to me” said Varun with curious eyes.
“I think you are taking a bad decision, just 3 days have passed after the issue, give her some time, she will get back to you definitely”
“No, she is not speaking in an emotional turmoil to change her thoughts, her words are clear, she is confident with her decision and she won’t be back. Please get me the MRA, I need her” Varun’s eyes where shining in tears when he said those words.
Ashok knew how much Varun loved Surya and how happy they were together. Though he was not appreciating Varun’s idea, his words and tears moved him. He gave him a vial that contained Mizadolem.
“This is a highly concentrated version of Mizadolem along with opiod, be careful and do not use more than a drop, it is enough to erase the memory of the past three days” Ashok instructed.
Varun looked at the vial, it contained about 10 ml of a colourless liquid. “Shall I mix it in water? What should be the proportion for the drug to take effect?”
“Yes you can, make sure that there is minimum 500 ml of water for a single drop or 2 ml”
“Will this taste bitter?” asked varun.
“It is tasteless and odourless” said Ashok.
Varun was excited and thanked Ashok very much and left the place with a huge satisfaction. Ashok stood looking at him with a small hesitation hoping everything will go fine.
The next day Varun and Surya were sitting on a stone bench under a pupil tree inside the university campus. There was a disturbing silence between the couple which Surya could not tolerate anymore.
“And you wanted to meet me one last time for sitting dumb?”
Varun did not know what to answer, all he was thinking was how to mix the drug in Surya’s water bottle that stood between them. When he was about to give some silly answer, Surya’s phone started to ring and gave Varun a relief. Surya took her phone and moved some 5 feet away answering the call, creating the moment Varun was waiting for.
As soon as she moved away Varun took her bottle drank some water to create the desired proportion and carefully poured a single drop of the drug into the bottle. All this happened within moments and when Surya was back after the call, Varun remained silent just taking a look at her.
“OK I don’t think you will speak up, I’m tired already after a hectic day of practical classes. I’m leaving. Take care and try to forget me as soon as possible” said Surya.
Varun remained silent and just shook his said as sign of OK. Surya took her bottle and bag and left the place without even looking Varun for a moment.
That night Varun was expecting a call from Surya as the drug should have took effect. He was restless and walked around his room and balcony all night anticipating a moment of miracle. After being restlessly awake till 2 am, his tired eyes slowly closed and welcomed the rain outside.
Suddenly Varun woke up to some music and realised that it was the sound he was expecting for the past 10 hours. He took his mobile and looked at the screen which showed a picture of Surya with her name below accompanied by another word ‘Calling’. Varun answered the call and placed the phone over his ear. He could hear his heart beat suppressing the sound of heavy rain and thunder outside.
“Baby, are you asleep?” asked Surya.
Varun exhaled a deep breath he was holding so far. He realised that he achieved what he wanted and started a conversation as if nothing happened in the past four days.
Surya underwent the effect of the drug and felt like she got up from sleep after days. She felt fresh and new. Both of them agreed to meet each other the next day at noon in their campus under the pupil where they usually meet.
Varun went to meet Surya with great enthusiasm and decided not to redo the mistakes he did so far that nearly cost him the relationship he loved the most in his life. Both of them were having some nice time on the stone bench and Varun realised how much he loved her after that small break between them. He looked Surya into her eyes for a very long time and admired her while listening to her words.
Both of them decided to have lunch together and was preparing to leave and by that time Arvind, Priya and another classmate of Surya came to them. Varun wondered why they are here on a Sunday noon and greeted them with an unwilling smile, asking them “What are you guys doing here today? Any special classes?”
“No we are about to leave to ‘Kanchipuram’ for a dengue awareness camp, didn’t Surya tell you, we thought you came here to drop her” said Priya.
Surya looked puzzled and asked Priya “What? To Kanchi? I came here just to meet Varun. When did you guys plan this camp?”
The three new arrivals looked stunned and Priya continued “What happened to you? Just yesterday afternoon we were told by our dean that we are going to Kanchipuram today for a camp.”
“Oh is it, I don’t even remember any shades of this topic” said Surya wondering how she forgot a thing within a short span.
Varun realised what was happening and to avoid any further development of the conversation, he said
“It’s normal to forget things dear, may be you would have been occupied by some other thoughts when the dean was telling you guys about the camp, chill it is just 30 kms from here you will be here by 7 or 8, call me once you reach the campus, I will come and pick you up”
Surya could still not believe what was happening and agreed to go with her classmates half-hearted. Varun bid bye to them and left the place leaving a gaze of anger on Arvind.
Clocks went past 8.30 pm and Varun did not receive the call he was waiting for, he called Surya and came to know that she has gone for dinner with her friends. When he asked her why can’t she inform him about that, she told his mobile was not reachable. Varun’s temper peeped up for a second but his promise to himself about controlling it kept him calm. Varun asked how will Surya reach home and she replied that Arvind will drop her. He burnt Arvind and his car in his head and said an OK to Surya.
That night Varun was unable to sleep. All he was thinking about was “Did Surya once again forgot him when she was accompanied by her friends?” “Was his mobile really not reachable or a lie for comforting him?” and another dangerous question started slithering his head “Is Surya interested in Arvind?” as soon as this question came up he immediately said to himself “It is impossible and it is inhuman to doubt her” Though he convinced himself he could not erase the thought that occupied a corner in his brain.
A month passed but there was no big change in the relationship. Though Varun controlled his temper he could not control the situations that provoked it. He was very much stressed as he was over obsessed by the relationship and he had nothing else to do other than being idle. Surya’s day comprised of academics, friends and Varun but Varun’s day comprised of friends, Surya and being alone which spent more time with him. He still has two months for his next semester to move ahead to the next year in his degree. Though he had classes in this ‘break’ he used to bunk them as he already spent a year with the same classes.
Time for that year’s culturals arrived and Surya came to Varun excited to inform him that she is performing in the event. They met under the pupil tree as usual and Surya said that she is about to perform in a dance event along with her friends and Arvind will be her partner. Varun looked at her as if he is going to slap and asked “Don’t you know that I won’t allow you to dance with another guy?”
Surya knew this was going to happen and she made up her mind in advance to convince him. “I know, but I thought I would convince you” she said in a low tone.
“You cannot” said Varun confidently.
“But why? What’s wrong in performing in our university culturals?”
“It’s not about right or wrong it’s about I like or don’t like. In this case I don’t like”
“All my friends are dancing and I too feel like dancing, why shouldn’t I?”
“Because I don’t like you dancing with another guy”
“Baby we are not dancing alone, this is a group performance and we all have a partner that’s it”
“Let it be anything I can’t see you dancing with another guy, that too with that b*****d”
“Why are you swearing him now unnecessarily? Don’t you think it is silly and childish to behave like this?” Surya asked irritated.
“No not at all.”
Surya lost her temper and sat upon Varun’s ego “I have decided and I’m going to dance. If you do not want me to dance with another guy come let’s dance together”
“Don’t you know that you are a year ahead of me and I can’t perform with you?”
“That’s not my fault” said Surya.
Varun stood up and moved a few steps away from the bench “So you can’t change your decision?”
“No” said Surya arrogantly.
“When you can’t even do this single thing for me, what is the purpose of being in a relationship?”
“What if I ask the same question to you?” asked Surya and she was right.
“No I can’t accept this. How could you create a problem day after day without a break? Can you tell me a single day without an issue between us? Every day you will come up with new problems and I have to control all my emotions just to avoid fight between us. To be frank not even a single day I’m happy being in this relationship, moreover my only headache is this relationship. I don’t think this will work anymore” Varun turned towards Surya only to see her walking away from him.
He realised what Surya said before the intake of the drug was right and they are a mismatch. He took the vial from his draw and poured its content from his balcony. The droplets reached the ground along with the rain drops that allowed the sun light to pass through them creating a short-lived beautiful seven coloured bow.