Friday, July 26, 2019

You in Me

“I think of you in bed, your tongue half chocolate, half ocean…”
— Anne Sexton

Sometimes words run dry
desire doesn't let
any other word
fit my goose-bump skin

my heart is ice
my veins on fire
the palace of memories

I think of jigsaws
and half-globes 
do they fit?
like you in me

and I imagine eyes
hands, thighs, feet
you falling sunshine
I a patch of sleet!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Shhh! Don't Talk About Mental Health

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TITLE: Shhh! Don’t Talk about Mental Health
AUTHOR: Arjun Gupta
CONTRIBUTORS: Rajnandini Sarkar, Rohit Kumar
FORMAT: Paperback/ Kindle
PUBLISHER: Notion Press; 1 edition (28 June 2019)
PAGES:  206 ( Paperback)

Cover Image: Amazon

This is mental health activist Arjun Gupta’s second book about mental health. He is himself a survivor and also an applied Psychology student.

The interesting cover featuring three monkeys symbolising speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil is striking and attractive. The blurb puts forth an interesting proposition, almost suggesting that this could be in the genre of like historical or scientific fiction, it says:

“In the 19th year of his life, Yashasvi tried to end his life. Follow the journey of Yashasvi and millions of other people who are tormented by their own minds. This is not a self-help book. Mental health is no longer just about helping yourself. It is a movement against an invisible crisis that breeds inside our minds. A crisis that makes you question the voice in your head. Yes, the same voice that is reading this out to you.
True stories, research, statistics and facts. This book will convince you why mental health cannot be just about self-help anymore, and why people like Yashasvi need our help.”

The author himself asserts that this is not a self-help book but a psychology book and is divided appropriately thus into six sections titled – From Possessed to Depressed, Defining Mental Health, Understanding Mental Illness, For and Against Mental Health Awareness,  Stigma: A silent weapon, The Dull Golden Bird. Section II is the briefest and Section V the longest.

The author is able to maintain a consistent voice and easy to understand language though there are a lot of technical terms used. The book places mental health in the canon of psychological research and writing appropriately and through Yashasvi sets the conundrum at hand clearly.

“This led Yashasavi to believe that his problem was geographical, nutritional, physiological, social and everything but psychological.”

The author then delves into how mental illnesses were perceived and treated historically and also speaks about the evolution of the discourse around mental health as a separate branch under psychology. Use of everyday examples from life and films makes concepts easy to read and grasp for a lay person too.

The book clearly explains common confusions about the subject like difference between mental health and mental illness. It brings forth lot of latest research and data about stigma and hurdles in the course of mental health.

The last section also focuses specifically on the Indian context and provides insight into the socio-cultural aspect of the issue too.

The 25 pages long Reference List not only shows the amount of hard work and research put into the book but could be a handy-list of books to read for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the subject.

  • -          Psychology students and researchers
  • -          Mental Health Activists
  • -          Survivors and Caregivers

  • -          Well-researched  data and facts
  • -          Easy to comprehend language and format
  • -          Catalogues contemporary facets of mental health scenario

As a fellow mental health activist I hugely recommend this book and hope it reaches all the right places.

This book can be brought HERE fom Amazon.

This review is a part of Blogchatter Book Review Program 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Drowning with Swadesh Deepak

fingertips tingle

not in anticipation

but in fear

of touch

that means pain

attempts at writing

reading, gone awry

words make no sense


as I close my eyes

I see the missing writer

and his schizophrenia

laughing at me

from the palace of Mandu

I am in a nightmare

with open eyes

a salty wetness

trickling down my lips

clothes, books, pages

closing in on me

typhoons of the mind

drowning my notions of mine

I am on a crucifix

bleeding ink

it is now just

a matter of time.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Eyelids shut
dreams and tears
share the same home

her rebel soul
exiled for life
in a body 
throbbing in pain

The water runs down 
the contours of her form
she stands still
like the nude woman 
in the fountain
and lets time 
drop by drop

hoping for
an earthquake.

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