Monobider Moner Katha
Gautam Kr. Bandyopadhyay
Head of the Department, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
This is the review of a book written in Bengali and authored by a senior academician and psychiatrist containing case histories of great literary standard.
Keywords: Mind. Humour. Narrations.
Correspondence: Professor (Dr.) Gautam Kr. Bandyopadhyay, Head of the Department, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital, 578, B.T. Road, Kamarhati, Kolkata-700058, West Bengal, India. firstname.lastname@example.org
In comparisons to other professionals, psychiatrists have the plethora of opportunities to share their experiences at the very personal level. Definitely they need to have enough patience, sensitivity, a good amount of communication skill and courage to shoulder all those information. It has been always remained a pleasurable experience to know all those life stories from the pen of a psychiatrist. But apart from those life pages, pain and conflicts in the mind of a psychiatrist routinely goes unaddressed in most of the common case history books usually written by psychiatrists or psychologists. Recently, I have come across one such book which depicts such stories through the ‘professional lenses’ of a psychiatrist along with the honest reflections from the psychiatrist’s chair.
The book “Monobider Moner Katha”, written in Bengali is a hundred paged book full of such life scripts, authored by one senior academician and psychiatrist, Dr. Soumitra Ghosh, who has a vast experience in the clinical field. In my opinion this is a real treasure box containing more than sixty well written case histories carefully selected from the large pool of clients. To review this book is not an easy work, as this little book is not just a so-called ‘case diary’ type, but also a work of great literary standard.
The whole book is divided in nine separate chapters, each describing a separate dimension of mind, like, tension state, guilt, astonishments, pleasure, sadness or greed. Last two chapters are concerned with personal feelings and transcendence of a psychiatrist and almost all the chapters are packed with a good sense of humour, which is traceable even when the author is describing most difficult and violent patients. This chapter reminds me the story of one stalwart psychiatrist of early 20th century, Colonel Owen Berkeley Hill. The unforgettable style of Dr. Hill in dealing with his patients of Kanke asylum, which is evident in his autobiography, “All too human: an unconventional autobiography”, is the real gem of a story. Interestingly, both the authors are similar in dealing with such patients using ready wit, courage and concern for their patients, although they are dissimilar in their personality pattern and individual fashions.
The honest and open narrations offered by the author especially when describing inhibitions, hesitations or regrets from the other side of the table is definitely a work of merit.
Unhesitant analyses and unconditional positive regards for those persons suffering from psychological problem and above all the simplicity of the writing style has made this book a must read one.
Bandyopadhyay GK. Monobider Moner Katha. Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2017;9:79-80. doi: 10.5958/2394-2061.2018.00005.8. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
Source of support: Nil. Declaration of interest: None.
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