Swapna is a girl sporting Tamil language zeal and zest, she is capable of expressing creativity in music, writing, drawing and really adept in other creative pursuits. Even at her tenth standard she participated in state level elocution contests, debates and had oratory skills and language ability competitions. She changed her name as “Tamil Chittu” meaning Tamil sparrow.
She took part in many stage meetings in Tamil Nadu extolling socialist principles and voicing anti male chauvinist view points. She came first in the district in her secondary school examinations but discontinued her studies in plus two despite all counsels to pursue studies in order to take part in “social reforms”. She would cite the examples of leader Kamaraj, Writer Jayakanthan,
Actor Kamal Hassan all who succeeded without the benefit of formal education and argue with her mother for hours. She had deep seated hatred for the present system of education. According to her this system is producing only robots that learn by rote and at every opportunity she would express this view in speech and writing.
Tamil Chiitu is about to complete twenty years and contrary to her natural self remained very silent for the last six months. She kept to herself locked alone in her room without interacting with anyone. She did not eat well. She woke up early morning 3 O’ clock and remained wide awake.
One day early morning 5 o’ clock her mother heard her weeping and went to see her. She nestled in her lap and wept for half an hour until her tears went dry.
She lamented “All my classmates are now studying medicine and engineering. I who studied better than them did not heed to your advice and spoiled my life like this. I have become a burden to all” On seeing her daughter who never abided by her words and used to arguments weeping like that she also wept with Tamil Chittu and consoled her later.
By evening six o’ clock, she woke up and bathed her daughter, and applied sacred ash on her forehead. They went to temple. Seeing her daughter, an ardent outspoken atheist following all her counsel and accompanying to temple was a big surprise. She brimmed with joy “Thank God! At last, Goddess Mariammal has granted good mind to my daughter. What if my daughter has not studied? If you remain like this as a good girl true to your age like all, it is enough! My dear one!”She embraced and showered kisses. Tamil Chittu accepted all this calmly without exhibiting outward signs.
On seeing her daughter who went to bed after supper, not waking up even to take bed coffee Chittu’s mother started knocking the door loudly. Hearing the sounds all in the family gathered up and a servant from neighbouring house broke open the door. Inside Chittu was fast asleep with a snore and spittle adrift her mouth. A letter beside her read, “Father, Mother and Brother forgive me. I am a cause of suffering and shame to all of you. I am a culprit. I have sentenced myself punishment of death” From the empty sleeping tablet blisters scattered nearby, it was learnt that she had consumed sixty sleeping pills. She was admitted in a private hospital.
Seeing her hooked up with tube from nose, saline drip in hand and accompanied by an ECG monitor in an ICU, her mother was invoking all gods to the rescue of her daughter.Tamil Chittu woke up after twenty four hours and cried a lot. She was transferred from ICU to general ward. The family had to foot a bill of one lakhs. Chittu wailed “Why did you save me? I am an utter waste”.
Her mother wept and let out a sigh saying “What is money when it comes to you dear” Chittu returned home after a few days.
Chittu’s sported a new “vigour” in her activities for the last two months. Contrary to her habit she started wearing jeans, full sleeve jackets (kurtha), had a closely cropped hair and carried a shoulder bag. When her mother asked about the changes she replied “I am no longer the old Tamil Chittu. Suicide is cowardice and I am going to propagate this message throughout Tamil Nadu.” She started writing throughout the night without sleep. She sent her writings to all the newspapers by courier in the morning. She practiced yoga at early morning two o clock. At five o clock she jogged clad in shorts.
She donated one hundred rupees to all the beggars sitting on her jogging trail. Five thousand rupees was exhausted within two days. She went to relative’s house en route and asked a loan of ten thousand rupees saying that the state government of Tamil Nadu is going to reward her the next day and she will repay then.
Tamil Chittu went to a five star hotel with ten thousand rupees, paid money and swam in the pool for a while. She went to the coffee shop and happened to see an “innocent” young man. She started a conversation. He responded in equal terms to her on honesty, truth, women’s exploitation, male chauvinism, poetry and such. He also told about suicide attempt tried by him a year back to her.
Both of them joined together for campaigning against suicide. The very next day she asked him “Both our frequencies align. Why not we get married?” He was shell shocked. But she did not give him any time consider her proposal. They went and registered their marriage accompanied by two friends.
Both of them are from different religions. “What after all is religion? Mind. Humanism” and such high sounding words were discussed by these two.
Millionaire parents of the boy enforced a “talaaq” and threw him out of the house. The boy who idly roamed around seeking a chance for acting in cinema, attached himself Chittu and came to her house. After much hullabaloo, animated deliberations with relatives and neighbors and shedding much tears and heaping of blames on both of them, her parents admitted them in the house.
Their honeymoon was over and when she started to re commence prevention of suicide campaign he started to retract his earlier pronouncements on gender equality. He foraide wearing jeans and sporting cropped hair. He deeply suspected her. Once again Chittu attempted to commit suicide and was sent to me treatment.
She is afflicted with Bipolar Mood Disorder. The cause is mostly genetic in nature. Certain changes in the chemicals secreted at brain precipitate this. Persons affected by this will be downcast for few months (Like the state of Chittu when she attempted suicide first time). This status is termed as depression. It is followed by a “hyperactive” state (similar to her buoyant mood when she expressed her love.) This is termed as mania.
This continuous switching from depression to manic state is called as Bipolar Mood Disorder.
When they are in a state of depression they tend to think very low about them and their worldview will be cynical. In manic state they will believe that the world can be changed upside down if they set their mind on it.
Both mania and depression are disorders and natural state lies somewhere in between them. If the natural state has to come and if it should last long medicines have to be taken continuously for a few years. If psychotherapy and counseling are given after the right state is attained they will be helpful to prevent relapse to old state.
Marilyn Munroe, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill are few illustrious personalities affected by Bipolar Mood Disorder. Well known novelist Sidney Sheldon has written in his book “The other side of midnight” how he was afflicted by this disorder and he had been taking medicine lithium till his last days.