For Samir Sharma, schoolmate and actor, who died by suicide.
A girl met a sort, loving, clever, gifted, humorous man, a Bollywood outsider on the verge of huge issues. They fell in love, began dwelling collectively.
He stated he was moody. His family and friends stated: “Zara hatke hai, magar dil ka sachcha hai”.
He was identified with bipolar dysfunction. He wasn’t satisfied of this, however he knew one thing wasn’t proper, so he took the prescribed remedy. She organized his physician’s appointments, monitored his remedy, else he would cease. He wished her round continuously to really feel secure. Inside hours, he may go from clinging to her to screaming at her to depart.
These days have been powerful, however outwardly the couple offered a great image. They thought individuals would not perceive.
This is not Rhea’s story; it is mine.
I hadn’t been following hers. Then I occurred to observe her interview. It hit house. This might’ve been me.
Fortuitously, my story is happier. We married. He accepted his BD prognosis and manages his personal remedy. I had a depressive episode. We each began remedy.
We have been there for one another throughout our ups and downs. It’s not at all times straightforward.
He’s highly-acclaimed as a author, has received awards, nationwide and worldwide.
We’ve the love and help of our family and friends. It seems that we needn’t have anxious about what they’d assume. Inspired by us, a number of individuals have sought their very own skilled assist.
This ought to be the norm. As an alternative, it is the exception.
India had began making progress viz. de-mystifying and de-stigmatising psychological well being. After which, the witch-hunt started.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t journalism. It is a horrific exhibition of individuals sinking more and more decrease in pursuit of TRPs, fueled by society’s voyeurism and voracious urge for food for salacious sensationalism, deeply rooted in misogyny.
In a single day, everyone seems to be a psychological well being skilled, declaiming with conviction that psychological well being points are fabricated by psychiatrists to make straightforward cash, that as a result of Sushant smiled and laughed, made future plans (apparently invented the FAU-G app), he could not have had BD.
To them I say: it is known as ‘placing up a entrance’. Due to individuals such as you.
Psychological well being points are medical points. They’re manageable, treatable. Victims are able to being productive members of society. Most do not have the posh or technique of turning into ‘Devdas’. They should not really feel ashamed or faulty, or be hesitant to hunt skilled assist for concern of judgment. Sadly, hundreds of individuals will now really feel simply that, or assume twice about being with somebody with psychological well being points.
Rhea’s solely fault appears to be that she was an impartial lady who fell in love with a well known man with medical and substance abuse points. They did not have the help of household. It resulted in tragedy. We misplaced a tremendous expertise. She misplaced her accomplice. After which turns into a smooth goal for the nation’s favorite trope: a scheming lady will get her claws into an harmless man, medicine him with out his data, makes use of and abuses him for her personal (unknown) nefarious causes.
Sushant was 34 years outdated, an clever, pushed, proficient man, who was conscious of his points and able to making his personal decisions (together with whom he wished to share his medical historical past with). His impartial company has been totally negated by self-appointed ‘warriors for justice’, a younger lady and her household are being subjected to a media lynching not seen even with convicted terrorists.
Bollywood is just not speaking about conspiracy theories or the ‘raja beta – daayan’ narrative. As is widespread in a neighborhood of a lot of proficient, inventive, clever individuals, the incidence of psychological well being points might be larger than the nationwide common (which is 1 in 7). They stand stigmatized and vilified. And due to current ludicrous remarks, demonised as members of some horrific den of iniquity the place everyone seems to be jacked up on medicine, and a random mafia goes round bumping off individuals.
I’m not a part of Bollywood. I’m not from Mumbai. At greatest, I’m a (as soon as reluctant) Bollywood partner.
I do know these individuals – writers, administrators, ADs, DOPs, technical crews, manufacturing assistants, musicians, junior artists, spot boys (hoping to grow to be spot dada) – who make up 99% of Bollywood. I do know actors, lots of whom do not even drink, not to mention attend frenzied drug-fueled orgies.
A movie set is indescribably boring. When my husband took my engineer father to see a shoot, he beloved the expertise. The precise course of, he stated, was marginally higher than watching paint dry.
The individuals who work in Bollywood really love what they do. That is why they’re there. Usually, it’s a thankless job, which pays peanuts. On the peak of their profession, they’re going to in all probability be identified solely inside the fraternity. But they thrive on it, by no means cease speaking about it – dissecting digital camera angles, route decisions, lighting particulars, script do’s and don’ts. Yawn…However I say with conviction that the tons of of individuals concerned within the making of each single film or present are extra centered on doing their jobs, fulfilling their artistic visions, and placing meals on their tables somewhat than scoring crack.
Undoubtedly, there may be some leisure drug use, some extra critical substance abuse points. However these exist throughout professions and throughout cities in India. BTW, did you eat bhaang at Holi?
Why particularly goal Bollywood?
Why create false, harmful narratives about psychological well being?
Why say ‘hai bechara’ when Sanju went public about his drug habit, however ‘vish-kanya’ to Rhea?
May an business which is drugged out of its thoughts produce the hours of content material that has saved you entertained throughout the lockdown; may it have created India’s biggest smooth energy affect internationally?
Is the best approach to distract individuals from precise points to show the entertainers into the leisure?
As for the ’59 grams of ganja‘ – someplace Naga Sadhus are saying “maintain our chillums…”
(Sheebani is a cat guardian, reader, trekkie, feminist, humanist. She simply occurs to be a lawyer.)
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