Jai was busy creating a presentation for his boss, when his phone beeped with a SMS. He was too engaged in his work and ignored the message. It was only a minute before the phone beeped again, and again… He got frustrated and took out his cell phone. It showed 3 new messages…
“Don’t you remember you have a wife?”
“I hate you”
Jai shook his head in dismay. The messages were from his wife, Nisha. He knew that he had to react quickly to avoid further consequences. He pressed the windows + L key to lock his computer, and walked away from his desk. Once he reached a lonely spot, he dialled her number.
There was no response, but Jai knew that Nisha had answered the call.
“Hello Nisha…. It’s me Jai”
“Ya, I know”
“What happened… Why are you sending such messages?”
“I told you in the morning that I was not feeling well… Didn’t it occur to you that you should call me and check if I was doing fine?”
“Oh, sorry…. I was busy with some work… Thought of calling you during lunch… How are you feeling now?”
“Why are you asking now? I won’t tell you… It would have taken hardly 2 minutes to call me…. “
“Hey…. I was seriously busy… I need to deliver a presentation to my boss by today….”
“So busy that you couldn’t spend couple of minutes for your wife huh? If your darling daughter Neetu had been ill, you would have called me multiple times by now….. Why are you wasting your time talking to me now…. Go back to your work”, saying this, Nisha disconnected the call.
Jai tried calling her again, but she didn’t answer. He tried sending a SMS, but there was no response. Jai was wondering what to do now. He went back to his seat and sat down, with one hand on his head, when he heard a voice behind him…
“How are we doing with the presentation Jai” – It was his boss.
“Uh…. It’s coming out well sir… I should be done with the first draft shortly after lunch”
Jai’s mind was still thinking of Nisha, but he knew that he had to start working on the presentation. He half mindedly unlocked his computer and started typing “XYZ Technologies has over 10+ years of expertise…..”
Jai reached home around 8 pm.
“How are you feeling now?”
“Sorry that I didn’t call you earlier in the day… But, why didn’t you answer the phone when I called again? And, you didn’t even reply to my messages”
“I was not feeling well, and when you didn’t even care for me, I felt like crying… Anyway, leave it… I am ok now”
“I am sorry once again dear….” – Jai felt relieved that Nisha was normal now.
But, Jai’s relief was short lived…… When he was at office the next day, he started getting messages like “You don’t love me at all”, “Why did you marry me”, “I won’t talk to you anymore” etc.
Jai started worrying. He tried calling Nisha, but there was no answer. But, when he reached home that night, Nisha seemed to behave normally. However, the next day, Jai again started getting similar messages from Nisha that made Jai worry even more. And again, she behaved normally during the night. This continued for almost a week. Jai felt that they needed to talk it out before it gets worse…
“Nisha… What is happening to you…. You have started sending weird messages during the day, but behave normally during the night….. If anything is worrying you, let me know… We cannot let this continue”
“I think the loneliness at home is stressing me out…. Neetu sleeps for most of the day. I sit alone at home watching TV all day. And, when I want to talk to you, you always say you are busy and hardly talk to me for 5 minutes”
“Its not like that Nisha… You know that my project is in a critical phase now… I really need to finish this project successfully to get a promotion…. And if you feel lonely, there are so many things to do… why don’t you start reviving your old hobbies – like painting…. “
“Ya, I will think of it… but, I sometimes feel that you no longer love me… Remember how you used to woo me before marriage… Even till Neetu was born, you loved me.. But, from the day she was born, I have lost importance in your life… Whenever you talk to me, it is all about Neetu – “What is Neetu doing?”, “Did she eat?”, “Did she sleep?”…. It’s always about her only… You no longer buy me any gifts… But, Neetu gets a new toy every week”
“Oh… Come on Nisha… Every father loves his daughter… But, that doesn’t mean I don’t love you… Don’t feel jealous of her…”
“I am not jealous of her… Just that I want to be your first priority in life”
“You are always my darling… “
Jai and Nisha talked for some more time… By the end of the conversation, Jai felt better…
Things seemed to get back to normal, until one day….
It was Friday the 13th, and Jai was held up late in office to finish up some urgent work. He reached home by 10pm. He rang the doorbell multiple times, but there was no answer. He took out the spare key and unlocked the door. All lights were switched off. Jai switched on the lights and called out “Nisha.. where are you?”… There was no answer. He then moved towards the bedroom. As he entered the bedroom, he was horrified by what he saw…
A blue saree was hanging from the ceiling fan, with one end of the saree tied to a wing of the fan. The other end of the saree was tied to one of the legs of his 1 year old daughter Neetu, and she was hanging upside down, unconscious. Nisha was sleeping on the bed.
Jai immediately untied the saree and held Neetu close to his chest. He then gently tapped her face, trying to wake her up. But, the baby didn’t move. He tried waking up Nisha, but she seemed unconscious as well… Jai then sprinkled some water on both of them. Nisha woke up, but Neetu didn’t react. Meanwhile, Nisha gave a perplexed look and asked Jai what happened to Neetu.
Jai just told her that Neetu was unconscious and they rushed to a nearby hospital. The doctors performed a CPR and were able to save the baby.
When the doctors questioned Jai on how the baby was unconscious, he just told that they were getting ready to go to bed, and the child suddenly fell unconscious. He didn’t want to reveal the full details as it might cause trouble for his wife.
After reaching home, he told Nisha the situation in which he found Neetu. Nisha was shocked and started crying…
“I didn’t do it, Jai…. After having dinner, the last thing I remember was that I was playing with Neetu. I don’t remember how I went to the bedroom or when I slept… Trust me Jai” – she was in complete tears…
“I believe you, Nisha…But, please don’t mistake me if I tell you something….”
Still weeping, Nisha said, “I know that you don’t believe me….”
“No Nisha… I promise that I trust you… I know that you will not do such a thing… But…. but, you might have done it unknowingly…”
“You think I am mad, Jai?”, Nisha started crying even more now….
“No…. But, let’s just give Nikki a visit tomorrow….”
The Maya Psychiatric Clinic was located just few kilometers from Jai’s house. Jai arrived at the clinic at 9am, along with Nisha and Neetu. They waited for 20 minutes before being called into Dr. Nikitha’s office.
As soon as she saw them, Nikitha spoke with enthusiasm, “Hi Jai and Nisha… You guys should have told me that you are coming… You didn’t have to wait for your turn…. And, how is my little girl doing?”
“Neetu is doing good, Nikki… If it was a casual visit, we would have told you.. .But, today we are here for your consultation”
“Consultation? What happened?”
Jai then narrated the incident from last night, and also explained Nisha’s weird behaviour over the past few days.
“I initially thought that things will get better with time… But, after what happened last night, I am really worried. If anyone comes to know about this, it will be a big humiliation.. That’s why we have come to you Nikki… Please help us”
“Of course I am here to help you guys… We three have been friends since school, and we know everything about each other… I will take care of Nisha personally… It will be completely confidential…. Let’s not waste any time…. If you can please step out Jai, I would like to talk privately with Nisha”
“Thanks a lot Nikki”, saying this, Jai stepped out of the room, carrying Neetu with his hands.
Jai was called back to the room after 15 minutes.
“Take your seat Jai…. I have collected some preliminary information from Nisha. But, I need to have longer sessions with her to understand the issue better…. Unfortunately, my morning is packed…. Can you guys come back at 2pm?”
“Sure Nikki… We will come back in the afternoon”
“And Jai… You carry on to office… We have a daycare downstairs… So, you don’t need to worry about Neetu… “
“Oh.. That’s fine Nikki… I have anyway applied for a leave today.. We will probably use the daycare next time”
The first session lasted for 2 hours…. Nikki then requested Nisha to step out so that she could talk to Jai privately.
“It was a good session Jai… Nisha is clearly very stressed. She feels that you are not caring for her, but rather paying more attention to Neetu”
“That’s not true Nikki… You know how much I love Nisha”
“Yes Jai… But, the problem is that she is very possessive… And, I am afraid that the stress has created a Multiple Personality Disorder for her”
“Don’t worry Jai….. It is completely curable… It might just take time… sometime, few months or even years…. We need to be patient… Don’t scare her with this information.. I have just told her that the issue is due to stress, and we can cure it with a few counselling sessions.”
Jai was in tears by now…. “Why is this happening to us? I love her so much…”
“You need to be brave now Jai… Please stop crying.. If Nisha sees you in this state, it will affect her even more. I will schedule a daily appointment with her from 2 to 4. The disorder is in an early stage… So, we should be able to cure it”
Nikki started the treatment for Nisha from the next day… The treatment included counselling sessions, hypnotism, medication etc. For the first few days, things seemed to go fine. Nisha did not show any weird behaviour. But, the next big incident happened on Saturday, the 21st….
Jai had been struggling with sleepless nights all through the week. But he was now relaxed that Nisha had been normal throughout the week, and he was finally able to catch some sleep today. He was sound asleep when he heard Neetu cry. He slowly opened one eye, but was alarmed by what he saw – Nisha was standing next to the baby’s crib, with a large kitchen knife in her hand. She lifted her hand high and pointed the knife towards Neetu.
Jai immediately sprang out of his bed and caught Nisha’s hands and pulled out the knife. He looked at her eyes – they were red. He held her by her arms started shaking her, and she finally came to her senses. When she realized what happened, she fell on Jai’s arms and started crying.
Things started getting worse after that… Nisha started sending weird messages to Jai again… Jai felt that it was insecure to leave Neetu alone with Nisha. So, he started sending her to a day care. Though Jai tried his best to keep things confidential, people started noticing Nisha’s erratic behaviour. Nikki started spending more time to treat Nisha, but things did not improve.
When Nisha’s father came to know of this, he was heartbroken. His immediate fear was that she might have been possessed by some evil spirit. Jai did not believe in such things. But, Nisha’s father somehow convinced him to bring a priest home and diagnose Nisha.
The priest was an old man with grey hair and a long grey beard. He had two female assistants, who appeared to be in their late thirties. He made Nisha sit on a saffron colored cloth, and applied vibhuthi (holy ash) on her forehead. He then started chanting some mantras and sprinkled holy water on Nisha.
“Jai, I know that young people like you don’t believe in spirits.. But, from what Nisha’s father told me, I am sure she is possessed. Just think of the days when the two big incidents happened – Friday the 13th, and Saturday the 21st… Most people know that if 13th falls on a Friday, then it is considered unlucky.. But, very few experienced people like me know that if 21st falls on a Saturday, that is evil as well. Satan is a 5 letter word. And, Saturday is the 7th day of the week. If you add 5 and 7, you get 12. When you add the two digits, 1 and 2, you get 3…. which is the same number you get when you add the digits of the date 21.”
“This is crap…. “, Jai turned towards his father-in-law, “Uncle, I agreed to all this only because you requested it… But, this man is just cooking up his own concepts…. I know what Nisha is suffering from… It is split personality and not any stupid spirit”
“Son, don’t underestimate the power of Satan… Your wife needs my help… Only I can save her from the evil spirits”
Jai felt like kicking the man out of his house… But, for the sake of his father-in-law, he kept quiet. The priest performed some rituals and tied a black colored rope on Nisha’s right hand.
“This holy rope will keep the evil spirit away for couple of days.. But, beware, if we don’t perform the full rituals soon, the spirit will take full possession of your wife. I need to go to a holy village to collect the necessary items for the ritual. I will be back in 2 days. Please don’t take her out of the house till then. We will perform the rituals once I am back.”
“Are you mad, Jai? How can you believe in such stupid things? Nisha is not only my patient, she is my friend… I will give her the best treatment in the world… Don’t ever bring any moron priest to treat her.. It will only worsen her condition”
“I understand Nikki… But, her father forced me this time…. I will make sure it doesn’t happen… But, I am getting concerned that Nisha is getting worse…”
“I am doing my best Jai…. I have one recommendation… but, not sure if you will agree…”
“What is it?”
“I think it will help if I spend more time with her…. so…. so, if you agree to admit her here, we can show some progress in the treatment”
“Admit her?”, said Jai with a shock…. He closed his eyes with his palms… He could not hold back his tears…
“I am sorry Jai… I know how difficult it must be for you.. but, it is only for her good”
After a moment of silence, Jai spoke, “Ok Nikki… If you feel it will help her, then I will admit her here…. But, I need one favour from you… Can you let me listen to one of your sessions with her?”
“The rules don’t permit that Jai… I may be your friend. But, I won’t be able to help on this…”
“Please Nikki…. I really want to hear what Nisha is saying in those sessions”
“I will note down what she says and read it out to you Jai… But, if I permit you to be part of the sessions, I could be fired”
Jai was disappointed… but, at the same time, he didn’t want his friend Nikki to get into trouble…. Nisha was later admitted to the hospital.
Jai was still anxious to listen to the sessions. So, during one of his visits, he silently attached a microphone to Nisha’s dress while hugging her. He knew it was wrong, but he had no choice.
Later that day, Nisha was taken for a session with Nikki. Jai was at home and had the microphone receiver switched on, waiting for the session to begin….
“Look at my eyes Nisha…. Relax yourself… Feel like you are flying in the air… You are slowly going to fall asleep… Keep looking at my eyes… Relax….
You are now under my control… You will follow my commands…. only my commands… “
“Good…. You are doing well so far…. But, I am still disappointed that you were not successful in your last mission… You failed to eliminate Neetu from the equation”
Jai was startled by what he heard. He was confused by what Nikki had just said.
“I am sorry master… It will not happen again…”
“Ok… But, it is going to be very difficult to touch Neetu again… Meanwhile, I have a new task for you… I want you to rip off the skin from patient number 36’s hands using your teeth… Here is the step by step plan…..”
Jai listened to the plan that Nikki was spelling out… His heart started beating fast and his hands started shivering… Why is Nikki doing this? Jai was clueless.
“Are you clear with the plan?”
“Ok. You will wake up in 5 seconds… 4…. 3… 2…..1” … clap sound
“How are you feeling now Nisha”
“I have a terrible headache… How did the session go? Did I co-operate well?”
“You did well….. But, we still have a long way to go”
Jai then heard the footsteps of both the ladies leave the room. He was shocked by now and kept shaking his head. Nikki was his close friend. He did not understand why she was doing this. He wanted to meet her right away and demand an explanation. But, he suspected that she may not agree to the truth, and she may come up with a plan to escape from it. He wanted to catch her red handed.
Jai met the chief psychiatrist at the clinic and explained the situation to him.
“Nikki is one of the top psychiatrists in this clinic. And, she has a very clean record… How can I believe you?”
“Nikki is my close friend… Why would I want to defame her? I myself don’t understand why she is doing this. I need your help. Would you be able to diagnose Nisha and find out the truth? If your diagnosis proves that I am right, then we can interrogate Nikki”
“Ok Jai… That makes sense… Nikki is attending to some other patient now… Let’s check on Nisha right away”
The chief diagnosed Nisha and found out that Jai was right. Nikki had been hypnotizing Nisha and made her behave erratically. Now, that the truth was out, it was time to interrogate Nikki.
The room had a round table at the center, with 3 chairs surrounding the table. The chief doctor was seated on one chair, Jai on the second chair, and Nikki on the last one.
“Why Nikki? Why….. Why did you do this? What harm did I do to you?”
Nikki held her head down and was in tears. She slowly started to speak,
“I am sorry Jai….. I loved you so much during our school days… But…. but you fell in love with Nisha even before I could propose to you… Though Nisha was my friend too, I couldn’t accept sharing my love with her… But, there was nothing I could do at that time… I decided to pursue my higher education in the United States, hoping that if I stay away from you guys for few years, time will heal my pain…
But, when I returned to India, I found that you both were married happily… I felt jealous… And, when Nisha invited me to Neetu’s birthday party, I just couldn’t stand the sight of seeing you both together… But, a few days later, I got a call from Nisha stating that she was stressed out and wanted to talk to me… She felt embarrassed to visit me at the clinic and so asked me to come to your home…
She told me that she was feeling jealous of Neetu, and felt that she (Nisha) was losing your (Jai) love… I saw this as a golden opportunity to get you back… I told her not to tell anything to you… I started coming to your home regularly and started hypnotizing her… My possessiveness for you made me take complete possession of her mind… I was even able to make her forget that I was visiting her daily…
Initially, I only wanted to make her mad and after few days, make her commit suicide… But, I was afraid that Neetu might still stand between you and me… So, I decided to use Nisha to get rid of Neetu first….
I feel ashamed now Jai…. I know that ‘sorry’ has no meaning here… but I am really sorry…”, saying this, Nikki stood up and ran outside the room… Jai and the chief doctor ran behind her… But, she jumped through the glass window of the 13th floor and fell down on the ground… The hospital staff rushed to the spot. But, it was too late…. Nikki’s soul was now possessed by the death god.