For Samir Sharma, schoolmate and actor, who died by suicide.
A lady met a form, loving, clever, gifted, humorous man, a Bollywood outsider on the verge of massive issues. They fell in love, began residing collectively.
He stated he was moody. His family and friends stated: “Zara hatke hai, magar dil ka sachcha hai”.
He was recognized with bipolar dysfunction. He wasn’t satisfied of this, however he knew one thing wasn’t proper, so he took the prescribed treatment. She organized his physician’s appointments, monitored his treatment, else he would cease. He needed her round always to really feel secure. Inside hours, he might go from clinging to her to screaming at her to depart.
These days had been robust, however outwardly the couple offered an excellent 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 look at her interview. It hit residence. 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 isn’t at all times simple.
He’s highly-acclaimed as a author, has gained awards, nationwide and worldwide.
We now have the love and assist of our family and friends. It seems that we needn’t have frightened about what they’d suppose. Inspired by us, a number of individuals have sought their very own skilled assist.
This must be the norm. As a substitute, 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 professional, declaiming with conviction that psychological well being points are fabricated by psychiatrists to make simple 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 haven’t got the posh or technique of changing into ‘Devdas’. They should not really feel ashamed or faulty, or be hesitant to hunt skilled assist for concern of judgment. Sadly, 1000’s of individuals will now really feel simply that, or suppose twice about being with somebody with psychological well being points.
Rhea’s solely fault appears to be that she was an unbiased girl who fell in love with a widely known man with medical and substance abuse points. They did not have the assist of household. It resulted in tragedy. We misplaced an incredible expertise. She misplaced her associate. After which turns into a comfortable goal for the nation’s favorite trope: a scheming girl will get her claws into an harmless man, medication him with out his information, makes use of and abuses him for her personal (unknown) nefarious causes.
Sushant was 34 years previous, an clever, pushed, gifted man, who was conscious of his points and able to making his personal selections (together with whom he needed to share his medical historical past with). His unbiased company has been totally negated by self-appointed ‘warriors for justice’, a younger girl and her household are being subjected to a media lynching not seen even with convicted terrorists.
Bollywood shouldn’t be speaking about conspiracy theories or the ‘raja beta – daayan’ narrative. As is widespread in a group of numerous gifted, creative, clever individuals, the incidence of psychological well being points might be increased 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 medication, 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 develop into spot dada) – who make up 99% of Bollywood. I do know actors, a lot 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 liked the know-how. The precise course of, he stated, was marginally higher than watching paint dry.
The individuals who work in Bollywood actually 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 will most likely be recognized solely inside the fraternity. But they thrive on it, by no means cease speaking about it – dissecting digital camera angles, route selections, lighting particulars, script do’s and don’ts. Yawn…However I say with conviction that the lots of of individuals concerned within the making of each single film or present are extra centered on doing their jobs, fulfilling their inventive visions, and placing meals on their tables somewhat than scoring crack.
Undoubtedly, there’s some leisure drug use, some extra severe substance abuse points. However these exist throughout professions and throughout cities in India. BTW, did you devour 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 dependancy, 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; might it have created India’s best comfortable energy affect internationally?
Is the best strategy 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 dad or mum, reader, trekkie, feminist, humanist. She simply occurs to be a lawyer.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed inside this text are the private opinions of the writer. The details and opinions showing within the article don’t mirror the views of NDTV and NDTV doesn’t assume any duty or legal responsibility for a similar.