General Fiction posted August 6, 2019 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 


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Ali faces a deliama! Mental patient or freedom to seek?

A chapter in the book Passing Through Time-A Rebirth?

The Mystery of Time Warp and Dis

by Niyuta




Background
Ali, a non practicing Muslim man from India and avid amateur in the photography, finds himself caught into a situation while wandering in search of Gothic, and Baroque styled Churches and mansions. He
The experience of supernatural sort shook me more than I thought it could. Having served in the military and spending time in morbid situations had prepared me for dealing with the dead and over the years, I had erased the fear of departed individuals from my psyche. In short, I thought it was all bah humbug stuff whenever anyone spoke or if I read about the Spirits, Ghosts, and Goblins. I used to visit a friend of mine who lived next to an old crumbling cemetery, and we both would go and sit on graves covered by any granite or marble and watch the night sky lying on top of the slabs and smoke. Making jokes about asking permission to the dear departed under us share the space. My belief and skeptic attitude remained the same in spite of that horrific experience, which I blamed on my physical conditions, circumstances, and vivid imagination. Why did I not get possessed by the Spirits if that experience was real and supernatural? I asked this question to myself each time my mind delved into it-- sort of a rationalizing and effort to pushed it aside. I visited my doctor, and he put me on sugar and blood pressure controlling regime and life moved with the time.

It was December of 2010 when I took my Jeep to Ernie's Garage to get the annual inspection done. He was maintaining my vehicle for quite some time, so there wasn't much to inspect. Ernie asked me to get my Proof of Insurance and Registration Card to prepare the new Inspection Sticker. I opened the glove compartment and pulled out the folder in which the car's documents were kept. I took out the necessary papers out and with those items, another paper fell out on the floor. I picked it up to see what it was. It shocked me to see that letter from Melinda Grace the Baroness to JP, in which she had expressed her displeasures about his investment in the Mechanized Theater. The State Trooper Larry Augustine had put it in the glove compartment along with my vehicle's documents.

Holding that letter in my hand, I sunk in the passenger side of the vehicle. The memory of that night and the episodes came alive as if I was a time-traveling event. My heart started to race, and sweat beads started to appear on my face and palm holding the letter. Melinda came alive in my mind as if she was standing behind my car, and I did not want to turn my head to see what was there. Then the last score of Figaro with Mozart's music accompanying it was manifested in my brain. I was one of the extras on the stage if you remember the incidence. There she was; beautiful Melinda in costume and then the grand finale and clapping of hundreds of hands; it all was happening in real terms right in front me, and the concave windshield of my car as if it was a projected scene from the movie. The curve of the windshield looked like the amphitheater's arch, and there was a faint outline of spectators sitting in the dark. The scene came alive, and with that, my eyes dilated, my head sunk on my chest, and I fell forward on the dashboard.

" What's going on here? I am waiting on your papers, man; I don't have all day, and here you are taking a nap."

I heard someone speaking and then in the next moment I heard the commotion for a second or two, and the next thing I woke up to was the sound of Ambulance Siren.

In the hospital room, I was resting, and then I remembered my Metaphysical discussion with Desmond Eagle Flight, the Navaho Artist of my past. It came back to me. Did I experience a Time Warp Travel or Melinda has possessed me through her letter? I will have to wait until Psychiatric evaluation reports get completed, and I hear from my Shrink. Reflecting on the possible effects of those evaluations;

I felt like my life was going to go into a tailspin situation. Am I going to be labeled as a "Schizo? The prospect appeared to be very much real. I did not have any information on mental illnesses of my family. My extended family was educated and progressive metropolitan city dwellers. Some were the practicing Barristers during the British Colonial Rules in England an others were physicians. We were Muslims but in name only. Our women never wore Islamic dresses, and they too, had completed at least the matriculation level of schooling, and my several aunts had completed college degrees and worked in the offices of their father and husbands. Our cultural heritage was a mixed western and traditional Indian. The only thing that remained intact in our family values, which we shared with our home-country was the secrecy of family matters. I was totally blind-sided about the history of health issues present in my family. Most of my close relatives had either passed away or had left India for England and the US. I couldn't even ask anyone from my generation if they had heard about any mental illness of the Khan family, nor I could share my situation with them. The only thing I could do was to chase the ghost of Milinda Grace; the Baroness of somewhere and that of my old friend JP.

"I must return to that mansion or the open-air theater if you call it," I told myself.

Now I am caught in this web of the American healthcare system. The long list of pills, the therapist, and that stigma; all I will have to live with, for the rest of my life; the writings were on the wall. The only way I will find peace is to hunt her down; she is expecting me there. Why would she choose me? What did I do to deserve this? Perhaps it is my ancestral influence coming from our Hindu ancestors; I began to think in terms of past life's issues coming forward to mess up my life now; here, in the USA. Irrational thinking begins when inexplicable events begin to pop up in our lives. I couldn't put the finger on any single occurrence or event, but Desmond's theory would not leave my mind.

That 'Time Warp'! I began spending my time searching the websites and acquiring the books of experts in the field of Metaphysics and Shamanism and eventually reached for the Hindu literature. I am by far the most un-Islamic Muslim I came across. My parents, when they lived in India and England, spent time with professional people of all sorts. My father did not follow any of the restrictions the Islamist ideology expected a Muslim to follow. My mother too ignored what she thought as backward and primitive practices, demanding too much of her time and restricting the freewill of a woman. In short, our home atmosphere was secular, attitudes, Western liberal, and living style-- a mixture of all that could be mixed in a melting pot of humanity. Now, without a clue about the happenings of my life, I was exploring the unknown realm of Hindu-Buddhist concepts of taking birth, dying, and returning to human or for that matter, any life--Rebirth phenomena.

"Are we really connected to our past birth?" I asked my friends Sushma and her husband, Hemant Kriplani.

They had no idea, what was my motive behind and why I was asking such a stupid question and instead of replying, she asked me,

"Bhaya (brother in Hindi), what is the matter with you? Why are you dwelling in this superstition? This is America we live in the twenty-first century, and you are asking us a question that my grandma would have."

I was surprised by her response. Both being the physicians, I thought they would have given at least a consideration to my questions about life and death. I persisted and to put her in a tight spot asked:

"Why we have received everything we desired and the folks like the refugees fleeing their homes and trying to get into the USA have to be born in the worst possible place on the earth?" Who decides when and where to be born? Why such inequality exists in human life?

The pragmatic duo replied as expected in the Existential Philosophical terms.
"It is very easy to blame someone else for the personal failures and the failures of one's society. Each person is destined to succeed or fail in efforts, but the key to success is persistence, hard work, and opportunity grabbing efforts. We both came from a middle-class society of India; we both struggled through our life, but we found ways around life's difficulties to get what we wanted. We had more like us to form a society that made sure we all together can achieve collectively and built a nation on these principles. We today are enjoying the fruits of our planning, implementing, and persisting. Those who dwelled upon their misfortunes and did nothing else, they remained behind. It is all in our gens I would venture to say."

I did not disagree with them because there was no point in doing that. My parents came from the same society. They too had a successful career, a comfortable higher middle-class life and opportunity galore. I was not interested in that sort of analysis the privileged classes throw at those who do not even have the fundamentals of beginning a life on an equal playing field. Dissatisfied as I was with the two doctors, I dropped the subject and began pondering on the question of how to get out of that system we call healthcare services in the USA. Mental illness stamp comes from our learned and esteemed professionals who look into the symptoms and begin the search for pinning one or two diagnosis codes upon a person, and if they do not find one, they call it NOS--Not Otherwise Specified. Now I became a victim of this NOS business.

"What I do not understand and is not in my Clinical Bible but must have a diagnosis so I can treat a patient whose sickness is an abnormality." This is how I interpreted my doctor's thinking, the treatment plans, and the social situation I found myself in.

"I must go back to the same place where it all began almost ten years ago. Locate Desmond something--Couldn't remember his last name. But where do I begin my search?" Staying in the current location was not healthy for me; if I wish to keep my sanity. I could go back to India or Briton; I had a claim on both lands, or Peru for that matter of going into the oblivion-far, far from the maddening crowd as the Thomas hardy's heroine did in that novel. My self-torturing must have an end, or else, I could reach a stage, and then my doctor would have a listed diagnosis for me, and that would seal my fate forever. My chain of thoughts was taking me nowhere near to the level of freedom I had enjoyed before getting into this mess. When one is in this sort of troubles, one gets into thinking that is not always useful, and I did just that.

My name is 'Ali,' and just about every person in the civilized world knows Alibaba the rich Arab and the 24 or so, thieves. In the past, I never had any problem with my name when I was growing up as a kid in India. There was a pride associated with my name because the name of the Governor of the state I grew up was Ali-Yavar-Jung. Besides him, there was many prominent public figures named 'Ali, and the famous street named "Muhammad Ali road in Mumbai --my city. A similar situation existed when I went to England and had no problem for bearing a Muslim name.

As I stated before, we were as much follower of Islamic tenets as would the King Henry the VIII followed the Roman Catholic Papal dictates. When I migrated to the US, I found all sorts of names of both sexes sounding like my name, which most pronounced it wrong--Alley or Al, and many other variants of it. I got assimilated in the American Pot-Pouri much better, and no one ever asked me my religion or anything else. But then it all changed when the '9/11' happened; a stupid and destructive business with religious fervor that has no place in the civilized society. The very concept of Jihad or some idiotic interpretation of that my family and most other educated and even uneducated Muslims rejected in India. Since I was not a practicing Muslim, most did not know I was born into that religion. I always have valued freedom and still ardently support its rule and fight for it.

It all changed with my filling the forms when admitted in the hospital and later on in the various offices of all sorts of organizations. I had to pick a religion and ethnicity. I am sure they had the legitimate reasons they would give you if asked, but for an unknown reason, I picked my religion as Islam. I should have picked no-religion but didn't. I was not a follower of Islam by any long shot. Did everything prohibited and did not do anything demanded. In a normal situation, it would not have mattered, but was I normal? I am not sure of that. I began imagining all sorts of scenarios which the news of few and random acts of terrors perpetrated upon the Jews, the Muslims and Sikhs had prompted. I think paranoia was setting me up for more issues than just the one I was facing at the moment. I couldn't talk about it because I was not involved with the Muslim community or had social closeness with anyone and speaking to my therapist I thought, would put me in another diagnosis that I did not want to it be added to the list. More I analyzed my situation, more I thought of escaping it by becoming a fugitive.

" Get lost Ali in the timeless world like those Jains." My alter ego prompted me.
"How to do that?" I asked in return.
"Go back to your Shaman and sick the knowledge; he or she may be; they ought to have the answers. JP disappeared in that realm of timelessness; why not you follow him?"

At 40, I was alone anyway, since my wife; X-wife I should say, had returned to England ten years ago. She didn't like the freedom she had in the USA and went back to her family to chase the paradise promised to her if she gave up the freedom of thinking and living the life chosen and not dictated by anyone or any book. Of course, I did not wish to impose my values on her, and when she asked for the separation, I agreed promptly. Nothing to tie me back to anyone or any place then what could hold me back?

"Let's go, Ali"; I convinced myself. I canceled my appointments with therapists, paid my rent and penalties for canceling the lease, donated what I could, and dumped the rest near the dumpster. Freedom, here I come looking for you.




This is a work of fiction and to understand this chapter one has to read last 2, posted in my portfolio. The characters presented, do not necessarily represent the creator of their idiosyncrasies (Me). The presentations of opinions of Ali here and the reference to any religion is not meant to disrespect it. I respect religions for their contribution to humanity and also condemn their misuse by humanity. Please do not take this as an attack on any one of them.
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