by Vivek Mahapatra
There is a story, in most every culture, which could be paraphrased to one similar to the following one.
There are two wolves that live within us, one of the disposition of light, and the other of the grave. Both circle each other, and snap at heels, locked in their eternal struggle. ‘Which grows stronger?’ The novice initiate in the story asks. ‘The one you feed,’ answers the wise elder.
But what do you do when the wrong wolf rears up its legs and tears scraps from the right one? When a small event gives it the strength to force the other spirit into cowering? When thoughts grow darker with no sign of the sun in sight?
What if another wolf were there to help? The pack is always stronger than the lone wolf of despair, no matter how monomaniacal his rise may have been. In isolation, lies the path to the wrong wolf.
With that in mind, the Community Medicine Department of KMC, Manipal, in association with the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, hosted a quiz on the occasion of World Health Day on the 7th of April 2017 espousing the theme of Depression: Let’s Talk.
An elimination round was conducted on 5th April, to pare down the multitude of teams that participated. It consisted of thirty multiple choice questions regarding major health issues the plague the world, with a specific attention on depression.
Four teams made it through to the finals from this round, those of Niranjan Karthik Senthil Kumar and Abhey Shamsundar, Gokul Krishnan V S and Preetham E, Anwaya Dilip and Sahil Sahay, Deeksha D D and Ashwini J Shettigar.
The finals, conducted on the 7th, consisted of six diverse rounds. The first three rounds were hosted by Dr Sneha Mallya, with Dr Kirtinath Ballal taking over as quizmaster for the next three.
The quiz was focused on the psyche, not merely in the form of the questions that were asked, but also in the manner in which they were. After a few rounds of testing their wits such as Zingers and Deja Vu, the teams had an opportunity to change the scoreboard with a high stakes round, nicknamed Suicide Links.
The questions were not simply esoteric trivia pulled from the depths of books, but also involved timely knowledge, such as that of the depiction of such disorders in the mainstream culture.
The competition was fierce and the rounds swivelled the scores in varying directions, with the last Rapid Fire round keeping both the teams and the audience on the precipice of their toes. In the end, the team of Niranjan Karthik Senthil Kumar and Abhey Shamsundar became the well-deserved winners.
The dignitaries that graced the closing moments of the quiz were, Dr Avinash Shetty, Professor and Head-of-Department of Community Medicine, the chief guest Dr Poornima Baliga B, Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University Health Sciences, and the guest of honour, Dr Suma Nair, Director of Student Affairs.
They illustrated the rising problem of depression the world across, and simultaneously urged the students to make use of the facilities created and provided for their benefit against this terrible issue.
The proceedings ended on a hopeful note, that in the future it may become easier to overcome the stigma that exists against these grave issues by the efforts that are put in place today.