Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Serendipity

SERENDIPITY
Short Fiction Story – A Sci Fi Romance 
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:
Science Fiction  Sci Fi  an experimental story. 
I wrote this story long ago  more than 20 years ago  in the mid 1990s
This story also features in my short fiction anthology COCKTAIL 
Do let me know whether you liked the story.


SERENDIPITY – A Romance By VIKRAM KARVE
Failures avoid school reunions. 
It is painful  and shameful  for a loser to be in midst of winners”    
But this time  I decided to go.  
Sucheta would be there. 

She had rung up from New York.  

And of course  her husband Anand was also coming with her. 
Maybe – Anand was the real reason I wanted to go.  
It was 15 years since we passed out from school  and the reunion was a grand affair  in the best hotel – at this picturesque queen of hill stations – on the slopes of the awesome mighty Himalayas – where our school was located.
As I said the reunion was followed a lavish dinner and dance party for ours was an elite and famous boarding school, valued more for its snob appeal rather than for its academic excellence. 
Bookworm was an exception.  
He had topped the board exams and had become a distinguished scientist  always inventing something mysterious and experimenting something esoteric.  
“Hi, Bookworm...” I said. I was genuinely happy to see him.  
“Moushumi...” he said angrily to me, “my name is not Bookworm. My name is Doctor Kedarnath Joshi.  So don't call me Bookworm. I don't like it. I am a full-fledged Professor.”  
“Okay, I'll call you Professor Bookworm...” I teased him. 
“That’s better...” he said, with smug look on his face.  
“So, Professor Bookworm  what are you inventing nowadays...?” I asked him. 
“I am researching in the frontiers of Psycho-cybernetics...” he said.
“Pyscho-what…? Stop the mumbo jumbo, Bookworm. Tell me in simple language. Who are you – and what do you do?” 
“Okay. I am a neurologist. A psychiatrist.  A psychologist. And  I also hold a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. Currently I am researching in mind-transference...” Bookworm said proudly. 
“Mind-transference…?” I asked confused.  
“You have seen star-trek haven’t you...?”
“Yes.”  
“There they transfer persons in space. H G Wells’ time-machine transferred entire persons in time...” he said.  
“Time Machine – you’re making a time machine…?” I asked incredulously. 
“No..No… I am working on something more complicated – Brain Transfer – I can put your mind into someone else’s body – and vice-versa – that is – someone else’s brain into your body...!!!” 
“It sounds very spooky to me.  Is it ESP…?  Or some kind of occult stuff…?”  
“Not at all...” Bookworm said, “Nothing supernatural, esoteric or mystical.  It’s a purely scientific technique.  I have developed a pilot system for trials. The machine is upstairs in my hotel room.  Why don’t you give it a try...?”    
A strange curious wicked thought crossed my mind. 
I surveyed the expanse of the majestic ballroom with my eyes. 
And soon  my eyes found Anand.  
His dashing physique and his magnificent beard made him look prominent in the crowd.  

He looked a decisive, hot-blooded and dangerous man  but he also looked vulnerable. 
He wore a lonely and rather perplexed expression  as though he were at the party – but not enjoying it.  
And beside Anand – stood his wife Sucheta – radiating the natural pride of possession that any woman feels when she has the ownership and company of a man that other women desire.  
I reminisced. 
There were four of us who grew up together. 
The same group of classmates and friends  in school and in college  Anand, Mohan, Sucheta and Moushumi (that’s me) – the famous four – inseparable friends. 
All of us loved each other.  
I had the first choice – since both Anand and Mohan were desperately in love with me  and – both Anand and Mohan had proposed to me. 
I chose Mohan  leaving Anand for Sucheta.  
And since that moment  I kept tormenting myself – wondering if I had made the wrong choice.
Physically  I lived with Mohan. 
But – in my heart – I longed for Anand  repenting  and trying to imagine  what my life would have been like  if I had married Anand instead of Mohan.  
I looked at Anand  and then at Bookworm.  
Serendipity...!!! 
Yes. 
It was indeed Serendipity  pure luck. 
I felt the adrenalin rush. 
This was my golden chance to find out what life would have been like if I had married Anand.
And – I was going to seize the opportunity.  
I waved out to Sucheta – and 5 minutes later  both of us were lying side by side on the double-bed  in Bookworm’s hotel room.  
There was a mesh of wires – with electrode-transducers connected to our heads (like an EEG)  a laptop-like special computer – and a briefcase-size electronic device – which Bookworm described as the Electrophoresis Signal Processor.  
“Good...” Bookworm said, “both your brainwave frequencies are in beta state around 15 hertz. I will give you both a high frequency burst to momentarily raise your brain-states to K-Complex and instantaneously commence the electrophoresis.”  
Looking at me  Bookworm said
“Moushumi  you will be Sucheta as far as the outside world is concerned. So when you wake up –you go straight to Sucheta’s husband Anand.  Let’s see if he suspects.” 
And then  to Sucheta  Bookworm said: 
“Sucheta  you go straight to Moushumi’s husband Mohan. He will think you are Moushumi.”  
“It’s dangerous. I am scared...” Sucheta said.  
“Come on, Sucheta. Be a sport. It’s just for fun...” I said.  
“It’s not fun. We are doing this experiment to validate my research – in vivo – to see if the concept of mind-transference it works. Just for half-an-hour...” Bookworm said, “after 30 minutes are over  both of you come back to me over here in this room – and I will reverse the process – and everything will be the same as before  and you can leave this room as your own total selves – your same mind in your own same body.”  
I closed my eyes in trepidation – wondering whether I was doing the right thing. 
Suddenly  I felt my brain go blank and then there were vivid flashes in a void.  
Half an hour later  I was in a state of ecstasy  in seventh heaven  gliding in Anand’s strong arms, enjoying the dance, in blissful trance.  
Bookworm suddenly appeared by my side – he started tugging my arm and telling me with urgency in his voice: 
“It’s time. Let’s go, Moushumi.”   
“Moushumi…? Why are you calling her Moushumi…?” an incredulous Anand asked Bookworm.  
“She is Moushumi...” Bookworm said pointing at me.   
On hearing this – Anand snapped angrily at Bookworm: 
“Are you drunk or stoned or something…? Can’t you see that she is my wife Sucheta – and you are calling her Moushumi...?
“No, No. I did Psycho-Cybernetic Mind-transference” – Sucheta into Moushumi – and Moushumi into Sucheta – so – though she looks like Sucheta because her body is Sucheta’s – her mind is Moushumi’s – so – she is actually Moushumi...” Bookworm said, pointing at me, “she may look like Sucheta – but she is actually Moushumi... 
On hearing this – a flabbergasted Anand said to Bookworm: 
“You have really gone crazy. I am telling you once again – this lady in front of me is Sucheta, my wife... Moushumi must be with her husband Mohan.  I last saw them having a drink near the bar.” 
Instinctively  I turned and looked towards the bar. 
I could not spot Sucheta (who was in my body). 

Nor was Mohan there. 

I hurriedly scanned the room. 

There was no sign of them. 

They had disappeared.  
Bookworm was in a state of panic and he started shouting incoherently:
“Anand...Anand...Try to understand...Your wife Sucheta has gone away with Mohan.  And this lady here in front of you is Moushumi – Mohan’s wife. This is only Sucheta’s body. Inside her is Moushumi’s mind. Moushumi’s mind is in Sucheta’s body. My in vivo experiment was successful – my psycho-cybernetics discovery is validated – the mind-transference has been achieved...!”  
“Psychocybernetics …? Mind-transference …? Stop talking nonsense …!” Anand shouted angrily at Bookworm – and then  taking my arm  Anand said to me, “Come on Sucheta. Let’s go. Bookworm has gone crazy. And it’s getting late. We’ll drive straight down to Delhi. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow before we catch our flight back home to New York.”  
As we walked through the parking lot – towards the luxury limousine Anand had hired for his visit – I noticed that ‘our’ car was missing – ‘our’ car – my actual husband Mohan’s car.
It was cold – and I glanced at ‘our’ small cottage on the hill slope for the last time.
‘They’ were probably cuddling up in ‘our’ bedroom by now.   
I thought I was smart  but it was Sucheta who played the double game.   
For me it was only a half-hour experiment  but Sucheta had upped the ante – and turned the tables on me.  
Will Mohan ever find out...? 

And what about Anand...?

Will he continue to think I am his wife Sucheta...? 

Will this psycho-cybernetic mind-transference last forever...? 
Am I beyond the point of no return...? 
As I think of my future  I shiver with tremors of trepidation. 
From now on life is going to be a tightrope walk.  

Every moment – I will have to be on my toes.
I am excited – very excited – and a bit terrified and scared too. 
From now on – life is going to be dangerous fun.  
But one thing is sure.  
Now – I will really know what life would have been like  if had I married Anand instead of Mohan.
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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