The test results came out today. No, not your average school test thingy that supposedly determines how ‘‘successful’’ you are going to be in life. I’m talking about the kind of tests taken by doctors that supposedly determine how healthy you are. And man, has my health gone to the dogs. I, apparently have what is called in Doctorland (that cheery old place) Dissociative Identity disorder. See how I put capitals in those words? That’s how serious it is. Split personality, huh?
As if I didn’t already know.
I have been waiting for a year for gods sake, give me a chance already! I promise I’ll be nice this time! Just give me a chance. And it’s not like all the Ambanis just dropped dead because of-
(No. Please, just no Sam.)
Damn straight that jerk of a Soul doesn’t get to possess you! All of us ‘Lesser’ Souls just fighting for survival while she gets to go out and wreak some actual havoc. And Kara, oh lord. Reigning over us like some filthy unworthy queen with all her peaceful attitude and whatnot.
Now, now Nessie. Do control yourself. You don’t want all of us to be affected by a headache now, do you? It makes peaceful ruling for our darling Kara a teensy bit difficult.
Please stop fighting. Don’t hurt her.
Shut up, you timid little-
(Stop it Sam! All of you! Stop making me come back for your stupid fights. Destruction of this body means the destruction of us all, remember? It means no Sam, no me, no Vanessa and no Rose.)
We would, oh grand ruler if you would just give us fair time for enjoying possession of this body. Or are you having too much fun ruling supreme, you closeted control freak? Oh! I’m sorry, it’s Your Highness isn’t it?
Sometimes I just want them to be quiet. For them all to go away and leave me alone with Kara. But there’s nothing to be done. You see, every person who is ever born has five Souls in him or her. These Souls fight against each other for dominance and whichever one Soul gains it also gains possession over the physical form of said person as is the case of the ‘normal’ person. The other souls turn Dormant. In case a person is diagnosed by those unseeing doctors as affected with split personalities or in stronger cases, schizophrenia, it simply means that among all the Souls within that person, no one Soul was proved the strongest.
Among people for whom these mental disorders -mental disorders, really. It is truly miserable how rigid and unseeing Unisoulular people are- are not present from birth, most are highly intelligent beings. In these people the Dominant Soul gets weaker and weaker trying to handle the thoughts on Soul and thinking that the physical form’s brain forms. Don’t get me wrong, the brain actually plays no part in how a person turns out to be, it is simply a kind of hub where all the Souls, Dormant or not, send their ideas. Therefore in Non-Unisoulular people, the brain creates enough Energy to awaken the Dormants, which gradually all turn into Lesser Souls fighting for possession of the body. It is because of this very excess Energy that doctors figure out whether a person is not Unisoulular or not. Screenings and all that crap of the same kind
To put it simply- crazily overworked brain leads to a cauldron of mostly hyperactive personalities boiling over to such a point that normal individuals notice the scalded stuff you don’t want them to see. Also, being smart has some pretty serious drawbacks.
As for me, I… am. Just that. I have no name, I am the balance. I… wait, this is beginning to sound like a ‘holier than thou’ yoga/preaching audio that you have absolutely no interest in. Right. Suffice it to say that I am what persuades the body to do what the dominant Soul desires. And if you know your Marvel cast (more specifically, Iron Man), I am the Jarvis of every physical form. You may argue – ‘but listen, no. That job is done by the cerebellum so you must be another(slightly stupid) Soul-‘
Let me cut you off right there by first informing you that cerebellum is a BLOODY DUMB NAME TO GIVE ME YOU UNIMAGINATIVE… ahem. Sorry about that. But what you must understand is that I am that which is swayed by the Dominant. Though overpowered by their desires, I am forever there in every physical form. And I am here not to bore you. I am simply here to relay what happens to my physical form. Oh, her name is Katherine by the way. And today is her first day in therapy with Rose in charge for a few hours.
‘So Katherine, tell me a bit about yourself and-‘,
Blah. Blah. BLAH. That was Mrs. Pandey, the therapist. Rose, very obviously, was not in the least bit interested in Mrs. Pandey- the- therapist’s dull questions. Who likes answering questions about the self at 10 am in the morning on a freaking Sunday? This body sure as hell doesn’t. So after an hour in therapy-
Holy gods of Olympus. Did this woman seriously just ask you what you like about our goldfish? Let me take control for just one moment Rose, just one moment so I can blissfully throw up in my mouth, I beg you! Also, on a completely different note-
Nope. Nada. Zip. You ain’t getting a chance girl. Kara’s already decided remember? It’s time for some Vanessa-ness now-
Be patient Vanessa. It’ you after Rose.
(Kara, can you please take over for a moment?)
Can I please leave, I mean, I don’t really feel like attending therapy today, Mrs. Pandey… uh so can we continue this tomorrow?
SOMEDAY KARA, IMMA KILL YOU.
Kara to Rose and back to Kara again. Meanwhile, Katherine’s ‘therapist’ is completely oblivious to the fact that the split-personality ‘patient’s’ split personality side had just reared its head. Just an example of your average Unisoulular individual.
‘Ah, that’s perfectly fine Katherine. This is, after all, your first time getting therapy officially. But next time, we talk okay?’
Excellent! So it’s another one of those best-friend types isn’t it? But next time, we talk… pfft. Somebody needs to drop a mic right about now, in honour of this wonderful lady. Seriously, she’s just sitting there trying to tell us Souls apart and test our sanity, when she doesn’t even know the difference between jocks and nerds. It’s a brave attempt though, I must admit… isn’t it Nessie?
Vanessa doesn’t want to talk to you… or anybody. You should apologize to her for-
Shut up you weakling! Do you think I give a flying fadoo about that cow? Apologize to her my foot!
Please just.. stop.
Oh I will, Rosie, I will the day it is my chance.
At this point Kara was too tired to do anything about Sam’s anger. Or the unbelievably creative profanities that she made up talking about her father.
Katherine had enough money for an auto, but decided to walk home. By which I mean Kara decided to make me make Katherine walk home. I see your confused expression. It’s delightful. By the time Katherine reached home it was already twelve.
Mom! Is Dad gonna come to lunch today?
A question whose reply is the same every single time without fail. But the mother knows how to dodge it. Mothers somehow always know how to dodge the tricky ones. The ones that are better left unanswered.
‘Come down sweetie! I made brownie for you.’
Mom never makes brownies.
He’s not going to be here is he?
‘Oh Kath… I don’t know. He hasn’t called yet.’
He is here. He is literally here and he doesn’t have the decency to meet his daughter whom he hasn’t seen in a year. What kind of a man does that?
Sam. Calm down. It’s ok.
It’s not, Rose. It really isn’t.
Dad not being there had grown into a painfully common thing. Sure, mom and dad had gotten a divorce when Katherine was nine, but it wasn’t that bad, at least in the beginning. They had agreed to stay together till Katherine’s tenth birthday after which they would live separately. They promised to make time for her and we in turn promised to divide our week between them. But slowly, dividing-a-week-between-mom-and-dad turned into majority-of-the-week-with-mom. Currently there is no sign of dad anytime in the week. Of course there isn’t. He decided to move away to Gujarat because of a better job offer there.
The conversation just after getting the divorce had gone something like this-
‘Your dad and I are going to live separately, BUT, dad’s going to be staying somewhere nearby so you can visit him anytime you want.’
‘Yeah, it’ll be awesome! Half the week with mom and half with me, so individual pampering for Katherine!’
Yeah. That would be nice, I guess.
And that was that. But somewhere along the lines of the divorce itself, between parents who were constantly irritated and tired, Sam had grown. She had gone from the more temperamental Soul to a Soul that had become the anger and resentment in Katherine. Just like Rose was the peace and gentleness; Vanessa the noise and harshness and Kara the balance between them all.
Enough of the suspense. I owe you something- to put it colloquially- juicy.
Flashback: The Beginning
It was just about a month after mom and dad began living separately and school was drag. It was a time when both Kara and Sam were the two stronger Souls and got to control Katherine most of the time. But where Kara was behaving normally, Sam’s behavior and temper had grown horribly erratic. A month of these to and fro mood swings had lost Katherine all her friends despite her being a moderately popular student at the time. All with the exception of Neha, her best friend since fifth grade.
So, my place today?, said Sam/Katherine
‘For what?,’ that was Neha.
Studying, obviously donkey. We have a Bio test tomorrow, remember?
‘I’m going to this party with my siblings today, so…’
Silence. Confusion. Neha. Is going to a party. With her Siblings. That made no sense. The very same person who had two years back cancelled going to a cricket match despite being a cricket fan for studying with us was… going to party? With those very siblings about whom she complained about every second day?
Katherine had a smile on her face. And the horrible feeling of being dumped by her best friend.
It’s fine. Go. And enjoy yourself a little bit extra on my behalf, okay?
Flashback: The End
Sam was in charge when the Dispersal bell rang and was eerily quiet. All the other Souls were confused. She wasn’t talking to them either. Walking down the corridor, one of the more foulmouthed jocks, Ayan tripped Katherine up and said-
‘Watch where you’re going, you crazy witch!’
That day a boy had to be taken to the hospital from school because of a pencil being stuck in his shoulder. That was the day everything changed. The other Souls haven’t let Sam control Katherine ever since; even after spending three months in juvie hall.
End of Flashback.
‘Katherine! Come down, it’s for you!’
A few hours later somebody had to interrupt Kara’s K-pop fangirling. That’s something you should never ever do. Interrupt a fanboy/girl in the very middle of their fanboying/girling, I mean.
Who in their right mind wants to talk to a K-pop addict potato like you?
Shut it Nessie.
Just tell whoever it is that I’m dead!
‘Sweetie, it’s your father.’
For a second there was no movement. Quite literally (I oughta know, I’m kinda in charge of movement). Katherine was simply standing there playing the mannequin challenge with herself while Kara went into hyperactive overdrive trying to process a sentence consisting six syllables for a solid minute, Rose for the first time in her life managed to out-scream Vanessa and Sam… said nothing.
This is simply the prelude to the hurricane that somehow managed to tumble down the stairs Usain Bolt style without breaking a bone. Kudos to me!
‘How’s my reckless girl?’
The ache behind the solar plexus.
I’m …fine. Uh, are you, uh. Coming?
A sharp intake of breath.
Let me take over.
(What? Rose, no. Let me deal-)
I said let me take over. I’M NOT ASKING.
‘Look Katherine, I’m sorry for not being there for so long. I swear I’m gonna make it up to you. I’
How? How are you planning to make up for a year? How the hell do you even expect me to forgive you? You saw what I did to that guy, and you left anyway, like it just didn’t matter. You’re a horrible, horrible person, you know that, absolutely horrible. I freaking hate you!
‘Katherine, I left my job in Gujarat. I’m coming back.’
And I kid you not when I say that that was the quietest moment in all the Soul’s lives. Not only because of Rose’s unexpected outburst but because of something else.
Because that was the moment when each of them felt Sam letting go of her anger and replacing it with hope. Not hope of everything going back to what it was, but hope of things getting better. The truth is that Sam had been getting stronger again, because of dad’s absence. I could feel it. The Souls knew it. And it wouldn’t have been long before she took control again.
But this changed things. Sure, it didn’t make everything alright. It didn’t make anything alright. But it did change things. You ask me how I know that. I know because that was the first time all of them felt the exact same thing. Hope. Because even though none of them was going back to being dormant, they had made peace. All because of a phone call from Dad. And so it was decided that the dinner at Ching’s wouldn’t be Sam’s. Or Kara’s. Or Vanessa’s. Or Rose’s.
It would be Katherine’s.