The Package

“I’m in search of my soul, said to myself 100th time this day, moving through the dense forest. Do I’ve any clue why I’d been wandering in these woods? In the search of my soul! I reminded myself again. Why do I keep forgetting that? May be I am not really here. May be this is a part of my mind that lost connection with me and kept wandering around like a lost dog, trying to find its home. I don’t know. May be this is not all real. Wow! What is that? All the rumbling and ground shaking. I looked back and everything is falling apart. The animals are running past me. One elephant ran through me, as though I was nonexistent and oblivious of my presence. May be this is not actually me. A lion stopped beside me and started mumbling. “How would you like your eggs?” inquired the lion. “Scrambled”, I said and kissed it.

A sharp spark of consciousness ran through my brain and I was actually kissing my wife. She looked perplexed by this sudden act of love. “Brush your teeth. I’ll prepare the breakfast”, she said and left the room. What a crazy dream, I thought and went for a shower. I comforted myself under the warm sprinkles of water and got ready to work. I ate the super-hot and delicious breakfast and headed for office. I love what I do. I go to work by 9 AM in the morning and most of the time I would be preparing the reports. I submit all of them by 5 PM, give status on the reports and leave the office by 6’o clock in the evening. All of it seems monotonous though.

That evening, I left the office by my usual time and took a bus home. It stops few blocks away from where I live and I walk everyday listening to the music. As I was passing by a deserted lane, I saw a deserter looking at me frightened. Something about his eyes was weird. Before I realized what was happening, I heard a sound and the next minute I’m on ground, hit by a bullet close to my brain. The hospital authorities said that I was in coma for a year. This is all I remember about that day and till today,” I said to the police a dozen times. They kept on visiting me for the statement as I was the only survivor of the massacre happened that day. It was some drug dealing that went wrong and led to shooting. The police had a doubt that I might be one of them evading the truth and eluding them.

The hospital authorities told me that my wife left me and married a wealthy man. My parents gave up one me as I was no close to a living thing the last few months. Life seemed pretty hard on me. I started meditating to talk to my inner soul. The only voices I heard were of the noises of the undigested food in my stomach. Soon I gave up on that and fell in love with the nurse. We had a thing going on until I was caught kissing the nurse, by the chief doctor on his visits. Since then I was taken care by my own kind who neither smiled nor talked. He rather cursed me with his eyes. At nights I used to get rid of him by farting through the midnight, spreading the aroma of food eaten a century ago. They used to never let me out and the place was so silent that I began thinking if I was the only patient in this hospital. I blurted out the same to the doctor who had a long scar on his face. He said that it’s a good sign that I started thinking of something, else I will end up in a psych ward.

The next day I was taken out of that room, masked. When they opened the veil on my face, my eyes are directly staring at a giant, sitting across the table. He started asking the same questions about that day and told him the same story the fourteenth time. He asked a few more questions for which I gave irrelevant answers. He then started beating the shit out of me, literally, the floor became wet, not due to blood, but with something that smelled foul. I felt anesthetized in that smell. “Where is the package?” “Where did you drop it?” The same questions were repeated since morning “I don’t remember and don’t know” is the answer I kept on telling them. Both of us were tired of these answers and decided to meet again the next day.

That night they injected me with a substance which felt like awesome. I spoke about karma to the person guarding me for about an hour before I passed out. The next few days went on the same as the first day. Interrogation, Injection and karma. They tortured me so much that reality came out of me instead of the answers they were looking for. After that day’s injection, I decided to keep my mouth shut and really began to think about the shooting day. Why was I there in the first place? What was I doing among these people? Slowly the reality began to dawn on me. I was a cop assigned on this operation to stop the drug trafficking and these guys somehow caught hold of me thinking I was the guy from the other party. Unluckily I was undercover that day and wore casuals. I slowly removed the bandage that is around my head. I started searching for the head wound and there was none.

What a bloody illusion! The story I have been telling might be the effect of the drugs they have been giving me. I might have had a temporary dementia and the day I expressed my concerns about this place, they might have thought I was ready to be interrogated. I came up with a game plan. In my next confrontation with the giant, I falsely confessed that I indeed left the package with a trusted party and I’ll order him to bring it here and hand it over to these guys. All I asked them was a message to be sent to the trusted party. I wrote “pAckage needed. Meet here” with my code words in capitals. In less than 10 minutes, the police swarmed the place and arrested the bad guys. What an experience! I thought. I learnt that I had been missing for a few weeks.

No person’s mind is above illusion, I thought and I dressed in proper casuals leaving my hospital gown. I know I smelled like shit after all these days without bathing. Life huh!

-Sai Anvesh

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