An approach to Psychic Trauma and Temporality in AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India by Sonia Faleiro


  • Sukanya Chakravarty, Sanjib Das


Phenomenology, Psychic trauma, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Sex workers, HIV/AIDS.


Healthy mind and body is the outmost elixir of life. With the increasing tendency of HIV/AIDS epidemic in the global circle, it has created an atmosphere of tightness. The transmission of the virus in the body is most likely due to unprotected sex, donating blood in improper institutions, using unsterilized syringe for injections and so on. The anthological book AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India (2008) by Sonia Faleiro gives actual accounts of the forsaken predicament of the sex workers community who are infected with the life threatening disease. They are treated as the marginalized group, often choosing aloofness for their misery. Many a times they are accepting untimely death committing suicide in a way to end their agony.  The inhibition of the virus in them inculcates a sense of psychic instability. The psychic imbalance marks an impression of emotional trauma in their mind. The picture of these traumatic events inclining to the world of flesh trade and HIV/AIDS infection often leaves among the victims a sense of temporal fixation. These fixations of time block the mind from creating new memories. Time often moves slowly for the victims of post-traumatic stress disorder. This paper basically attempts to understand Psychic Trauma and Temporality in AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India from a phenomenological slant. It highlights the time factor of the traumatic occurring. The essence of the psychic trauma is so powerful on the victimized consciousness that it creates multiple objects of the same traumatic event which stagnates their past, present and their future. They are unable to release themselves from those traumatic events rather the multiple objects of the trauma make the temporality of the events move slow, losing their linearity in the walls of trauma and time. It prevents them from making new memories. Thus, time flies, yet seems recent to the AIDS victims.