(Dear readers following articles/stories have been brought from my own book titled Naan Enna Paithiyama? authored by me in simple Tamil language. All the articles which are incorporated in Naan Enna Paithiyama?? have been being translated in English. Here we have provided some among them for readers.)
In the second part of this book I am going to explain about persons I met and the mental diseases that tormented them. First of the series is about someone who is very intimate to me- That is ME!
After completing education up to plus 2 in a rural school in Tamil medium, many things like English language, upper class students and fair skinned beautiful girls of North India all made me feel inferior and aloof at the medical college. Having secured first rank from first standard to plus two, I was accustomed to roaming as a hero, but in medical college I felt rather as a comedian.
It should be said that, in my class, about 20% of students hailed from equal or lower socio-economic status compared to me. Some were cheerful, happy and high in spirits. Some hung around with alcohol, dance, fun and joking. (Seeing in retrospect that may be to mask the comedian nature in them). Some of them were looked at as rowdy elements.
But urged by the fear of being looked at as a comedian, and a desire to become a hero, at first I was in the group of villains (May be I thought of acting as a villain first and graduate to a hero later.) Yet I was not the main villain, but one among many sidekicks. But inside me who craved to be the groom in a marital ceremony and be the corpse in a funeral a quest was born. At that time I got a book Thoughts shaping life written by M.S.Udayamoorthy.
The book ignited a spark in me. I searched and collected all books written by him and read them entirely within a span of six months. At that time, a self-confidence series by M.S.Udayamoorthy was published in the weekly magazine Kalki. Friends who were reading popular yellow magazines looked at me mockingly for reading a quality magazine. When thinking in retrospect it seems that their view point was right for their time and age.
I used to read and feel heady on reading the books I purchased. I used to think How great is this thing and looked at my friends with disdain as ill informed people. Whenever I got hold of a pen and paper I wrote lines like You will become what you think.
One day prior to university examinations, friends would sit together in a room for group study. I also nursed a desire to sit with them. But if I sat with them, I could not read. So I would go to the open terrace of the hostel with MS Udayamootrhy books in hand, reading them and remaining content in a dream world. Friends seeing this by chance would enquire What is this mate you are reading this book coolly? We are all shaken to the core thinking about the examinations I would try to show myself even more Cool with a smiling face.
I would read daily throughout the year. But once the examination dates were declared, my heart beat would increase. Friends who played all along would start to read responsibly. But being unable to read lessons, I continued to study Vivekanandar, Osho, Vedhathri Maharishi, Dale Carnegie, Udayamoorthy et al.
I had spent several hours in mediation hall just one day prior to final examinations. Friends would not waste a minute and read. But the outcome of reading daily throughout the year would show when the results come. I and my friends who studied at the last moment would secure more or less the same marks. What will happen if one were to fast throughout the year and strive to eat all in a span of two weeks? Though it seemed at that time the results were the same I am able to feel now the strong fundamentals.
There were times I even thought of running away from my MBBS course. At last when I completed the course somehow and started practicing alone in my village, the experiences and anxieties I encountered, made me search more and more. My searching took me to Bhagavat Geetha, The Bible, Holy Quaran etc. Dr.Rudran was writing then a mental health series Man yesterday and beast today. Why? in Junior Vikatan magazine. I started searching more works of him. Then I happened to read his book Do not search. After this, my quest went on in very many angles. I who focused all my thinking in studies from a very early age, thought of stopping with MBBS and serving rural people and earn, chose psychiatry for further studies. Chennai life taught me a lot of lessons.
Before I went to Chennai for joining in Chennai Medical College to study psychiatry, I was overwhelmed and afraid at the very thought of Chennai. When some VIP’s I looked at awe in media, come to me for counseling today, I could feel the refinement of my soul gained by virtue of my self confidence. Because of my conscious attempts to rein the self confidence from turning in to haughtiness, I did feel highly anxious at times.
Today my mental growth is at a stage of treating philosophies, religions, self improvement books only as belief systems and Science alone as fact Now I do not have quests, confusions, meditations and penance. I am carrying out my profession daily as a penance. Other than playing with my wife and children I do not think anything else as greater yoga. Everything is going smooth and happily. Tomorrow my thoughts may change. Confusions may continue. But the chances are scarce.
I also see thousands of young people who started to search and get confused like me ceaselessly searching. Some get over confused and are brought to me for treatment as serious mental patients.
I who thought once of quitting MBBS, when pondering now about what would have happened to me just in case I pursued some other course, negative thoughts swell inside me. Today though medicine has become a business and being an honest businessman practicing it, I am saddened to see some people trespass the bounds of business and indulging in outright plunder and becoming anti-social in nature. I also nurse a faith that Things will come to pass. I love my medical profession. I am doing it honestly to my conscience. I keep refining my practice every day as a penance. I have earned a lot more than what I thought.
In the following articles I have explained about a hundred and more mental diseases affecting human beings. They are created as neither essays nor stories. Stories narrated are all samples of people who came to me for treatment. Because medicine is science, a diabetes patient reading about diabetes tends to recognize it as my story. Similarly all diabetes patients will think it as their story. Those who read these stories, whether they got treated by me or not may think of them as their own stories. But they are not your stories. They are about mentally affected people and truths about their mental disorders living throughout the world.
Fiction or essay or novel is not important. What is important is that the science of mental health must reach people. Are we not people accustomed to savor the taste of soup rather than bothering its origin?