Posted tagged ‘rudhran’

maladies of the mind..

October 9, 2015

“The lover, lunatic and the poet are all of imagination compact”, remarked the Bard, perhaps signalling that all of them have intense emotional experiences, which we all do have. The term lunatic, inappropriate in all times is invalid now, and mental illness is the description that has replaced it. Mental illness is not just about emotions and their intensity or lack of it, it is an umbrella under which many maladies are contained. Even for this googling generation, almost all mental illnesses are conveniently or comfortably labelled as depression. Depression is just one of the many mental illnesses that affect humans.

Depression though a very commonly used, and rather misused term ( as many use it to call from degenerative brain pathology, technically called Dementia to simple difficulties in social functioning, as in personality disorders), is not just one type. We have all experienced losses and failures and felt low, sad and even at times despondent because of those events. This is called secondary depression. It is a reaction to an unpleasant event in life. Generally this would pass off in time and we would get back to our social and functional adequacy.  And then, there is another one called Major or Primary Depression.

Major Depression is not event related. It can strike anyone anytime, as it is a disorder of neurochemical transmission. Though there are some factors like hypothyroidism, diabetes, certain medications, and some genetic factors that can predispose one to a Major Depressive Disorder, it is essentially a biochemical disturbance that can only be treated with medication. In the currently raging fad that makes people shrug at the very mention of a prescription, MDD is a ripe field for quacks and fakes to swindle people and waste their time in getting early and proper treatment. On this, we shall see later.

What happens when MDD strikes? The person loses sleep to begin with, and gradually loses interest in all that he was involved passionately earlier. It mars his concentration, reduces his functional competency, makes him see the world dark, pushes him into a self- withdrawal, refuses him to take care of himself, and this ‘darkness visible’, can at times push him into a suicidal rumination and attempt. Depression can be considered as a serious emergency because of its potential life-taking possibility.

MDD apart, mood dysregulation can also manifest as a BI-POLAR disorder in which a person alternatively exhibits severe depressive sadness and switches imperceptibly into a ‘manic’ phase that is marked by incongruent elation and disturbing exuberance. This shifting mood makes not just the person unpredictable but also his relationships vulnerable. This again is a major mental illness and can be treated only with medication.

Mood apart, thought is what makes a man function- personally and socially. A severe form of thought disorder in which even perceptions get disarrayed is called SCHIZOPHRENIA. This is a very severe mental illness and it affects all social classes, both sexes, beyond religious and national boundaries in the age group 15 to 45. Unless detected and treated early, schizophrenia can devastate an individual’s life. This again is a neurochemical dysfunction coupled perhaps with a genetic transmission. This is one mental illness that is most researched and even now is the focus of scientific psychiatric investigation. Medication alone can handle this malady.

Schizophrenia is characterised by again loss of sleep and withdrawal in the beginning. But as time passes the individual loses focus in almost everything and is seen going further into himself. Though the affected alone can hear voices talking to him, threatening him and commenting on him, the outsider can still identify this symptom of ‘voices’. The patient would start muttering to self, not like what we all do when stressed or rehearsing for a stressful event, but muttering and alternatively appearing to listen as though he is in a conversation with a non-existent being. Besides hearing voices and responding to them orally or at time by acting out the ‘received ‘commands, schizophrenia is also characterised by delusions. These false beliefs are not induced as in the religious charlatans ‘money making mockery of the public. These delusions are baseless convictions in which even an innocent child can appear as a sinister evil conspiring and planning to harm the patient. These paranoid delusions are very common in schizophrenia. Again, it has to be reiterated that only medication can help these suffering individuals, because of the increasing popularity of  the stylish fad  wondering whether counselling alone would not suffice as therapy. You cannot counsel a schizophrenic patient, because he does not have insight- the reasoning of reality that makes him accept that he is sick. His hallucinatory voices and delusional convictions are unshaken in any conversation that tries logical reasoning. Unless the neurochemical balance is corrected, he will not listen, and therefore not understand.

Another important and common psychiatric illness is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Unlike in schizophrenia here the affected person is aware of his problems but absolutely incapable of doing anything to come out of it. OCD is again not a rare illness. It can be seen even in literary descriptions, like the Lady Macbeth lamenting on the inadequacy of all the perfumes of Arabia to wash her stain. OCD is characterised by repetitive actions done consciously but without voluntary control. Unless a specific number of times an act is done the individual becomes stressed and distressed very much. There are tow types of OCD symptoms one is repetitive cleaning and the other repetitive checking. A variant of these two would be repetitive acts that may be guffawed away as quirks or habits. We check because we are scared, we clean because something is dirty. Fear and shame are the underlying emotional disturbances in OCD. Regarding OCD, certainly medication is the first line of treatment. But since the individual can listen to sense and comply with therapeutic instructions, some behavioural modification techniques when taught alongside the prescription would help in recovery.

Now to come to minor mental illnesses, one can see the entire human emotional and social spectrum. From simple anxiety which we all experience and conveniently describe as non-existent butterflies in the stomach, to severe panic in which we cannot get into a lift or even close the toilet door when we have to use the restroom, there are a wide range of problems. Most of them are self-remitting, that is short lived and event related. Some like Phobia persist and do not go away even with total insight and high level intellectual capability.

Dependency on drugs or people can also be a psychiatric problem to be addressed. Addiction is another area of mental illness. Besides these, mental retardation, dementia, personality disorders, relationship  problems, learning difficulties and many more come under the group called psychiatric illnesses. Even the problem encountered by many doctors who are frustrated explaining to their patient that there is no physical problems, but find them coming again and again- the problem of what was once called hypochondriasis is a psychiatric illness. A once popular word, another misnomer that is still in usage- ‘hysteria ‘is also a mental illness.

Hysteria was named thus as the Greeks believed that the uterus of the woman was moving all over her inside and making her do bizarre things. This is now described under two types. One is conversion’- where one converts a psychological problem into a physical one. A common example would be having a headache when one is angry and unwilling to go to bed with partner. The other is ‘dissociation’- where the individual dis- associates from reality to escape stress or seek attention. This is commonly manifested in our country as ‘possession’- by a God or an Evil spirit, according to their cultural milieu. Here the individual though initially behaves involuntarily, at some time enjoys the attention he or she gets and goes on to exhibit the behaviour as and when time permits and need arises.

This is a very, very brief outline of mental illnesses. This may not help you to understand them all. But to identify any mental illness look out for- 1) sleep disturbance, 2)lack of focus in work, conversation and self-care 3) unusual and inappropriate speech or behaviour even if it is only for a brief period, 4) emotional imbalance of inappropriately extreme sadness or elation, 5) a gradual decline in occupational, social and interpersonal spheres of life. If you notice these take the individual to a doctor. Don’t Google and conclude, don’t get swayed by the promises of quacks, don’t ask the opinion of every non-medical person ranging from your auto-rickshaw driver to your jobless neighbour. Mental illness is treatable and in many cases curable. Help them to get their life back.

This was written for ‘THE WEEK’ mental health special issue October 10, 2015 (http://specials.manoramaonline.com/THEWEEK/2015/Mental-Health/experts/various-mind-disorders-symptoms-therapies/index.html)

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Facebook foible

September 16, 2014

To discover or invent the psychology of the pathology of the facebook I need words, but I wonder if I do really have them. I am getting close to saying I am at a loss for words.

If I were not in facebook, I would have savoured and used many words again. I don’t mean just words. Words are just a part of a grand design whose line drawing is a sentence.

I may have gone on writing in the paper on the same page the next day or the next year, but the page with my words would have just been there, hanging around like a loyal dog waiting for an uncaring master. I may have even let the poor dog die unfed and uncared, but I would not have caught it and flung onto the street, where its whimpers would have drowned in the chaotic traffic out there. Facebook  has made me merciless and cruel, more cruel than a child battering mother. I give birth to these words in their formative design, and without waiting for them to grow and grab other words and weave another branch or related words, I thrust them out into the harsh light of social media which scorches more than the sun in its peak of heat.

I am not lamenting at the premature death of so many poetic probabilities that were prematurely delivered and left to die, untreated and uncared at the reduced number of ‘likes’. Thank God they did not create a  clickable ‘dislike’ till this moment. I feel like the shameless and selfish mother who disowns her child because it does not beget her appreciation. I have let so many lovely angels decay before they grew their wings and turned rosy. My words are unfortunate to have been born in this facebook era. Had they been born in the days of paper and pen, they would have still been alive and around, and if perchance I see them in a new light, may have got resuscitated. Not these days; words flee from typing fingers onto the launch pad of a click button, and in seconds after their appearance, appear in front of all. Not the ‘ALL’, but the ‘all’ who I have considered my temporary all. And, not all look at these words. Some are not even aware that they have arrived, some do not care to give them a second look, a few ignore, and a few more refuse to acknowledge. The fresh sculpture soon finds a dustbin, and with the million tons of debris and rubbish that keep piling everyday it may never find an archaeologist, anytime in the farthest future.

Having wasted so many words I still keep collecting them. I still keep weaving them into a tapestry that I always imagine would surpass the shroud of Turin. But those golden threads have gone out of the window, and I have gilded copies which would soon fade and dim in the eyes and minds of whoever cares to even take them on for a look.

I pause, ponder and in defense pontificate, that words are just the outpouring of a perennial stream and there it would always be, the source of the stream, supplying for eternity.  I lie to myself and write- ‘Wordless in the wilderness of mind..’

It is not that words have flown away from my memory; it is just that they are looking back at my mind which flung them out. They look down and mock at times, at my foolish delusion that they would one day soar up above the world so high that they would twinkle and light a new path. They do look up at me with ineffable sorrow, to make me guilty that I have thrown a seed out before looking at the ground and its fertility. They pray to me, an incompetent creator, hoping that I would resurrect them or give another birth and a chance to do something worthwhile. They pretend to believe in me, and pretend to believe in the world outside of me.  I have thrown out many words. Every word I threw out was not a casual toss into oblivion; they were all pellets aimed at a goliath that I had not even sighted. I have thrown away many words, original words that glittered and glimmered in the illusory sentences that my mind elaborately designed in deceit. All those words are gone. My mind and its brain still have surplus stock of words, but many are just replicas of those original words which went flying out into a fathomless obscurity. Having had the delight and ecstasy of using the original word in its pristine form to make a virgin design, replicas make me sigh.

Lies again. Not the cunning, scheming, malicious and brutal lies that are generally evident; these are lies that smoothly sail out like a leaking perfume, and hover long enough to get noticed and vanish. They would by the time have made their impact. An impact that would not choke or scorch, but an impact that would slowly cloud the vision, temporarily but long enough to distract and alter the perspective. Depths would no more be deep enough….

NO..I cannot write lies to myself. I cannot take writing down to the level of a ‘selfie’. I have to save my words, whatever is left of them, for a hope in the dark future when I may have an opportunity to unhurriedly set a necklace uncaring whose neck it would adorn the next day.

Until then, I have to write lies, not for myself but for others.

psychology of blogging

October 29, 2012

*** this was written in 2008, posting again with cyber-accusations and criminal actions becoming more frequent.***

Whether Kancha Ilaiah is a fraud or whether saibaba is a god, whether there is brahmanical fanaticism or fanatic anti-brahmanism, there are enough blogs to argue both sides. All these bloggers can argue rather forcefully even if not sensibly. Why is blogging picking up?

Basically the operative element is an anonymous proximity. Even if my photo is seen you  cannot claim to become my friend and try to spend time with me. This safe “use and throw” relationship-of-convenience is the primary attraction of blogs. I can say what I want, and if you decide to register your protest I still have the right and the choice to allow the protest on my page. Those who see my page will be seeing my views and my counters (whenever, and if ever I can logically produce one) and no one will know where and when I am at a loss to explain.

I can still feel I am in a crowd that is talking about things which matter to me. I can protest with dignity or cheapness, be an angel or a devil, talk when I want to and be silent if that is fine for me. I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion, except when I dare to spit valueless venom through a personal pathology. These are the conveniences I have noticed and even used in blogs.

The second operative element in blogging is its pseudo-personal space wherein one can become disinhibited. Though your true skin will be seen by others when your blog is posted, you need not hesitate to say whatever you feel like unlike in the real world where you have to observe elementary decency to those who deserve it. Yet, it is only a disinhibited and not an uninhibited behaviour, because deep down you are conscious that your words are going to be seen by someone somewhere.

Masked identity is another courage-boosting element of blogging. You need not talk in your real name.  I know of some people who chose to mask their identity for real and valid reasons, but most of the persons who write in pseudonyms ( and sometimes in anonymity) do so out of fear. Though their words may appear courageous they still have not mustered enough conviction and courage to come out in the open and stand by what they have said.

Why mask identity? Some are like a compassionate medusa, for if their face is seen their critics would turn into stone, stupefied with fear. Some are like clowns who need to have a different identity to make an apparent fool of themselves so that others can have a good laugh. Some are like a silly child hiding behind a table thinking no one can see who and where they are. Whether one decides to disclose her/his identity or not is certainly a private decision that has to be respected and even if not accepted, not discussed.

The problem of wearing a mask is different in a socio-psychological perspective. There are intellectuals who use their intelligence to call themselves idiots, and so too are there idiots who stupidly call themselves intellectuals. Depending on why the mask is worn, and depending on the insightful intellect of the individual, a mask becomes a potent weapon or a poor joke.

It is understandable if masks are worn and identities deliberately disguised in the mushrooming social networking sites. Though these sites can be a forum for healthy and honourable matters, mostly they are used to find a `friend` to flirt. An elderly uncle who tries to wear shorts and T-shirts, ugly dyeing of hair and a false accent in which lies are expressed as values, will never be able to date a young girl with average intelligence. But in the virtual world, the same uncle just has to assume a name, age, occupation and marital status that would bring scraps to his page! But, blogs are not meant for picking up a date. Whether your profile declares you as young or old, spiritual or religious, left or right, no one `falls` for you. Only your views matter. And therefore your identity is never masked or invisible. However sublime your language, however innocent your discussion, your colours will show through the veil.

Blogging has its psychological benefits. Just as how your mind operates in a dramatic performance there are certain mechanisms operating here too. Initially there is identification, then there is the possibility of learning a conflict resolution and finally there is a catharsis. You identify with the character or the cause or the chronicle, you feel you have experienced a similar situation. Then you see the situational conflict resolved in the performance and if you choose to, you may try to use it to answer your personal question. Even if you cannot find a solution to your problem in the performance-narrative it would still be a cathartic relief. You can download feelings from your emotive memory and get the same relief of being happy, sad, angry or disgusted. But are blogs used for this?

Though blogs can be of immense personal psychological comfort, I see some bloggers using it to throw mud (if not spit venom) on ideas that are not consistent with their own values. Blogs are becoming pamphlets thrown on the disinterested by stander. If perchance someone reads and accepts their ideas it is fine, otherwise just some space on space is wasted! However impassionate and objective you may describe yourself, you will tend to lean towards one ideology versus another. If you have not formed your own opinions on matters, these moments would tilt you towards a particular idea if not ideology. The intelligent wearing the mask of an idiot would appeal to your conscience by their pseudo-innocence. You will fall for the game plan. Some vague emotional itch that you have been bearing all along would be scratched and you will not only become comfortable with that anonymous hand, you would start yearning for it.

If we can just be  a little more aware when we imagine that we are awake, we can escape from the dragnet. We would be able to retain our power to choose. We can choose only when we think. And, when we start thinking we cannot be silent. We would start protesting.

This is what had happened to me, and I consequently started  commenting on issues that I felt were concerning me, and the response I got from one blogger was that I have “become jobless”!! Blogging is not a jobless individual’s way of spending time, it is a social obligation to respond to the milieu.

2012 first day

January 1, 2012

It is another day, yet not just.

Calendars have changed their headings, so have newspapers..world celebrates this day; welcomes it with warmth, brandy for some and beer for some, smiles automatically extend lips that always lie, everyone wants to wish the other a ‘happy new year’..whatever that happiness is.

Happiness though  being a totally subjective phenomenon is often used as a projective weapon on the willing sacrificial goats.Go to a wedding and wish the couples, go to a client whom you have just cheated enough to sell a senseless concept, go to a party or a meeting…to strangers, friends, family… You get so used to “wishing happiness”, it is just a matter of time before you don’t mean what you say.

Wishing happiness!!! The greatest farce of emotive intelligence! (If ever that façade of social necessity really is erected not just in minds).

‘Have a happy whatever’ simply means, “let me tell you I sort of care and am sort of interested in you…Well not exactly you, but in our transaction”. Apparently ok. But where does ‘happiness’ fit in? And, by the way whose happiness?

It is elementary business sense that to do a profitable business the buyer or the client has to be in a good frame, rather a happy frame of mind. So it actually means, “Oh god, let this person be happy so that he takes in what I give or say or want”. Wishing someone something is never unselfish, for when you wish you express that you need, and though your need need not be an accumulation or an acquirement, it can simply be a mood state that you temporarily desire- yes, a wish is always a desire, primarily all desires are yours. If your desires are allegedly someone else’s then it is your desire for a masochistic martyrdom.

Coming back to wishing, and that too on a day made memorable by all the clocks and calendars of the world, let me join the chorus in wishing each other a happy new year. We do need each other, after all we all live together here in this world. Be happy, it will make me happy, albeit ultimately.

understated apperception

July 25, 2011

An empty page on the screen is akin to an empty canvass without a sketch, albeit in mind.
An empty canvass contains many paintings while my hand gropes in pain to seek that one elusive composition, which is unformed in my mind.
My paintings are signed off before they are finished. My music always ends on a false note. My dreams are never long enough to be captured by my memory. My projections are reversed, my thoughtscape is deserted. I wait.
I keep waiting for that elusive word that would enlighten itself into a meaningful sentence. While waiting I just browse through the years that I have lived and wasted. None of them are real as experiences. All of them are faded memories. Like an outdated radio searching for a signal, I keep wandering inside myself to catch that one phrase which would transform my discomfiting silence into a soundless emptiness or a soulful music.
And weeks later as I read all that has been written on this page, just to write that next line, a silent grief engulfs me. Why do I write at all?
Perhaps an understated aggression pervades my alleged allegiance to all art forms, perhaps it is the unending love of deliberate self-harm.
And in the same note, does a stroke of pencil or brush destroy the inviting emptiness of a canvass? Is it a total destruction or a tsunami that leaves patches of life intact?
Where do I go from emptiness when I cannot attain everything? Why the woe of wondering in self-pity’s imposed solitude gratifying, even if temporarily? Why do I have the compulsion to get obsessed about sadness and anger, the black and red instead of the ambiguous blue which contains the spectrum of emotive hues?
Why do weaving words become more important than what they purport to impart? Why is design and form more attractive than concept and packaging, even when the mind is aware of the games it plays with itself?
What is the purpose of expressing? If catharsis is the prime motive then why do these expressions come over to public domain? Have I finished gazing at my mind’s mirror?

Iti…. a cinematic experience.

December 26, 2010

Cinema is always an experience. From the greek days any performance has been a projection, an identification and a catharsis. I had the wonderful opportunity that ought to be described as fortunate, to watch a film that made me yearn to see it again, go to my library and pull out dust laden old books, and keep talking about it not only on facebook and buzz, but in real time too..

I am writing about the film ‘iti mrinalini’ by Aparna Sen. Years ago, I was stunned at 36 Chowringee lane, her first film which I happened to see, when my exposure to world cinema had not even been with VHS tapes. Now, in the luxury of my home theatre I watch cinematic masterpieces at will and pleasure. I can afford to compare. I can ponder to dissect and discuss. I knew very little cinema when I saw her first film, but now having seen many great and many more good films, I have to be grateful to the lady for making this film, though in a snobbish beer laden slouch on a sofa I can pick at all the weak spots in that film. A film is what you see and experience at that time. It is an emotion, only later do words come and make it rational and relational. I fell in love with the film- what am I projecting or identifying to enforce a cathartic ‘aha’ experience? At this moment and point of writing I do not know. I may, by the time I finish, or may not too- not every experience can be defined and described.

OK! ‘iti mrinalini’ appears to be a very simplistic story. A very successful actress climbing on screen and falling in life, writes a suicide note, and reminisces. Her life is narrated in flashbacks as she extracts nuggets from her memory laden old box. This by itself is a story line that Shakespeare could have pursued. It needed Shakespeare because the narration needs poetry: The writer/director, therefore uses Tagore. As the flimsy cellophane wrapping of the story line is unwrapped layers and layers of laden narratives breeze through the film. The pride, passion and poise of a truly great artist is a portrait painted on screen. I did not cry after the film, maybe I should have.

And, why does the protagonist wishes death and starts writing the suicide note? She has lost a great role in what could have become a great film! It sounds too simplistically silly, unless you ponder on why all contemplations of suicide are on flimsy grounds. Flimsy? Yes, indeed flimsy, to the one peeping through a window. No emotion is flimsy inside. We laugh at somebody slipping, we cry at somebody dying… it is a moment of appropriate emoting, not experiencing the high and low of reality.

The film is loaded with Tagore. I don’t just love him but adore him. This could have favorably prejudiced me. His lines are so meaningfully and majestically woven into the script and narration.

She decides to die after many tragic and painful moments of her life. She had been living in a dream which was fulfilled part-time by her married mentor who lives in with her; she had given birth to a lovely girl and given her away for adoption to her brother, she is rejected by her lover, her daughter dies in an accident…but she chooses to quit acting only later. She decides to quit acting after seeing the death of Sayajit Ray on TV, saying she had always been waiting for a call from him, and now that he is no more she need not act for or with others.

Clichéd? Of course! As clichéd or more than Clint shooting a lot of guys, but then that is cinema. In life you don’t see clichés. A good cinema does not make you feel that you are watching clichéd script. ‘iti mrinalini’ was a good film for me when I saw it squirming in an uncomfortable seat in a congested theatre. I say it was, hoping it will be so when I see it again.
When the film ended in a screening at the Chennai International Film Fstival 2010, Aparna Sen was there in the lobby, ready to interact with viewers. I wanted to just go there, hold her hands and express a very silent ‘thank you’. I did not. Therefore this verbose but very real “thank you Aparna Sen”
 

A cinema’s success is what happens while viewing not when reviewing.

Ineffability

January 24, 2010

Anytime one sits to type words there is this strange moment when words are crowding and jostling to jump out of the mind’s cluster into the stream of a legible sentence. This is especially more when one starts to make those floating thoughts a written word after a long gap. It has been six months since I have written a paragraph in English and the inaction did make me wonder if there would be any ‘disuse atrophy’ in my language. I had forcibly made my English into Tamil in my effort to improve my speed and standard of Tamil writing, and now that I have released myself from that self-imposed sentence of writing only Tamil sentences, I feel more free and comfortable, though I do not have any particular topic in mind when I begin writing this post.

To define or discuss words are needed as much as they are needed to describe, and every definition and discussion do in a subtle way tend to be descriptions, of something definite or something that is going to be defined!

To describe something is easy because there is that something, but to describe the inability to describe, brings many thoughts. William James ( in his book titled varieties of religious experience) has mentioned ineffability as one of the qualities of mystic experience. Groping for words and the incompetence of spoken or written language does not constitute ineffability.  It is an awe filled with empathy. It is the silent admiration of silence. Silence is not ineffable, ineffability is silence.

Encountering silence is the beginning of a mystic monologue in which there need not be a listener.

In silence do I speak. What if to myself, I still speak. And, I talk about mysticism and masonry, crime novels and Kafka. Is my silence ever silent and vacant, devoid of thoughts that albeit with variations, come as words?

Often when I slouch on my couch in ‘vacant’ mood, silence slouches along too, keeping a half-shut eye on me, awaiting his master’s voice, even if it were to just utter an idiotic grunt of irrelevance. Speech, not hearing or being heard is primary, for in silence the tongue does shudder imperceptibly, unlike in conversations and declarations where it wags dutifully like a social dog’s tail.

Is soliloquy a search for or a declaration of identity? What is a soliloquy and what is an identity?

And what indeed is silence, just the absence of sounds, or words or thoughts? Or is it an emptiness that encompasses everything in its nothingness? Is every question the womb of silence that awaits the delivery of an answer? Or is a question by nature silent, with words framing the empty canvass?

Objective questions that do not infringe the boundaries of self’s secret abode always provide interesting avenues for the written and spoken word. Though the word is always the golden hued offspring for the utterer,  when the one who utters becomes the one who receives the same through the senses, objectivity very sublimely blends into subjectivity. The Indian philosophical tradition of advaita is convenient in that no guilt needs to be carried as all is because of one, the indivisible, and the ineffable. Random thoughts may someday assemble themselves into coherence.

Till then, I do rejoice in the meta-ineffability of the multitude of words.

There is profit in writing. Tangible economic and intangible social profits were always there and the writers were consciously or subconsciously aware of the gains. In fact, they worked for these gains. Writing was as much a social as it was a personal necessity. The art was a catharsis for the performer as well as the audience. It is this cathartic element that will create a mystic empathy which defines any art form.

The profits are still sought, perhaps more consciously and with more meticulous planning. Every prize carries a selling assurance. It is not like those days when the prize winner was generally left for the intellectuals – real and pretentious. The serious reader in my younger days was not always having the money to buy the books he wanted. I, who wanted to read serious stuff and who loved to pose as a serious literature reader, never had the money to buy a Camus or a Hesse, in my youth. But now I find the Pulitzer, booker and other winners being bought by a large number of youth. It is hard to find out who reads. The reader is no more distinct with a carefree (perhaps the only affordable) attire.

With these little and loosely connected thoughts I begin to write, unknowing where the tide shall take me.