Visions

 ‘On 13 september, 2002, 31 year old James Padgett, a furniture salesman from Washington, was beaten and mugged by two men after leaving a karaoke bar. He survived the vicious attack, but was left unconcious, and sustained a severe concussion. Soon afterwards, he noticed that his vision changed.he also realised he had developed remarkable mathematical abilities. ’ 

Padgett began to see patterns in everything he looked at, and to draw complex geometric figures, grids and fractals. “I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life”, padgett explained later. “It’s just really beautiful. ” He seemed to understand the mathematical nature of the universe intuitively, despite the fact that, having previously dropped out of university, he had little formal academic training. He decided to return to university to study number theory. ’ 

Padgett’s is a case of acquired savant syndrome, a condition in which brain damage of some kind unlocks prodigious mental abilities. To date, fewer than 100 such cases have been identified; there existence has, however, led some researchers to argue that there is a hidden genius within all of us, and also to look for ways in which this latent potential could be unlocked. ’ 

Bang! The book fell down on the floor with the glass bottle, breaking it into pieces. All the pieces of papers kept within the book came flying out of it, all at once, creating a huge mess under the table. For a few minutes, he was not able to percieve anything. What was going on? What was this dismal place? A couple of moments later, he recognized the fact that he was lying on his own desk, in his own room, having those visions again. 

The winter was at it’s peak at the present period of time of the year. It was nearly three in the night. Though both the locks below the window of his room were closed, he was still quivering with cold. The air of the room was filled of a very unusual sort of desolated silence, misery and ache. He stood up, somhow, and moving unsteadily, picked up the groom. After cleaning the mess, he was barely able to prevent himself stumbling upon the floor. 

He was high on weeds. Terribly high. Even he himself was well aware of the fact that his time he had taken more medicine, than the dose he had been giving himself for the past few weeks. Consequently, he felt a strange sort of tranquility taking over him. He felt his heart throbbing heavily against his chest, like someone was beating his body with a large hammer. He saw nearly all the colours of the universe going round and round about him, singing a strange melody, and repeatedly mocking and persuading him to play with them. He felt his legs sinking into the ground, as if someone was pulling them from beneath, and his limbs melting away from the flesh and bones of his body. His head was moving like a carousel. 

Someway or another, he managed to make it to the bed. The headache was becoming unbearable. It felt as if someone was choking him, with his hands around his neck, like a thousand ton weight had been placed on his forehead, and like needles were pricking his eyes apart. He shrieked out loud, trying to fight it, crying out in immense pain. But slowly, he began to feel numb, as if everything around him was stopping, fading to black. He was now able to realise, feel so deeply, that how agony and its aftermaths, completely shatter and destroy the soul of the damned person. “So this is it”, he whispered silently to himself, remembering her face and defeated by agony, believing that this was it, the end of the line. He shut his eyes, and soon lost conciousness again. 

I think there’s hidden potential within us all, in varying degrees and types. The most common ability to emerge is art, followed by music, but I’ve had cases where brain damage makes people suddenly interested in dance, or in pinball wizard.’ 

Following an injury to the brain, there’s recruitment of undamaged cortex from elsewhere in the brain, then there ‘s rewiring to that undamaged area, and a release of dormant potential. It’s a compensatory mechanism involving areas that may have been dormant, or areas that are ‘stolen’ and their function changed.’ 

Despite the various causes of the brain damage, and the different outcomes of the injuries, brain scans show that most people with acquired savant syndrome have sustained damage towards the front of the left temporal lobe. These observations have led scientists to speculate that they might be able to induce savant like capabilities in people by temporarily inactivating that brain region under experimental conditions. ’ 

People with savant capabilities have priveleged access to sensory information that does not normally reach conscious awareness due to a lack of inhibition from the left frontal lobe. This could explain why autistic savants often concentrate on the finer details of things rather than seeing the bigger picture. ’ 

Talent is distributed in all of us in different ways. Some of us are athletic, some of us are mathematical, some of us are artistic, and others aren ‘t. Some of us are musical, but some of us are just good, while some of us are exceptional… ’ 

“I’m saying that, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. After all, you don’t owe these people a thing, and yeah, take care” 

“Okay, see ya’ at night then, goodbye, love you…” 

“Emily…hey! Emily…Emily! Look at me…hey!” 

“You’re strong! Okay, you’re the strongest girl…” 

“You have to wake up…hey! listen to me… you have to stay with me Emily… everything’s going to be fine, just stay with me, please…” 

“I’m sorry sir, but she’s not…” 

“No! Never! Its not…” 
“It’s not possible…” 

“It just can’t happen! She’s not dead! She cannot die!” 

“No!” 

Eyes opened up. Yet another nightmare. Daylight was visible out of the window, and he had survived the overdose, luckily. 

‘Magnetic brain stimulation is just one potential way of unlocking the hidden ability of our mind. Another way is to do it chemically. We know that amphetamines have useful effects on short term memory, but the problem is that they ’re highly addictive. In the same way, psychedelic drugs release all sorts of things, some of them good, some of them not so good. ’ 

TO: Proffesor Rick Stevenson, 

“My name is Daniel Bates, I am a researcher and chemist, at the NUCLEAS science foundation in New York city. Proffesor, the past few weeks have shown me the most painful and difficult times of my life. Three weeks ago, I lost my wife. She was murdered in Boston Street, the same area where seven more people were killed, a week before her death. The cops have failed to find out about the bastard or any disdainful evil organisation which is behind all of this. The culprit of the murders, therefore, still remains a mystery among all of us. 

“I have been in severe depression since the time, and have been swallowing pills to forget my miseries, but this has started to take a toll upon me. Evey day, I’m taking more pills than the previous day, and last night, I nearly got myself killed by overdoze.” 

“Now, the last and the only thing I want to do in my life is to help catch this repugnant scoundrel, and make him suffer for the torment he has caused to the innocent and guiltless people, including my wife, and I believe that I can do so by unlocking the dormant potential of the human brain. For weeks, the only thing which had stimulated me, is the drug that I am working on, which has the capability to unravel those abilities of the mind, which are far far away from the reach of a normal human cerebrum.” 

“The synthesis is almost half done, but I am facing some issues and complications in its further composition. I can’t get this thing out of my head. The obssession has reached to such an extent, that every time when I close my eyes, all I can see and hear is you, giving the same speech you 
delieverd at the National Science Summit, about the human brain and it’s latent abilities, tempting me to think that I am missing something. Something really major.” 

“To sum it all up, all I want to say is that I am in dire need of your help Proffesor. Please take a look at the experimentation works and the thesis that I am sending you, and kindly help me to produce this drug. You have been one of the greatest and most competent people, I have ever seen in my life, and my biggest role model. Your help would absolutely mean the world to me…” 

He closed his laptop, and walked towards the window. 

“As long as we both are breathing in the same atmosphere, every breath in my body will scream the name of your death. I’ll never help those callous cops, at any cost. Once I get what I want, I’ll kill you myself. This is a battle between you and me. So better start counting your days” 

They say that nothing in nature goes unheard. It seemed that Daniel’s communiqué had reached the ears of the soul he was talking to… 

~Siddharth Singh

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