Issue 22

Issue XXII: Editor’s Note

The post-pandemic world has seen an upward trend in the discourse around mental health issues. Two years of an anxiety-inducing threat from Covid19 and its many variants, a prolonged period of isolation, and having to adapt to a life-altering “normal” has led to a deteriorating mental health situation around the world. Given such a context, the world today is seen debating the nuances of access to mental health resources, the disparity in its availability, the options for the layperson, how diagnoses are determined, and other such prognoses around the subject. This issue of Open Axis will pay special attention to such debates and questions around mental well being, both through a philosophical point of view and a behavioural science perspective. 

The 22nd issue will also shed light on contemporary conversations around sports and its intersection with popular culture. We will further explore how fashion shapes the world around us and how it raises questions about inclusivity and hype culture. As we figure out the process of adapting and navigating through a fast-paced world with everyday distractions, OpenAxis strives to offer some in-depth perspectives about the world around us through this issue. 

For our first piece, OpenAxis had a conversation with Dr. Arvinder J. Singh, a psychotherapist and trainer, about the recent addition of prolonged grief in the DSM-5. We question whether there is a need for such a diagnosis, how one can understand mental health, well being and whether it can be made more accessible. 

Continuing on the same subject, Professor Raja Rosenhagen writes about the diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder and how it has resulted in a widespread debate in the discourse around mental disorders. He discusses the emerging support and opposition to the diagnosis, and discusses what could be the best way forward. 

Maahira Jain explores the questions of economic access and inequality in the availability of mental health resources. What options do people have when mental health resources remain so inaccessible and is it a coincidence that we are witnessing an increase in the popularity of astrology? 

After the global success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive (2019), the popularity of Formula-1 racing raced to new heights. What does this success mean for F-1 racing in India? Saahil Mohan Gupta traces the happenings that led to this rapid growth. 

Continuing on the trajectory of sports, Aritro Sarkar writes about how the Russia-Ukraine fiasco has underlined that football cannot exist in a silo – it is a political entity and has always been one.

Like most other industries, the fashion industry came out of the  COVID-19 pandemic with impacted functioning and the need to champion new trends. Inclusivity and diversity are a few trends that stand out, especially at Fashion Week showcases, which dictate trends for current and upcoming seasons. Reya Deya explores these intersections.  

Continuing our focus on fashion, Shree Bhattacharyya, in conversation with Vedant Lamba, explores Hype Culture, and its economic and cultural aspects in relation to status, money and identity. 

In popular culture and media, the television show Bridgerton has become a viral sensation. Lakshya Sharma addresses what makes Bridgerton stand out, and writes about the themes in the wildly popular show. 

Continuing with viral sensations, recently, Vinod Kapri’s video about Pradeep Mehra, a 19-year-old Indian Army aspirant, went viral. The video showed Mr. Mehra’s determination to run back every night from his place of work to his home so that he would be in shape to join the Army, and it inspired and motivated the whole world. OpenAxis converses with Vinod Kapri to learn about the story behind this video and its impact. 

The Bollywood ‘sports movie’ has been a revered addition to the film industry in India. Why do audiences from all over the world love them so much? Analysing the aspirational value of sports films, Jaidev Pant writes about the Bollywood sports movie. 

Sri Lanka is in crisis and many believe that the ruling political dynasty of the Rajapksa family is to blame. In conclusion of this issue, Rutuparna Deshpande writes about what the crisis looks like on the ground and how the post civil-war Rajapksa establishment set the stage for the current crisis.

  • Shree Bhattacharyya, Rutuparna Deshpande, & Biplob Kumar Das

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