CULTURAL PATHOLOGY TWO:
Wild goose chasers: OR People with poor judgement OR unrealistic people OR Delusional people.
If someone is persistent and succeeds their persistence is admired but if someone persists and fails they are labelled insane for persisting in something that was doomed to fail!
I know it is wrong to judge a person’s sanity by the results they achieve but I cant help it . This kind of doomed persistence and therefore insanity is seen in another set of people(cultural pathology-2) who try for roles in movies or television series in India. I have seen about 4 people in the dept of psychiatry and I am sure there are millions more in India who fit this type of madness. The symptoms they have include:
A strong, persistent, unshakable belief that they should be a movie actor
No training to reach their goal such as no efforts to enrol in an acting school, etc
Very average looks ( Believe me, in India, ‘looks, contacts & money’ are more important than acting skills, if you want to get a ‘break’ in movies or serials)
Refusing/not trying to develop skills to get alternate jobs if acting does not pan out.(there's no plan-B)
Hanging out near film shooting units, near directors and producers of movies at all times or as much as possible.
Doing odd chores for the movie people, working without payment in the hope that they will get a role, waiting for years without losing hope.
Neglecting all other areas of their lives such as family, education, job, hobbies, etc.
I have seen one who dropped out of college and was hanging around movie units till his 30s...he never completed his educaiton nor did he seek a job...his mother fed him daily and he spent his time hanging at movie shooting sites, hoping to get a role...for years and years!
There was another guy who left his village to work in movies and never got a role but was hanging around the movie sets;
And one guy who wrote scripts without getting paid or even getting credit though his scripts werrre used.
No amount of counselling can make these people get out and seek a different goal in life.
In some ways they are like gamblers and people who buy the lottery…the firm, unshakable belief/delusion that one day, their day will come. But it never seems to come to many.
I do not even want to talk about the deluded young women who want to enter the film field in India. In addition to all the problems the deluded film-crazy young men experience, these young women face sexual exploitation too.
My family have argued with me about including this wild goose chase as a pathology...my family members, think that there is nothing wrong about being passionate about something, that most Indians always play it safe and are conservative and want to only seek education which gaurentes them jobs...that most Indians are averse to risk and dont even attempt to do something they love, without worrying about earning. But I disagree. I have seen many people in India who are passionate about what they do and they do it knowing fully well that they may not earn much but they are enjoying what they are doing and they are passionate about thier work. I dont see these people as mentally ill ...I see them as passionate, perhaps not practical and worldly but they do know the consequences of their choices and still choose to do what they do. One example is a close friend of mine who is an artist...does minimalist works which are not really popular in India but she does it as it is her passion. She has exhibited abroad and has sold to museums but has little money to show for it. Though she is frustrated about the poor money she makes, she has accepted the low financial benefits and refuses to make art which is more commerically viable. I am writing this following in Feb 2016 while the rest of the article was written ages ago...This close friend, who is a minimalist artist, is doing great now! she has exhibited in art shows and museums all over the world including Japan, Vienna, France, Germany, Bangladesh, USA. She is now making lots of money! Her persistence has paid off and she is one of the few who stuck to her guns, though it was not what most people would chose to do...and succeeded! If you are interested check out Prabhavati Meppyial