On marriage and relationships

As more time passes, and one sees more couples in (relationship) distress, its tempting to see if some generalizations emerge from these multitudes. Like all generalizations, they will be not without fault, and one cannot stress too strongly on the dangers of applying them liberally and literally. One of the things which have been noted by the therapists is that the best marriages or relationships are not necessarily between people who are basically similar in their personalities but rather between people who can respect the differences. One often sees couples engaged in a never ending battle about who is right. Life seems to have petered into a series of one-up-man-ship. One or the other partner will score in one situation and the other seems to be on the lookout for scoring in another. we seem to spend a lot of time and effort in trying to bring the other round to our point of view. If both partners are about equal in their determination to push their point of view across, the futility of such an effort becomes apparent. Continue reading

Making of India – considerations of Individual psychology in societal characteristics

These are emotionally charged times, with contentious political and social issues thrown up nearly every day. There is a lot of concern about the various scams and corruption cases raging through the country and there are calls for punitive action and bodies to oversee the functioning (especially) of government employees. These are necessary but probably insufficient. Insufficient, because the roots of social malaise lies not in the collective mass of society, but in the sum of individual pathology. Unfortunately, the individual psyche is dismissed with derision and no respect or importance is given to the factors that throw up corrupt individuals. We take refuge in the me-and-not-me dichotomy – they are corrupt, we are not. Can we really claim that all the people raising strident voices against corruption have never indulged in a corrupt act themselves? Continue reading

Letting Go

A common pain that we come across in life, especially early in life, is that of a promising relationship not working out. Many of us may have entered a relationship that became deeper than most, and naturally raised our expectations. For various reasons not gone into here, the relationship did not fructify, did not last as long as we may have wanted it to. Those of us who have experienced this unfortunate event will testify to the pain that accompanies the break-up. It is a different pain, a mixed longing and sadness and anger that depresses us for some time. The pain may seem to be qualitatively different as well. Many people describe it as nothing that they have experienced before, something that does not compare with other losses in life. It may impact our functional abilities, our other relationships, it may darken our view of life ( at least temporarily) and make it difficult for us to appreciate other good relationships in life. Continue reading

Zindagi na milegi dobara

Before we begin, a clarification. Or a disclaimer if you prefer it. This is NOT a review of the 2011 hit movie. It does, however, take up the movie’s storyline, and the fact that it was a hit, to make some observations.

Why does a movie succeed at the box office? Of course that can’t be answered : there is no formula which ensures a hit. But there may be some pointers gained from movies that have succeeded. One of the factors is that the audience identifies with the protagonist (s). Their victories are ours; we feel their successes as our own. We sort of live out our own fantasies in their stories. That may work for some popular TV shows as well, like KBC. Of course there is the sheer charisma of the Big B, but if we did not feel a vicarious pleasure in the contestant winning, would we take to the show as much as we have? Continue reading