Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Pinto’

Dear Friends,

I found myself hosting a panel of six eminent writers, psychologists and psychiatrists at the Bangalore Literature Festival 2019.

I am providing the link to the session descriptions here, please have a look …

However, I am placing Dr Ajit Bhide, a beloved psychiatrist of Bangalore and my own doctor too here:

“Most wretched men are cradled into poetry by wrong
They learn in suffering what they teach in song…”

Attended a panel discussion at the Bangalore Literary Fest, titled ‘I’m OK You’re OK’ , dealing with Mental health and more specifically mental illness. Amandeep Sandhu, currently in the literary news for his new book on Punjab, (and whose first autobiographical novel Sepia Leaves dealt with his own mother’s illness and how he as a young lad, an adolescent and a man learnt to deal with it – and with life) was the effective and empathetic moderator. Others on the panel were Jerry Pinto (Em and the Big Hoom), Anna Chandy, Himanjali Sankar, Gayathri Prabhu, Roshan Ali, and Shyam Bhat. Shyam elaborated succinctly the importance of the narrative in the practice of mental health. The narrators themselves came from the raw to the mature but with crystal clear sincerity.

The panellists shared their angst about their respective disquiet, the youngest (Ali)about his discovery of his own turbulence, and two about their mothers’ illness (Pinto and Amandeep, the latter minimally, as he was a most conscientious rapporteur/ moderator). Sometimes there was the awkwardness of spilling the beans, making private matters blatantly public and the guilt that comes almost always with it.

Anna’s ( a much sought after and respected therapist) sharing of her personal perspective led to familial and social ostracism, and unexpectedly her clientele stood by her through this. She rightly brought home the point of equity between therapists and clients (I still prefer to call them patients); a truly humane stance, well appreciated by those who seek help. This resonated with the chosen title of the session: I’m OK; You’re OK.

Sometimes there was a cavalier air to it all, the note of the author being strident and rabble rousing. But in a forum dealing with the perceived ugliness of the mind of someone close, and the sensitive nature of the entire realm it is I guess, to be expected. Gayathri’s reference to her letter to her deceased father, was to me very intriguing and that is one work I want to read. Admixing fact with some fictionalising seemed to have found many takers, and Shyam also made the often missed point of the need to seek the subject’s permission to share her/his story.

The width of the coverage and the systemic method of the entire discourse rendered it a useful hour and half. Not an easy task given the tendency of delicate content to turn maudlin and meandering. This session teetered that way at times, but was saved from dropping off those cliffs.

For this credit must go in great measure to the seasoned moderation by Aman; and to the panel’s overall ‘stepping out and stepping forward’ approach. The auditorium was packed from the start and I believe so were most listeners’ minds by the end of the session.

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2
Aug

My Mother’s Breast from A book of Light

   Posted by: aman    in Sepia Leaves

Thanks to DailyO and the publisher Speaking Tiger Books here is my story ‘My Mother’s Breast’ from Jerry Pinto’s the anthology on the accounts of mental health care givers ‘A Book of Light’.

However, do buy the book. It has 12 more such stories. Publishing houses, when graceful and open with subject matter, still need people to buy books. It is a matter of survival. This story is the epilogue to my novel ‘Sepia Leaves’. If you haven’t read it, and like this story, maybe buy and read that one too. Both books are available on Flipkart, Amazon.

Meanwhile, here is the story …

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“My mother lived in a world where I was the President of India and married to someone called Vivekta and she was the heiress to a fortune that ran into many crores; Rajiv Gandhi and Giani Zail Singh were paying guests in her father’s home. We, the sane, call this world schizophrenia.”

Lovely Nirupama Dutt has introduced A Book of Light a collection of 13 stories by care givers edited by Jerry Pinto in Hindustan Times.

Please read …

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31
Jul

My Mother’s Breast in A Book of Light

   Posted by: aman    in Other

Friends and friends of ‘Sepia Leaves’, the most common response that I got from readers who were or had been care givers has been: ‘Thank you. We did not know we had a story.’

Now, Jerry Pinto has gathered many stories of care givers, loved ones of whose are behind the pale and brought out a collection named ‘A Book of Light’. The collection features harrowing yet moving, even empowering, stories—about the terror and majesty of love; the bleakness and unexpected grace of life; the fragility and immense strength of the human mind.

My own story in the collection is called: ‘My Mother’s Breast’. It is the sequel to ‘Sepia Leaves’. This is the story of my mother’s death. I wrote it within days of her passing away in 2007. It has taken this long to find a home. I am very satisfied that it appears in this collection – in solidarity with all of us who battle many demons which are grounded beyond the narrow myopic discourses that rule our society.

Please bless. Please order and share among loved ones.

See more here…

 

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Very happy that Sepia Leaves lives on and on. Nirupama Dutt covers it as part of the three important texts on mental illness in India. Others being Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto and Echoes in the Well by Belinder Dhanoa. The article made the lead story in The Hindu Literary Review.

Please read

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11
Jun

Jerry and the Big M (Madness)

   Posted by: aman    in Sepia Leaves

It is uncanny how Jerry Pinto and I had so many similar flashpoints in our account of our loved one’s mental illness. Review of his book here.

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