When madness happens….

Sitting in one of the case conferences in a reputed mental health hospital, a question arisen within the context of the case: what is the percentage of madness in India? We were all looking at each other expecting some answer with a continuous thinking happening inside and I quickly made up my mind with 40-45% and I was being pointed at with huge expectations; I too with immense confidence proclaimed, “Sir, it should be more than 40%”. And seeing me all my mates agreed to the very figure but to our surprise we were completely wrong. One of the psychiatrists got up and said, “So according to you, one out of every two people is a mad?” I was puzzled; I wanted to nod in Yes but my so called sanity; involuntarily moved my head in ‘No; I’m so wrong’. I could not allow much of thought process in a claustrophobic atmosphere but it was in mind to be reproduced with much more clarity and thought process.

When I think now, I wonder if I was really wrong in saying that 45% of population is mad in India. In fact how about 90% of us who have the ‘ability’ to turn on our ‘mad’ mode, I think it becomes quintessential when one wants to “create..’’
If I think in retrospect then I realize that I should have defined my meaning of ‘madness’. Books don’t contain records, the madness I am taking into account. Therefore, it was error on my part and thereon I can contest there static concrete thoughts.

Did you ever try to define ‘mad’ in you? What according to each one of us is to be Mad? How do we define Madness? The word itself seems to have an inherent distortion, something which is not normal. When I was young the people who use to haunt me were those on streets in rags and performing some unusual art and sometimes violent. I used to be so scared of them because I was told they are Mad and therefore don’t ever interact with them. I never did and never questioned back the so called ‘intellectuals’ who warned me then. But today I question it and am glad I have come to realization they too are human, not an ordinary ones but someone with uniqueness which may seem bizarre for few and creative for the few. Coming from such a social structure where even today we are hesitant to talk and be sensitive to a group of people who are just so li’l deviant from us; I have developed a sense of respect and sensitivity towards them. This is one sort of madness which is defined in medical terms but how about being creatively mad??­

Is creative genius amalgamated with the touch of “madness” ? Don’t you think we are crazy about our passions and love to be mad for our love? Mad is such a colloquial word, we say it every now and then to regard our friends and juniors and colleagues and because of that we have never seeped in its depth and tried to know and get familiar with what we just condemn; the one on street with tangled hair and distorted self is also another kind of madness. . . .

To breathe the creativity in you redefine the meaning of “madness” and then live the madness within you…!!

Astha Nagpal

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