These simple life lessons from Dear Zindagi have touched a chord with many, even though it has been criticised for not being realistic about therapy.
The newly released Dear Zindagi has either been extremely liked or heavily criticized. The critics have mainly put forward the argument that it has over simplified a major concern plaguing the new urban India – mental trauma. This trauma sometimes showcases itself as depression, hypertension, OCD, over- emotional behavior – crippling an individual’s life and his/her ability to function.
I would like to speak in the movie’s defense. It’s very difficult to bring forth all the aspects of mental health issues in a 2.5 hour movie without it looking like a lecture. I think the film has done a commendable job in spotlighting the issue of mental health that a lot of us face today, yet like to sweep under the carpet.
There are some very important life lessons to be learned from this movie.
There is a line in the movie, where a character asks – ‘Pagal kaun nahi hai?’ (Who isn’t crazy?) It is true, life spares no one. We all go through crises, issues, traumas, pain. Like it or not, these experiences add up to life and shape our personality. At times, some of these events may end up making a less than desirable impact on our personality. However, with patience, understanding and help, this can be reversed.
Normal is a very subjective word. What is normal for a large section of society may not be normal for all.
This derives from the above point. Let’s not be judgmental and quick to condemn those who do not fall into the conventional set standards. Just because a person does not have a desk job, has married at a certain age and then quickly proceeded to procreate, does not mean he or she is not ‘normal’, whatever that word means.
I truly believe in today’s fast paced world, each one of us is busy with our own life and does not have time to look and frown at others. However, if someone does have that much time, then don’t care. Do not let the nudges or smirks of people who obviously have no work and a boring life, influence your decisions.
You will stop caring about acceptance from others, if you accept, love and respect yourself. A scene in the movie clearly depicts this, when the protagonist asks her friend if he is seeing a therapist to explain himself to others. He says – No, I am seeing a therapist to explain myself to me.
There are so many simple things in life that can be done to be happy. Cycle, run, play with balloons, eat your favourite food, sing, and dance. What stops us from enjoying such simple moments in life? The busiest person on the earth can also give himself or herself 5 minutes every day.
The most important lesson – talk about your feelings. Yell, scream, cry but do not let anger, bitterness and hurt fester inside you. But once the outpouring is done, move on. Do not carry it with you as extra baggage. Life is too short for this. Let go of negativity and embrace life.
If it all becomes too much, then get help. There is no shame in seeing a therapist who can help you untangle your thoughts and aid you in understanding yourself.
I think all those involved in the movie have done a commendable job and deserve applause for painting a canvas so realistic, poignant yet beautiful.
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