When anyone looks back at their lives, short or lengthy, there are some defining moments. In themselves trivial but they leave the impact forever. Some are positive others as corrosive as rust. A teacher or a parent has the power to limit you or help you touch the stars. I remember so clearly that a certain teacher told me I was destined to be different, march to a different drumbeat and take great comfort and satisfaction in my non conformity…not to be afraid of it, but to embrace it and walk on and on and on. For the 21 years I was on earth, this encouragement stayed with me like a lantern on a dark night. The solace that a passing remark can make is immense. By the same token a harsh remark can not only,just hurt for the momen,t but become a scar on the psyche.

It can be from body shaming, a teacher mocking your size or height or lack of it, your face, your features, your voice and leaving you whistling in the wind. We always talk of bullying in schooldays, as something that, children visit upon children. We never really acknowledge that perhaps the most damaging bullying comes from teachers often through a chance remark.


It could be anything. You have acne and a teacher calls you spotty. Mocks the treble increase in your voice, and you are now afraid to speak. Jeers at your imperfect first ever public address, or elocution, or debate and even though you know you are good you never want to go up, on stage again. Laughs in your face and despairs at your effort to write poetry or prose and tells you that you will never be a writer. Never say never teacher, because now I not only need to fight the competition, but now I have to wrestle with your indictment.


It happens more often that you think. Teachers have the power to destroy your self confidence and turn you away from your ambitions to settle for a mediocre nothingness because they made you dislike yourself.


And if it isn’t body shaming it could be a classroom embarrassment of ridiculing your work in front of everyone, so you want to die of shame and you are scarlet from embarrassment and you can never get over it. The class clown, because the teacher willed it so.


Then there is the in between where the bullying is subtle and as sharp as a stiletto. The teacher does not give you that free rein he or she gives a favourite. The bitterness and the resentment rise in the throat but it is that one mark, that A+ kept elusive and praise heaped faintly never fully.


I have been a victim of that. Patted on the back but always pulled in a bit, just short of the other guy  regardless of how hard I tried until the frustration does begin to get the better of you and you give up trying.


That is the error we make. We are young and vulnerable, and we want that recognition like a thirst, and we don’t get it, so we conclude that we are not good enough, we fall short. Big mistake. If you are one of those, also rans, the one on the podium, but second, just do not give up. That teacher is not your yardstick for the future. See it as a hurdle that has to be overcome, don’t fall down, you know how good you are.


I did fight. Very hard. And many a time my innate common sense told me that I should be at the top of the class, the cherry on the cake, not the icing and now when I look down upon my footprints in the sands of time I know how smart it would have been to see it as a spur and not as a hindrance.


So remember this, fellow student. Don’t let them get you down because they are graceless. You know that in the end, the only of yourself is yourself.


A mum’s tragic tale with a powerful message

06/06/2018 | Gulf News

Dubai: Mohit’s life was painted with glorious colours but was washed away in the acid rain even before it truly began to flourish. This is a gentle abiding message to hundreds of thousands of parents around the world who do not know what is ticking in their children’s minds and can never even begin to fathom where the phantoms lie.

Mohit was alive till August 26, 2016. He was 21, endearing and revered by everyone around him. He was studying pre-med and economics abroad. He was in Dubai for a short break.

Read the full article



Just as much as there is a price to pay at some point for being the favourite son or daughter there is also a penalty for those of us who are not. This is how it works. The favoured one gets all the breaks,wins the confidence of his boss,is allowed liberties not extended to the others and has it really good for the time this togetherness lasts. One day like, most for well,things it ends, but till then, the rest have to suffer the indignity of not being given their due. Always the second choice, never getting the music to stop for them in this bizarre game of musical chairs.

And it is not just at the office or in the selection of a sports team or a promotion that this sort of thing happens,if actually starts in school where ambitious parents and their nexus with teachers creates the first rings of favouritism and the fragility of idealism is exposed for what it is…a a non existent mirage.

You don’t want to believe it at first. You are the reserve on the team,the stand in,the understudy,the option not the choice. And the choice is the favourite one and it could be because the parents are rich and powerful,he is  teacher’s pet, the shoo in, for the debate team,the leader of the pack,the captain of the first XI not because he is better but because the ability in the rest of us is diced and muted.

While active favouritism is one, spur  discrimination is another. You can call it the negative pole. A teacher,a department head,someone with decision-making authority over you decides to keep you down, encourages with brakes on, in second gear and you know from the limited traction that your potential is being throttled. Why? There could be many reasons. An absence of chemistry,some parochial bias, even your religion and caste can come into play, anything that makes the exercise of power arbitrary and unfair.

At the school level the prejudice could be a great deal more trivial. Perhaps the teacher had a run in with the student’s parents and now the child  has to suffer the consequences. Sometimes, most commonly, the teacher is upset by a display of brilliance and if that upstages the fragile ego again the student ends up with the thin end of the wedge…oh,so you think you are smart?

I don’t think people realise how much harm they cause the young psyche by being hostile when their duty is to positively exploit potential. In a perfect world that would be the key. Then again it isn’t. So it doesn’t get realized, that choking a talent is as bad as sticking a knife in the ribs.

The sweet sound of whistle blowers

Most people have not heard of Dr John Rengen  Virapen nor are they likely to because people
like him don’t get the platform to spread their message.

The good doctor declared war on the pharmaceutical industry
of which he was an integral part. Was drummed out after he found conscience and
a whistle which he blew.

Whenever you feel that drugs rule your life and your best friend is a plastic case with the days of the week on each compartment where you keep your daily dosage go Google his name and shock yourself.You can also google Gwen Olsen a Pharmacist who lost her niece to this menace and she being in this industry and her niece staying with her couldn’t figure things out until they lost.Do we have to loose our precious loved ones to rise above or we will rise anyway and put a stop to this menace. Whenever he gets the opportunity the man who legally imported Prozac into Sweden tells it like it is.

The base of his argument is that the pharmaceutical industry has no interest in making you well. On the contrary it wants you to be ill so it can dispense drugs to you. In its scheme of things the highest priority is given to ailments that are long-term.This doctor has spoken at length about Prozac and how it causes suicides.The number one side effect of Prozac is suicide and during the trials the results from London showed they had lost children as small as three years.How can anyone explain this greed and lust for money. The prevailing and pervasive attititude into which I walked  in unknowingly because the Therapist and the Psychiatrist lied to me. They diagnosed me with Anxiety and ADHD,and started medicating me.They put me on Strattera,Zoloft,Sertaline,Seroquel,Klonopin and Vyanse.How could I at 19 metaboloze all these heavy and toxic medications with such severe side effects,I want people to know what it can do to families and children.How much I have pained my mother who is still not able to register my loss.She seems fine from the outside but only I know what she is going through.They let you think that one doesn’t matter.They expect that a certain percentage are going to suffer these side effects and that is ok with them.But it is not ok.There is one and there is one,and there is one,then 100,then 1000,10,000 and it is not just one.One is too many and it goes on and on and on. The drugs own you then.

Have you heard  of ADHS they say you have ADHS.The last” S” stands for Syndrome makes it a sickness, which they cannot prove so they change the word to Disorder.This way they changed the” S” to” D” calling it Disorder.So now they are safe to label you guilt free ADHD.Since now unlike syndrome where you have to prove or do a test for Disorder you need neither. How do they measure Serotonin in the brain during the trial.It just cannot be measured.They have done the name change 1000 of times.They say they are doing this since they have studied and they know better,they have an educational history and they are more powerful,so you cannot fight them.

Probably the western influence against which my mom tried so hard to save me.I was trying to make her more western and she was rubbing her Indian influence and roots on me.Mom always knows the best. She always looked at western values with some skepticism and I say this time round she was right.Deep down even I was indian though I was influenced by western thought that I had to be mature and keep my problem to myself,I couldn’t be a baby and tell my mom my problems.I had acquired the maturity of western thought to deal with the problem alone.The old fashioned Indian way seemed too regressive.American bearing with its thoughts and reasoning was often in total contradiction to the Indian behaviour,with it’s feelings and intuition,which even when juxtaposed,excluded each other’s insights.I did not realise this was not a problem but a trap laid out for me in which under peer pressure and stressful  environment I fell prey to.

The industry has such a close nexus with  media that its conspiracies are ones of paid
for silence.

The issue of side effects is sidelined while the virtues of
the FAB factor are lauded.

Features,Advantages and Benefits are how it is packaged to
the public with each new

Medicament  while the
negatives are muted.

Although the Virapen tribe are increasing exponentially as
they confront themselves with their disillusionment and even guilt over having
‘hands which are dirty’ the battle is long and hard.Even the old are not spared
and the industry targets them without remorse.

The fight can only enter the even field of play when we the
people join the troops and resist and question our dependence on drug regimes
that are soaked in wealth and want us to be ill for the healthier we are the
more they lose profit.

It is when you hear such statements of intent that the
outrage eclipses the good of which even the whistle blowers agree there is a
lot of out there. Medicines that help and bring relief are also there so we
have to ensure we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Somewhere there
has to be a via media where lives are not extinguished from greed and
coldblooded love for profit.



So in the past few columns since we started this ‘rescue’ mission I have put the dice squarely on parents for not calling their young adult children when they notice things going awry. It is all very well to say we trusted the learning institution and then moan the fact that you also had faith in the psychologists and psychiatrists and never ever dreamt that they would mess with your child’s mind. Well, they do and it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

The level of awareness in the past few years and the deluge of anecdotal information coming in on websites and over the Net indicating and indicting the free and liberal dispensation of college campus prescriptions is no longer hush hush. Everyone knows that this so called assault on anxiety and depression and other such goodies is also an assault on the young brain and scrambles it just like one would an egg.

Yes, the beguiling part is that it starts slow and muted and in the beginning you do not even notice anything except that ‘feel good’ vibe. It is only later and research will bear me out when you are well and truly hooked that the dosage is upped and you see saw confusedly between relapse and withdrawal, the two toxic states of mind like bouts of seasickness fogging the brain and the mind and yet, in some way, doing a Puff the magic dragon captivity of your thoughts.

At this point there is no breakdown. You are afraid. Afraid to let go the plastic peace you get. Afraid to continue. Simply afraid to talk about it and share the fears. Bottle them up, pretend they are not there.

Above all wrapping the fear like luggage at the airport in transparent sheets of sadness so no one can open the box. This takes energy, adds to the exhaustion and feeds the demons that now have a far more free rein over your behavior.

Then comes the next level of the mental breakdown. The itching, the irritation, the crawling skin, the extremes of cold and heart, the absolute inability to rise out of bed in the morning and the dread that seeps like winter cold into the bones.

If there is degeneration and irreversible damage to your brain structure, you do not  know it. You do not even guess it. All you have is this fuzzy idea that something is out of kettle and you cannot get a handle on it.

It is cold comfort that fresh research today shows you can fight the good fight with right nutrition and a readjusted lifestyle. Now you tell us. That this benign option exists to shoving pills down our throat and mangling our mindset.

Of course, the meds do not work. Of course, they make things worse. Of course, they systematically destroy us.

But you market the mirage and someone will come to the false oasis seeking a slake of their thirst. The problem is with those that create the mirage for selfish reasons.In America they advertise and push these medications on almost whoever they think is a soft target.You really have to take the bull by the thorns to avoid getting into this trap.Not only does this take a lot of courage but a lot of knowingness,and how can you have knowingness when you are not aware of this.

If only I had done a little more digging. These facts are stated in Robert Whitaker’s Documentary on Harm Done by Psychiatric drugs.

Well known Psychiatrist Dorris J Rapp MD says that these medicines cause depression, dizziness,body pain, suicidal thoughts, heart diseases, metabolic defects, heart attacks, strokes ,increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, just to name a few side effects. Pleasant, isn’t it.

Even when you stop taking these meds the shaking, twitching and the jerks in the body do not go away.What’s wrong?


Why are you twitching?

I am not.

Yes, you are.

Leave me alone, I am fine.

Damn and they leave you alone.  It wasn’t the depression that got me in the gut. It was the upped dosage of stuff like Zoloft, Klonopin, Vyanse and others that I often threw away because I did not want to be dependent but they got me in their claws anyway, pushed me step by step to the end of the road and the final cliff, the only relief  to the silent scream.

They call it drug induced psychosis. Yeah right.