Dark Nights!


There was a time when mental illnesses were not seriously considered as a threat and the ones which were acute in nature were not even dealt properly. However, the truth is that if not diagnosed well in time and treated religiously, they can leave venomous effects. Unfortunately, this dilemma of our society continues, where we do not consider diseases allied to brain seriously. This further leads to the deterioration of the patient’s condition. Even the ones with high chances of recovery turn vulnerable in no time. Despite the fact, plenty of essential and comprehensive information regarding this crucial issue is available on various social media networks and platforms, yet people have not accepted its grave existence, ignoring the fact that these long-suffering patients persistently require our devoted attention and love for partial or complete healing.

Here, let me add a real life example for a better understanding. There was once a boy who lived in our neighborhood and was known to be exceptionally well-mannered and quiet by nature. Although, we were on incredibly good terms with the family but we never saw him indulging in playful activities with any of us or even with his own siblings. At this particular stage, this kind of behavior of a male in our society seemed perfectly customary and did not bother us. Also, he seemed very well-behaved and less talkative which was considered an admirable trait in males by the elders of our times.

It was one wintry night of December if I remember correctly when all of a sudden, he entered our place around 9:00 or 9: 30.I could read from my mother’s eyes that she was not very delighted to see his unannounced presence in the house and hardly welcomed him. He then told my mother that he was going for a walk with his few month old niece and would be greatly obliged if she would permit him to take her two younger daughters for company. This kind of straightforward behavior was not expected from him since this was not the sort of attitude we had experienced from him up till now. My mother, without giving it a second thought, instantaneously disapproved the request.

So, he left for a walk with his niece all alone. After this weird episode, we slept very soundly on that dark, cold night. The very next morning we woke up to the cries and shouting of some women and to our astonishment, it was from the house where that boy lived. I ran hurriedly to the roof bare foot to observe the event more directly and could see the mother of a little girl who was his real sister, pushing him with all her force repeatedly against the gate. Begging him just to say a word about her daughter’s whereabouts, but to my astonishment, he stood dumb like a zombie. His numbness was disturbing me but I kept my mouth shut. Later that day when the sun was no more shining in the bright blue sky and the day were turning swiftly into dusk. We got to hear from an elderly neighbor who lived nearby; that the boy was not mentally stable. Since something was troubling him about his niece, so he had thrown her in the canal.

This horrifying information was extremely difficult for me to digest. Still, whenever I think about it, my body cannot stop shuddering and trembling. At times, I just do not know who I should feel sorry for? The sister who lost her new born baby or the brother who was mentally disturbed? I believe that if the family had not have taken his illness for granted and approached it differently, the present situation could have been optimistically dissimilar. I think now is the high time when we as a nation should raise our voices towards awareness of mental disorders at all levels.

is currently teaching at SICAS and is a student of Masters in Business Administration, and can be reached at sarasaaad@gmail.com

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