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Monday, March 30, 2009

Chp 232. Are you (alcoholic) manic depressive?


A couple of masturbations ago, I wrote about how creative people are highly prone to mental breakdown - Creative people & Mental breakdown

I mentioned briefly about Elizabeth Gilbert’s pep-talk on how creative people should deal with stress, and also asked whether bipolar disorder causes an increase in creativity or whether those who have exceptional levels of creativity are prone to developing bipolar disorder.

(And if my opening line “A couple of masturbations ago” is still lingering at the back of your head and bothering you, relax. It’s just a test to see if you are able to concentrate on a topic or not - something that many people suffering from manic depression are unable to do so.)

I came across this site “All about Life” while I was researching on this topic. What is downright scary is that I have all the symptoms for Manic Depression listed on that site!

But then again, just like horoscopes where every predictions apply to just about anybody regardless of whether the person belongs to a particular sun sign or not, such medical symptoms too apply to many people who DO NOT suffer from that particular disease.

Given below are the symptoms of Manic depression:

1. Increased energy, activity, and restlessness

YES. I am usually in an extremely restless mode. This has been much more prominent ever since I joined this industry. When I spend the weekends at my friends’ places, they all tell me the same thing, that I am highly hyperactive throughout the day & night, and warn me that it will be tough for me to find a life partner because she will find it difficult keeping up with all the things that I do!


2. Excessively ‘high,’ overly good, euphoric mood

YES. Our former Branch Head officially announced that “I was high on Life”! As soon as I wake up early in the morning, I can listen to my favorite Heavy Metal song and head-bang all the way to work. Put me in the center of a party and I will create the loudest noise. “Do you ever get tired?” is the question I hear the most.


3. Distractibility, can’t concentrate well

YES. Especially if there is a you-know-who wearing a you-wish-none inside my head. Apart from that, I have the habit of zoning out completely while I am in the middle of something else. There I was suddenly watching the ants crawling on the wall and mindlessly staring at them and wondering who the leader among those ants was and if they had individual names, mesmerized by the rhythm and pattern of their tiny feet movement which were almost hypnotic and taking me through a psychedelic trance, when suddenly the missus screamed out, “Are you done yet?”


4. Racing thoughts and talking very fast

YES. YES. YES. Many times I end up blabbering because my tongue cannot keep up with the words that flood my head. Sometimes I skip total sentences on the phone, so while it makes perfect sense to me, the other person on the line is completely lost! (To my dear friend somewhere out there: When I said “I wonder what you’re wearing in the middle of the night”, I actually meant to say “I wonder what the church has to say about the fact that you’re practicing voodoo while wearing those weird cult dresses in the middle of the night”.)


5. Jumping from one idea to another

YES. And in my line of work, this is a necessity sometimes. Open your mind and think out of the box. Build up one idea from the other until you create a giant idea - A killer concept.


6. Little sleep needed

YES!!! People are often shocked when they find out I sleep just 4-5 hours a day, and sometimes even less. I always thought it was a habit, after all I used to be a sportsperson back in school & college and sleep was a luxury I couldn’t afford because I wanted to perform well in academics while taking part in tournaments at the same time.


7. Increased sexual drive

Sexual drive? YES! After all, I am only human just like everybody else (including my neighbor’s dog that just won’t stop humping the poor telephone pole). Increased sexual drive? Hmmm… that’s difficult to say. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango and conclude if the other person’s sexual drive has increased or not.” Ok I just made the last part up, but you catch my drift right?


8. Spending sprees

YES oh YES! One of my many weaknesses, because… confession time: I love shopping! I may be one of the very few guys who love to shop, although I shop like how typical guys shop “Look – Love – Buy - Leave”. I hate bargaining or looking around for better items, but nevertheless I always hit the mall twice or thrice a week.


9. Poor judgment

YES. I’ve always judged my relationships to be true and ever-lasting, and that I’ve finally met THE ONE. But in the end I’m always proven wrong, usually with a broken heart or a broken arm, or both.


10. Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers

YES. I’ve always dreamt of flying and saving damsels in distress by the hundreds, even today, like a modern day Superman (not so much the cross-dressing part though). Back when I was a child, I used to fantasize about being either Flash Gordon or Conan the Barbarian. Loved those two characters and I still do even today! I’d give anything to be in their shoes (or Conan’s huge furry & smelly boots for that matter).


11. Extreme irritability

YES. And I kinda blame the Industry I’m in for this. There is nothing more irritating than coming up with a brilliant pitch/campaign and everybody loves it including your harshest critics and even the people you know from competing advertising agencies love it and you are damn sure this will definitely sell so you slog your ass off day in and night out to make it absolutely perfect… BUT in the end, dear client simply cannot see the logic behind it and rejects the proposal. Aaaaarghhh!


12. Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior

YES …sometimes. I can control my temper now, pretty well. Back in college, I held the dubious distinction of being ejected from a basketball match the most number of times. Seldom was a match played where I was inside till the very last second! But then, those were the days I could dunk, and just like how I cannot even jump 1 feet above the ground now, my anger is nowhere to be seen today.


13. Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications

YES. And I need not elaborate on this.


14. Denial that anything is wrong

YES, so says my mother, every time she wants to win an argument

Now wait a minute… yeah even all my ex’es used to say the same thing!

“Something is wrong with our relationship!”
“No darling, nothing is wrong.”

One week later…
“Kim, I am going to Darjeeling for the weekend with… John.”
“Sure honey, there is nothing wrong in that. Enjoy.”

One month later…
“Kima, I’m pregnant. With John’s child.”
“That’s lovely, sweetheart. See, there is nothing wrong with our relationship!”




15. Lasting period of behavior that is different from usual

YES. Like how my closest friends say about me, I am definitely not predictable. In fact one of my ex-girlfriends told me I was boring because my unpredictability is so predictable! (Women - who will ever understand them?) I get bored easily with anything that I do (which should not be mistaken for “I lose interest”) Hence I do other things, a lot of other things, and get back to the first thing only later. Like that I keep rotating things around me so as not to slip into insanity.



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There you have it on paper. I’m manic depressive according to the website, although I’m sure many of you would have said YES to most of the points as well.

So, how about you?

If you are extremely stressed with work, do the above test and let me know how you fare. How many NOs and YESes do you have for the above 15 points? Would love to hear your elaboration too.

Cheers.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chp 231. Tea isn’t my cup of tea!


To tea or not to tea, that is the question. A light humor post.


Some of you may find this post a bit frivolous, but to me it is something that has always affected me deeply, especially when I am in Mizoram.

I’m a Mizo.

And I don’t drink tea.

See, I can already hear you all gasping! How can a Mizo not like tea, you’re thinking now, right? Well, I guess I am among the very few Mizo minorities who despise tea solely because of its taste.

I hate tea. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

And in our Mizo community, it is almost a given that every Mizo drinks tea, such to an extent that whenever you visit anybody, your host will serve you tea immediately without even asking if you drink tea or not. That is the Mizo hospitality.

Hence tea becomes a part of our daily lives. It gets embedded in our culture. It is served whenever guests visit other people or when a young pimple-faced Romeo visits his lady love at her house (with her parent’s consent of course). It is served at every Church functions, School and college programs, funerals, weddings, exam halls, community feasts etc.

We become this big pile of… tea drinking tea loving tea freaks.

And whenever I visit a friend for the first time or hang out at the house of somebody I’ve just met, their folks will immediately serve tea. And I feel so bad declining after they have already MADE the tea.

“Uh… I’m so sorry… I don’t… urrmmm… drink tea.”

They would look at me strangely…

“Are you a Seventh Day Adventist?” they would ALWAYS enquire

[ * 7th Day Adventists, one of the many Protestant denominations in Mizoram, are prohibited from drinking tea (or coffee or alcohol or eat pork for that matter) due to their strict dietary laws. ]

“No no, I’m not a Seventh Day”, I would grin back nervously. “I just don’t like tea”.

“Don’t LIKE tea?” they would ask, with a lot of exaggerated melodramatic stress on the “LIKE” as if to say it is sacrilegious to hate tea. And then with a fake plastic smile they would whisk away my tea, grumbling to themselves why the hell I never informed them in the first place that I didn’t drink tea BEFORE they made the frigging tea.

Yeah rittteee. You want me to come to somebody’s house for the first time and pompously announce not to make tea for me without even properly introducing myself? That sounds even worse!

Anyhoo, I guess that is the big problem I face in Mizoram. Mothers don’t want me serenading their daughters because they think I’m weird since I don’t drink tea and fathers assume I must be drinking “something” else instead of tea.

Smart dads!

I don’t like tea because I don’t like it. Period. It’s a personal preference and sometimes it is a little hard (and a wee bit frustrating) making people accept the fact that I don’t like tea.

I was brought up in South India, so I used to drink coffee, coffee and more coffee every day. Had coffee for breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, before and after a basketball match, I even had coffee while having coffee The Tamilians just love their coffee and I became a part of them. That is basically my story. The Mizo Man who went up a Tamil Hill but came down a coffee infested Mountain.

And when I tell people I loveeeee Ice Tea, I always get the same question, “Then how come you don’t like normal (sic.) tea if you like ice tea?”

And out goes my retort: “You like beer? Chilled beer?”

“Oooh yeahhh!”

“Well, suppose I boil this beer and give it to you, would you drink it?”

“Ewwww. NO!”

“I rest my case.”

And believe me, the complexity of this whole matter does not end here. Whenever I stay over at any of my friend’s pads, I have to take my own sachet of coffee powder because coffee is nonexistent in most Mizo households. That’s bad. It’s like you invite a guest over and that person brings along his own toothpaste… now how does THAT make you feel?

And it gets even worse from here. I’m talking about relationships. A deep meaningful relationship that always ends in disaster because I refuse to drink tea while the missus prefer tea over coffee. You may think, “Whats the big deal? Just make two separate cups every day, one tea, one coffee.”

Hah! Trust me, that’s easy for you to say. Sure, it’s not a big deal when the missus or I do that once, or twice, or thrice. It’s no big deal when we do it for a week, even a month. But try doing it for an entire year and you will know what I’m talking about. The frustration that creeps in is undeniable.

“Jenny darling, can you pass me the ketchup?”

“What the bloody hell do you think I am your freaking bitch-slave making coffee for you all day long!!???”

“Huh?”



Oh right, I did mention this was a light-humor post. Cheers (raise coffee mug)


Maybe… just maybe… a day will come when a damsel in shining armor rescue this knight in distress away from his tea-coffee imbroglio. Maybe that’s what people call true love. Until that day comes, I will remain a stubborn coffee drinker. Cheers once again.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chp 230. Manure down 4-1, Arse up 4-0!


I missed the Manure - Liverpool match because I had to show my friend Ben around Colaba, South Mumbai, before dropping him off at the airport. But I was continuously updated with the score thanks to fellow-hardcore-gunners fan Amos and that definitely made my day! Well done Liverpool! You gave me the most memorable and pleasant 1 hour 45 minutes of text messaging in my life.


I received the first sms about Ronaldo’s penalty, and I was like “Noooooooooo!” but after that, every time I received an sms I was screaming out “Yesssss!” in jubilation. 4-1, what a whipass! As usual, none of my Manure fans friends picked up my calls! Bwahahaha!

Well played indeed, Reds. For a moment I was even actually thinking, “Now that Manure lost, I won’t take it so bad if Blackburn beat Arsenal”. Lolz, of course that thought came and went quickly but it definitely made me wonder if my hate for Manure is greater than my love for Arsenal!!!

I rushed home just in time to watch the 8:30 pm Arsenal vs Blackburn match. The moment I switched the TV on, Gunners scored! Now that’s what I call a great welcome indeed. It made me switch my TV off and on again later, hoping that I would see another goal the moment I switched it on again. lolz.

4-0. Now that’s another whipass game with a lot of drama and controversies.

Well done Oh Gunners!

Two thoughts dominated me after the match:

1. Why were Blackburn playing soooo dirty?

and

2. Good for you Eboue on those two goals, but that’s not enough to silence your critics. You just got a lucky break and I hope this doesn’t get to your head. I love you, but it’s tough not to hate you when you screw up in all most of your games. Wish you my very best in your future games, bro.

Regarding my first thought, I came to arseblog.com and he too wrote about the exact same thing! Man, that foul on Almunia was nasty. Thank God it wasn’t serious.

Here’s the clip via ArchieTL



I am pissed off with Toure (not just the skipper but was also there right next to Diouf) and the rest who did nothing when this incident took place, other than run to the ref and appeal like a baby. Comon, this is the time when you intimidate the player who committed such nasty fouls on your teammate. Where is the team spirit? I’m not suggesting that you get physical with Diouf, but why weren’t any Gunners having any heated verbal exchanges with him? That was the part I couldn’t stomach. Seriously.

Apart from that, there were many other incidences of unsportsmanship behavior from the visitors side.

Arseblog.com rightly puts it:

Nobody can complain if a game is physical because football is a physical game, but Blackburn were filthy yesterday.

Maybe it's just me but there seemed to be a deliberate tactic to go for the ankles/achilles of Arsenal players. Theo Walcott should have had a penalty when Warnock stood on the back of his foot, Jason Roberts took Kolo's boot off with the same kind of foul and Andrei Arshavin needed four stitches in his ankle at half time. Coincidence? No chance. Scumbags? Yes.

Then there was the cynical blocking, grabbing, shirt pulling to stop our attacks taking place. When Arsenal had the ball they didn't so much want the ball back as to prevent us doing anything with it.


Yeah, shame on you Blackburn, and shame on you Sam Allardyce. Why do people always try to take out the Gunners through such means just because they are younger than them? Face it all ye oldies, Gunners are better and this is definitely not the right way to set an example. Ever since Wenger started his “youth campaign” at least 30-40% of the main lineup is always out injured most of the time.

And then there’s of course that cheap dive from Pederson, which by far is one of the worst dives in football history. That was definitely a straight yellow card in my books, but just as how Diouf escaped with just a yellow on a clear red, Pederson remained unpunished too.

Watch the clip below thanks to tykj3n and be the judge yourself if this is one of the worst dives you’ve seen or not.



Ridiculous!

And it was great seeing Eboue with those two goals, which shocked all of us. Yeah, his face was soooo happy I think his own goals shocked him too! Great to see such happiness and joy on anybody. Bendtner on the other hand screwed up every chance he got. We could have easily gone 8-0 up had he found his targets.

Remember Champions League against Roma first leg? Yeah we could have won that by at least 4-0 5-0 instead of merely 1-0 thanks to all the misses by Bendtner. Because of that, the second leg match had to come down to penalties and we barely managed to get through to the quarter finals. And because of the extra-time followed by the penalties, I could go to sleep only at 4 in the freaking morning (stupid time zone difference), sleep for just 2 hours and then get up again for office. Aaargh!

More reviews and clips of goals at arsenalist.com. Catch them there if you had missed last night’s game.

Just 9-10 matches remaining this season and Manure are still leading, but they won’t be for long. Quintuplet? My ass. More like “Can-you-play”, judging from the way they played last night. 4-1. Bwahaha once more.

Great game from Arsenal too, especially with RVP & Gallas at bench, and the likes of Adebayor, Fabregas, Rosicky, Eduardo and Silvestre ( !! ) still injured. Nasri and Arshavin definitely showed the way for the green Gunners and I am sooooo looking forward to our showdown with Manure on May 16th. Prepare yourself for another ass whipping win by us, you manures.

As a parting video, here are some of the many misses of Bendtner in the game, clip via weoutthere.



Cheers!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Chp 229. Still hung-up on the HRW report :-(


Why am I still so hung-up on this issue? My friends are telling me to let it go and forget about it. “They apologized and the moment had passed,” they say. But the more I think about it, the more restless I become.


In this age of quick internet connectivity where anybody can access anything, being accused of a blatant lie like the one that is brazenly displayed in the HRW official site has caused grievous mental trauma to many Mizos.

Many of us have written to the HRW too, but none of us received a reply. Anyway, we weren’t expecting a reply and we feel much better knowing that we’ve at least brought this to their notice. Kudos to all of you who have written to the HRW once again. I salute thee.

My post The Demonization of Mizoram too received a very high visit-count and I humbly thank all my readers for that.

Below are some of the news floating around the online space after this unfortunate incident took place. It is plain sad (and a wee bit pathetic) that prominent news agencies like BBC, AP, Reuters, FoxNews etc that were extremely quick to highlight this HRW report and splash it all across their front-page, did not bother to publish the HRW’s explanation at all!



Anyway, here you go, some of the news related to this topic.


zeenews.com reported:

Chins living in Mizoram on Wednesday expressed regret over allegations of discrimination and maltreatment against them in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) website.

Representatives of more than 20 chin organisations including leaders of church denominations said that their community is happy with the treatment from their Mizo cousins.


newkerala.com reported:

“We are grateful to the kindness and hospitality being shown to us by our Mizo cousins in India’s Mizoram. We strongly condemn such baseless information provided to the global human rights group that tarnished the image of the Mizos. We will find out who had disseminated such wrong information,” Cheery Zahau, co-ordinator of Women League of Chinland said here today.

“With the Indian government refusing to give refugee status to the thousands of Chin refugees staying in Mizoram, we will have no place to go if Mizos are hostile to us,” she added.

Rozathang, president of Zo Human Rights Global Network, also said, “We are extremely sorry for what has been mentioned in the HRW’s website. We will hold the responsibility while at the same time we apologise to the Mizo people.”


Mizzima: Mizos blame Chins for HRW Report:

The Young Mizo Association (YMA), a social organization in Mizoram state, on Tuesday, at a meeting with at least 23 Chin organizations demanded they refute a human rights report on Mizo’s treatment of Chin published by HRW.

“He [Zoremthanga, President of CYMA] said that HRW's report on YMA and Mizo authorities is not true and is exaggerated,” said the representative adding, “He asked us to apologize for the report.”

Chin state in western Burma and India’s Mizoram state share a porous border of about 400 kilometers. Traditionally, the Chin and Mizos regard each other as ancestral cousins and there has been constant interaction between the two communities despite international boundaries separating them.

And the Mizos were the first community in India to have staged a mass rally in support of the monk-led protest in Burma in September 2007 and condemned the Burmese junta for its brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.


Mizzima: Report not aimed at Chin, Mizo confusion: HRW:

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia researcher of the US-based Human Rights Watch said the report focuses on the persecutions suffered by the Chin people in Burma and the subsequent difficulties faced in fleeing their homeland and does not aim at creating a misunderstanding between the two communities – Chins and Mizos.

“YMA felt that Chins who talked to us have disgraced them, though they had helped them. But YMA should take a look from the human rights point of view,” Ganguly said.

She said it is a fact that Chin people receive help from the Mizo people as they flee their home country, but HRW, as a human rights group, had documented the lack of protection by state agencies for any form of violation against the Chin people.

Ganguly said, “No Chin had ever complained to us about the Mizos.”

"Mizo people certainly help Chin people. That's why so many Chin people are living in Mizoram. Chin people also praised the Mizos for having helped them" Ganguly said.


And e-Mizoram, which in my books is the BEST source of Mizoram related online news today, reported (in Mizo) courtesy ZALEN newspaper:

Chin Community in Mizoram (CCM) thuchhuain a tarlan dan chuan Human Rights Watch, Thailand-a awm ten January ni 28, 2009 khan Bangkok-ah report an tlangzarh a, he report zingah hian Mizoram mipuite chungchang belhchian dawllo tak thuziak a awm tih sawiin an dem takzet thu an puang a. Hetiang hian an sawifiah nghal bawk.

HRW report (252)-a YMA-in Chin mite Mizoram atanga hnawhchhuahna order a siam anga thu ziak hi diklo taka ziak a ni a. Hetianga thuchhuah hi Central YMA in a siam kan hre lo. September 2008-ah Mizoram atanga hnawchhuahna order avanga chhuak an awm lo.

HRW report (263)-a Mizote rilru puthmang anga thuziak ‘Chin mi pakhat tihhlum hi ui pakhat tihhlum tluk lek a ni’ tia an ziak hi, Mizo mipuite hmuhsitna leh an zahawmna tihbawrhban theihna thuziak a ni a. He ngaihdan hi Mizote rilru puthmang ang lo taka ‘Report’ hi Zo Hnahthlak unaute inkara inhmuh thiamlohna thlen thei, tawngkam chhe tak a nih avangin kan dem takmeuh a ni.

HRW report (285/286)-a tarlan, "Chin mite tan thlanmual hran, khaw pawnah Mizo-ten an siamsak" tia an tarlan hi thu dik a ni lo. Riangvaite thlanmual hi tu tih hriat loh leh ruang latu awm lo mitthu te tana sorkar siam a ni lo. Chin mite kan thih hian kan awmna veng thlanmualah YMA buaipuia vui kan ni. Chuvangin, Chin mite tana khaw pawna siamsak anga ziak hi thu belhchian dawllo a ni.

HRW Report (297,298,299)-a tarlan, India Danin naupang kum tlinglo hna thawhtir chungchangah hian retheih luat tuk avangin chhhungkaw tan naupangte pawhin hna an thawk bawk a ni. Tihluihna avanga thawk an awm hriat a ni lo.



Somehow, somewhere, there is this deep empty hollow void within me… Something is missing, and I can’t quite figure out what. I am definitely not satisfied at the way things are moving, and I’m sure many of you aren’t either. Why am I feeling this strange depression and incompleteness deep within?

Is it because of the barely little reaction from my Government? I expected a lot more from our politicians and this incident shook my entire trust and faith in these people who are supposed to lead us forward into the 21st century. Lead us where? To a future where every netizen despise us because of the lies in this report?

Is it because of the fact that the CYMA got involved? I am not a big devotee of some of the actions of the YMA, but I am not a nonconformist either as the YMA is very close to my heart and soul. Am I angry that an “NGO” had to bail us out in the end when there are other proper channels of doing it? Doesn’t this somewhat highlight the incompetency of our Government when it comes to PR?

Is it because of the apologies that flew around in the aftermath? I kept asking myself, “Is an apology from the respected Chin leaders really required?” Because first of all, the damage had been done and no amount of apologies could repair the dent in our reputation until and unless the HRW retract their report. Secondly, why should they apologize when it was clearly not them who made such ludicrous statements?

Is it because the YMA demanded an apology from the Chin community? Though that may sound like the obvious thing to do for some, there is also that feeling of a “pity apology” once an apology is made after it is demanded. Not that I am demanding or expecting an apology from the Chin community, but why was there no reaction from the Chin community before the YMA moved into the picture?

Is it because of the way the HRW said the report was not meant to taint Mizoram’s reputation and that we should look at this report from a human rights perspective? I wonder what that means. Do you? I try my best to look at this report from a “human rights perspective”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and I still fail to see how that justifies all the lies in it. What is this “human rights perspective”? Does it mean tarnish the image and reputation of anything and anybody so as to highlight the plight of those who are abused and oppressed?


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See, that’s the irony. Not being able to substantiate what bothers me, bothers me even more!

I don’t mean to come down harshly on our newly elected Congress Government, but I am surprised there hasn’t been much of a development from their part.

I mean, if this same accusation took place in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, or any other place in India, there would already be curfews and violent hartals led none other than the local politicians who would all be quick to grab this opportunity to become the “savior of the people”.

I am not suggesting that our Mizo politicians resort to this violence, but at the same time I do wish they had done a little bit more…

Seriously, dear Congress politicos and supporters, do you have any idea how the world is looking at you now because of the HRW report?

Here’s one such report, again from the same HRW site.

Burma/India: End Abuses in Chin State

On December 2, 2008, Mizoram state elections resulted in a sweeping victory for the Indian National Congress, the country’s governing party, which has not been in power there for a decade. In the past, members of Mizoram’s Indian National Congress have called for action against Chin migrants and have been even less sympathetic than the previous state government to the plight of those fleeing human rights abuses in Burma.


Urrrmmm… any comments? Or you’re all just going to keep mum on this too? Do what you want, for nobody can force you to say anything. But do remember that when Mizoram’s name gets defiled, every Mizo’s name gets defiled too. And when that day comes, we the people will do everything in our power to correct it. We won’t wait any longer for a political figure to step up.

As for me, I will be visiting “Mizoram House” at Mumbai more frequently in the next few days because my friend Ben, Admin of misual.com is there. There is also another person I have fixed an appointment with - She is a committee member of CYMA and is extremely interested in my article and this issue. We shall discuss the steps we as an individual can take, to make the HRW take notice of our protest.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Chp 228. Creative people & Mental breakdown


Many creative people ranging from artists to writers to Admen suffer from manic depression. The remaining are also highly prone to mental breakdown due to the enormous load and stress involved at work. For those of us in the creative field, mental instability has become just another part of our usual life, because we do not follow any “normal” schedule at work.

Interesting read @ Manic-Depression.net

Is Creativity A Symptom Of Bipolar Disorder?

Numerous famous poets, writers, composers, and artists were afflicted with bipolar disorder. But, does bipolar disorder cause an increase in creativity or are those who have exceptional levels of creativity prone to developing bipolar disorder?


It is a known fact that work stress leads to depression, diabetes, heart diseases etc just to name a few.

Here in advertising, coming up with “a strong idea” at the click of the finger may not be very difficult, but coming up with twenty different such ideas and working 72 hours straight in office is what drives many of us to pouring a glass of whisky much earlier (and much more) than other people, or popping that “funny looking pill” or puffing a cigarette that doesn’t smell like one…

Another reason for a mental breakdown is when we come up with an excellent masterpiece (a painting, a movie, a song, a book, an Ad campaign, or even a blog post) and then not being able to outdo ourselves the next time no matter how hard we try while a lot of people are expecting so much from us because of our previous success…

…that can drive anybody crazy.

The other day my boss Meghana sent me this link, which I think is the best pep-talk I’ve ever heard since I joined this Industry.

“Genius” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Source: TED.com





A must watch, people. Especially those of you who are in the creative field or people who are under a lot of stress and pressure from work.

The gist of the show – basically, how to cope with failures after a brief success, or identifying “your genius” as an external element.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how writers and creative people have a notorious reputation of being alcoholic manic depressive with a very grim death-rate in the 20th century alone - many creative people died young at their own hands.

“Creativity and suffering are inherently linked” and “Artistry in the end always leads to anguish” are some of her quotes. “The thought that your greatest success is behind you and that you will never out-do yourself again, makes you drink gin at 9 in the morning”, she stated nonchalantly.

She looked back in time to see how creative people coped with this emotional risk. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, the people believed creativity is not from human beings, but rather a divine spirit that comes from an unknowable source. Greeks (like Socrates) called it daemons. Romans called it genius.

Hence due to this transcendent being, a person was under a much lesser stress (if his work was lame, it’s simply because his genius/daemon was lame!) and it also brings about humility instead of narcissism as the artist couldn’t take all the credit if his work was a grand success (“his genius/daemon did all the work while he just sat on his fat ass the whole day”) !!

It was only during the dawn of the renaissance that rational thinking set in and people “realized” it was man who was creative and not a spirit. Elizabeth felt this was a HUGE mistake and hence the reason why young creative minds today go mad and die early.

She also talks about the experiences of notable poetess Ruth Stone and musician Tom Waits, who have both experienced this external force of creativity trying to “thunder through their body” and that if they didn’t find a paper and pen in time to scribble out the experience, they would miss “it”. Seriously, how many times have you experienced this sudden formation of ideas within your head for no reason at all, sometimes at the oddest hours? I have, many times, especially in the loo.

I think I can sum up Elizabeth Gilbert’s final message as this: Instead of believing creativity comes from you, if you start believing your creativity is just on a loan from somebody, this way of thinking will change everything for you, giving you much more peace and serenity within yourself and at work.

Touché!

I’ve been trying a lot these days to think in this manner, and believe me, treating “genius” as an external entity has helped a lot. Boss calls me to office and asks sternly, “Why the hell were you browsing porn from office?” and I calmly reply, “Hey, don’t blame me boss! It was my genius at work.”



Ok all jokes aside, I think this is a brilliant idea. Try to treat “genius” as an external being, although take care that you don’t develop a Multiple Personality Disorder while doing it (don’t give him a name or talk to him when you are alone, for starters!)

Relax and don’t panic or strain yourself when you’re not able to come up with anything for a particular client. Just consider it as one of those days your genius drank a little too much the previous night with his genius pals in the local genius tavern and is still passed out back home. Take a deep breath and wait for your genius to recover and come back to you.

Peace out.