Chained to Asylums from the Raj

Remnants of the Raj

Chained to Asylums from the Raj

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


was five when my mother was first branded “mad”, by my father, his family, and the world.

What I remember from those years is my mother receiving several shock treatments and also being chained, spreadeagled to the bars of a bare solitary confinement room. I remember how each time she received shock, she was held up by an unfeeling attendant; her eyes were dead, body limp, from the shock. These images are burned into my memory. For years, until I was about 30, I could not step into hospitals, of any kind, without fainting. The sight of the white walls, doctors, the crestfallen faces, would leave me prone on the floor.