On the morning of 3rd June, 2013, Twitter was abuzz with talks about the tragic death of a young Bollywood starlet, Jiah Khan. Born on 20th February, 1988, this brazen beauty entered cinema with a highly controversial film Nishabd. Not many of her age can boast about romancing The Big B on silver screen. She could.
Getting your big break in the film industry can still be earned through hard work, a little luck and some hard core networking but sustaining your success is another ball game altogether. Many young faces have fizzled out and the same happened to Jiah Khan. Desperately seeking a chance to do quality work whilst jostling with obsessive insecurities that most actors face, she was also involved in an abusive relationship with another struggling actor Suraj Pancholi.
Fairly young, handsome, wealthy and high on testosterone, this boy belonged to the neo-urban class that believes in partying hard and partying harder. I don’t know much about either of them and I’m no one to comment on his character or her character but what happened perturbed me at a deeper level. It shouldn’t have happened.
Apparently, Jiah was pregnant and both being at an unsettled stage of life, it made sense to undergo an abortion. Both of them wanted to make a mark in the industry first. Suraj was trying to leave this behind him and made it obvious with his philandering. It took a toll on that translucent soul who needed to recuperate from the loss of her unborn child.
What must have gone on in her head before she hung herself from the ceiling? “My boyfriend sucks… Nobody wants to work with me… Nobody wants me…. Maybe, they’ll want me once I’m dead. It’s not worth the pain. I should die. Yes. I should die. That will show it to the world. Yes, you suck. World, I’m talking to you… You suck. Suraj.. You suck! May you burn in hell. I’ll die and then you can rot in jail. You ruined me.”
No matter how horrendous your life is, there will be someone out there whose life will be far worse than yours and ending your life is not the answer. The rest of your life is ahead of you and then you cut it short abruptly? You can’t take revenge on anyone by dying. There’ll be many assholes that will come your way but by harming yourself, you are letting them win. You are reaffirming the fact that bullies rule the world. This is your chance to shine, not to bow down under their oppression.
We forget to view circumstances with a different perspective, sometimes. We dwell so much on our pain, our misery, our failures that we forget that there is more to life than this. Talk to other people. Let them give their opinion on matters which disturb you deeply. Sometimes, we miss out on details that they can spot instantly. We like to think that we are in the deepest of deep shitholes. It makes us feel special in some way. But guess what, that’s not true. You have to break out of that self-pitying cycle and really face your problems rather than dwelling on them indefinitely.
City life can be excruciatingly demanding for many. We are constantly competing with one another, if not directly then indirectly. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and in a profession like Jiah’s especially, keeping up appearances is extremely critical. You have to smile. You have to portray that your life is perfect. There will be a hundred people that you talk to but sometimes, there is no vent to let out all the pressure that has been accumulating. The line between real friends and the fake ones gets blurry as over a period of time, you never know who’s going to be there for you. Everyone has to live their own life and everyone has problems, apparently, some more than others.
At times like these, you need a safety blanket. I’m sure if Jiah would’ve called her mother or her sisters that night instead of calling her boyfriend, she would’ve changed her mind. She would be cuddling in her blanket having hot soup. Fine, Suraj shouldn’t have sent her a break-up bouquet. That was stupid and who so ever has started this service should terminate it immediately. But my point is she gave too much priority to a person who was clearly messing up her life.
We do that. We give disproportionate amount of importance to random persons in our lives and take for granted what we already have. Love is blind, I understand. But is it foolish too? If Jiah was churning out blockbuster after blockbuster every friday, she wouldn’t give a flying fuck about what that boy was doing. In her loneliness and insecurity, she wanted solace and comfort. She searched for it in the wrong places.
They say that every time you fall in love, you tend to lose at least 2-3 close friends. As exciting as it is to welcome a new person in your life, forgetting your old friends is going to leave you with empty pockets. Stay in touch. The serotonin rush is heady, I admit but there are some things that you can share only with your friends. They give you a reality check.
Being in a relationship demands love, respect, loyalty and space. There are couples who do everything together and I respect that. Some individuals don’t want space but then there are those who get suffocated and start acting out in unacceptable ways. Philandering, physical abuse, emotional blackmail and what not. You merge your identity with another person but don’t forget who you are. You are your only person, remember that.
Take time out. Meet new people. Travel. Spend time with family. Do your favourite activities. Pamper yourself. Listen to music. Read. Don’t invest everything in one place. Spread yourself thin and widen your safety net. Quality time is more valued than quantity time. Let the other person miss you. Let yourself miss the other person.
Nobody wants to be in love with a person who can’t be in love with themselves. And when they say, “Ghar ki murghi, daal barabar,” they mean it. Value yourself if you want others to value you. You want to be treated like a queen? Then, think like one. They’ll be eating out of your palms.
Women forget that all the time. I wish Jiah had called her mother. I really do.
Love happens only once. That’s a myth! Very idealistic but by the time you are 30, you’ll fall in love at least 5 times. I know septuagenarians who remarried at that age. You have to believe that you’ll find love again. You deserve to be with a person who truly fits into your mould.
You really want to give up your life for a buffoon who doesn’t know what he’s missing out on? What about the hotties that you’ll miss out on if you die? Didn’t think about that, did you?
The court rejected Suraj Pancholi’s bail plea recently. I haven’t read that letter Jiah wrote and I’m still undecided on how much of a jerk Suraj is. However, I know, this tragedy could’ve been avoided.
It’s a Big Bad World out there but it’s not that bad either. There are little pixies that come out at night with golden dust in their hands. They blow it over your eyes while you are sleeping (unless you are awake and playing DOTA). You’ll wake up to see a magical world. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before.
You just have to Believe.