Warming Up:

If a Martian visited India he would notice the exorbitant attachment many Indians still have for a dead and gone past not only in their own individual lives but also in the life of their community, home State, the whole region as it used to be known as in ancient Indian history,   and finally the nation as a whole.

Some TV channels (e.g. Amrita TV) insist on keeping their viewers mesmerized with visions of the past glory with numerous stories and legends –as if it was all historically true and may appear again in Modern India! Hundreds of quite readable books have been turned out of presses by publishers with slightly modified re-written stories of the past of with their modern interpretations!

True it is that India lives in time-warped swathes –some regions living in the distant past and some others in the near past and only a few metros making an effort to look and feel modern and up to the minute in thinking, manners, conversation, lifestyle and behavior!

A Yen for Public Service jobs:

Way back in the 1960’s when I passed my MA, the prevailing trend was not to opt for teacher positions in private colleges but in “government colleges” primarily because of the assurance of income at the end of the month; probably it was also a habit with our parental generation NOT to explore other openings for a PG degree qualified person.

What you and I observed in the 1970’s onward has been a steady decline in the prestige of government positions, the rise of efficient and HR-compliant  private managements in almost all activities, the invariable delays caused in file processing in various offices for even  a simple task such as purchase of chalk for a school, the bedevilment of all too frequent labor strikes, overdose of trade unionism and collective bargaining mentality in the workforce at all levels, and also the inevitable genteel poverty associated with government positions in this country.

Today the governments in all Indian States find it difficult to get skilled professionals for the positions advertised by the Public Service Commission!

An Obsession with Astrology:

Ichabod also affects many ordinary men and women when their expectations fall through in real life.

Sciophies  or philosophies resembling science but not are not scientific at bottom– of various kinds and known by various names exist in our country still, whether you like it or not. Astrology is just one among possibly a hundred.

Too much addiction to astrological “predictions” can indicate a weak mind or a wavering mental state. I know at least a few dozen parents that give into whatever nonsense a local astrologer may say with his usual gusto about what kind of life they shall get in the years to come.

You are the architect of your destiny dear friend! No one else can get a glimpse into how you develop it, shape it and how you plan to live for fulfillment through that lifestyle. Not one of the 8 planets in the solar system is having the least influence over your joys and sorrows. Human life, if lived in a competitive environment, shall always be best with setbacks and failures at times.

Tradition bound notions:

Many traditional activities like performing meaningless rites or rituals many months after a person’s death for instance cause depression also along with family level financial crunch or even bankruptcy. In some communities even the paraphernalia associated with a wedding can cause a supposedly unavoidable money splurge that has no justification at all. Mythical notions linked to pregnancy and childbirth also often cause an Ichabod blues syndrome in the parents as well as in the womenfolk!

Malathy Iyer says,

“7.5% of all Indians are victims of depression according to a WHO report released on 25th February 2017.

Not only do 56 million Indians — or 4.5% of India’s population — suffer from depression at this moment, another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. Thus, according to the latest World Health Organization report on depression released on Thursday, almost 7.5% of Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders that require expert intervention.

The WHO report states that depressive disorders are characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. Anxiety disorders refer to a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The WHO prevalence report underlines what Indian psychiatrists have been saying: the burden of depression cannot be ignored. In October 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru released a mental health survey that said that the incidence of depression is roughly one in every 20 Indians or 5% of the population.

Worldwide, the prevalence of depression increased by 18% from 2005 to 2015. At present, there are 322 million people with depression in the world. “Nearly half of these people live in the South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region, reflecting the relatively larger populations of those two regions (which include India and China, for example),” said the WHO report.”

Youth Rebellion as a challenge:

At the moment, under the pretext of reciprocating in a Vox Populi manner to the moral policing indulged in by Shiv Sena in Kochi, a KoL (Kiss of Love) mutual kissing and hugging orgy is going on in full swing. I suspect not only teenagers of both genders to be present there but also gays, lesbians and transsexuals by the look of it.

What are they protesting against in reality beyond what they claim their dislike and allergy to be? It’s the Establishment and social conventions that they feel they are getting severely hemmed in by.

How are the parents of these teenagers going to take it? In an Ichabod mindset and with hot tears of frustration? Or in an indifferent stance?

Summing Up:

Human life is a chapter for keeping oneself engaged in a vast variety of good and ennobling activities too besides meeting social and individual obligations in time and to someone else’s satisfaction. Ichabod—the staunch conviction that all glory has departed already from one’s life after something nasty has taken place– has actually no place in it at all.

Our life is not only a thanksgiving to the Almighty that extended to us a chance to be of use to mankind in various ways but also a reaffirmation of the values that our parents had lived and died for!

Its joie de vivre that must sustain us and see us through ups and downs, troubles and tribulations and storms and calm!

There are known, effective treatments for depression.

Some barriers exist in India to effective care however.

These include lack of resources, dearth of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. India, for instance, has less than 4,000 psychiatrists to treat its mentally ill people. Inaccurate assessment is another barrier to effective care.

“In countries of all income levels, people who are depressed are often not correctly diagnosed, and others who do not have the disorder are too often misdiagnosed and prescribed anti-depressants,” it added.

We owe it to our own selves to make this world a better place for our future generations to pass through in peace and plenty!

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