‘Ray’ is an anthology series based on short stories by the iconic Indian filmmaker, writer, and artist Satyajit Ray. Each episode follows one story, and the opening selection follows the calculating businessman Ipsit Nair who begins to lose grip with reality. Based on a short story titled ‘Bipin Chowdhury’r Smritibhrom’ (‘Bipin Chowdhury’s Memory Loss’), the episode is a psychological rabbit hole that puts the audience inside the protagonist’s rapidly devolving mind. The stimulating story of ‘Ray’ episode 1 certainly warrants a closer look. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Ray: Forget Me Not Recap
The episode opens with Ipsit being approached by a woman he doesn’t remember meeting. Introducing herself as Rhea, she goes on to describe an intimate vacation the two spent together in Aurangabad. Ipsit, who doesn’t recognize the woman and is convinced that she’s playing a prank on him, gets angry when she starts spouting personal details to convince him that they know each other. He rudely brushes her off.
We then see Ipsit in the hospital with his pregnant wife, where he handles his marital responsibilities and high-profile career with cold efficiency. His entourage of underlings is seen constantly running errands for him, especially his meek assistant Maggie. Ipsit also takes her along to buy clothes for his soon-expected baby. Throughout his day, however, he can’t shake off the nagging feeling of having forgotten an entire week of his life that he spent in Aurangabad. Things get worse when his partner calls him, telling him he forgot an important meeting.
Ray: Forget Me Not Ending: Who All Took Part in Maggie’s Plan?
Ipsit’s state of mind continues to unravel as everyone he asks confirms that he was in Aurangabad around his 30th birthday 2 years ago. After forgetting to refuel his car and having a nightmare in which he misplaces his newborn daughter at the cinema, Ipsit, nearing nervous collapse, crashes his car. Whilst in hospital, we learn that he had an affair with his assistant Maggie and subsequently forced her to get an abortion.
Once out of the hospital, Ipsit continues to struggle to find answers. He finally arrives in Aurangabad and hallucinates visions of himself with Rhea, at which point he begins to laugh. We then see Ipsit as a committed patient at a mental institution, being spoon-fed by Maggie. As he mumbles gibberish and random words from his childhood, Maggie reveals her sinister plan that resulted in Ipsit’s downfall.
As revenge for the forced abortion and a number of hurtful actions over the years, Maggie and a number of Ipsit’s associates conspired to make him lose his mind. Her sister is revealed to be Rhea, the girl who first approached Ipsit and planted the seed of doubt in his mind. We then see her leave Ipsit locked in his cell in the mental institution with his favorite flowers on his lap — forget me nots.
As it turns out, Maggie’s plan to derail Ipsit turned out to be much more effective than she originally planned. From the way she explains, it sounds like she only wanted to scare Ipsit by making him briefly think that he was losing his most valuable asset — his brain. However, as more and more people who had been slighted by Ipsit in the past joined in to help her, the plan turned into an all-encompassing nightmare that led to Ipsit losing his mind.
Maggie was initially helped by her sister Rhea, who pretended to know Ipsit. She then recruited the help of his trusty friend Gary, whom Ipsit had promised a partnership at work but had then made into a glorified assistant. The selfish boss’ schooltime friend, Anil, who Ipsit promised a job to but also only made into a lowly peon, also agreed to help Maggie, as did the security guard of the building where Ipsit lived. His partner at work, Rahul, also joined the conspiracy after Ipsit belittled him in front of their board of directors.
Maggie is also helped by an unnamed man who goes and makes a false reservation under Ipsit’s name at a hotel in Aurangabad. As it turns out, the plan is unwittingly helped when Ipsit’s wife Amala walks in while he is talking to Maggie about their aborted child. The fact that Amala subsequently leaves Ipsit exacerbates his mental breakdown.
How Did Ipsit Lose His Mind?
His treatment of people notwithstanding, there was initially nothing ailing Ipsit. This means the grim state we see him in at the end of the story is entirely a result of Maggie’s plan. The fact that so many people who were part of Ipsit’s daily life, including his assistants and security guard, conspired together helped create a situation that the protagonist could not escape from. It is also worth noting that all the people that conspired against Ipsit were of lower economic standing than him and worked for him in one way or another. Hence, as was his tendency, Ipsit failed to notice those below him, making him oblivious of the fact that they were plotting against him.
After thinking he forgot to refuel his car, which had actually been emptied beforehand by Gary, and almost losing his baby, who is picked up by a faceless woman (most likely Rhea), Ipsit is convinced that he is losing his faculties. Combined with the traps and lies set up by the others, he is pushed into having a nervous breakdown. His true downfall most likely occurs when he is admitted into a mental institution. It is here that we see Ipsit reduced to a mumbling headcase.
This dramatic transition is most likely because of the electroshock therapy, which we catch a brief glimpse of, that Ipsit is made to undergo. Also, looking at the walls of his cell, which have been extensively scrawled on by him, it seems like Ipsit has already been at the mental institution for a considerable amount of time when we last see him and has truly lost his faculties.
Read More: Is Ray a True Story?