A book by an Indian psychiatrist and author Pankaj Trivedi titled Indoqq, which means the art of healing, is written in a conversational style and is full of stories of people who have suffered from mental illness. Many of these tales are funny but there is no denying that there is a certain underlying seriousness in all of them. The main character in Indoqq is a psychologist called Jai Kishore, who has been a psychiatrist for many years now.
There are a number of stories in Indoqq which relate to mental illness. This is the reason why there is some confusion whether this book is a comedy or a sad story. Trivedi’s point is to make the reader understand the root causes of mental illnesses and the need for a holistic approach in order to cure patients. In fact, many of the stories in Indoqq are based on actual experiences of the author himself.
One of the stories in Indoqq is about a young woman’s life in America, where she has moved after her husband’s death. She is in a constant state of denial about the loss of her husband because he was a kind hearted man who was a good listener to her. Jai realizes that there is something wrong with her when she starts to lose interest in all the activities in the apartment.
When the young man who had been her husband comes to the apartment, he finds Jai lying motionless on the floor. He immediately assumes that she has committed suicide. To make matters worse, there are two men present in the apartment who want to commit suicide also but cannot because they are not able to see beyond the veil of denial in which Jai is living.
When the young man goes to his brother’s place, he tells him everything. However, his brother tells him that it was actually Jai who committed suicide because he was in a mental hospital. His brother then takes him to the hospital and helps him get out of the hospital. At this point, it becomes clear to the reader that Jai is very much alive and that the real Jai was never in the hospital.
The next story in Indoqq relates to a young man who has been suffering from bipolar disorder for the last fifteen years. His family is trying to treat him with conventional medicines which have failed to do so.