Editor’s Note – April 2019
American philosopher Henry David Thoreau once enigmatically said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Many of us, though, lose our emotional footing too, setting ourselves up for mental agony and disorders of the mind. Disorders that need to be considered as carefully, and treated just as diligently, as diseases of the body. However, the social structure of our country considers a weak or troubled mind to be an unspeakable problem, to be brushed under the carpet, contained within four walls, and never made a mention of. Unless this scenario changes, we will never achieve our true potential as human beings or as a nation, and worse, India will continue to top the list of countries with the highest rate of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Help needs to be given to those who seek it, and sometimes, to those who don’t as well. Help that comes from a place of compassion and caring, and not shame and judgment. India is slowly waking up to the importance of caring for the mental health of its citizens, as can been seen with the passing of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017. Actor Deepika Padukone, who started The Live Love Laugh Foundation, has spoken openly many a time about her battle with depression. Her NGO seeks to de-stigmatise mental disorders and to reach out help to rural spaces too. There are also startups in the mental healthcare space, like InnerHour, which offers a safe and professional online space for those looking for counselling or help with problems of the mind.
In theatre, we bring you Bangalore Little Theatre’s brave attempt to make a play from the salient portions of The Emperor of Maladies, Dr Siddhartha Malhotra’s path-breaking tome on cancer. And this time, we travel to a lush South American country that is as famous for its cultural flamboyance as its natural wealth. Skip ahead to page 38 to know more about bewitching Brazil.
Dr Ulhas Ganu