Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The story of Dr.Vasistha Narayan Singh -

The following story narrated by a fellow psychiatrist may remind us about John Nash - famous after 'A beautiful Mind'. Dr Singh is in many ways an Indian version of Nas, though his tale invokes much more sympathy in us.

Very few people know about Dr.Vasistha Narayan Singh, a world renowned mathematician and an ex-NASA scientist, who has been suffering from schizophrenia since 1976. The mathematician who challenged works of Great Scientist Albert Einstien.Coming from a very poor family, he is the record holder for Matriculation and Intermediate Science Exam. In mathematics conference he had presented a list of 5 most difficult problems. He solved all of them and that too in different ways. Prof Berkley got impressed and requested him to come to USA for further study. Singh did not let down HOD and did his PhD with style and went on to work for NASA. He had nationalistic dreams and thought of doing his India proud rather that stay on in US as his HOD and NASA wanted him to do.He married to an army officer's daughter. Due to reasons unknown, marriage did not work out and his wife left him and never come back. This left him heartbroken and made his condition worse.He returned to India and worked at ISI Cal, IIT Kanpur and TIFR Mumbai. He had a tough time at ISI Cal and was disillusioned at other places also.Soon after that, He lost his mental balance and was admitted to Mental Hospital, Kanke, Ranchi. Mental Authority threw him out of Kanke and his family did not have enough money to support his treatment which made his condition worst. He was treated by NIMHANS but details are not available. It appears that he fled from Merut Mental Hospital and was untraceable for many years until someone from his village saw him as a rag picker in Chapra. Relatives were happy to see him alive but were sad to see his misery.Dr Singh was in Patna (April 2004) to take part in a function organized in his honor by an institute run in his name. Singh looked ruffled, probably unable to catch the lavish praises that were hurled upon him by the speakers present on the occasion. At times, he gave the most loving smile, like a child. However, he looked distracted most of the time, probably lost in his world where there is no scope of anything except maths. He did not seem interested even when his biography was released by former VC.His love for maths was more than visible, even now, when he is said to be mentally challenged. Even while coming to Patna, he had not forgotten to carry with himself his prized possessions (maths books, diaries filled with mathematical theories and formulae etc). He had tied all this in a neat heap and occasionally looking at it.Once when the mike was given to him to say something, he spoke indecipherable words about some mathematical topic. But his sensitivity did not appear lost.Recently, the Bihar government has sent him to New Delhi for treatment (April 2009).John Nash (brilliant mathematician and noble prize winner whose story was portrayed in the movie A Beautiful Mind) made a recovery from the schizophrenia from which he had suffered since 1959 but Dr Singh did not. Why?Some factors supporting recovery in case of Nash could be beneficial to Dr Singh’s case.The relationships Nash had with fellow mathematicians were essential to his eventual recovery, but the single most important factor in Nash's recovery was the bond with his remarkable wife, Alicia. She fed, housed and cared for him even after she divorced him, and never wavered in her devotion to him or her belief in his extraordinary talent.In Nash's case, the Princeton campus functioned as a therapeutic community. His bizarre behavior was mostly tolerated, and he was granted access to lecture halls and libraries and offered human contact without being forced to make it. As his schizophrenia receded, Nash participated in seminars and made friends with a few graduate students. Later he was given unrestricted access to a computer, which he taught himself to use, and began writing intricate programs. A reluctance to give up -- or to accept a prognosis of doom -- can be seen in Nash's story.http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/articleshow/ 597829.cmshttp://in.answers. yahoo.com/ question/ index?qid= 20090120030204AA xvcnURegardsD N Mendhekar (09868 900 900)Pratap Nagar Metro Pillar 129, Delhi-7

13 comments:

Lex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lex said...

Wow what an interesting post! And what a courageous story!

I wonder, given that he suffered from schizophrenia, whether there is a cultural push for a recovery-based model in mental healthcare in India as there is in some parts of America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand?

Does anyone have any ideas on this, or to how a recovery-based model would differ in America from India? I would very much love to hear feedback and if you don’t mind I might even like quote you back on my own blog, the Mental Health Recovery Blog if you would be comfortable with such a quotation. I will of course reference back to you, but if you would prefer not to no worries at all I’d still very much love to hear your opinions!

I look forward to speaking with you more on the issue!

Warm regards,
Lex
MHCD Research and Evaluations

calvin said...

Very few people know about Dr. Vasistha Narayan Singh Who is the the greatest Mathematician alive. Who travelled a lot in journey of his life from a typical undevloped village in Bihar to USA, village primary school to Netarhat, Science College Patna and then University of California, Berkley, the life of name and fame to the life of mental disturbance and poverty. The mathematician who challenged works and also for a better life Cheap Cialis use it and experience of a better life

karan said...

I have heard a lot about Dr. Vasistha Narayan Singh (also known as V.N. Singh who is my nabour) but never happen to know his biography is such details and depth. I was surprised to find only 2-3 links when I google about Vasistha Narayan Singh by his name where 100+ of links when I searched about Rajpal Yadao (Actor) and Khali (Wresling Player).
But Thanks to this post which narrated so beautiful about B.N. Singh.

buy viagra said...

is important to know all these kinds of stories that give us a broader vision of psychiatry

Onion Insights said...

Hi,

Nice post! For this wonderful read, we present you with a unique opportunity of mystery shopping. Onion Insights Pvt. Ltd. is a Global Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) company that uses the tool of Mystery Shopping wherein one poses as a customer to a particular product or service and anonymously evaluates his/her shopping experience and provides a well-written structured report on the findings. The assignment lets you combine two of your favourite things – shopping and writing!

Being a Mystery Shopper not only helps you to become a Better Customer, you also get paid for shopping! You will be paid a nominal fee for your time and efforts and additionally reimbursed for the products you purchase to complete the Mystery Shop. To become a Mystery Shopper, you just have to be of a minimum age of 18, have good command over English and have Internet accessibility.

To begin with, register with us for free at www.onioninsights.info as New Mystery Shopper and start your journey into the world of Mystery Shopping!

Radha said...

This is really nice post , Thanks for sharing this Story

funny said...

I HIMANSHU WHEN WATCHED D MOVIE "A BEAUTIFUL MIND" BASED ON BIOGRAPHY OF DR. JOHN F. NASH WAS GREATLY INSPIRED TO KNOW ABOUT D GREAT MATHEMATICIAN OF INDIA.SUDDENLY ONE NAME FROM MY BIHAR AROSED..NON OTHER THAN DR. VASHISTHA NARAYAN SINGH WHO HAD THE SAME TALENT THT OF DR. NASH AND WAS SUFFERED FROM SAME FANTASY SYNDROME"SCHZONFRENIA"..I WAS SHOCKED THTS EVEN A BIHAR GOVERNMENT HAD UNDERESTIMATED THIS...

s s sharma said...

i saw him on tv vasistha narayan jee is a great man no doubt, a true man, did a lot for his country, bihar and maths. dont know people remember him or not but he will be always in my mind.

Shivashish said...

See the difference between an Indian wife and an American wife. Stop boasting for Indian culture.

Anonymous said...

why isn't there much information about Dr.V N Singh on internet, related to his work. such work should be brought up to the world.

Anonymous said...

I want to reach out to him and let UC Berkeley and NASA know his condition!!!

Aarti said...

Can anyone tell where can we find him? Please let me know if anyone know his address.