Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser-known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee.
HOST TALK 00:00:47
Hello and welcome to OBSCURUS. I am Biswajit Banerjee, your host for this show. Today’s story is a very short one, but I guess it has a strong message. I request you read or listen to the story with an open mind. It is important to make it clear that I don’t intend to make a scientific statement with this story or its theme. At the same time, I would not call the plot of the tale a wild flight of imagination. Strange things do happen. The perceivable universe is so full of mysteries, what to say of the unknown and unexplored dimensions of existence. That’s the reason why thinking minds are on constant quests for knowledge and wisdom.
Before I start the story, I urge all my esteemed readers and listeners to visit my website biswajitbanerjee.com for information on my creative endeavors. All OBSCURUS episodes and their transcripts are also available on this website.
If you have been following this podcast, I am sure you know that I have another website entirely devoted to this podcast. Please visit obscurus.buzzsprout.com. Even on this website, you will find all the OBSCURUS episodes and their transcripts. In addition, you will also find the chapter markers for all episodes for easy navigation.
And now, let’s start the story – The medical reports of Rajiv’s wife indicate a terminal disease. The doctor tells him the sad truth that his wife has at the most six months to live. Rajiv doesn’t tell his wife Anwesha about the ailment. One day Anwesha asks Rajiv to bring her a thick diary. But why? Let’s find out.
THE DIARY 00:03:58
Written and performed by Biswajit Banerjee
Rajiv stood still. If his tears had not been continuously flowing, he could very well be likened to a statue.
"You must get a hold of yourself, Mr. Sahni. If you behave like this, you will only be making it more difficult for your wife."
"Are you sure these reports are correct, Doctor," his lips moved with difficulty, "maybe these reports are not hers. She looks fine ... and you are telling me that she will be no more in six months' time."
"I have told you at least a dozen times that these are her reports and that her disease has reached a stage that is beyond the control of modern medicine. The symptoms of the ailment will manifest suddenly after about a couple of months. You are a great husband, Mr. Sahni. I am sure you will make her last days memorable."
"Just six months, Doctor?"
"Actually," Dr. Malti Subramaniam hesitated, "a maximum of six months."
As Rajiv slowly walked out of the room, he heard Dr. Subramaniam repeat her advice, "Please stay calm, Mr. Sahni ... you must try to make it easy for her ... and don't tell her now if you don't want to ... but at some point of time you will have to tell her, I guess."
Rajiv did put up a brave face and tried everything he could to keep Anwesha happy, and she seemed to enjoy those moments. He made things so special for her that one day she asked with an element of suspicion, "Aren't you extra nice to me these days? Is everything fine? I hope there is nothing wrong with the reports."
"Of course not, my dear, everything is just fine," Rajiv replied, wrestling with his emotions.
A couple of months passed. Just as the Doctor predicted, Anwesha's health didn't show any signs of deterioration. Of course, the symptoms of the affliction could show up any time now. One of these days, she said to Rajiv, "Can you bring me a thick diary today in the evening? Find the thickest one for me."
"What will you do with it?" Rajiv asked.
"That's not for you to see," she smiled, "that will be my private space."
Rajiv obliged and got her a really thick diary.
With sheer delight on her face, she said, "Thank you."
Later in the evening, Rajiv spotted her writing slowly in the diary. From then on, she would often be busy writing in it. What Anwesha wrote was completely beyond his grasp. Did she have an idea about her health condition, Rajiv often wondered. Maybe she was writing messages for him that were meant to be read periodically after her death. It is not infrequent for dying persons to leave text, audio, or video messages for their loved ones. One is supposed to see the messages at appointed times after the person in question died. Years back, he had read in a magazine that a granddad had left sixty letters for his ten-year-old granddaughter, which were to be read sequentially, one on every birthday till she was seventy. Maybe Anwesha was doing something similar.
On another occasion, Anwesha said, "On this birthday, you will get a special gift." Rajiv's birthday was still five months away, and he knew she wouldn't be with him that day. Her words, however, convinced him that by 'gift,' she meant the diary and that she was busy writing messages for him in it.
Hours to days to months ... time ticked by, but Anwesha's health didn't just show any shade of deterioration. Dr. Subramaniam, however, maintained that the end was near and that the signs would soon show up, so what if they were not already visible.
Then came his birthday. At the stroke of midnight, Anwesha wished him. "Happy Birthday, Darling." She smiled vibrantly and, by no stretch of the imagination, looked sick. Around the same time, Rajiv had another person wishing him. It was Dr. Subramaniam on the phone.
"I will now give you the greatest gift of your birthday, Mr. Sahni," Dr. Subramaniam said.
"O really! And what's that, Doctor," Rajiv responded.
"I am holding the latest reports of your wife. There's no explanation for this, but she is completely cured. Well, I don't know how to describe it ... it is nothing short of a miracle. There is just no sign of the terminal disease in her body. Are you listening to me - she is cured. Indeed, she is perfectly healthy now. A man like you deserves this happiness, Mr. Sahni. That's my gift to you."
After she hung up, Anwesha walked over to him with what can be called a divine smile.
"Do you remember - I told you a special gift awaits you on your birthday," she placed her arms around him.
"So, you knew, Anwesha!"
"Of course, I knew. I knew it all along. But I also knew I could fight my destiny."
"But Anwesha ..."
"Wait a minute," she said and moved away.
Shortly, she was back with the diary.
"Open it," a supernal gleam crossed her eyes.
With both tears and a smile on his face, Rajiv opened the diary. What he saw was unbelievable. Line after line, page after page, he found one statement written in capital letters - I AM IN PERFECT HEALTH; EVEN IF THERE IS A PROBLEM, NO MATTER WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS, MY BODY'S RECOUPING MECHANISM WILL CURE IT FULLY.
"What is this, Anwesha?"
"This is a written suggestion to my own consciousness. All I did was use the power of suggestion to trigger the healing force that lies within me. The apparent hopelessness of my medical condition didn't erode my faith in positive thinking. Indeed, I had a firm conviction that the power of suggestion will triumph. And here I am, standing before you ... completely healthy and free of all diseases. What I have achieved shouldn't come as a surprise to you. That's because the power of suggestion really works. Actually, the body is a powerhouse of involuntary mechanisms. It is so powerful that it can rid itself of all problems. One just needs to understand this truth and have firm faith in it. The power of suggestion can trigger the curative measures."
A few moments of blissful silence passed before Anwesha spoke again. "I love you, Rajiv ... and I know how much you love me. And I want to be with you always ... and so it shall be. Your love and my conviction have just vanquished death ... we will live, I for you and you for me."
Tears of joy rolled down Rajiv's cheeks as he took Anwesha in his arms. Now, there was just one feeling they found themselves steeped in – unconditional and endless love. The music of their souls opened the doors of unbound happiness and hope as they kissed. OUTRO 00:18:05 Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!