Saturday, 21 July 2012

Mad, From Within and Beyond (2)

Though just a few people would admit it, this is the reality: almost everybody goes mad once awhile. For instance, I have been mad before, again and again and I guess you have had your few moments of madness too. One of the times I went mad was when, as a ten-year-old, my mother got me my first game console ever. It was a gift I had anticipated endlessly and so, I went mad with uncontrollable happiness when I saw it. I repeatedly ran around our house like a drugged horse until an inelastic collision between my dog and I calmed the madness. Yet, I admit that what happened to me was madness; it was what I’d term positive madness.

But here is someone else’s story. On one random occasion that I had to visit someone in a hospital ward, a boy suddenly began to laugh when he was intimated with the news of his young mother’s death. He first screamed out at the peak of his voice and then soloed into an intermittent session of soliloquy and dance. Normally, anyone who had just received such news would be quiet, turn sober or really mourn. Otherwise, they may ask to see the corpse first. But this twenty-something-year-old guy began to laugh like a psychotic hyena. I wonder if his father had felt like calming him with a steaming slap. Initially, everyone thought he had run permanently mad. But when he began to call his friends to tell them about the loss, we realized he was still sane. Now, that is another kind of madness. It may be termed negative madness because an opposite emotive reaction occurred in the subject.

If you’d be honest with yourself, you’d admit to have been mad before too. Perhaps, there has been one or more rare moments of deep uncontrollable joy or pain that made you do something crazy or mad. It could be the day you graduated from college, the hour you won a very competitive scholarship, the minute you received your first car or the moment you realized that you had won a million dollars. It could have been the positive or negative kind of madness. But it was temporal. It was spontaneous. And it was, of course, an instance of ordinary madness.

To be continued…