BY: DR. HAIDER A. NAQVI, PROFESSOR AT THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY, ZIAUDDIN UNIVERSITY
Perfection of innocence is madness.
She was diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia and would hardly utter a word, staring blankly into the air. I followed her for a week in the psychiatric ward trying to elicit some symptoms. In the grand round, with twenty set of eyes staring, when I was presenting her case, she turned around and said, “I want to marry you!”
Everyone burst out in laughter. I was the joke of the town, eligible bachelor as I was, in those days, with every nurse on the unit proposing to me.
Some added salt to the wound, saying with a sign, “If you are mad you can say whatever you want!” I thought one or two of them meant it too!
Then a resident made a (semi-lewd) suggestion to a petite looking professor of English that “I am going to check you out” (omitting blood biochemistry) and she presented to the emergency room with a bunch of flowers the next day.
You can imagine, a resident was sent on rehabilitation rotation duty (with Oxford Dictionary of proverbs) and the lady was reassured, that although we place great emphasis on language and dictum, this was a genuine case of bad English (or genuinely bad English).
I realized Nadia, a twenty four -year-old executive slumped in her chair as she complained of headaches, multiple somatic symptoms and lack of enthusiasm at work. With annoyance, she said, “You sound as if life is full of bliss”. I mused, “It sure is!” adding, “We have to assume that there is a higher purpose to life, a spiritual calling, specific to our circumstances. This gives (higher) meaning to random events. Why else do children have to condone for the sins of their father and mother – offering leftover prayers and dues – thus carrying over the process of spiritual evolution (generation after generation). There is a primary life question which structures the random events of a day. Discovering that leads to higher fulfillment in day to day life”.
Sitting up straight she utters “you mean to say that I should stop being a slave to the corporate world and listen to what my mind, body, and soul is trying to tell me”.
I replied, “Yes, an ageless wisdom is available to you. All you have to do is listen!”
Life is, indeed, a bliss!
About the author: An academic psychiatrist and fallible human being in a process of evolution.