Friday, July 13, 2012

A Life Ragged to Rags.

Misfortune sometimes approaches insidiously.It appears in the garb of a boon,& then goes on to entrap you in it's clutches.This is what happened to Arun (name changed),elder son of a middle class family of four siblings;a studious boy,a good student & a loner by nature.He passed high school & aspired to do B.Tech.In order to pass the entrance test his father took a loan of 2 lakhs & enrolled him in coaching classes.Being a bright student,he was admitted to a college.But it was quite far off from his home.As soon as he joined there, his woes began.

He was ragged mercilessly by his college seniors.He was made to strip & sexual abuse too was attempted.He could not take this & egged on by a few friends who were from his own home town;he complained to the authorities.It seems he was victimized for having done so.Slowly his friends too deserted him.He was isolated on the campus-far away from his home.He became paranoid.He could not sleep for full five days.He would spend the time in college common room watching the T.V,but nothing seeped into his mind.He thought that he was seeing himself on the T.V.His father was asked to come & take him away.This was followed by psychiatric treatment & he went back after improvement.But things were never the same for him.A once bright student,wanting nothing but to qualify & land a good job,was reduced to a wreck.So much so that he failed to get his degree within the stipulated ten years.

He returned home but the end of his troubles was nowhere in sight.Anti-psychotic medicines made him lazy & supine.The disease  played havoc with his emotions & behavior so that he was liable to have fits of anger & violence.The atmosphere in his home had already deteriorated to a dismal extent.His younger brother was a sociopath & Arun became his sole target.He would pick up a knife,a sword or iron rods to beat him up.His grouse ?That the loan taken on his account had plunged the family into a financial crisis while he himself was sitting idle.His parents too,bowed down by multifarious problems,had become callous & indifferent.Can you imagine the state of his mind?Medical treatment & counseling brought him round but the antagonistic atmosphere at home compelled his father to take a separate room for him.So he was ousted from his home & separated from his mother.He yearned for her love & attention,but she was too  beleaguered by her failing health & other problems to provide solace to him.He was chided for being a wastrel.He was intelligent,computer savvy & wanted to take up a job in teaching line but who would employ him?The stigma sticking to his condition destroyed all chances.
All this & a thousand other factors combined to make a mess of a once promising life.

It is exactly twenty years since all this started.During these years he has also gone through the trauma of a disastrous marriage & divorce.There have been numerous attempts to find a job,make it work & then see it vanishing.He suffered relapses when stress became too much.Twice he thought of committing suicide.The first time it was before he contacted me.At that time his friends on the internet saved him.The second time he came to know of my helpline & decided to fight the circumstances after some counseling.(In fact he was the first of my counselees to urge me to come online;which i did after a lot of thinking).

Anyhow the gist of the matter is that fighting against unimaginable odds;he has managed to keep himself afloat.But how can you stonewall the alterations to your personality,which this disease brings in it's wake?And how can you ignore,or not be hurt by the discrimination which this disease & the allied mannerisms evoke in family,friends,co-workers & the society at large?Perhaps the seeds of Schizophrenia were latent in his genes,because while his brother is an anti-social character;his father too had moments of eccentricity.But given congenial environment, he could have led a normal life.It was the stress brought about by ragging which did him in.That one episode changed everything for him & his family;but those who ragged him do not even know what they have done to his body,mind & soul !

31 comments :

  1. Heartrending story... its a pity that people don't care to think twice before messing up the lives of others, probably for ever.

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  3. This is so sad Indu . In india getting a seat involves so much stress . After all that if the poor kids have to undergo so much harassment its so bad ! What was started By some for fun and developing camaraderie amongst students has crossed its limits Much beyond humane levels and is having horrible effects in society .

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  4. You are absolutely right;apart from fun & introductions,i feel there is a mean streak hidden somewhere,it is also evident in increased bullying in schools & playgrounds...we are losing the human touch.

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  5. Looks like there is an element of sadism in all of us and in a mob this comes to the fore. We have spent years talking about the menace of ragging but there seems to be no end to it and the heart-break it creates.

    Btw, Indu, I got this same Indianjobs promotional comment on my post and I deleted it! If someone has to use my blog for advertising, he better pay for the privilege!

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    1. Yes there is certainly a sadist strain at work--innocent youngsters have to pay the price.
      Thanks for your tip;i had let it remain because i don't believe in deleting comments;but this tendency ought to be discouraged.

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  6. Sad and very real. I have read this story once too often. An individual goes through a vicious cycle of violence, apathy and illness brought about by an incident or a set of incidents, in this case ragging. We need to educate this generation about how the ritual of ragging can leave one scarred. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. sandeep welcome to jeeteraho,you have traced this vicious cycle very astutely,thanks for this.

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  7. Our minds are often crooked -- whether in ragging the boy relentlessly or labeling him once he emerged out of the disease. Sometimes all it takes is a single incident to tip the balance towards insanity -- of all types. One wishes to hear that there are success stories too, where the victims have emerged out of the trauma. Share them if you have encountered them, Indu!

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  8. Yes Zephyr:we who are on this side,can be very cruel & insensitive to those who are on the other side.In a way i would term this also as a success story because having seen all that he has to fight against;his present status is no mean achievement.
    Thanks a lot for coming over & giving your views,which are so cogent & illuminating as always.

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  9. much of an current affairs topic dealt with the cruel realities !

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  10. ...horrendous aftermath of an otherwise funny activity when it becomes gross..thank goodness ragging has been strictly banned in all good institutions..the pathetic state of the poor sufferer so touchingly described, Indu, not just because he was your patient, but because you are a wonderful writer!

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  11. I am truly humbled by your praise.

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  12. Saru you are right that a person who is distressed should be given love & consideration.

    Sorry your comment got deleted by mistake.

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  13. how sad .... a dream crushed like this ! An emotional tale and the way you have written did full justice to it .

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  14. Touching account. As always it is the same dark side of human character - an urge to fill the hollow in your life by asserting your power by abusing someone weaker than you. You control it in one form, it will manifest in another form. According to me the only solution is a increase in spiritual elevation of humanity.

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  15. You really hit the nail on the head with your analysis---Ah yes,spiritual elevation of humanity-how long do we have to wait for it?At present there is only this mad race for self aggrandizement.

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  16. i wrote a post about the good in me and the good in you in response to a blogging tag from aarathi selvan of between life's doings. it was a pretty interesting experience to pull together what i considered was good in me. i would like to see what you consider the good in you, so i tagged you too. see this post for details.

    http://subhorup.blogspot.com/2012/07/aarathi-selvan-good-in-me-good-in-you.html

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  17. Subho i will read your post,but how naughty of you to tag me-suppose i find nothing good in me?

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  18. Indu, you are so right. We may not realize that sometimes our behavior, comments etc. can radically change someone else's life. It is so sad.

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    1. We may inadvertently hurt someone,it is true;but this sort of lasting damage is only the work of sadists.

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  19. My complements for touching a very sensitive issue, reading about it makes me feel cold. What a society we are living in:((

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