Saturday, 23 October 2010

An Issue that Concerns me

She lay there on the road, eyes bruised and vision faded.
Cars were racing past her, and she couldn’t stand up to help herself. She muttered something to herself, something no one bothered to listen to or even understand.
Far from survival and so close to death her world was so limited. No one around saw the fear in her eyes, no one stopped to think of how she felt; nor did they see the pain she was in. No one understood her or what she said and frankly no one had the time to.
This is the condition of majority of the women below the socio-economic line in our country.
These are the women who suffer from mental disorders in our country, not due to any fault on their side but because circumstances have been unfortunate for them. Circumstances which could stem right from abuse from the family, husband or other situational factors.
Yet, we all live ignoring this marginalized section of the society- the people who need our attention.
Who is to blame? Is it their fault, or is it just destiny?
She bathes in depression, hangs over in sadness and disappears in silence. Her life is a vacuum, a vacuum where hope- the hope to live on is very little. Life is so unpredictable, and yet it is so difficult to differentiate between reality and illusions.
Tied up with one’s own life, it is difficult to fathom another one’s life. With progressive speed life pushes forward with advancements in technology, fashion and cinematography.
Where do these people fit in? Do words make any difference when heard? Is there away to remove mental illness from our society?
These are some of the questions that fill my head when I think of mental illnesses.
Sickness prevails in us all, and we suffer from it at some point of time in our lives. Minor health issues like fever, flu, stomach pains to acute ones like malaria, diabetes, epilepsy are some names we can associate ourselves with; but Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Mania or Anxiety disorders to name a few are not what we come across every day. These are much more severe.
Poverty, being one of the root problems faced in our country is intertwined and linked with mental illness. Those who do not have enough money roam the streets begging for alms; sometimes they get a meagre amount, at other times nothing.
With no money they cannot afford basic shelter, clothing or medicines.
They thus resort to finding their home at any place they stop at; pavements, sidewalks, in shanty-type shelter, under bridges, places where civic health is at its minimum.
Not protected by the climate or the unhygienic area these people start to develop diseases, diseases even they can’t fight back for there is no money to buy medicines.
Not being able to bathe properly on occasions in a nearby river where thousands like themselves also bathe leave them a bit clean but yet unhygienic and unprotected from the numerous infectious diseases.
This is a glimpse into their struggle for survival. With no amenities like soap, shampoo, etc it is not difficult to imagine what our poverty stricken friend looks like.
Poverty leads to Mental Illness. Mental Illness is a diversion of thought processes; a time when all hope has been lost and self esteem has become negligible.
It is the most severe stage when thought processes become completely deteriorated and the person becomes disillusioned.
Mental Illness cannot be cured, but it can be fought. Life can exist in the lives of those people who suffer from mental illnesses, and they can lead happy and productive lives.
It is only through this perception of hope that we can sow the seeds for these people and change the face of mental illness in our country.
Love, warmth and medical attention are all that’s needed. After-all they are human too; they laugh and cry just like you and I, and deserve a place in the society.
Tremendous efforts are made on behalf of various organizations across the country, but yet there is a lack of awareness, a lack of sensitivity towards this issue.
It is a common phenomenon to spot poverty in the country, but how often do we really stop, and think about their health? It’s common to brush these people away as life has become so individualistic and fast-paced in today’s times.
Mental Illness needs attention in our society and we need to fight for it. We need to get the government more pro-active on this issue and people need to pay more attention to this issue.
We need to brush away the stigma that is attached with it. Likewise we need to work on eradicating poverty- trying to work on upliftment of people who are living below the socio-economic line.
Life is a selfish game and we need to change the rules. We need to give more importance to issues in our society, rather than improving the lives of the middle-class and upper middle class. These issues lie right in front of our eyes as we live; issues that we have chose to brush away.
Mental Illness is not a taboo, nor is it a myth but it is a reality existing in our society. We need to draw forth attention and fight for its cause so that life becomes better not only for the mentally ill but for us as well.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Why i write

I always thought that anyone could write; that there was nothing special to be able to vocalize/verbalize oneself, and have that put down on paper. Things changed though, after I started writing.
It was like I had won a race; without having moved a step forward. That’s the gift of language.
What we feel, and how we vocalize those emotions completely gets channelized through mere adjectives, verbs, and nouns.

We can have, some of the best conversations through writing.
The physical absence of a friend; or relative can be bridged through communication.
Countless emotions are let on the loose through writing, emotions we never knew would surface.

I write as an instrument of expressing myself, and thoughts.
Expression of thought is the most vital things one needs to be comfortable doing.
One can’t bottle up one’s emotions to have it displaced upon another object.
It needs to be channelized through the right medium, in the right way.
Thus, by writing down my feelings I feel I’m able to better express myself. Writing comes to me instinctively and sometimes I am able to better express myself than through words.

Language also has the power within it to make us feel assorted emotions.
I started writing through the form of poetry.
Poetry was the pillar of support I leaned against, when frustrated, angry, happy or sad.
It was how I released my feelings; after all
“Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings that takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.”

Media is the main crux keeping people in this world thinking, aspiring and hoping for more.
It echoes the voice of not only those who can speak, but also those who hesitate to. I write so that I can voice my thoughts.
As soon as I feel anything strongly, I can always find solace through writing. I also write so that I can introspect upon myself, as I can always go back and refer to my writings.

When I don’t write I feel like I’m trapped in a vacuum. Emotions need to be released. More importantly I write because I love writing. I love the power of the pen, and the ability to let my imagination run wild at times.
The best part is that, in writing there are no judges... but always scope for improvement and I’m a constant apprentice when it comes to writing.

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