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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The "Subject"

(Another LONG story, I have taken a liking towards them, Sorry For the long read, hope you'll like it)

From the five inch heels to the five inch cracks on her feet ….  From her plush 2 room apartment to the dingy room, from her well manicured polished nails to the almost bit off yellow stained nails… from champagne in a glass, to cockroach eggs… Certainly everything around Janaiah had changed drastically…


It had been 3 years or more, no one knew, her case file wasn’t to be found or never existed…

Janaiah had been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, according to the helpers in the psychiatric ward. Inspite of her matted unkempt hair, her uniform that hung loosely over her skeletal frame, something about her was very alluring. For a student of Psychiatry, she was the best “Subject getting to know more about her would have been like a Dream come true, I would get the best internship certificate and I could even get it published. That thought pushed me further towards her, she pulled me more towards her than the other “subjects”.

She was always aloof in all the activity hours; she used to sit quietly through breakfast, lunch, dinner, practically throughout the day. I had a month of Internship, and 2 days had already passed, I was thinking as to whether she was the right choice, and made a backup plan in another “easy subject” as well.

Somehow Janaiah seemed very familiar, and that thought kept nagging at the back of my head, and finally it was revealed by the “annoying” helper – Janaiah was a Successful Model, probably of the Super model ranks. That just gave me the necessary high I needed.

I tried getting her attention, however all my attempts seemed futile. The day ended, however today I ran back home to seek refuge in google, to know more about her… I typed in her name to be greeted by a plethora of information, her profile, and her pictures – her pictures, were breathtakingly beautiful, everything about her spelled perfection, beauty, classy, elegance… I was in awe of this ethereal beauty… Somehow I knew how to get her attention.
 Model : Ruslana Korshunova

I stealthily entered my sister’s room, and ran out with a “prop” for my subject. I could feel the prop digging into my skin, but with the excitement, I barely seemed to notice.

I went near Janaiah, mumbled a faint hello, which did not get her attention. I placed the prop on her table, and unwrapped it... she stole a glance towards it, my heart skipped a beat, and I knew she was taking the bait. I unwrapped the Stilettos and placed it in front of her. She looked at it for a moment or two, and looked at me, I smiled hopefully. Then just as I thought something might happen, she went back to reading her book.

Shoe courtesy :Jimmy Choo

I tried coaxing her back; all my attempts seemed to fail. I did everything possible for the coming days – Magazines, nail paint, accessories, even tried getting her to pose for my camera, but to no avail. She just wouldn’t budge. 

It was the 27th of June … 3 more days, for my internship to come to a close. I had not made any progress with her. My back-up plan was ready; however I wanted to know how she ended up here. I sat on her bed, without a notebook and pen in hand, and mumbled a 'Hi' ; she kept down her book and replied, 'Hey Aarav, 3 more days here huh? Got all what you needed??'

 I was shocked, I just gawked at her. She smiled, making me realize that I must be looking really stupid!!...

'Are you going to take the Mse (mental status examination), without a paper and pen, Aarav??'

 I was left immobile and speechless. My mind was racing, this was a normal trait associated with psychiatric patients wherein they tried to acknowledge certain things as within their understanding so as to have an effect on the Person taking the Mse, and I was sure many had taken her Mse before. So it was normal for her to know the terms.

Seeing my surprised expression she smiled and added, 'Ma in psychology from Nirmala Niketan, Aarav. I have been here for around 3 ½ years now, she looked at me, and do you need a paper and pen??'

'No, wait I’ll be back', saying that i tore from her room and came back with a notepad and pen...

I started writing all what she had mentioned, and looked at her; she went on about her family, friends. Her Mse did not show any traces of Paranoid Schizophrenia or any mental illness for that matter, but I was an amateur, so it was difficult for me to ascertain whether she had any traits of the mentioned Illness.

'So how did you end up here', I asked her. Her expressions hardened, she seemed distant in her thoughts. I guess it’s about time for you to go Aarav, I’ll see you tomorrow, having said that she made a move towards the bathroom. I definitely had exceeded my time, and hoped our conversation would continue tomorrow as she disappeared into the bathroom

I was having a feeling that she would completely avoid me today, however she smiled and waved at me, I ran over like a puppy does to his master. I did not have to prod her. She told me her story… 

'I was a successful model Aarav; I had endorsed the best of products and walked for the best of designers. My life was perfect till I met Nirav. Nirav was perfect, or so it seemed, he was supportive and was the best boyfriend to have around. I was that comfortable that I even handed him the keys to my apartment, where I stayed along with my little sister. She was as far away from my industry, she worked with the Ngo’s. She was all I had, after my Parents demise. She and Nirav, instantly bonded, and I knew Nirav would take care of her, just as I doted on her.'

'I had to go on a Month long Fashion Tour starting from Paris, and was apprehensive about leaving my sister alone, I asked Nirav to take care of her while I was gone'.

Janaiah started crying, that was my biggest mistake Aarav!!! 'He and his friends raped her for weeks and killed her. Nirav was too rich and powerful, all the evidences against him were wiped out and when I went out against him, I landed here'.

She looked at me, her eyes screamed for help…the clock struck 6. I had to leave, and I felt horrible having to leave her in that condition… Janaiah, I’ll help you! help you out of this mess, I Promise!!!

My father was the best Criminal Lawyer in town, Vinay Vashisht; I told my father the entire story. A week later he came back with newspaper cuttings of how Janaiah’s sister was murdered, she was held as the prime accused with Nirav testifying against her.

'Aarav, I cannot completely get her out of the Asylum, as this case is completely against her, and its not feasible to dig out evidences that are 3 years old, and if she gets out of the asylum she meets a Death sentence, what we could do is get her out of the Asylum say for a day, maximum a week nothing more than that'. I knew dad was right, I hated the Indian Judiciary.

Janaiah was permitted to a 7 day “parole”. I was ecstatic.

'So where do you want to go??'

'She looked at me imploringly, my apartment Aarav, I just want to see it once again.'

My dad had warned me that if she isn’t brought back to the Asylum at 9pm, everyday, there would be n array of problems, which meant I had to keep a vigilant eye on her.

First 3 days went by with her traveling to different places, malls, coffee shops, her choice of places were very distinctive, and I thought it was because of being trapped in a room for so long, that she wanted to go everywhere fathomable. I saw a smile escape her lips as she ducked under the table to pull her sandal straps (weird, I thought)
Mumbai daily Snapshot - Linking Road (Bandra-w)

On the 6th day, we went to a very prominent shopping Zone (her choice again). Two hours there, and I was already tired but not her, she was like a kid in a toy store. I slipped outside to attend a call, and when I came in I couldn’t find her, I assumed she’d be in the trial room, 30 mins in a trial room???

I went over and knocked, she wasn’t there, and I asked the shopkeeper, he hadn’t seen her either. Panic was an underrated word!! I searched high and low, everywhere. The entire shopping area was a length of 2 football fields!! Were was I to search... 3 hours later I decided to call my father, I passed a chaat corner as I was dialing my fathers number when I saw her!!!..

I heaved a sigh of relief, went over to her, she looked innocently at me and offered me chaat, my anger dissolved away, and so did my fear of having lost her. This time I held her hand, she didn’t throw me off. The next day again we went out. She was happy, she couldn’t thank me enough..... I knew I had to get her out...

A week later:

A gruesome Murder became the talk of town. The victim was identified as Nirav Kumar Desai, residing at Lokhandwaala (the same place we had gone shopping), Nirav, hmm, Janaiah’s ex boyfriend, but definitely there would be a lot of Nirav’s. Something just did not fit well. He was killed on the 18th of August at around 2:30 pm (Same time she had gone missing at the shopping zone). He was stabbed all over, his head was shaved, a knife rested in his scalp, he lay eagle –spread on the floor. Something nagged my memory; I took Janaiah’s sisters case, the murder was done in a similar manner. The clothes of the victims were arranged in a similar manner, the shoes were found near the genital area, the toe was cut off...


I couldn’t believe it. I met Janaiah the next day at the asylum and showed her the headline which had Nirav's murder mentioned in it. She smiled, a flicker of recognition passed across her face. She started rocking back and forth, in fast rhythms, she freaked me out….

'He was in LOVE with my sister, she screamed, my SISTER, she laughed hysterically, that ugly bitch, I came back from Paris and saw them FUCKING each other... she pulled out her hair, and started crying, I told Nirav not to leave me for her, My parents also did not want me after she came, I was ADOPTED, she screamed, they were going to tell her, and I had to Silence my Parents, she spat, and then she wanted NIRAV, my NIRAV.. And I had to silence her as well'

I couldn’t take in what I had heard, she was crazy, she was mad!! I had been an accomplice in the murder of an innocent man...

'Aarav, I like you… don’t go AWAYYY FROM ME…'

I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, I could feel the bile rising in my throat. I was an Amateur in understanding Human Emotions, and because of me someone was murdered, I couldn’t live with this Guilt.

She had known all along that I would be very Vulnerable, she definitely had heard the conversation with my Dad, no wonder she opened up out of the blue.. It was all PLANNED; I was the “SUBJECT” here

Janaiah’s face swam in front of me as I stood by the cliff... I knew I had to end the thumping of my heart, it had to stop…and it did…



  1. The "subject" enabled to get shivers down my spine, every moment of it was unpredictable, and the way you have treated this post is commendable as well. Good Going

  2. Wow. A Compelling story. You should be script writer or something :)

    The second last image in the post is very scary.
    Keep Writing!


  3. @ Kunal : Script writer , wow now that is something that makes me want to write more :)..
    about the pic, i def agree with

    Keep reading :)

  4. NERVE CRUSHING...thats what you call this one!
    Intoxicating storyline.
    But arent the double quotes symbol missing before and after every line said "____"
    I loved the flow of this one!

  5. @ Red Handed: Thankyou, hmmm ,id definitely keep in mind for the next story - the double quotes :)...

  6. Oh god this is chilling.. with a double twist.. wow..!

  7. @ KP : :) .. am glad you enjoyed reading it...

  8. OMG!! I missed a beat. You can be next Robin Cook...haven't read his books, but he is known to be best in writing on such topics.

    Apart from the way its written, you have also created awareness of the illness..being a doc and seen such patients...sometimes i feel how strong our mind is, and the way it behaves. Its very important to understand them, and the same time not to be vulnerable,as you have nicely described.

  9. @ beyond horizon : wow, dats a huge compliment :) yay .... thank you

    yes the awareness bit, true, i did have an oppurtunity to be in close proximity with mentally ill people, so it all helped :) .. thankyou Poonam :)

  10. woof! the first few lines draw you in and doesn't let you go.That was some pulse racing. Beautifully written Tinu.


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