IT was at a conference of neurosurgery in Brazil a couple of years ago that Dr Manjul Tripathi, a neurosurgeon at PGIMER, met Prof Antonio de Salles, a noted neurosurgeon and author of the novel, ‘Why Fly Over The Cuckoo’s Nest? Psychosurgery in My Brain Please!’ It was here that Prof Salles suggested that Dr Tripathi translate his book into Hindi, and reach out to a large section of the population.
“Originally written in Spanish, it was translated into English. I have done the Hindi translation and titled it ‘Krodh’. There are many people who are marginalised in society and could lead a normal life with a control of their disorders with neurosurgery. Psychosurgery is a neglected field, with a huge potential and Prof Salles has authored the book on this subject,” explains Dr Tripathi, who did his residency from here and has been part of the institute since 2015 and whose translation was released by PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram on Tuesday.
Psychosurgery has been mired in many controversies and the novel raises vital issues surrounding psychosurgery, which is now legally restricted internationally. The author subtly touches on the emotional, legal, ethical and medical issues of psychosurgery, with uncontrolled aggressive behaviour also discussed delicately.
The novel discusses the ethical dilemma of surgical modifications of the brain, bringing into focus the understanding of the complexity of addiction, anger and human aggression. Exploring the subject through the perseverance of long-lasting love between high school sweethearts, science fiction brings love, loyalty, friendship, perseverance, sports and fame to disclose the depth of the human knowledge of the brain function.
An associate professor at the department of neurosurgery, PGIMER, Dr Tripathi is actively involved in functional neurosurgery, psychosurgery and Gamma knife radiosurgery and his second passion is writing. Dr Tripathi’s article on the dynamics of dance moves of Michael Jackson was featured in more than 400 newspapers worldwide and has authored more than 160 research articles.
‘Krodh’, says Dr Tripathi, who is from Gwalior and did his early education in UP, is a work of almost two years, the most challenging bit being to take out time from the hospital to work on the translation.
“As a translator, my job was to keep the soul of the book intact and make a conscious effort to keep the language simple, as today’s generation is not very conversant with literary Hindi, which I speak and write. Though a work of fiction, the book highlights the fact that patients, who have become resistant to psychiatry treatments can benefit from neurosurgery and we can step in to help target specific patients. I believe we need to give them a chance. Here at PGIMER, we at the department of neurosurgery, have been successful in helping patients with severe OCD, when they became resistant to drugs and all other options had failed. The intent to translate this book into Hindi is to raise awareness on the subject,” explains Dr Tripathi, a movie and science fiction buff, with a special interest in films starring Jack Nicholson.