This is a story about a psychologist. This will for sure change the way you perceive.
3 Hrs from now, I will Know how good I am at practically handling the stuffs which I learned for 2 full years. Just one Personal Contact Programme (PCP) away from gaining my Masters in Psychology. The PCP had been arranged at a hospital half hour away from where I live. We; 8 students are to report at that hospital which houses 53 patients with Psychological disorders. There our hero, Professor Arivazhagan, true to the name has done remarkable counseling and solved psychology mysteries for a career spanning nearly 30 years; would assist us. All we had to do was to interact with these patients and do a case study. Yeah! We had to squeeze our brain and put all the theory into practice.
I was there at the Hospital with all the other students. Our professor arrived and he gave few guidelines. He cautioned us not to disturb any of the inmates and try to be as nice as possible. He also said he has assigned a patient for each of us and that he would be there with us and warned us against any unnecessary act of valor. He promised everyone will have their degree and this was the time each of us tested our own potential before going out there in the Psycho world. So for all those degree wanters; it’s just a cake walk, just spend some time and leave. But there were few others who are not those degree wanters. I was one among them I wanted to test my merit here. I was very curious and nervous. We dispersed and I went ahead and moved into the building and towards the veranda waiting to see that special person who may change the way I am. May be or May be not.
As I walked the veranda, I saw a man sitting on a couch in a posture you don’t normally see. His right foot was on the couch the other grounded, his right arm extended and rested on the back of the couch. He was having a mobile connected with an earphone holding with his left arm. Couch was placed just in front of a balcony and all I could see was a silhouette of him. That deserves a photograph; I was composing the whole scene on my mind as I was also a photography enthusiast. All of this convinced me to have a chat with that man. He could be a patient or a visitor or a guest. But the sole purpose of our visit was for a case study. Why not test my potential against a normal guy before I could meet the patient. Just like sharpening the axe. I thought this was a good idea and approached this man on the couch.
I told myself, ”Ok, now our goal is to start a conversation and extract as many information as possible. “As I walked, his face slowly started to gain focus as I could get the whole picture. He was a well built man with short well trimmed hair, long legs and broad shoulder. This is a perfect body description of a Lover boy. He wore a Tee and a faded blue slim fit jean. I noticed he wore a Brown Buckaroo leather sneaker which was shining. So he must have clean habits and organized. He had a thick hairy eyebrow, dimple and his eyes were closed. He was enjoying his music. He had a huge Walkman branded Sony Smartphone attached with the Beats audio earphone. So he should be a music freak. As I approached him I could smell the perfume of Rose. This guy must be a Casanova, I thought. So I concluded this guy should be a visitor. May be or May be not. I thought a conversation will conclude if I was right. I was next to him, but this guy never seemed to have spotted me. I cleared my throat but to no effect. Then I dropped a pen that I had in my hand. Yeah that got him. I bent to take my pen and he adjusted himself by grounding his right foot but didn't help me. As I took my pen I could see this man still extending his right arm on the couch. If a man is ready to share his place he would have given me space by moving away but he didn't. In simple words through his body language he said “Dude this is my territory, you don’t have a place here. Go away.” Now that’s a challenge for me.
Now this act is normal but may be or May be not. So to confirm I asked him what was the time? I was just waiting to see what he would reply and what actually he felt through his body language. And time management is another crucial factor in psycho analysis. Advancement in time is directly proportional to psychological disorders. As he removed his earphone, his eyebrow just shrunk towards his nose, He immediately gave me the time. He said “10:10”. Then his lip corner tightened and raised on one side of his face, a clear sign of contempt. Contempt is the mixture of angry and disgust; he clearly doesn't want me to be there disturbing him. The time he said was the exact time on the wall clock above his head and in my watch. What do I Do next?
I stood there, took a piece of paper and I started writing, just some random words in the form. When he saw that he removed his right arm, crossed his legs and turned to the opposite side without uttering a word. Well now he let me sit there but didn't want me to disturb him. Then I was wondering how I would start a conversation. The phone rang, he removed the earphone. He just uttered three words “Yes… hummm… evening… ok” and then hung the phone. Now this is the gap which I thought I should use before he goes back to his listening mode. After hanging the call he was adjusting his playlist I could somehow manage to see his phone. I could see half the word there “man” followed by Track01,Track 02 and so on. That could be an artist name or just a folder name but in a jiffy I asked him “Do you know what is common in AR Rahman and Michael Jackson?” His eyebrows went up when he looked at me but still his body was facing the opposite side but there was one good news for me. For a third of a second there was a short smile on his face and then it disappeared. He asked “Why does that bother you?” as his face frowned. Well this surprise and anger may be because I am a stranger, out of nowhere asking him a question like this. But there is also a possibility that he may be surprised because he likes those artists and that he is glad to know I asked about them. And that short smile on his face before he answered confirmed me that either he wants a chat or he likes those artists and the question that I asked. So to re confirm I responded like this:
“There are so many musicians but there is something in these two artists that holds the fans together. I couldn't understand how they do it. I thought a music buff like you may know it.”
He turned his face and said “They do it for a cause”. I immediately asked “What cause?” Now he turned his whole body towards me, removed both his earphones and said “They write songs for a cause, poverty, child abuse, save the world and so on. They are not just dumping music. They have a purpose. They are divine”. Whoa! That’s a big achievement for me. I made a stranger who completely ignored me to actually speak this much. But my aim was to extract more information. So I immediately said. “Oh! So what artist’s song are you listening right now”. His face lit up, he had a smile. A genuine smile. Those wrinkles at the edge of the eyes distinguish from the fake ones that we do just to please someone. But what he replied baffled me. He smiled and said “You are smart”. I was surprised. He continued “So your PCP programme seems to be going good.” Now I was little worried as my face shrunk. He said “Weren't you told not to show your act of valor?” Now I was terrified. I was about to swallow a lump when he pointed his finger to my throat and said “Now try not to swallow that.” I couldn't, I swallowed. That happens when you feel guilty and terrified. This guy is some serious body language expert. Now I have ended up in trouble. May be or May be not.
He said “I am listening to Endrendrum punnagai from Alaipayuthey by AR Rahman.” I said “I am sorry”. He smiled again. His whole body was facing me. His eye was observing my eye movements. I struggled to find words. I knew he will know what I feel and he did. Just to ease me out of the embarrassment feeling I had he said “I am Zakheer,a Clinical Psychologist by profession.” Then I said “Sir, I am Alam, doing MSc Psychology. I have come here for the PCP. I thought…” before I could finish he said “You are good but always have a watch on who watches you!”
Then I asked about his career and then we had chitchat. Well this meet wasn't a pleasing one but still I was successful. I started a conversation and I extracted information. Before we could wind up I asked him what his favorite song was. He smiled and said “the one I just said I was listening to”. I chuckled and then put this one “Can you explain, psychologically why you liked it”. He smiled and said there is a story behind that. I was very keen to know that. I asked him to share with me the story. Without any hesitation he was glad to share his small interesting story. He said “Behold! You are hearing a story from a psychologist.” I said “You said I am good but sure I will watch” and I smiled. He laughed and he started his story.
The story in the words of Zakheer.
to be continued...