The law is a warm, fuzzy thing

As human beings, we all have problems, inexplicable yearnings, nameless fears. Sometimes, these things can become too much. We feel overwhelmed, we can’t cope with everyday life, we’re afraid that something will snap. At moments like this, we need understanding and guidance. But unfortunately, good psychiatrists can be incredibly expensive.

Do not believe that all is lost. A few recent news reports have opened my eyes to fresh alternatives that will allow you to get the best-and free-help from the most distinguished professionals. Here’s what you can do.

1.     Get involved in a messy custody battle. Make sure to initiate enough legal wrangling to take the case to the Supreme Court. If lucky, here you will encounter Justice Arijit Pasayat who will give you couples therapy, just as he did to Gaurav and Sumedha Nagpal. It’s unlikely that he will grant you a divorce so feel free to go ahead even if you want to stay married to your partner. Invoking the language of psychoanalysis, this insightful Freud of the judiciary will tell you to “dissolve your ego” for the sake of your child. To add weight to his argument, he will weave his tapestry of psychological insights against a searing critique of legal and cultural history:
“The provisions under the Hindu Marriages Act for granting divorce on grounds of either of the spouses suffering from diseases like leprosy and mental illness are being misused by some couples. Those days, our forefathers never had such problems and marital disputes were sorted out within the four walls of the house.”
This is true. Women these days just don’t know how to take a well-deserved sock to the jaw. Instead they complain of ‘domestic violence’. What a terribly selfish sense of entitlement. If you undercook the chicken, then you’d better be acountable and bear the consequences instead of wasting Justice Pasayat’s time with your inconsequential problems. As for men, if your wife is caught screwing the driver, then asking for a divorce is not a manly thing to do. As the Judge advises, keep it “within the four walls” or simply bury her under the floor. That way, the dispute will stay within the house. If this isn’t enough to bring tears of enlightenment to your eyes, he will give you gender-specific advice about the harm you’re doing to your child:
“Ultimately the child suffers. If it is a girl, the trauma is more, particularly at the time of the marriage of such children.”
Thank you Justice Pasayat. I’m sure the International Psychoanalytic Association can’t wait to grant you an honorary membership.

2. Become implicated in a high-profile murder investigation. It will do even if you’re a friend or servant of the victim’s parents, as has been the case in the Aarushi Talwar murder case. The CBI will take great care of you, if this news report is to be believed: “…the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday subjected Durranis, the family friends of Talwars to a psycho-analysis test.”
They did this for a lot many other suspects as well. Now as far as the official definition of ‘psychoanalysis’ goes, you enter a plush office, where a doctor will ask you, ‘what seems to be worrying you?’Then he will lay you down on a plush couch and listen to you rail on about how your chronically tardy mailman brings back the trauma of being picked up five minutes late from school by your mother. Alternatively, it could mean that you’re taken through a fascinating journey into your own psyche through cards printed with inkblots. Tip: most look like a) rabbits and b) vaginas. But just say “I see blood and the devil eating puppies” and you will get more free treatment.
If you’re experimentally inclined, then say many inconsistent things. They will then give you hypnotic drugs or hook you up to a cool machine, thus satisfying your lifelong desire to find out what it’s like to be abducted by aliens. They may even give you an anal probe–traditionally the province of outer space invaders–to check if that particular orifice tells the truth.
You may get a kick out of interrogation too, because for once in your life, it will be all about you and they will actually be interested in what you say. Many people do not experience this even once before they die. And as evidenced by the Talwar case, this enchanting process can be repeated for months, again and again and again.Thank you CBI for making us mentally healthy, psychoanalyzed people.

Left Behind

What could I possibly cook for dinner? That’s what I was thinking about when I ran into Sonal a few yards from my front gate. My heart sank. Unnecessary conversations always drained me. Especially when they were with neighbors. The burden of knowing that the same dull scripts would be replayed over and over again. Neighborly visits had become a lot more frequent after my wife left me for a man who wasn’t a distinguished, balding schoolteacher like myself. Continue reading Left Behind

And Nothing But the Truth: Crime and Detective Magazine

I first came across this almost preternaturally insightful journal at the Jhansi railway station. I was making faces at a singularly hideous toddler when my eye suddenly caught a jumble of colourful headlines amid a newspaper vendor’s otherwise drab selection of titles. The words, splashed boldly near a picture of a darkly lipsticked woman with her chin held by a fiercely intent man (not clear whether she was about to receive a violent kiss or have root canal treatment), screamed for attention:
Continue reading And Nothing But the Truth: Crime and Detective Magazine

Madwoman’s Rampage

It was a still and balmy evening. The stars were out, the lamps were lit, and the barbecue was roasting. Soon the drinks were laid out on a tray, and sniffing good times in the air, a woman emerged to investigate. Large of build, lugubrious of bent, she drew a seat and then she cast her lascivious eye around. Her hair shone, her teeth gleamed, and her expensive red dress revealed her. Continue reading Madwoman’s Rampage

Brownie the Devil Cat

“Oh you are vile, vile, vile, disgusting. Stop staring at me you mangy, malevolent little beast,” screamed Dr Veena Sharma, assistant professor of English at a government college. Her 17-year-old daughter, alarmed, ran into the kitchen and put a steadying arm around her mother’s shoulders. “Mummy, he’s just a poor, hungry little cat.” Veena shrugged Manju’s arm off and spat: “Just look at his eyes, that evil, basilisk gaze. Oh he’s a rat in disguise and the disguise isn’t WORKING. Vile, vile.” Continue reading Brownie the Devil Cat

Money Plants

There was something odd, very odd, about Mr. R.K. Bansal, deputy editor. I knew it as soon as I joined Realty Realities magazine as the editor-in-chief. You should know that the publication has been around for several years, but its readership has so far been limited to mall developers and property dealers. I was hired to revamp the magazine and to make it palatable to the general house-buying population as well. A task I knew I’d accomplish better than anyone else could. Continue reading Money Plants