Sudhir Kakar’s Book of Memories
India’s best known psychoanalyst is good to read. He has recounted in this autobiographical book various episodes in his eventful life. One is about his growing up years and career choices- unsurprisingly, driven by his father’s ideas of what he should be doing. Which he did at first, under protest. But at some point, partly after his meetings with Erik Eriksson, the Harvard psychologist in Ahmedabad, he decided to follow his calling and go for it. His dad later admitted his mistake in driving him away from it.
He also recounts how Vikram Sarabhai prevailed on Nehru to set up IIMA at Ahmedabad instead of Mumbai and why. The reason was not entirely professional, he candidly admits. It appears there was a relationship between Sarabhai and Sudhir’s aunt Kamala, and both were at Ahmedabad. This was one reason that drove him to set up the institute there.
There are a lot of insights into how he set up, with great difficulty, a psychoanalysis practice at Delhi, and how entire families got involved in an individual’s case- particularly if the patients were women- daughters or daughters-in-law!
An interesting read, with many observations about Indian psychological and sociological predilections. Those with an interest, should read it for a look at these and more.