Short Story: Schizo!

He was two people. Two personalities, two characters, two of everything that makes a human being unique. For half the day, he was this one person, with a certain set of characteristics, of emotions, of thoughts and attitude, while for the rest of the day he was an entirely different person, with a different name, a different set of life circumstances, with different friends. The only thing common between both of them was that they resided within a single mind in a unitary body.

But who was the real him? Was one of them his real self, and the other an illusion? If so, which was which? Or was he a sum total of both? Or none? And what made him one and not the other?

At first, when one of them took control of his senses, his other self receded into the deep subconscious of his mind, lying dormant, seeing nothing, feeling nothing. He only felt the joy of the one in control, worried only about its problems and was saddened only by its grief. He could switch one off while the other was on. No one around him knew he had a problem because he was completely normal in both his lives. But over time, as memories of both his selves accumulated in his brain, the boundaries between the two began to blur. Memories of one life overflowed into his consciousness as he lived the other life, however hard he tried to keep them separate in neat little compartments. Hours after he had been moved to tears at the plight of his one persona, his heart still felt heavy, even as he smiled at the happiness of his other life. When he was elated, he didn’t know if it was real. Was he was supposed to be happy in this life, or was it the afterglow of joy remnant from his other self? It had reached the point that now he didn’t know which person he actually was at a given moment.

Over the years the identities of his multiple manifestations had changed often. While one persona had remained constantly within him, evolving gradually in the normal course of time, the other underwent seasonal and dramatic metamorphoses. He had begun to identify the constant part of himself as his real self, while the ‘other’ was a vagabond spirit that succumbed to flights of fancy and was a slave of desire, a transient being whose genesis occurred as an abrupt adult, but with blurred memories of a non-existent past. It disappeared just as suddenly, leaving behind faint traces of its life and experiences in the deep recesses of his mind, that surfaced at the most unexpected an inopportune moments.

And today when he had achieved his lifelong ambition, he had an unsettling feeling that the joy he was experiencing wasn’t real, and that the smile on his face was fake. No one would ever suspect it though, because, after all, he was winning the award for Best Actor.

Photo credit: Dennis Balogh color illustration of multiple faces of one person progressing from dark to light. Knight Ridder Tribune photo


  1. Wow!



    this time u've really exceeded urself, man!

    this is brilliant! awesome! fabulous!

    did u make the picture by its side too?

    I have only more superlatives to offer!

    I LOVE IT! :)

  2. oh btw, this gives me an idea for a story too! :)

  3. @Tangled: Thanks a LOT!! :D
    I was convinced that I was out of my depth trying to pull this off, and that the end result would be an incoherent mess. Means a lot that a writer like you appreciates it. :)

    @Cheeky: Thanks man! :)

  4. wow! u too, Brutus:)
    the twist is so good...n i was hoping that is ur own painting..then saw the photo credit :(...wonder who is this story based on??

    P.S : i'm using IE, just couldnt see the comment add link..i had to highlight areas after other comments

  5. @Vinnie: Thanks! :) And painting is well beyond my range. Hope to start painting soon too, though..

    The idea of the story came when I heard SRK, of all people, say something like he was very uncomfortable in his own skin and preferred to be someone else all the time.

    And yes, the 'Post Comment' thing is troubling me too. Will have to figure out what can be done about it.

  6. here we are. it is of course a well written piece...n the first reading i gave it, i was quite surprised by the ending.

    now, since u asked as a psychologist, believe it or not, just because of your title, right from the word go i kept looking for schizophrenic symptoms and then jumped to a different 'diagnosis'...n ultimately gave up tryin to decide wat disorder it was! :P

  7. Written well as always... you are developing a strange style of writing... I mean very unusual kinda stuff... keep it up... I love everything you write.

  8. @Nikita: So what are your consultation fees? :P

    @Farah: Thanks!

  9. its beautiful.
    its like you've caught the right words from those nature's been whispering through centuries

  10. @Niyati: its like you've caught the wrong comments link.. :P
    But still, thanks for the lovely comment.. :)

  11. It's one interesting post, wondering if any of it is inspired by your personal life :P


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