Monday, 16 March 2015

Shrink Tales #3: In Which i Was Given a Task

She told me that it was a treasure hunt. It was a quest for happiness. It wasn't far away. Only hidden. Only clues away. When she said that i imagined myself in khaki shorts with a magnifying glass. I was on the lookout for crumbs of happiness which led me back home. Fairy tale stuff. Enticing.

On my third visit to Ms Mullick, my shrink, she asked me how my week had gone. It was okay except for one or two occasions. When i was upset i had tried scribbling in red on white paper. It hadn't helped. She said it would take time. Also asked me to try the other methods. Logistically i couldn't and cannot any time soon because i didn't have ice cubes or ice cold water around me.

We spoke of many things. She asked me what i expected out of therapy. [That was what she called those sessions]. I said what i expected was that i be normal. She said that even she felt she wasn't normal most of the time. 
I took the example of my pouring hot wax on my foot. It was normal for me. Deep, my junior from cinematography had his lighting practice. He had decided to do an adaptation of Nissim Ezekiel's Night of the Scorpion. In it was a shot in which hot wax was poured over the mother's foot where the scorpion had stung her. I agreed to do the mother's role. Also promised that i was willing for wax part to be done in reality. I wanted to know what the pain was like. He was going to cheat. When he got consent from me he was happy. Film students crave originality by tradition. Even as a child i used to drip wax from candles on my fist. This time there would be a lot of wax. I was thrilled.

This was not normal, to normal people. I realized that when i was in hospital. Nobody around me could understand why a person would do that. That was what i meant by being normal. Do things which make sense to normal people?

She said that i had high tolerance level of pain. It was okay, she said. She would intervene only when it was harmful to my self.

I also let her know that i wanted to stop having relationships with older men. This had happened thrice and with people twice or more than that my age. I knew that one of it was abusive even when i was in it and the other two in retrospect appeared to be no different. People were quick to spot my vulnerability and made use of it and my love. I wanted that to stop. Ms Mullick listened.

She asked me if i had had suicidal thoughts the past week. I confessed i had. I spoke of how i was talking to her and i blurted out about the hotel room in which i would die alone. She asked me if i had tried visualizing life instead. I said i was unable to do that. I revealed how scared i was about losing Sethuvamma and Kunju Thalona. How i thought of their death and would immediately make a mental note of dying before they did. She asked me if i tried distancing myself from them due to the same reason. I said yes.

She asked me to speak of my goals. Asked me what my short term goal was. It was my documentary project. My long term goal was to be financially independent. I had no goals about what she called 'family' and what i gathered was a life partner et al. I think life partner is an oxymoron.

She asked me to keep a journal of the times when i was upset about something or someone. Asked me to chart out my goals giving them target time periods.

I am doing it on my blog. These journals that i am copying here and plans i have were highly personal and private till now. Now i believe there is a person somewhere who is struggling just like i am and that they will feel that they are not alone when they read this. I feel that it is a different sort of a treasure hunt, where not just one person gets to the treasure but a lot of people do. That there is a maze like in triwizard tournament in Harry Potter. That there are death eaters who try to suck your soul. That even if i don't succeed someone else can, following the bread crumbs i left.
Or may be it will just lie here like this. Stale. That's okay too. 

It was two weeks since i had been to my psychiatrist. From Ms Mullick's room we went to Dr. Mukherjee's. I told him i had stopped taking the lithium. He prescribed me other medicines. Said that i had improved. When Sethuvamma mentioned her plan of taking a transfer to Kolkata i became irritable. I was impatient with her throughout the session with Mr. Mukherjee. He said that since i had improved there was no need for me to get admitted. That sounded like a threat to me. I had no clue that that was even possible. Hospitals scared me. They were places in which i had nothing to do. Not having anything to do would be suicidal for me. And i thought that was what they didn't want me to be.

He said he would see me again after two weeks. 

So the short term goal of the documentary project goes like this.
By 15th March 2015: Finish shoot

12th March sit with Aalayam (my editor) and sort out rushes
13th March Form a rough cut with available rushes.
14th March Sit on edit table with Aalayam
15th March Cut Cut Cut
16th March Take an output file and work on sound.
17th March Sound
18th Sound
19th You have your project.

Long term goals
2015: November: A feature film script to be shot in kolkata.
2016: March: A job which pays.
2016: March a place to stay in Kolkata
2016: August: A two wheeler of your own. (Not a bicycle)
2016 September: Start pre production work of the film
2017: March: Start shoot
2017 May: Post Production
2017 December Move to a better place
2018 March: Get a job in Kerala
2018 March: A place to stay in Fort Kochi

The following are entries from my journal [Yes, i too have unpublished secrets.] It is unedited, complete with grammatical errors and improper constructions. Only names have been changed.

3rd March 2015
2nd sitting with the psychologist.
The otherwise okay week crumbled before me at the mere thought of it. If the purpose of all this is to find happiness i think it is all futile for i am the worst hit when in here, well lit waiting room. Fish. Crying i sit with my green notebook Sivaram sent it to me. Neat and great looking. TV played cricket. World cup. Cricket was the most boring game for me. I hate cricket. She says my hate is passionate. I hate cricket and i feel like ripping cricket balls to pieces. Is that passion?

[This is an entry before the third visit of which i have written about here. She mentioned is the she in my posts and can be found under the label her]

9th March 2015
Obtained permission from S Karmakar that the cut be replaced by my version later. Wonder what to do about evaluation at my department. Fuck marks and scholarship and results. What about the film. My film is always forming in my head and stopping at Florence. Will she. Will she. What if she doesn't. What did i have today? What did i do today? Slept around 7 a.m. Got up at 11.30 a.m. Tea+paratha(1) at mess. Upma-Sethuvamma. Made Bombay toast. Had 3. Rest NN. Crossed the bridge. Went out? This is ridiculous. I want peace.

[Aalayam, my editor had submitted a version of the documentary project which was solely his. I had not even seen the cut. I approached S Karmakar saying that we needed more time to recover the footage we lost by doing a re-shoot. He agreed]

11th March 2015
Yesterday commented on Prakar's picture.
Said that it was offensive.
His comment in response which was bullshit.
Disturbed. Not only doesn't he understand what was wrong with what he said but a lot of people are empathetic to his racism. Sad. This place will never change.
Utterly disgusting.
Tight jeans. Must have gained again.
Hope the new pills don't make me gain weight. Feel that Dr Mukherjee is tricking me into taking lithium.

[Prakar, my senior from cinematography had uploaded a picture on facebook which had a chameleon and A Leo Pou in it. The chameleon was in the foreground and in focus. The title read 'what's for lunch'. I had commented saying that it was offensive. 'Indians' have enough stories of North East India being the land of people who eat anything and everything. His reply was something which most people often said about jokes. Something about friendship and that not being the forum to pick a fight.
I had googled the side effects of lithium when i saw that i was gaining weight even as i was hardly eating anything. My appetite was abysmal ever since i was back from the hospital. I stopped taking the tablets thinking it was causing the weight gain. Dr. Mukherjee, my psychiatrist told me that it was the other pill, the anti depressant that was doing it. He prescribed me other medicines in view of my Binge eating and bulimic tendencies.]

11th March 2015
Love this book. The green is so good.
Painted after a long time.
Spoke to D Jeet. Dates of shoot still problematic. Is everyone but me losing interest in the project? Is keeping your passion alive a task. Why is it not so for me.

12th March 2005
Met Partha today. What he said gave some hope. Will go to Florence alone one day with what we shoot. When is D Jeet going to shoot for me? Why has he lost his vigour. How can someone lose their vigour. Is my obsession normal. Why don't i see others here this way. I think everyone else is phoney? I think too much of myself. Get a grip. 

14th March 2015
Went to Florence. Spoke to her on phone after a long time. Scared.
Should i give the film tomorrow?
Or should i keep the film with me as a bait? Utterly confused.
Fought with D Jeet. He refused to shoot the funeral today. Said i was hyper. Asked me to 'go step by step'. I am hyper of course. Don't understand why he should care. What the hell is step by step. Oh fuck. Why is the lithium not working on me. Don't forget to check newspaper tomorrow. Hazra bitch (an ex professor at the institite) is who said that i don't trust people. If what i do is not trust i don't know what is. Shit scared about this now. What if she doesn't like what she sees. Will mark today as the day on which Florence Madeira alias Jogita Biswas called me on my phone.

Ides of March
Florence. Florence. Florence.
Saw Florence today.
Mother's House. A J C Bose Road. I love Kolkata. I will make this film.

16th March 2015
Scared and hopeless as hell.
Florence not responding again.
Florence Florence Florence Florence.
How the fuck do you do this.
It's going to break now. One of these days. All of it.

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