No Sense of Place

(Re-post: This article first appeared in The Wire, 16 Jul 2017) Noah rides shotgun. Credit: Nisarg Prakash The city is slowly starting to stir. I jump the gate, climb up three floors, heaving my backpack clumsily despite my intentions to remain stealthy as a cat. But he has already been alerted. Maybe it was shutting…

The Mind’s River

(Re-post: This article first appeared in The Wire,15 Feb 2017) The Cauvery river is like any ordinary fern-lined stream in the upper reaches. Credit: Nisarg Prakash January 1, 2017. I have been running. Running hard all these years. Running on tarmac, on dirt, running from others – and even harder from myself. I was afraid…

Mental illness in TV: Ian from Shameless

May be some of you will get this – when I get access to a TV after a long time, I just listlessly change channels in the hope that something great will be on. Late one night, not very long ago, I had access to a TV, and so I started exploring channels. Whilst on…

Talking about mental health in academia

I was oblivious to mental health disorders and illnesses for most of my life. Of course I knew about many of them, but not much more. But, as often happens, it is when your nearest and dearest suffer that you begin to take notice of issues that were not on your radar. When a close…

Conversations with the floppy-eared Monster

(This is a long, rambling conversation with the notorious big, bad wolf. Dive-in if you’re not the faint-hearted) Nis: Hey Noah! (Whistles)…  Hello…. What’s up? Noah: (Bushy tail swishing side to side)…. Kee.. Kee…Kee…  (I’m happy to see you but don’t expect me to act like a goddamn Lab) (transitioning away from dogspeak) Nis: How…

Anatomy of a Reading Spell

I had the most beautiful but brief reading spell last month. While my menagerie of books gather dust, those few days were a reminder as to why to be able to read is central to my well-being. Like a quick spell of summer rain that transforms a parched landscape, I caught up with a few…

Meet Prashanth – our friendly neighbourhood Daktre

13 April 2018 About Prashanth (or Daktre as he is fondly known) –  Prashanth is an avid birder (avid – is an understatement) and somebody I go-to when I would like to discuss issues regarding mental health. While we bond over wildlife and conservation, he is also known for his humble and humanistic approach to…

Mental Health in Academia – A session with Dr Sudipto Chatterjee

11 May 2018, National Centre for Biological Sciences Resource person: Dr Sudipto Chatterjee is an adjunct faculty at National Institute of Advanced Studies, and works with Parivartan Trust and Sangath. The session commenced with three anonymous accounts that were read out by the organizers and we were told of the particularly high prevalence of mental…

Noah Knows No Empathy

25 May 2018 “Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.” ― Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams: Essays I had…