Live Love Laugh

The end of mental illness by Daniel G Amen

I love weekends. They give me a legitimate reason to stay away from a place I find little joy, returning to. As the workers, go about running the machines, one gets to finish pending orders, plan, introspect, read and sleep. After they leave today, by five the lights will be switched off and one will gaze out at nothing, drift in and out of sleep and wake up slightly chirpier in the morning. Although, I seem to be forgetting what that really sounds like these days. Note to self- dance as frequently as possible.

Anyhow, one digresses. There was an interesting article about Deepika Padukone and her foundation that helps people with mental health issues- Live Love Laugh. The article states that the role of the caregiver is very important and in her case, it was her mother who figured out that she was depressed. Well, if you are lucky to have sensitive people around you, that’s good. But even if you aren’t and you feel like a mess, much can be done. In my case, since I’m masochistic and have suicidal thoughts, the minute I started ideating about death, I sought help. I even dragged my ass to a clinic, to get my psychological profiling done. One’s had the privilege of witnessing one’s mother’s life and one would rather not have a rescuer ( although, to be honest, one does have someone who will show up when one sounds too terrible and SC, loves it. I guess despite my anti social ways, one’s human). For now, one would rather be in control of one’s own mental, physical and emotional well being.

It’s a tricky thing, though. One day, you feel you’re better and suddenly out of the blue, after a decade of no masochistic acts, you’re slashing your arm, after being being triggered. It’s freaking frightening, to be honest. But once you figure out what or who triggers you, you can counter it. A friend spent ten days with me, countering the criticism one deals with on a regular basis. It helped, the way, my teacher would, countering the criticism with appreciation and the hate with tenderness and understanding. My teacher saved my life, otherwise I would have been dead by eighteen! This one doesn’t get my gratitude, though, just, ‘ I don’t need, nobody! Don’t try to be my father!’

Unfortunately, he doesn’t take my silence, and withdrawals seriously. In fact, my silence is met with lots of questions about my well being, my withdrawal with incessant calls and the latter with laughter and ‘you behave just like my two year old niece!’ So, I guess, I do have a caregiver- not technically, not someone who takes me for my sessions or insists I take my meds ; someone who is neither a family member nor a spouse. But someone who believes I can manage everything on my own yet watches me like a hawk and shows up when he thinks, I’m spiralling out of control and need some food, sunlight, laughter and dancing. I guess, we all need a caregiver, someone who cares about our well being. Not just when we are sick but on a regular basis. Caregivers come in different forms, I’m glad I have one.

VogueEmpowers -My Choice


  The cutest little boy sobs and yells “mummy”, while his mother asks him, ‘are you a girl? Boys don’t cry!’ An ad featuring Madhuri Dixit and directed by Vinil Mathew, ends with a woman struggling with her husband and the message ‘ladke rulate nahin he‘. It’s a message against domestic violence. Start With The Boys is not  groundbreaking but it’s definitely a laudable attempt to break male stereotypes .


 There’s a new VogueEmpower video which has gone viral and there’s been much hue and cry about it, over various social media platforms. Though I loved the line, ‘to wear the clothes I like even when my spirit rolls naked ‘ and ‘to pick you from seven billion choices or not’; this video featuring Deepika and 98 other women, titled ‘My Choice’, is being very harshly criticized.  I think Homi Adjani and Deepika Padukone shouldn’t have claimed that it’s a woman choice to cheat on her husband or not. It was opening up a can of worms that our society is not ready to deal with.


Many questions arise from the criticism this line has received. Such as-Why do people cheat? Are humans supposed to be monogamous in the first place? Many studies claim that monogamy is unnatural.

 If we are supposed be monogamous, then Pray tell-Why is a cheating man hailed as a stud and a woman who chooses to look for love and appreciation outside her current setup termed as a whore, ostracized by her own family and friends? Why are women supposed to be subservient to men and why are their emotional, as well as physical needs, considered to be unimportant and unnecessary? The previous generation of married women could deal with being treated like furniture, while their husbands pranced around town with other women. Generation Y does not put up with it! But our society isn’t ready for these questions and is definitely not equipped to deal with the current state of marriages and relationships. It wants to pretend that a woman who comes home at 6 pm is a sati savitri and the one who returns home at 4 am is upto no good.

A number of women have written against, ‘My Choice’ . One claims, it only caters to a small class of women from ‘priveleged’ backgrounds, who are unconcerned about education, healthcare, money etc.  Though, the article by Piyasree Dasgupta on ‘Firstpost’, makes many legitimate points, I find such remarks on women incredibly, disturbing. If the video pitches men and women against each other, remarks like these divide women into ‘the haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and apparently the demographic that has, has no right to be spoken for. The privileged it seems, are not supposed to have any opinions and God forbid they should have any choices!