Arnab discovered the Power right around the same time he had decided to become a doctor. He had been in class seven, his voice cracking and squeaking, a mind all it’s own—small curly whips of hair just beginning to appear on his chest, when he suddenly became ill one day, with a temperature so high that his pediatrician had insisted he be hospitalized. It was a cold, gray December day, in Kolkata when his mother had bundled him up, packed him into the car, and brought him to the emergency room, where he had a seizure in the waiting room.
The next thing he remembered was waking up alone in a hospital room, confused and disoriented. He had felt his nose running, and saw the box of tissues on the table beside the bed, but had been too weak to lift his arm to reach for one. He just sat there, staring at the box, when suddenly the tissue lifted up into the air on its own and floated over to his nose.
Later, he was told that he had contracted pneumococcus meningitis. The doctors had said that his chance of survival was less than fifty percent. But he did survive, and made a complete recovery.
At first he thought that the episode with the tissue was part of a dream brought on by fever, but when he returned home he found that the Power, as he came to call it, was real. He went to several local libraries and read everything he could find on parapsychology and telekinesis, which was very little. His best subject in school was always Science, and he set up multiple experiments to test his abilities.
In the end, he discovered he could move anything that he could visualize in his mind. It could be hidden from view, but he had to have a clear idea of what it looked like for the Power to work. No matter how hard he concentrated he couldn’t move anything that weighed over about five pounds, or that was more than thirty yards away. “Exercising” his Power did not result in any improvements. He would picture an object in his mind, “will” it to move, and it would—except that it required intense concentration, and resulted in a migraine headache that would often last the rest of the day. Therefore, he didn’t use the Power often, and he decided not to tell anyone about his unusual skill. Even at fourteen-years-old he knew that his life would change forever if his secret were revealed.
Those three weeks in the hospital had a profound effect on him. He decided that he wanted to devote his life to medicine. He started taking school more seriously, and his grades improved dramatically. He graduated from high school third in his class, and now, as a senior in college, was on the honor roll and in the top ten percent of his class. He was determined to reach his goal, and had essentially devoted his life to his studies.
He was coming home late from the library tonight. He had been up since five in the morning, and was exhausted. He turned the corner and started across the Ultadanga Bridge when a man wielding a huge knife suddenly confronted him.
“Give me your purse! Now!” the man shouted.
“I don’t have a purse,” Arnab said, “Or any money with me either.”
“Aaga! I’ll slit your throat and take it myself if you don’t give it to me!”
Arnab concentrated on the knife. He tried to visualize it twisting out of his attacker’s hand. His Power wasn’t strong enough to actually remove the knife from his hand, but the man could feel it moving on its own. He kept looking back and forth—first at the knife, then at Arnab, then at the knife again.
“What the hell?” the stranger said, then suddenly he charged at Arnab. As he came forward he tripped and fell headfirst into the bridge’s metal railing, knocking himself unconscious. Arnab ran the rest of the way home.
His heart was pounding fiercely as he entered the apartment, finally safe. His roommate wasn’t home, but the mail from earlier in the day was on the kitchen table. Right on top were letters from two medical schools. He had been accepted to both.