Can everything be rationally explained?
|Hello, Raj. What’s up?” Dr Sharma’s greeting was youthful. “How’s Sapna doing?”
“Hello, sir.”, Raj acknowledged his mentor as he joined him at the table. “Sapna’s doing fine. Better than yesterday at least.”
He bit into his sandwich. “Definitely opening up a bit at last.”
“That’s good news. You heard about our new guest?”
“Who? The guy with multiple personality disorder?”Raj did not look up from his sandwich. “He’s a fake. He is just trying to evade the gallows.”
Dr. Sharma did not argue. After all, Dr. Raj was the expert at the Institute. He had joined the Institute eight years back under Dr. Sharma, and had quickly built up a reputation of being one of the top psychiatric experts in the country. He had a knack of reading his patients right.
“You are probably right.”, agreed Dr Sharma. “But I am talking about this other patient whom they sent over this morning. You must have heard about him. His name is Vishnu Acharya.”
Raj looked up. Dr. Sharma was holding out some papers. He looked over them.
“The Psi Guru? They think he’s mad? Poor guy. Fame cost him dearly.”
For the past few months, the local spiritual channels had been airing a programme called ‘Miracle Healing with Swami Vishnucharya’. They claimed he was an avatar of lord Vishnu, and had the power to cure any disease. This miraculous healing power was claimed by him to be a gift of God.
Vishnucharya had set up an ashram where he healed people for free, calling himself ‘a servant of God and Mankind’. This miracle had been covered extensively by every national news channel in the country about the amount of truth in this incredible story.
In the middle of all this, a sting operation by Aap Tak, a national news channel, had revealed the scandals behind this so called miracle and had branded the Swami a fraud. The following days saw the riot police being called in to rescue the Sadhu from his ashram which had been attacked by angry mobs numbering in thousands. The sadhu had been arrested the very next day on charges of felony and fraudulence.
“Do I recommend your name in this case?”, Dr. Sharma asked. “He will prove an interesting study.”
“Oh no, thanks. As I see, Siddharth is on this case and he is quite competent. I’m not interested in fools. He is not a mental case. He is just a fraud paying dearly for his five minutes in fame. Also, I want to concentrate on Sapna. God knows in a few days of therapy, she may actually stop having her fits permanently.
Dr. Sharma smiled. It was just like Raj to stay dedicated to his work and shun the limelight. The psi guru case promised lots of media exposure and attention.
“As you wish.”. he conceded. “I heard old uncle Shetty is doing great?” He ventured at a change of topic.
“Yeah!”, Raj smiled. “He was wonderful yesterday. “He recalled all his childhood friend’s names yesterday. Absolutely brilliant.” In the two years under Raj’s treatment, sixty five year old Mahavir Shetty had shown dramatic improvement in his memory since his accident.
“He’s a tough guy”, Raj continued. “Hopefully he shall be discharged next year. I was just going to him for his therapy. Care to join me? He loves visitors.”
“Oh, of course. I would like to meet him.” Dr. Sharma agreed
They finished their breakfast and walked outdoors into the campus. Several patients were enjoying the sun outside. Cuting a path through the expanse of grass, the doctors reached the residential campus at the other side.
“ I heard they are planning to put the Swami up in here.” Dr. Sharma said as he swiped his card through a slot. The gate unlocked and they went inside. With comparatively less security, the C block was for the less violent patients.
A small crowd was assembled at the entrance, trying to calm down a troubled looking man. He was tall and had a long flowing beard.
“It’s him!”, Dr. Sharma whispered to Raj.
“ You are very much mistaken!”, they heard him blabbering. “I’m not mad, I may assure you. I am just a servant to god, why don’t you understand something that is so simple? Oh lord Vishnu, whom have I sinned that you put me through such a terrible test? Respect boy! Show me some respect!” he spat at a helper trying to get him into a chair.
“Yeah it’s okay, Psi baba. We know you are not mad at all.” said the helper, smirking.
“He does look quite cracked up.” Dr. Sharma observed.
“Farce…….”, muttered Raj as he beckoned Dr. Sharma after him.
They left the group and walked the length of the corridor, stopping in front of a door.
“This is it. I think we’d better knock” said raj as he rapped on the door.
No answer. Raj knocked on the door again.
“Maybe he is asleep.” Said Dr. Sharma as Raj knocked a third time.
“Nah! He knows it’s his therapy hour. Maybe he is sitting by the window, lost in the birds. Mr. Shetty! It’s me, Raj. It’s time for your therapy!” Raj called out loudly.
Still no answer.
“Mr. Shetty, open the door!”, Raj called out louder. “ARE YOU IN THERE?”
“I hope he is alright”, Raj looked worried. "Malhotra said his heart was getting worse."
He peered in through the glass window. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he spotted Shetty lying on the floor beside his bed.
“Oh no! Shetty’s had an attack. We need help, quick!”, Raj beckoned at Dr. Sharma.
“We need to break the door. Quick! Help me! On three. One, two, THREE!”
The door broke on the third try. The two men rushed inside.
“Oh God! Check his pulse. Damn! Malhotra had warned me about an attack.”
Dr. Sharma took up his hand. It was quite cold.
“He’s very faint. Hurry up! Call somebody. He’s touch and go!”
Raj rushed outside. The last thing they wanted was to lose Shetty.
Help! Help!”, Raj beckoned at the group at the entrance. “ Shetty’s had an attack! Somebody quickly call Malhotra on the intercom! Bring some water! Adrenaline! Quick!”
The practiced staff immediately dispersed into respective errands.
Raj went in. Dr. Sharma was administering CPR. He opened the patient’s mouth and shoved a tablet under his tongue. “C’mon…..!”
Shetty was not moving. His forehead was covered in sweat.
“Damn it! Where is the emergency crew? Quick! Help me carry him.” He said, getting up.
Before they could act, a figure raced past raj through the door towards the patient. The psi guru threw Dr. Sharma aside and took the dying man’s head in his lap.
“A revelation! Thou has strange ways, my lord. I understand at last! Your purpose for me!” he was muttering to himself. “this was your plan, O All-Knowing!” he was talking to the ceiling.
“What the….?” Spluttered Dr. Sharma.
Vishnucharya paid no heed to them. He was now caressing the lifeless head in his lap, muttering indistinctly.
“You shall not die, you still have a spark in you…………….powers…………….shall save you! God’s hand………..on you…!” he closed his eyes and began meditating. The two doctors were frozen to their places, spellbound.
The emergency crew arrived, but Vishnu beckoned them to keep off. They obeyed for some strange reason.
Soon, Vishnu charya was panting and shivering. He did not stop muttering.
“Difficult………difficult……..yet……..not impossible……it drains me……..so this is your test…O almighty!”he stammered. “I grant him life!”. The seconds lengthened into minutes, and none of the figures showed sign of movement.
Finally,Vishnucharya fell back from the body, shivering and sweating at the same time. As if waiting for this cue, Dr. Sharma sprang into action and went to Shetty.
“He is warm! I can feel his pulse………this is weird………he’s coming back……..quick….medics!” The crew crowded around the patient.
One of the helpers attended to Vishnucharya. He was still shivering and muttering indistinctly.
“I grant him my life……..in his veins…………I passed the test………..your servant……” he was gasping.
The helper offered him water. He refused. “Doctor, he is getting cold. He needs attention! Pulse is irregular.”
Raj walked to the Swami and dropped beside him.
“What did you do?”
The swami smiled. “just followed His orders, my son!”
“You gave him your life! But…….how?”
“Psi powers my boy! I-I-It’s a gift I got……from H-Him.” He pointed a feeble finger at the ceiling.
“So, you are not a fraud?” Raj asked.The sadhu smiled again.
“Believers……... at last!” said the Psi guru, and breathed his last.