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The Moment of OCD
Atul Bhushan Bookmark and Share

“So, Atul, are you ready to answer the first of the 10 questions truthfully?”, asks the host.

 

“Absolutely”, I reply enthusiastically.

 

“Remember one thing. All the following questions will be based on the answer you give for the first question.”

 

“Got it.”

 

“Here is your first question.”

 

“Ok”

 

“What is your biggest weakness?”

 

So it is this dreadful thing which I am supposed to reveal to the whole audience. Beads of sweat are visible on my forehead. I wait to gather my courage.

 

Finally after a couple of seconds, I reveal it.

 

“I have OCD.”

 

Now I am relieved!

 

The hall darkens. The spot light focuses on me. An intense music is played in the background, and then the computer voice says, That answer is……… (stalls for a few seconds and then) TRUE.

 

The hall again lights up. The spot light vanishes. The music stops.

 

“Congratulations Atul. You have won ` 40,000.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Tell me about it.”

 

I grin nervously. “Ha-ha …well…………….. I suffer from ‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’. In my case it is characterized by excessive hand washing to remain clean.”

 

“So you keep on washing your hands repeatedly?”

 

“Yes. I wash my hands innumerable number of times in a day to remain clean.”

 

“Your second question is.

Since when do you have OCD?”

 

“I have it since the past 3 years.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE, says the computer voice.

 

“Congratulations. ` 80,000 is yours now. Tell me about it.”

 

“I have OCD since the first year of my college. I think it developed more when I was in my second semester.”

 

“Ok. What are you doing now?”

 

“I just finished my college.”

 

“So you spent your entire college days suffering from OCD?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

 

“Here is your third question for ` 1,60,000.

Do you think your OCD affected your social life in your college?”

 

I ponder for a while. Then I reluctantly say it.

 

“Yes!”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“Would you like to shed some light on it?”

 

“Sure. If I had a lot of friends, then I would naturally have had to shake hands with them a lot many times, I would have had to give them rides on my bike, give my bike to them for rides, eat out etc. All these were detrimental to my cleanliness.”

 

“So you kept your friend circle to the bare minimum?”

 

“Exactly”

 

“Your next question – the fourth one is as follows.

Do you hate your disorder?”

 

I immediately retort back.

 

“Absolutely not. I LOVE IT.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“Congratulations. ` 3,20,000 for you now. Now that’s a bit strange. Not the money. I meant the liking of the disorder. How can one like a disorder?”

 

“Well OCD helps me to remain totally clean. I can be the cleanest person on earth. I won’t contract contagious disease. I can be totally safe.”

 

The host looks shocked and confused at the same time. I savor the moment.

 

“Fifth question for ` 6,40,000 is as follows. If you answer this one correctly then you would at least have ` 6,40,000 with you to take home.

In the long run, do you think it is good to have OCD?”

 

“Nope. I hate it to have it for long.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yes I am sure. That’s my answer.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“Congratulations. So now you take a minimum of ` 6,40,000 from here. Congratulations again.

What was that? I am confused. You had just mentioned that you loved it!” , says the baffled host.

 

“Ha-ha-ha .Actually I love it and  hate it at the same time”, I produce a wide grin.

 

“EH?”

 

“As I mentioned earlier, I love it for making me cleanliness conscious. But washing hands repeatedly wastes a lot of my productive time.”

 

“So you are aware that you waste a lot of time. Then why don’t you just control your hand washing?”

 

“I can’t. I try my best. But it can’t be totally nullified so soon. I can’t get peace of mind if I don’t wash my hands when I wish.”

 

“Your sixth question for ` 12,50,000 is as follows.

Has your OCD affected your academics?”

 

I don’t need time to think about this one.

 

“Yes”, I riposte.

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“Quite a quick reply huh?”

 

“Ha-ha. Yeah. It’s a no-brainer. I hardly attended lectures in order to remain clean. Most of my study times were invested in washing my bag. So I used to study only during the last moment when the exams were nearing. Naturally, my grades decreased over time.”

 

 

“Your seventh question is.

Do you think OCD has ruined your life until right now?”

 

I brood for a while and then reply.

 

 “Yes I do.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

 

“Academically?”

 

“Well, yes. Academically , socially, emotionally I have deteriorated. My level of self confidence has gone down.”

 

“All due to OCD?”

 

“Mostly due to OCD.”

 

“Well you have now won ` 25,00,000. Your eighth question is as follows. Are you ready for it?”

 

“Yup”

 

“Have you told any of your friends that you have OCD?”

 

“Never.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“Why?”

 

“They might think that I am not a normal person and try to avoid me. As it is my friend circle is small. If I disclose this thing, then I’ll be a loner.”

 

“You have ` 50,00,000 in your kitty now.So here comes the ninth one for ` 1,00,00,000.

Has OCD affected the way you carry yourself?”

 

“Yes it has.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“How?”

 

“I walk in a very awkward fashion trying hard not to touch other things or other things touch me or my clothes. People think I am weird. My whole demeanor seems as if I have no self confidence in myself. Even now just look at the way I am sitting crossing my hands. I have crossed my hands since I do not wish to touch the armrest of the chair. So considering everything, my body language has changed due to OCD.”

 

 

“Your tenth question is, what do you tell them when they see your dries up hands?”

 

“My hands get dry due to lack of moisture.”

 

That answer is……. TRUE.

 

“So they believe you.”

 

“They have to. Because no one would have any idea as to what OCD really is!” I let out a mischievious smile.”

 

 

“Congratulations for winning ` 2,00,00,000.  What I still can’t come to terms with is that you hate and love your OCD.”

 

 

“Your eleventh and final question is. Is OCD difficult to live with?”

 

“Oh yeah. Definitely.”

 

That answer is……………………………………………………………… TRUE.

 

 

 

“RIGHT ANSWER.CONGRATULATIONS. YOU HAVE WON ` 5,00,00,000.

 

I had heard many a times that one should turn their weaknesses into their biggest strengths. You are the epitome of it.

 

Once again hearty congratulations.

 And wishing you a good, happy and normal recovery.

 

 

Thanks again for coming to our show.”

 

“My pleasure.”


11/17/2010
More by :  Atul Bhushan
Views: 1107               
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Solitude and other poems by Rajender Krishan
 



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