My Experiences in a Mental Asylum

My foray into Bollywood was marked with controversy. Every rejection that I got in an audition added to my misery. My doubts about my talent and abilities kept resurfacing again and again. I quarrelled with my parents when I decided to take up an alternative career. I went against their expectations of becoming a corporate honcho in a multinational bank. “You want to be a bhaand? I mean only those people go there who have nothing. You are educated, take up a job” my dad used to bark. I was not ready to relent as I was fascinated by Bollywood as I was a free spirited person who enjoyed his liquor and smoked pot regularly, indulging in free sex from time to time. I felt that the Bollywood life was made for me. After some struggle, I started getting good work and also got my share of respect and recognition.

The subsequent death of my mother with cancer was a big setback to me personally as my equation with my father changed. My mom used to be the arbitrator whenever I and my dad argued with each other. With her departure from the world, dad and I just couldn’t communicate with each other. The rift grew wider between us. My drug problem only made things worse as time passed with some unwanted relatives adding fuel to fire.

I was also fascinated by the OSHO cult and was very much influenced by his ideals and methods especially his many meditation techniques. My dad did not like my approval of OSHO as he, like all ordinary men, equated OSHO with a sex cult and nothing more. This class of ideas between me and dad added to the tension. My dad tried to reason with me and finally decided to take me to a rehabilitation centre cum a mental asylum so that my condition would improve.

The clinic was run by a Dr. Razdan who was a very well established psychiatrist in Jodhpur. To flush the drugs out of my system, they used to sedate me for hours. All around me, I saw poor people, camel headers, sheep herders and other people from parts of Rajasthan who used to come to meet the doctor. They were not mentally sick according to me. Their sickness was only one and that was POVERTY. Medicines by the dozens were given to me. The doctor even tried regression theory on me and took me back to the time when I was a child.

After one such regular dose of injection, I got up and realised that I had lost my memory. “Who am I? Where am I?” I asked Tiwari, my manager, who was interested in taking me to the asylum. “Do you know who you have acted with? You know where you live? Sir, do you even know your name?”  I looked perplexed. I had even forgotten my hotel room number let alone my name. The medications were making me sleepy and lethargic. They made my condition even worse. I tell you, a rehab will make your condition even worse. The doctor was experimenting on my trying and testing new medications on me. All of it was making my condition even worse. Dr Razdan was a short fat bald man who saw patients all day, almost a 100 patients a day. Although he was famous in the area, I don’t think he was as good as people said he was. “Nice to see you” he would say with a smile on his face as he got ready to inject me with another dose of his evil syrup. I hated it all. I would rather overdose on cocaine than be injected with his vile potion onto my skin. To keep himself company, he would carry a cage full of singing birds who would dance and sing for him all day. He reminded me of Dr. Mangela, a sweet man with an evil intent. I was amazed this asylum thing was making my condition even worse.

The only thing that got me out of my condition was the murder of my father. That one shock was enough to wake me up from my slumber and then take charge of my life again. That shock was more than enough and more effective than all the shocks that I got in the asylum. Even all the regression practices. That one shock got me out of my drug habit and today, I am healthy, more peaceful and more aware of my emotions. But I have paid a huge price for it as I lost my father because of it.

Nonetheless, hope has kept me going. Hope that I am not ill. Hope that I can take on the world. Hope that no matter how bad things are, they will always improve. Hope that I am sane and will remain so.

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