Gin Soaked Boy

Sandeep Mathew

Digital

Available

Raj was a prodigy. He was witty, sharp-tongued and charming; the nonpareil from his school expected to do something fabulous with his life. At the very least, turn out to be a rocket scientist like his father.

But as he grew older, a demon awoke within him, which slowly made his reflection in the mirror fade away. Fueled by anxiety and depression, he began to disappear under the dark shadow of alcoholism. And worse, no one close to him was able to discern that his issues ran deeper and darker than the bottle he held.

As Raj’s depressive behavior draws a sharp polarity to the events of his past, his friends make desperate attempts to reclaim him from his dark state of steady deterioration. Will that critical help he needs arrive on time? Based on a true story, Gin Soaked Boy is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the elusive world of depression and its manifestations in the cultural context of a country like India. Written as 12 acts, each delves into one hidden symptom that could eventually lead to depression.

This poignant book will resonate with anyone who may have come across someone like Raj in their lives – a soul who may be displaying one of these symptoms but none are able to lay their finger on the source of the problem. However, deep down, there is the unsettling feeling of witnessing a disappearing reflection.

over

ISBN 978-93-5667-564-3

Copyright © Sandeep Mathew 2023

First published in India 2023 by Leadstart Inkstate

A brand of One Point Six Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Unit no. 26, Ground Floor, A1, Shram Safalya,

Wadala Truck Terminal Road, Near Post Office,

Antop Hill, Mumbai - 400037.

Phone: +91 96999 33000

Email: [email protected]

www.leadstartcorp.com

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Editor: Roona Ballachanda

Cover: Ilaya Raja

Layouts: Sathish Kumar

 

To all those who are committed to improving mental health awareness,

This book is dedicated to you.

May the pages within help you identify some of the signs of mental illness and empower you to take action and help those in need.

We all deserve to move forward.

 

Acknowledgement

This book is an attempt to decode depression. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 10% of the world’s population is affected by mental health issues. And nearly two-thirds of people who need treatment never seek help from a health professional due to stigma and discrimination. This book aims to leave the reader with an insight to this elusive illness and intervene either for themselves, or for anyone around that may be displaying any one of the 12 symptoms mentioned across the 12 chapters in this book.

Each chapter is made up of 2 acts. The First Act covers the protagonist in his childhood when he is nothing short of a prodigy, and the Second Act draws a sharp polarization to this as he begins to display signs of depression.

Heartfelt gratitude to Gayathri Devadasan, Yukti Goel and Mahima Gupta Didwania, all psychologists by profession, who have proofread these Second Acts of the book.

Once the reader has decided to take that first step of making an intervention, the safety plan at the end of this book provides more guidance. Thanks to Gayathri Devadasan for creating this and Unilever’s head of transformation for health and well-being, Sunita Wazir, for providing the initial idea.

Thanks to all those who contributed towards this book. Sonia Mackwani, Founder Director – Touching Lives, Alternative Healing Therapist and Author, for her partnership and the incredible work she does every day with Touching Lives. Supriya Jain for giving this book the structure it has. Asha Esther, one of my favorite artists, who designed the cover. Lastly, Atanu Ghosh, the ideal sparring partner and one who never fails to stretch creative boundaries.

Credit to my coterie of childhood and lifelong friends who have been a source of inspiration for this book. Sushma, Aashica, Noel, Anand, Arun, Niroop, Hari, Karthik, Jeetu, Giridhar, Aparna, Pratyoosh, Prakash. And so many more. You know who you are.

Can’t say enough for my family who put up with so much, most of all my doggedness to get this book out and the entire team at LeadStart who made it possible.

Lastly, thanks to my best friend, Bala. They say a good friend is someone who gets you out of jail while your best friend is someone sitting next to you in jail, saying, “dude, we are screwed.” Bala always made sure to sit next to me, no matter the circumstance.

 

Foreword

I was only seven or eight, when I first heard of the word depression. I was in my grandmother’s house helping her clean vegetables. I was mesmerized with the water turning green and muddy and small worms swirling in it, when the doorbell rang. It was her fourth-floor neighbor. His eyes were red, and his tears ran down his cheeks despite all his attempts to stay collected. My mother! He whispered out of his mouth, and it was enough for my grandmother to understand. My grandmother immediately wore a scarf and asked me to stay put until she came back. I was left with the green water and the floating worms; now dead.

I do not know how much time passed but as a child I could sense something terrible must have happened to the man’s mother. She was no less than a saint, said my grandmother sobbing herself continuing to teach me to cut the vegetables deftly. The woman was a single mother and had spent her life raising her son and all this was only possible because of only one thing – her unshakeable faith in God. I had certainly heard many times about this woman as someone who meditates and stays in her practice 24/7. She was a beautiful image in my mind. A holy soul, the other neighbors always confirmed. But I had never seen or met this lady ever until her body was taken down in an ambulance. From the balcony of third floor, I saw her for the first time. A small skeletal figure shrunken into herself, her lipless open mouth and her pale skin. Through the white blanket, her fingers were visible, and they held chanting beads. She had died but had not let go of her beads. To my child’s mind, it was an impression that one must surely die in the same way and for that one must live life in the same way. Years later, the story had changed. People remembered the lady saying she chronic depression. She died in depression. Wait! Didn’t she die in meditation?

We all have grown understanding depression in one form or another. Just as my life went on by cleaning the vegetables while someone died due to depression or not, the imprints of such events in our own lives remain very much in our subconscious mind impacting our lives implicitly. Take a moment and sit and think when was the first time you heard of it?

The good news is, we are now open to understanding any form of illness – mental or physical holistically. We are ready to use both the mainstream and alternative methods of healing and recovery. Today, we can engage in our own inner work, we are in the position to live an inquiry and informed based life and we are only getting closer to understanding our own patterns, behaviors, wounds and traumas and the very advance methods and support systems to heal them. Humans have personal wounds and collective wounds and many a times they are so shared that we miss on identifying behaviors catalyst to chronic conditions. Today a trauma can be healed through psychotherapy, through alternative methods, through eastern-western traditional practices, through shamanic work, through energy work understanding that traumas could be ancestral and an eclectic approach to both medicines and meditations can not only heal our wounds but also lead to a healthy quality of life.

In my practice – I always encourage people to do their Self-Work. This book is a step toward that. The author’s intention is to support reader to understand our own lives and our loved ones who matter to us. Written in a form of 12 chapters signifying the 12 signs of depression in a story format, the book is an attempt to demystify this elusive illness. It is a poignant story that will resonate with anyone who is curious about depression and provide insight to how we could save each other, support each other, and lead mindful relationships. The book will make you vulnerable in a good way for it brings you closer to your own potential of holding another human being as you are being held by this book.

You journey into your mental health can begin with this book.

– Sonia Mackwani

 

Prologue

I had just landed in Bangalore when I received the call from Aishvarya to go up to your house to check up on you. The moment she uttered your name, I couldn’t help but fear the worst. I redirected the Uber to your house instead of mine, which was not unusual for there have been quite a few times when I have come straight to see you after landing in Bangalore. But this time, I was gritting my teeth and clenching my fingers in the hopes that I would indeed see you, and that the quiver I heard in Aishvarya’s voice was just a misunderstanding.

No, no, no, no. You better not have Raj. You just… better not have.

I reached the street, but my mind was so foggy that I just couldn’t locate your house. I walked up and down that street, recalling all those places where we used to go for a smoke, but your house was nowhere to be found. I called up Aishvarya and she told me to look for a house where a crowd may have gathered. I called up Vinay, who I knew stays very close to Raj’s house, and asked him if he could help me find your house.

With Vinay’s help, we finally spotted your house, and I heaved a sigh of relief for when I saw that there was no crowd surrounding it. Your parents looked and talked the way they always did, asking me and Vinay about our lives and whereabouts since they hadn’t seen us for a few years.

Ten minutes into the conversation, I couldn’t take the suspense anymore and asked them, “Where is Raj?” And just as casually as they had spoken till then, your mom said, “He passed away yesterday.”

I was gutted. I could feel the wind getting knocked out of me. But I asked again, disbelieving, “He passed away? Yesterday?” And once again, in the very same tone, they said, “Yes, he did. You didn’t know? We thought that is the reason you came here.” My shock turned to rage.

This was something I was supposed to know? Why are they talking as if this is something normal? How the hell was I supposed to know? I couldn’t even find his damned house! And why is no one else here? Why is Raj himself not here? He is gone forever, and I don’t even get to see him one last time?

“Where is the body?” I somehow managed to gather myself and asked.

“It is in the hospital. We will bring it here tomorrow.”

“What happens after that?”

“We will do a puja in the morning and then take him to crematorium by eleven.”

“That soon?”

“Yes, given what has happened to him, it is best to take care of the body quickly.”

What happened to him? What the hell did he do? All those conversations about hanging on to a gun, threatening to overdose on drugs, the depression he couldn’t deal with any longer… did he actually go through with it? And why didn’t he say something to me? I’ve been speaking with him almost every week. He only had a leg injury. Why am I here? I don’t live in Bangalore anymore. What am I even doing in his house?

My mind was flooded with these thoughts. I could see your parents talking, but I had stopped hearing a single word coming out of their mouths.

Thankfully, Vinay was there with me. Not only did he have the presence of mind to find your house, but he also knew when it was time to leave. We drove to a bar nearby. I made a few calls en-route to explain what had happened. Every time I spoke to someone, I almost choked up, but somehow, I held it together, explaining the news I had just received from your parents.

Sushmita started crying. Thomas and Gajan made plans to travel to Bangalore. A lot was happening. Yet, nothing was happening.

At the bar, I had the first quiet moment since receiving the news. It was there that I cried for the first time.

I don’t remember when I last cried. So many deaths, so many breakups, so many disappointments in life, but I don’t think I cried through any of those. But you made me cry, Raj. For the first time, at that bar, and countless times after that.

Vinay and I raised a toast to you. We toasted to your smile, your wisdom, and those never-ending conversations with you. But we couldn’t wrap our head around what happened.

Did you really die? Could that have even happened? Or was there something else to this? Your mom was the only one doing the talking, was there something wrong with her?

So many unanswered questions, but for a moment, the song in the background silenced us. It was the Green Day song that you would sing every time you called us on our birthdays.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

– Sachin, January 10, 2020 –

 

__________________________________________

Chapter 1: Reckless Behavior

__________________________________________

 

__________________________________________

First Act.
1993

_________________________________________

Enter Raj

“Rajaaaa…” boomed a voice from the kitchen, through the living room, up the stairs, through a second living room, all the way to Raj’s bedroom.

Raj woke up with a start. It was not the voice that woke him, but the mechanical twang, that of a screeching instrument aspiring to throw melancholy into complete disarray. It was that specific tone that he could recognize anywhere, anytime. The tone his mom used as the last straw, one that could not be defied by any means.

Raj must have slept through the first few times she called out his name. With this tone now, he had no choice but to run downstairs.

“What an excellent idea!”

“Imagine all the money we will save by sending the children on bicycles instead of the school bus.”

Raj heard his mom and his neighbor aunty talking to each other as he approached the kitchen. It was almost the end of summer holidays, and he longingly looked at the ‘Phantom’ and ‘Mandrake’ comics tossed on the living room sofa as he made his way to the kitchen.

Raj was a voracious reader, a sharp mind with keen acumen but a day dreamer. He pored through comic books in such a way that his mind would take him into the story, as if he were a character enacting the script within those colorful 2-inch boxes. His eyebrows would twitch, lips move subtly, hushing under each breadth of the character’s signature lines. Like all kids his age engaging in pretend play, Raj would pretend-play with his favorite characters in the comic books.

He couldn’t wait to return to his beloved St Anthony’s school, which was located in a quaint part of eastern Bangalore, after the holidays. All his friends were there, all the stories they had to exchange about their individual experiences from the two-month-long summer break, and, of course, make the long-awaited revisit to the library to get more comics. Raj had recently been introduced to all the western publications of comics from the school’s library, which were way better than the ‘Chanda Mama’ and ‘Tinkle’ his mom got for him.

Those books seemed like utter nonsense now, and he couldn’t wait to get back to school just to get hold of more comics. He wanted to know so much more about Mandrake’s house, Xanadu. How lovely it would be to have a house like that one day! He wanted to read more about Phantom and his pets, Devil the wolf and Hero the horse. Imagine having a wolf for a pet!

“Raj!” his mom squealed when she saw him entering the kitchen, evaporating his daydreams of Xanadu and Devil into mist.

“Yes, Amma, what is it?”

“Ok listen, you have to get ready immediately. We are taking you to school.”

“School? Today is Sunday. School reopens tomorrow.”

“No, not St. Anthony’s. You are going to MK Jnanadhara School.”

“I’m going to what?”

“MK Jnana….”

“That sounds like one of those school Chanda Mama would go to. I’m not going to any school like that. And that too on a Sunday. Come on, Amma!”

“Raj, this is for an entrance exam at this new school that has opened up here. Your atthe from the US also called to tell me that this is a very reputed school and much better than St. Anthony’s. And more importantly, your Appa will buy you that BMX bicycle that your cousins in the US ride, because this school is so close by that you can just bike there.”

Raj’s atthe was his aunt who lived in Los Angeles in the US. She was his dad’s older sister and someone who seemed to remote control guide Raj’s family all the way from the US. She worked as a rocket scientist, just like Raj’s dad, and as a single mother to two children, seemed to be a powerful and intelligent woman whose advice, Raj noticed, his parents usually followed.

“But Amma, I don’t want to leave St. Anthony’s. All of my best friends are there,” Raj tried a futile attempt at changing his mom’s mind.

“Raj, you are just twelve years old, about to start 6th grade. You haven’t even met your best friends yet!”

 

Enter Sachin

“Ma’am finished!” said Raj as he handed over his paper to the elderly, bushy-haired class teacher.

“Let me have a look. Oh no. You haven’t answered enough questions in the math section. You poor kid. You’re probably weak in math. Hmm, let’s see what we can do here.”

The bushy-haired teacher tapped the shoulder of the student sitting in front of Raj.

“Son, what’s your name?”

“Sachin, ma’am.”

Sachin had a friendly demeanor and a welcoming embrace. He would sometimes appear shallow and even a touch arrogant, but those who became friends with him, somehow felt comfortable sharing, staying and basking in his reassuring comfort knowing he would be that one person they could always count on. As years would go by, Sachin would become a keeper of good friends, a maker of shared memories, and through his days with Raj, come closest to understanding the complexities that lay beneath him.

“Sachin, can you help this boy in the math section?”

Raj and Sachin exchanged a glance, their eyes widening with the same thought, “She wants us to cheat?”

“Um… sure, ma’am. Here you go. This is how you solve question five.”

“Um… ok, thanks,” mumbled Raj and got back to his paper.

Raj knew the answer to question five just as he did for all the remaining questions. He was the best performing math student at St. Anthony’s. He was intentionally underperforming in the entrance test because he didn’t want to leave his school and his friends there.

But because of the bushy-haired teacher, he started answering all the questions, lest she once again embarrasses him or Sachin or any other kid in the class.

By the time the bell rang, Raj had answered a lot more questions than he had originally planned to. In his mind, the results still didn’t matter. He was never going to leave St. Anthony’s.

“How did it go?” asked his mom, waiting eagerly for him outside.

“Ok, I suppose,” shrugged Raj.

“Ok, great. Let’s hope you get in. Then we can get you the BMX cycle as well.”

Raj was fuming out of both ears – he didn’t like this bribe business and wished his mom would understand that St. Anthony’s was a much cooler school compared to this one, where he still couldn’t pronounce the name correctly.

Moreover, he knew all this bribing was just his mom’s doing as his Appa would never resort to something like that. Raj’s Appa was a bit of an enigma to Raj. He was always around at home. He seemed to go to the office after Raj left to school and would return before Raj came back from school. So, Raj would always see him at home, but rarely heard him speak. He had very few conversations with him. His dad only seemed to talk to his mom, and a lot of times, Raj would feel that the things his mom is telling him are actually coming from his dad rather than his mom. And when it came to buying things, Raj would always simply ask his dad directly, and his dad almost always simply got what he asked for. So, he knew, if he wanted a bike, his dad would get it for him. This whole bribe to change a school was completely unnecessary and one of those things he just humored his mom with. Raj always felt it was better to allow his mom to feel she was in control, when most often, it was the other way around as Raj knew exactly what she was up to.

Just as Raj and his mom were about to leave, Raj saw her. Shoulder length, poky straight hair that seemed forced into pigtails held together by at least a dozen pink rubber bands. Sharp facial contours with a prominent nose, was her most distinct feature. The prettiest girl Raj had ever seen, walked out of a neighboring classroom.

Her skin was radiant white. Raj thought that girls with that skin color existed only in his Mandrake and Phantom comic books. He was so caught up in a trance that he didn’t even realize that she had been crying. The girl caught him staring at her and stopped crying. Their eyes met as she walked past him.

“Don’t you agree, Raj?” said Raj’s mom, snapping him out of his daydream.

“Yes… um… let’s hope I get into this school,” replied Raj, dazed.

 

Enter Aishvarya

“Raj, this new school uniform is much better than the St. Anthony’s one,” said Raj’s mom as she fastened his tie.

“Thanks, Amma,” smiled Raj.

“And it is so good to see you so happy about your new school. Just a week back, I was worried you would be making a fuss about leaving St. Anthony’s. I wonder what changed your mind?”

“Like you said Amma, seems like I’m going to be meeting my best friends in this new school,” sniggered Raj as he mounted his brand-new BMX, complete with ‘shock absorbers’. He had exploited his mom’s ‘bribe’ to full effect.

At the new school, Raj ran into Sachin, the same kid who had helped him during the entrance test. He noticed they were of the same average height and sported very similar hairstyles, a partition on one side separating a tuft of wavy hair on the other side.

Both Raj and Sachin were glad they knew at least one person in this new school. They started talking and Raj learnt Sachin was from Kerala, while he himself was a native of Tamil Nadu. Though that technically meant they were outsiders, they always identified as hard core Bangalorean.

Their conversation trickled over to hobbies, and watching TV usually topped the short list that anyone possessed at their age. And when it came to watching TV, there was just one channel, Doordarshan, that was the sole source of entertainment for everyone in the house. The previous night, one of the most provocative shows till date was aired on the channel: the rerun of the recently concluded Miss World contest.

It was only aired because Aishwarya Rai, a participant from India, had won the Miss World title. Just a few months back, Sushmita Sen had won the Miss Universe title. It was the first time that women from India had won both the titles. ‘Ash’ and ‘Sush’ were all they both could talk about till they found their classroom.

Once they entered their classroom, Raj started looking around for the short-haired girl. He hoped—and prayed—that she too had managed to clear the entrance test and joined his new school. Fortunately, he spotted her sitting right on the first bench, next to another pretty girl. Raj couldn’t help but wonder that his shift to this new school was turning out to be a much better decision than continuing at St. Anthony’s.

The bell rang, and as the class began to settle down, the class teacher walked in. It was the bushy-haired teacher. She introduced herself as Emma ma’am, the geography teacher, and asked the rest of the class to introduce themselves one by one.

Front bench girl went first, “Aishvarya, ma’am.” The name got etched onto Raj’s brain; he thanked the stars that she cleared her entrance exams. Little did he know then that Aishvarya had not just cleared those exams but would go on to hold the first rank in every school year till they graduated from MK Jnanadhara.

Her bench-mate went next, “Sushmita, ma’am.” Sachin, who was sitting next to Raj, sniggered, “Looks like we have an Ash and a Sush in our class as well.”

Aishvarya and Sushmita stood out from the rest of the girls in class and knew about it as well. They were good looking and smart. They were each alpha girls in their own right, though in very different ways. Aishvarya carried a smidge of maturity that made her a favorite among the teachers and eventually a favorite among the parents of the other students in class as well. If there was one student that every parent in class would want her kid to be like, it was Aishvarya.

Sushmita on the other hand was an understated leader. While Aishvarya was more in-your-face kind of smart, Sushmita’s intellect ran many levels deep. Every time someone would have a conversation with Sushmita, it would feel like she knows so much more about the topic, and even about the person she is speaking with. While Aishvarya intimidated some even before they could start a conversation with her, Sushmita intimidated within the first sentence of the conversation, and at far superior levels to Aishvarya.

All the students in the school were divided into four houses: green, blue, red and yellow. Each house had its own house captain, and luckily for Raj, he was made the captain of the Green house while Aishvarya was captain of the Blue house.

The captains were given various responsibilities, which they were expected to perform together. One of them was to inspect all the classrooms at the end of each day to ensure they were neat and tidy. On his very first classroom inspection round, Raj found himself next to Aishvarya.

Raj’s heart rate shot to a level it had never been to before the moment they were alone in the classroom. He went about inspecting the class, moving as far away from Aishvarya as possible, worried she may hear his labored breathing.

Aishvarya broke the awkward silence.

“It was interesting to learn geography today,” she said, referring to Emma ma’am and her geography lesson earlier in the day.

Which part of India are you from?” Raj replied almost instinctively.

“I’m from Coorg.”

“That explains why your skin tone is so fair,” Raj said and immediately added, “must have to do with all the pork you guys eat,” in an attempt at a joke, hoping it would slow down his heart rate.

“There is no connection between my skin tone and pork,” Aishvarya replied, completely missing the point.

“I was just joking… sorry…. Anyway, if you would like to travel to any of the other metros in India, which one would it be?” Raj continued along the line of questioning to keep the conversation going.

“Maybe… Kolkata.”

“Why?”

“Seems like a nice and calm place… unlike Bangalore!”

 

_____________________________________________

Second Act.
2009

_____________________________________________

Reckless behavior on the bridges of Kolkata

“Kolkata is mayhem! I’m on the Howrah bridge and there isn’t a nosier place on earth I’ve been to. And there’s garbage thrown everywhere…. So much for being the most famous bridge in India! I keep walking up and down, trying to figure out what the big deal about this bridge is all about. Why do people keep staring at me? Are they staring at my jacket? I wonder if it’s because of the gun I’m hiding in there”

Raj blurted out to confused Sushmita on the other end of the phone before abruptly hanging up. It wasn’t the first time he had had a conversation like this.

He had repeatedly called Sushmita ever since he moved to Kolkata a few months back, shocking her and even making her tear up on some occasions.

He had just completed his MBA from one of India’s leading business schools and was soon after offered a plush job at an MNC. His first posting was in Kolkata where he received a grandiose welcome. His accommodation was a vintage, British-era guesthouse, and he had a chauffeur-driven white Ambassador car to take him any place he’d like.

He loved the special treatment he received in Kolkata, but he hated the city.

The thing nobody told me about Kolkata is how freaking hot it is. Horses sweat, men perspire, women glow, and I drench. Every day has turned into a never-ending battle to stay dry. The perpetual sticky feeling is alleviated by the odd cold scotch or the discreetly timed crotch wipe. In the past month, I have learnt a lot of things about my bladder. The neurons which control my piss pot are very sensitive to heat, VERY! The gleeful lightness after peeing! It virtually occupies my day. The unwashed masses are starting to bug me a bit. A few minutes outside my car, and I smell like I have crawled out of Shrek’s anus. He is green, so I’m guessing his poo smells a bit! Bengali bacteria derive their bliss from baptizing my balls. I spot a bimbo at the bar. Alas, all bacchanalian thoughts of backending her over the balcony have been blown to bits due to the burden of my bladder, full of beer. I’m headed for the bathroom now. My Mumbai heart bellows thoughts of my Bangalorean being… of a bright, blue and brilliant sun… of breezy, bitter and beautiful rain.

Oh, how I miss good weather!

Raj’s job in Kolkata entailed hobnobbing with some of the biggest businessmen there, and many of them offered Raj surreptitious gifts to curry favors from his company. One of them was a goon who offered Raj his gun.

The new job, the money, the attention, it was all a heady cocktail for Raj. He was having the time of his life.

What made it even more entertaining were the calls he made to Sushmita, reveling in his newfound glory and tormenting her relentlessly.

It was all fun and games for him, but Sushmita was scared out of her wits. She would sometimes stay on the phone with Raj until he reached his hotel, worried that he would do something silly, something irreversible, if she didn’t.

She tried everything to get him out of Kolkata. She didn’t like the person he was being in the city. She even tried reaching out to his parents and convincing him through them. But none of it worked.

Raj stayed in Kolkata for a year, and called Sushmita almost every day, concocting conversations that were entertaining only for him. Sushmita could never figure out whether what he was saying was the truth or just fantasies. It was an act he kept up for the next decade.

One fine night, Sushmita received a message from Raj. It read: I’m done! I can’t take this anymore.

Sushmita stayed up the entire night, trying to get through to Raj. Finally, she got through to him in the morning.

“Raj, are you ok? Where are you?”

“I’m in Chennai. I’ve been posted here now.”

“Thank God! What happened to the gun?”

“What gun?”

Sushmita never learnt the true story behind the gun. Raj denied or digressed from the topic every time she brought it up. She thought it didn’t matter though. At least he was out of Kolkata.

Little did she know, the reckless behavior with the gun was just the beginning.

   
Language English
ISBN-13 9789356675643
No of pages 332
Book Publisher Leadstart Publishing Private Limited
Published Date 25 May 2023

About Author

Author : Sandeep Mathew

NA

Related Books