When Mahita was 15, her teacher at Catholic school in Singapore said she could see the devil in her eyes. While growing up, then raising a family of her own, she constantly fought to understand and control this ‘devil’ inside her.
Born to Indian parents in Singapore and raised by a Chinese amah, Mahita Vas struggled to fit into a conservative society where exuberance is frowned upon and conformity is a tradition. She spent a significant part of life feeling different, being different. Throughout her career with Singapore Airlines, then as an advertising industry executive, she led a volatile life – sometimes blissfully and enviably contented, at other times wishing she was dead.
Mahita enjoyed the roller-coaster world of advertising – an industry offering the perfect camouflage for psychosis – but after leaving it for a more stable environment she began to suspect the wild ride was in her head and the roller coaster would follow her everywhere. No one, least of all Mahita, suspected she was mentally ill … until the day her sister suggested she had ‘inherited Daddy’s illness’. This epiphanic revelation led to a bipolar disorder diagnosis at age 41, followed by a suicide attempt where she narrowly escaped death.
Praying to the Goddess of Mercy charts Mahita’s journey from chaos to stability. It offers insights into an illness for which there is no known cause, no cure and no immunity. It will inspire and enlighten people with mental disorders and the loved ones who suffer with them. Ultimately, it is about being true to oneself and having the courage to take charge in the pursuit of happiness.