Selected Stories

The Curse of the Astral Body

Short story about a woman who is battling depression, based partly on real life. Her family seems to fall apart as she seeks to escape from strange coincidences and vicissitudes, wavering between faith healing and psychiatric help.

Ilaa’s Battle

Ilaa fights for saving her daughter from a child-marriage, and her education.

As she had packed, she had thought of the enormous forces ranged against her and her child. Instead of going to the field, she had sent Janaki with the bundle to the field. Then she had come here, without quite knowing why.

It was a hard life, but no different from that of other rural women. She had to work all day long, taking care of house work, and her in-laws.  She could eat only after the rest of the family had eaten. Even when she was sick, her mother-in-law hardly helped, and told her not to shirk work. Her father was teaching her at home, but her education stopped after marriage.

The Pendulum Bob

A housewife who is trapped in a marriage, stifled in daily chores.

How incredibly stupid they all had  been: all the elaborate clothes, the cosmetics, their blissfully ignorant daydreams. She herself, while proclaiming to be different and discerning, had been easily led to the slaughter. The gilt and the trappings had faded away too quickly.

The Crusader of Mental Health

He was born into a backward caste family, which was lower middle-class and in which no one ever had had college education. He used to get epileptic attacks when he was in school, and his parents knew no better than to take him to faith healers. When he passed PUC, he had no desire to continue his education and joined his father’s printing press. At the prodding of his teacher, he joined B. Sc. course. He had no idea what he would do after his graduation, much less become a doctor.

Dr. C. R. C. broke out of his humble background to become the most popular psychiatrist in Karnataka. This book is his biography and narrates selected cases of his patients, who survived mental disorders with his treatment.

It traces his crusade for educating public on mental health through writing books and articles, TV and radio programs, and talks. How he came to write over 200 books and 1000 articles is examined. He has been awarded Karnataka Sahitya Academy award twice; he has got nearly 50 awards, prizes and honors.

His contribution to landmark studies and projects in mental health care in India is covered. He was a member of the team which investigated the paranormal ‘Banamati’ phenomenon in Bidar and Gulbarga, and proved that it was a hoax. His book on Banamati has sold over 60000 copies and helped to eradicate the belief of people in it.

He was a member of NIMHANS team which conducted the Project on Quality Assurance in Mental Health commissioned by National Human Rights Commission. The shocking discoveries made by the team on the conditions in mental health hospitals and the ignorance of health authorities is covered.

How he was inspired to take up community psychiatry, which involves taking psychiatry out of the hospital into the community, is described. From 1978 to 1990 he worked in community psychiatry, which involved field work in villages to identify and treat severely mentally ill, training health workers and doctors in PHCs on primary mental health care and conducting mental health camps. He was a key member which piloted the first District Mental Health Program, in Bellary. After his retirement, he has been providing free counseling and consultation in Samadhana, which was founded by him.

There are several detailed case studies of people who suffered from mental disorders and came to Dr. CRC for help. A surgeon who overcomes schizophrenia to establish a successful practice; a devoted husband who has been taking care of his wife for over 30 years, who has paranoid schizophrenia and suspects him of having affairs; a software engineer who becomes depressed and seeks help of an acupuncturist, who convinces her that an astral body had attached itself to her, which was the cause of all the negative events happening around her; a young man who suffers from bipolar disorder, quits his job and was unable to take of himself – these are some of the case studies narrated. The objective is to remove the stigma attached to mental disorders and to make people understand that these can be treated successfully.