Atmagrast – I am

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We are all Self Obsessed Beings. We Love Ourselves above and beyond everything

If anyone says that they love someone more than their Own self. It is definitely a lie

My Story today is about Self Obsession, Identity Crisis and Perception

Atmagrast means Self Obsessed.

“Life is all about perception. We perceive things differently. What I perceive as right may not be right for you and vice versa, Society has created certain norms that are considered idealistic”

“My perception may be above and beyond. I might fiddle in some grey areas and try to bend certain rules for my convenience, My Perception may be completely wrong. i may be playing with prejudice. i may have judged a person or a situation completely incorrectly,” he concluded

This was an explanation to a simple question, But it seemed rather confusing coming from a 25 year old reckless youngster who was just arrested.

Have u killed Shraddha Singh ? “The Policeman Growled in anger. Repeating his question to make sure the man understood it.

“What we perceive as good may be completely bad and obnoxious

and similarly what we perceive as bad may not be that ridiculous , infact it may be correct and nice.”

” I am just trying to say that , what makes me a prime suspect of this murder is my fathers and peoples perception that i am a bad guy” ” I am not” ” I just flirt with girls, drink alcohol and have no goals in life” 

” That is common trait in today’s generation”

Mickey’s philosophical take on life had hardly made the policeman blink. He continued to be stone faced and stone hear-ted and stared back at Mickey with his eyebrows raised

Mickey Arora “ he finally said and laughed. “Who named you this ? “he questioned with a semi dimpled smile

I am used to it now”, mickey retorted. “My father made my life a living hell when they decided to name me after the famous mouse.”

Whenever I introduce myself. People ask me “ Mickey Who ?” Mickey Mouse

Arjun Nair , the investigative officer suddenly lost his cool and banged his fist on the table

Why did you kill that girl ?” he demanded

“And where is your twin brother Vicky Arora ?”

” Not me, It was not me” ” I am perceived as bad. i am certainly not” He repeated.

“You Hated your brother didn’t you ? “Inquired the inspector .

His eyes were moist . He was recounting all that he went through since childhood. It was a trauma he had faced that had turned him into what he was.

“i was desperately seeking to find my own identity in a world full of clones. Don’t we become clones of each other ? In our attempt to lead a righteous life. To have a stable job, our self respect, a stable amount of finance and a lifestyle.  Yes Lifestyle it is. We get prone to a certain lifestyle and then we cannot get rid of it”

A Prime Suspect in the murder of his Brother’s girlfriend and a sudden disappearance of his brother. Mickey Arora seemed a tough nut to crack. He was educated, intelligent and well spoken.

“I do not understand this flowery language and these psychological undertones of your philosophy about life ” Asserted the policeman.” Give me the truth in layman language”

” “Officer, I am trying to.. But I am lost.” Seeking to find something that I’ll never find again “

A Resounding slap followed and Mickey Arora fell on the floor nursing his cheek and jaw.

“Yes , I hated my brother. Because of the constant comparisons. We were identical twins. There was absolutely nothing different . we looked like a replica of each other. It was like walking to school with a mirror. it was like living your life with your mirror image. Later in my life, I realized that mirror images are not identical. they are opposites of each other”

“My Brother was academically very strong and I was more inclined towards arts. My father was proud of my brother as he was the perfect son. Everything about him was perfect. Neatly combed hair, Impeccable language and behavior and of course sense of responsibility “

” He got all praises. and all I received was comparisons and taunts. I was always told to learn from him and act like him”

“but acting like him would make me his clone. No one understood that I wanted to be different I had messed up hair, Loud clothes, no table manners and nothing perfect about me. but I was me. I was never mistaken for being Vicky Arora.”

“People could easily distinguish between us.” He paused and wiped his tears

But my dad’s concern for me grew by leaps and bounds. In my attempt to be different, may be I was going too far .While Vicky had a steady girlfriend whom he got engaged to. I kept moving in and out of relationships at breathtaking speed. I was letting go of relationships at effortless ease. I had stopped feeling. I was seeking something that never existed .”

Arjun Naik then decided to speak to his father.

Ranjeet Arora’s wife had passed away within minutes of delivering twin boys. In his trauma of losing his wife , Ranjeet did not even look at his sons for a few years. A Rich business tycoon who had his dreams shattered on the eventful night when his two sons were born and his wife passed away.

Ranjeet did eventually start behaving like a father and he did spend time with his two sons whom he had named Vikrant and Makrand Arora and he lovingly called them Vicky and Mickey

Mickey had always been the rebellious son, he loved being the one who swims against the tide. He never followed a flock, he always decided to do something unique

“He drew sketches in his answer sheets in exams” “He never cared about doing the right thing.”Every day i received one complaint against him” Ranjeet said when asked about Mickey

“Whereas Vicky always understood, he was the school topper. He did well academically and he was brilliant in sports too. He always listened to me and never went against my instructions” 

Arjun Naik then popped the uncomfortable question ” Do you think Mickey killed Shraddha and Vicky ?”

A Long silence ensued . Ranjeet Arora looked up at the Inspector and Said ” I Wish he has not done it, He may not believe it when you tell him. But i really love him too. He is my Son”

Ranjeet walked outside the cell Mickey was locked in and Mickey came out to meet him. Ranjeet wished he could hug him tight and show him how much he loved him. ” I always scolded you, but that was because i wanted to see you doing good in your life, becoming something. i was not your enemy. i wanted you to become,”

” A Clone ” interrupted Mickey. ” Like your beloved son is. ” ” Walk like you, talk like you and even wear clothes like you, Stand like you., Make a neat side-partition in my hair exactly like you” Fold my sleeves upto my arm and then fold my arms and look into the mirror with my eye brows raised..just like you”

“Did you kill him ?” Where is He” Ranjeet demanded an answer.

Mickey banged the wall with his head and said ” Damn. You always think i am the villain. How can you blame me for it?

“I have not done anything. She had called me and shouted Help Me .I just found her half dead in her apartment and i tried to help her and save her life” But i know you would not believe me”

Who Killed Shraddha ? Ranjeet Asked

“I Don’t know ” he casually replied.. “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” he quoted from the Bible.

Mickey sometimes spoke things really deep that did not make sense. He had become a philosopher who quoted things randomly.

Ranjeet reached home. The place never seemed so quiet. As if a storm has passed by and destroyed everything in sight.

Somewhere he had failed. He had not given enough of himself to Mickey. He had chosen amongst his sons. He had resorted to favoritism and invested more time in the horse who could win for him

He had completely neglected his other son who he had never hoped or expected to win the race for him

He laughed while sipping his whiskey at home as he remember that once Mickey had said ” Dad, i would not be surprised if one day you compared our farts and said that Vicky’s fart sounded melodious and sweet ” and mine was disoriented and distasteful”

He remembered how happy he had been seeing Vicky dressed up in a sherwani , He was being engaged to Shraddha , His steady girlfriend since school days. They had dated each other for 10 years. 

Shraddha’s elder sister had decided not be a part of the engagement ceremony because of her 6 month psychotic fling with Mickey Arora who had made her insane and completely disillusioned. 

Mickey Arora had suffered 21 heart breaks. His illustrious list of girlfriends included the Home Ministers Daughter too. Ranjeet was trying to figure out what could have led to the prevailing circumstances and suddenly the phone rang. It sounded very dreadful in the middle of the night ringing unabashedly loudly as Ranjeet sprinted across to lift the phone

” Dad, ” The voice on the other line said 

“Mickey” He responded

“Yes , Dad i have managed to escape from police custody. I am innocent. ” But i need to find Vicky to prove my innocence” I need to uncover the mystery behind the death of Shraddha” 

The Phone abruptly disconnected. Ranjeet’s agony multiplied . He gazed at the picture of his dead wife and tears rolled down his cheeks . He folded his hands and apologized. He knew he was responsible for not being the righteous father, and not inculcating the values in his kids. He had just taught them to win the rat race. and shunned the one who had decided not to be a part of the rat race”

“If Sibling rivalry is the reason for all this. I am the one to be blamed. As i was the one who started it”

He remembered a day in their childhood where he had been furious at Mickey and torn his sketch book only to realize that the poor boy had been sketching his dad in different poses. The reason for his anger had been that Mickey had failed a Maths test. But today he thought , after all the Maths test was not that important. There were many more tests after that in life that he had failed because of the way his irate father treated him

Meanwhile Mickey had reached the crime spot . Gulmohar Apartments .On the 22nd floor, Vicky had gifted a flat to his fiance Shraddha. That was her engagement gift that had turned into a love nest for the two.

Pictures of Vicky and Shraddha in various happy moments a couple enjoys adorned the walls of this apartment. It was tastefully done. Red being the theme. From the curtains to the sofa to the wall clock . Everything was ‘valentines day’ Red.

Searching frantically led to zero results. He decided to leave and just as he was about to close the door. His eyes fell upon an unusual picture of Vicky

Vikrant Arora, who was always so well dressed and level headed. seemed drunk and wasted in that pic. His hair was all messed up, He looked unusually carefree and the attitude in that picture seemed completely unlike him.

He looked at the picture more closely and saw the letters “Danny’s Den” inscribed on the wall 

“Who is Danny ? ” He asked immediately as soon as his dad picked the phone

Danny ? Ranjeet retorted on the speaker phone . The policeman urging in sign language to ask his location

Where are you ? ” Ranjeet asked

“I Broke in to Vicky and Shraddha’s apartment ” i found something unusual ” he said

The police teams left in a hurry to catch him and took Ranjeet along and asked him to continue the conversation while walking towards to the car 

“What did you find ? “

” An unusual picture” In which your righteous son is dressed up like me. and looks very much the party animal” In fact more gruesome and messed up than i am” 

As he took the lift the phone line disconnected. Two policemen took the stairs and others waited patiently for the lift door to open. Ranjeet Arora and Arjun Naik took the other lift to go to the Apartment

The Gun trotting policemen were left dumbstruck when the apartments opened and it was empty.

” He has somehow managed to escape sir” Said the policeman.

He hid behind a big pillar near the lift lobby.. He had to just run a few inches and he could be free again. But his eyes got stuck at a signboard. ” Danny’s Den”  An Arrow pointing to the basement of the building.

He chose to run there instead and hide in the basement. He could also uncover the mystery behind ” Danny’s Den”

It was a lavish apartment in the basement which was locked with a security code.” Entry by Invitation Only “

” Hi Danny” The Lobby Manager said and Mickey was taken aback. 

“Hi” was all he could come up with

The Lobby manager laughed and said ” I think you snorted too much again, you forgot your password , Didn’t you ?

“Yes” He nodded in approval

Hahaha” Your password is your real name ” That is the hint i always give you when you forget it”

“V I K R A N T” he punched in and security controller beeped . It was wrong

“M A K R A N D” he punched in and it opened.

He walked slowly as it was very dark inside. A Foul smell made him cover his nose and he walked down the stairs leading to the apartment. He kept wondering why his real name was the password and not Vikrant

He stumbled and fell as he failed to keep his foot on the next step .He saw the switch and put on the lights. A small bulb flickered and there was a dim orange light that lit up in this room

This room had black walls. The Pictures on the wall were depressing images of Vicky and Shraddha completely dissipated and high on drugs.

A Skeleton was the first thing he saw as he started examining the room. There were books full of porn and DVD’s with torture porn. The room was stuffed with alcohol and other banned stuff.

And suddenly his eyes caught the sight of a man. 

“So there you are” He said in an angry tone

” What should i call you ? Danny, Vikrant, Makrand ,Mickey or Vicky.” What are you?” An insane inhuman actor” He shouted in hurt. Mickey was terribly hurt to see his ideal brother in this state. ” You were my hero. “

“You have let us down. Dad will be shattered to see you in this state”

With ridiculous amount of cocaine and nicotine in his blood. Vikrant laughed out recklessly. He sounded insane. 

“You want see more” He said grasping a DVD

“Shraddha” read the DVD which was in Vicky’s hand.

Vicky had always wanted to live the life Mickey lived. He had secretly envied Mickey for being himself. Vicky had acted out being the righteous guy all his life. He initially did it out of fear of upsetting his father. But slowly he started enjoying it.

The two opposite facets of his personality. He became Vicky as soon as he entered the premises of his house . Soft spoken, clean and righteous. He turned into Danny as soon as he entered Danny;s Den. A monster who tortured women. A man who did everything that Vicky could only imagine

Shraddha had always known the secret. She had initially enjoyed being the only one to know about the den and the danny side of his. But slowly as the Danny side of his personality grew stronger. She was subjected to torture and inflicted with pain. Now, she kept the secret only due to fear. She loved Vicky and she thought that once they settle down in life , Vicky will stop visiting his eccentric , self obsessed side

But Danny had slowly started moving into Vicky’s real world. He could no longer act as the good guy when he was dressed as the Righteous Vicky. He got into bouts of violence even when he was vicky and he had started forgetting to carefully manage the two lives separately

That was the reason why a picture from Danny’s life had found its way to Vicky and Shraddha;s bedroom

The Policemen finally found Danny’s Den but they struggled with the password. The Lobby manager was paid a hefty amount of money by Vicky to keep his mouth shut 

As Mickey dialed his fathers number . Vicky hit him with a rod from behind. 

Dragging the rod on the floor. He tilted his head and laughed like a maniac. ” I Kill them who come to know about my secret” he said and suddenly anger grew on his face..

” Shraddha wanted me to quit this life. She does not know how relieving this is. She threatened me that she will tell the world about Danny. She threatened me ” He said hitting his chest hard

A Sudden burst of emotions, Tears rolled down his cheeks and started squalling in pain. ” I loved her” he said and fell on the ground.

The Policemen finally were able to break the security code. and as soon as they entered. They saw both brothers embracing each other and crying

Before they could inquire Mickey Said ” He is my brother Mickey Arora, He is mentally unstable. He had kidnapped me here and he accidentally killed my fiance Shraddha Singh” Please help him on medical grounds. He is in too much agony”

Mickey Arora had taken over the image of the righteous man. He had become Vicky and decided to keep Danny and his den as a secret. He did not want his father to be shattered again. He would not have survived the blow that his ideal son and his only hope in life had been perceived by him incorrectly.

Mickey now lived a righteous life as perfect son. He got married and well settled in his life. There was no longer a battle with his identity. But was he living someone else’s life?. Was he trying too hard to live as an image.? 

He finally had what he deserved and desired all his life. Love and respect from his father. No Comparisons and no references to learn from someone. 

Do we all live our lives pretending . Saving our righteous images in public and then hiding under the garb in a danny;s den to unleash the hidden wrong side in us. Right or Wrong are two sides of a coin. 

Again , What we perceive as good may not be good and what we perceive as bad might as well be good

What we perceive as right, might be wrong and what we perceive as wrong might be a grey shade waiting to be explored

Finally, What we perceive as true might be a blatant lie and what we perceive as lies might just be true 

@JitendraKotai

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10 thoughts on “Atmagrast – I am

  1. nice story, Good suspense abt danny den & nice ending and a msg from this story one should learn that we should never compare persons with each other.

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