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Advocate Tejaswinee Roychowdhury



Advocate Tejaswinee Roychowdhury


The Accidental Telekinetic

The Accidental Telekinetic

5 mins 402 5 mins 402

They keep calling me "special", but what's so special about me? I mean, yes, I did move a bookcase with my mind that one time because it was about to fall on my three-year-old sister. It was a one-time miracle, a spur-of-the-moment thing!

Now my mother, a real religious woman, and all believed I was blessed by some Goddess since she used to pray day and night when I was in her tummy. My grandmother, on the other hand, thought someone had put a black magic curse on me and great evil would come knocking one day. "Yes, Tinni was saved but at what cost," she bellowed every time the subject came up for discussion.

But my father saw things differently. I'm not quite sure what he thought it was — magic, curse, blessing, superpower, alien-like, et cetera, et cetera. Knowing him, he probably didn't care. All he saw was money. I don't blame him. We did have a hard time putting food on our plates. "Tanu, people will come from all over the world and pay a lot of money to see what wonders you can do," he used to say.

And so he did everything in his power to make me do it again; move things with my mind. He motivated me with fear, the element of surprise, love, treats more fear. 

But, nothing.

After years of what many will chalk up to as child abuse, my father gave up and went back to being a demotivated trucker. We had to eat somehow. At the time I felt bad. I wished I could move things with my mind again. But, no matter what I did, no matter how much I tried, not a pencil would budge without me touching it. Eventually, I gave up too and focused on my studies.

As for little Tinni, she was jealous. Of course, when she was three, she had no idea. But she grew up listening to the discussions, the debates, learning of what I did. I noticed how she looked away whenever our folks talked about it; sulking away, hidden in my shadow. I cannot say I felt sorry for her. Frankly, it wasn't my fault that she wasn't getting any attention. So, I let her stew in her misfortunes. And when my consistent inability to do it again made her break into a wry smile, I smacked her across the face. It would bite me in my arse one day but back then, I couldn't care less.

My life, even without the thing that made me "special" lay ahead of me and I did everything to steer myself in the right direction. Soon, I would go on to ace my board exams and get an architectural degree. And in a couple of years after that, I would receive a prestigious scholarship for post-graduate studies and move overseas to live the American dream.

My parents still thought I was "special", just a different kind of special this time around. But, what's so special about me?

I learned to ignore the coddling and live my life. And then one day, out of the blue, my father passed. So, I brought my mother and sister to live with me. In a few more years, my mother passed, and my sister left. As for me, I married an Italian-American man, birthed a baby, and scored citizenship.

Life was perfect, or so I thought...

It was a torrid summer afternoon and I was returning from the supermarket, my baby boy hopping alongside me. A brown paper bag full of groceries clutched in one hand, I dragged my boy towards the parking lot. But, Babu was a naughty kid. As soon as I left his little hand to get my car keys, he ran towards the driveway. "Don't," I called out after him but he didn't listen.

The next part happened too fast. But I've had time to restructure the sequence inside my head.

I heard a car, its whirring engines, and its screech against the concrete. Instinctively, I dropped the car keys and the grocery bag and ran after my five-year-old. The car was approaching fast; my son was standing in the middle of the driveway, frozen. Without a second thought, I leaped towards him, my left hand stretched out, palm facing the fuelled beast. All I know is, I wanted to stop the driver. He probably would have stopped. But I don't know what happened... My son in my arms, I heard a crash. I looked up, and there it was, the car turned upside down. Heavily dented, shards of glass from the broken windshield and windows were strewn all over, it lay on the driveway, lifeless. I knew what had happened and I didn't have the heart to check on the driver. I gathered my boy and I ran.

Then they showed up that night, the men in suits, driving big black cars. My husband was flabbergasted, scared, and he looked at me like I was some kind of a freak. He didn't know; the incident at the parking lot, my past, none of it. I never told him. But the men in suits did, in their own way. And my son, well, I never saw him again. I never saw anyone again, no one familiar at least. I don't know if my sister knew; even if she did, I don't know if she cared.

All I know is this — now I'm stuck here, inside this strange box of a cage. No, it's not a jail, it's worse. They come to me in suits and white lab coats. They take my blood, attach wires to my head, command me to move things with my mind, and they watch me fail. It's been over five years, I think; I lost count. But they don't give up. I go to sleep at night, and the next morning they wake me up and try again. And they keep calling me "special", but what's so special about me?

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