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Life might seem hopeless when a relationship fails, but there is life beyond all that, in which YOU are important.
On April 1 2016, Pratyusha Banerjee, the actor who played the protagonist in the television soap Balika Badhu, committed suicide. The reason for the suicide that is being put forward is trouble in her relationship with her long-time boyfriend. A mere 24 year old, she had been a child star who was much loved for her role as Anandi in the serial. A few years back, Jiah Khan, another young woman who had a promising career ahead of her as a big screen actor, killed herself, again over a failed relationship.
I am not a watcher of soaps on TV. I never was. I just cannot bear to invest that much time every day/week to watch the idiot box – I am more of a ‘there’s this movie on TV that I want to watch, so let’s watch it’ type. But even I knew of the wildly popular serial Balika Badhu. Maybe the name stuck because I love the old Hindi movie by the same name, for its melodious songs.
So it was a shock when the news of suicide by the actor playing the protagonist in this soap came. Sad. Really sad. That a young 24 year old should so define herself by her relationship that she cannot see any light at the end of it all? No hope for a life worth living for? It is scary. What is this world today, that these bright young women feel that they have no recourse but to take their lives?
Nothing, and absolutely no situation warrants killing yourself. And believe me, I know what I’m saying – I’ve been through some pretty terrible times where I’ve felt like chucking it all up. No. Just no. There is always a better tomorrow. There is always someone who needs you in their life. What was it that the poor girl felt she couldn’t reach out for help? Surely there must have been somebody – her family? A friend? Even if she was clinically depressed, a therapist/psychiatrist? Someone is always there.
Pragati Adhikari, a dear friend who is a counselor, says, “We are so well connected these days, yet lonely. How many times do we actually ask for help when we need it the most? Most of us walk around with a ‘do not disturb’ or ‘respect my privacy’ or ‘give me space’ attitude. For all of us, I just have one request, ‘Please feel free to ask for help, there are people who value you, who are ready to be with you.'”
Another friend shared this link, that says this wonderfully well. Do check it out.
An excerpt: “You are more than just a relationship. You are strong and beautiful and capable all by yourself. You do not need a man to define you. I don’t write this as a boy hating “feminist”( the quotes because that word is very very misunderstood and misused) I love men. I think men are wonderful and a very essential part of our lives. But this society places too much of a premium on women being attached to a man for their identity. At first the father and then the boyfriend or the husband. Please please know that no one, and I mean no one, is more important than you on this planet. And no one will ever be able to make you happy if you are not happy with yourself. It doesn’t mean that you have to be alone to prove a point. It means you should understand the difference between wanting someone in your life and needing someone in your life.”
Celebrities are as human as everyone else. They certainly suffer as a result of the constant spotlight on everything they do/say, all of it fodder for gossip mills. It is worse when these are child celebrities – as the many cases of Hollywood child stars’ lives testify to. They need to find their strength in family, friends, someone they are close to – even if it is clinical depression not related to circumstance as was the case in Deepika Padukone’s case.
Families – hold your children close. Listen to what they say, or even what they do not say. Maybe a precious life can be saved by the hope that that offers them, to look beyond the nightmare that they might have found themselves in. There is always a brighter day ahead, no matter how dark the night.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080 – 25497777
Image source: Pratyusha Banerjee in Balika Badhu by indianexpress.com.
In her role as the Senior Editor & Community Manager at Women's Web, Sandhya
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