Why are some people forced to lead wretched lives?Is it destiny?Or is it because of some wrong choices made by them?Is it because of a skewed up upbringing or is it because of defective genes?When we see a grown up man frittering away his youth we tend to put the onus on him but life is not so clear cut.Many factors join together to make a person what he is.
The life of Narayan,a young man of 41 years planted these thoughts in my mind.He was the eldest of three sons.His grandfather had been an SP.His father's elder brother had shot his own brother.His maternal uncle was a schizophrenic,as was Narayan's younger brother.The latter had been very sick and violent for 10 years after which he was given Electroconvulsive therapy.He improved after this and had been well since the last three years.
His father,a government employee,was an alcoholic.He mostly lived at his postings-away from the family and giving subsistence money to the family was for him,the end of his familial obligations.He dominated everybody,had no social life,and was fond of hunting.Once when Narayan was not even ten years old,his father handed him a gun and asked him to shoot.The gun exploded and the father was hurt.
These are some of the facts which Narayan disclosed to me on his very first sitting.I guess he wanted to ease the burden on his heart.To cut a long story short,this was the environment in which Narayan grew up.
At the age of eighteen years he went to join Indian Navy but he could not adjust to the tough regime and returned home.Moreover he aspired for a better occupation than that.He tried many options after this.First he did a two year degree course in MSW but could not get a job.Then he joined a private firm.He was happy there but that firm closed down.After this he worked for a relative but left this job because it demoralized him.Next,he opened a shop in his ancestral home.This too proved to be a flop.
It is no wonder that his main complaint upon coming to me was his sense of failure.He was depressed.He had a wife and son but could not support his family.There was no motivation.He always hankered for something which was out of his grasp.His biggest regret was that he left Indian Navy.
The one silver lining in this somber life-scape was his wife.She earned a meager income as a teacher but her unwavering support saw him through all his tribulations.
I gave him the necessary advice and asked him to come after fifteen days.He did not come.
After four months i followed up.His wife took the call.She told me that he was well now.He did not take any medicine.His wife's encouragement and his talk with me had helped him stabilize.
Now that you have all the facts,i leave it up to you to judge which factors were responsible for screwing up his life so terribly.Do post your answers.