Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UC Days

I looked into those eyes for the first time and I saw truth. I saw pain.
‘Mama’ as all called him was part of our campus way before us. In his thirties probably mama (whose real name is Badru) who is a mentally retarded person knew the nook and corner of UC college and would run around with his imaginary car honking "pom- pom". I can visualise him even as I write this now. To some he was a joker, to others he was the symbol of UC. It was sad to see him with unbuttoned shirts and sometimes unzipped pants running around.I often saw him singing all alone comfortable in his solitude. He loved being there without his mother scrutinising him. People said he had an elder brother whose condition was worse and they were born from parents who were cousins which led to this complication. His house being near the skinner hostel he was frequently seen near the Psychology dept. What irked me was the cruelty of the society when I saw how the boys reinforced Mama to pull the dupatta of girls passing by and made him sing a song which was mostly humming of some mapila song he heard at weddings by offering him chocolates. He smiled all the time sometimes drooling and wetting his shirt and people found him delightful to uplift their moods.

Psychology supposedly deals with mental behaviour and cognitive processes but people who took up the subjects had no idea why they did so. Maybe fascination, job opportunities, to repeat medical entrances - god knows. Very few of my batchmates actually understood what they read forget how they would practice what they learnt.

We would have ideological fights when students of psychology would just tend to show off by labelling people names of psychiatric disorders and insisted to speak in psychological terms to show other students we were superior.
I sadly held a reverence to my subject and insisted human beings should be treated with dignity and compassion.
One day as I entered the class I was informed we had a free hour. We were all busy chattering when Mama appeared at our window. One smart guy asked mama to sing. When mama refused he held a stick which, always frightened mama and asked him to sing. By then others started getting interested including the HoD’s daughter who claimed to be bestowed with psychological insights by birth (mother claimed it daughter believed it). Someone held out a chocolate and asked him to dance and sing. Poor thing looked at the chocolate like a 3 year old. I looked into those eyes for the first time I saw truth, pain and helplessness. People inside the class room looking eagerly outside made me wonder which side of the world was insane one looking from this side or that side of the window? What if mama thought we were mad? Weren’t we?, to fool with him despite studying this subject?

I got up and yelled them to stop. There was a sudden silence .“What’s your problem” ?, the guy asked and others started speaking in hushed tones. “I think it’s unethical considering the fact we study this subject, also considering the fact we claim we are sane individuals” I said. “Don’t you teach us and we were just having some fun”, he replied. I had a sudden urge to slap the SOB but my eyes welled with tears. I could not believe they could take this as fun. “What if that guy was your own brother”, I asked? “But he isn’t right? and don’t over react” he yelled back. I stormed out of the class. People were silent when I returned. Today when I look back and think could I have presented it more calmly my conscience says no!!! Had it been today I would have beaten that guy for what he said.

Years have passed by since then. None of the genuine psychologists ended up being one (if you are genuine u cant stay in this pretentious "I know it all world" for long!) and all those born with psychological insights they are probably infiltrating minds of innocent people reinforcing them to do things that’s amusing to them, offering chocolates and what not.After all they are Prodigal daughters and sons of Skinner and Pavlov using jargons to soothe their egos.They can hardly tell where mind begins and ends.

But Mama is still there in that campus preserving his sanity in an insane world.


SK said...

Hey. Thats a very touching entry. Also I think that insanity is relative, some people who may be clinically insane actually have more compassion and love in them. And who is to say what is the "right" side of the world? Just because somebody can see things that others cannot doesn't mean they do not exist, its just that we are not blessed with that sight...

Unknown said...

what interested me is ur attitude. when u r compassionate to ur fellow beings others feel tht u r over reacting or u r insane. and the worst thing is majority is on their side. so it is like u becoming an island with not many trustworthy frnds. even those who feels wat u r saying is right wont dare to say tht for the fear of being criticised.

The quirk said...

Titoos, I frankly dnt care If I am right thts enough for em to survive ya smetimes good friends too have not supported...... well I dnt care. Do I know u?

silentblogger said...

its much to be coincidental. just 4 days back i accidentaly saw one community on orkut. it was on 'mama'.

it was good. badru was said as the spirit of UC. someone who still remains there with a 'pom pom'

and today im reading this post.

if u look back and feel that you could have been more practical or you could have been more soft on 'that guy', then you are not you.

you are too stupid at times but these are some stupidities (that you do without thinking twice) that make you -YOU. and we (those who love you) love you for that.

you made my eyes wet. i wont forgive you for that

binnyjoseph said...

it was worth reading
i didn't care the subject but i cared about your approach
the subject you are talking is a hard reality but at the same time if people are approaching this subject and many other similar issues, I am damn sure that Change will happen.
it was a wilful accident to look to your orkut page, found your smiling face when i was making a probe on a new friend request. keep on blogging and it is great that you are reading and someone happens reading

The quirk said...

binny thanks for the comments. Well wat more can I say :)

Silent blogger I jus missed UC suddenly