The press is now waking up to the seriousness of the suicide and looking for deeper underlying causes and its implications. They were late at it, considering that they unceremoniously , unethically/calluously chose initially to quote celebrities who were dimissive of her death in rather uncomplimentary terms. Media today bows down to pressures of readership, viewership often at the cost of their own credibility.
Humans seem to connect at levels more than just the obvious. In my post titled'The problem that has no name' dated 7th Feb06, only a couple of days earlier to Kuljeets demise, I had expressed my apprehensiveness at the plight in which women find themselves, which echoed the reasons of Kuljeets predicament and her resorting to such a drastic step. The excerpt below is from my post:
The question that often perplexes me is therefore one of summation. Does the bottom line assert then that our being a few notches higher in terms of 'independent thinking', we are better off than our mothers and grandmothers? Has economic independence erased the woes that we as women have faced for centuries? Or has it in its wake created a newer spate of problems, the least (?) of which would be 'ego' issues with the men in our lives and the most rampant being 'sexual harassment' at the work place. Would our daughters be adept at handling the complexity of 'an awakening' in its adolescence, if not nascence, and coming to grips with managing home, hearth, career, men, children, vanity and its trappings, and the ensuing stress to be 'performers and achievers'? Women mostly wish to excel and succeed , despite odds, to avoid being targetted as 'women who cannot cope ' with their ambition and the resultant sense of failure
Ironic is it not that a report from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) states that people who dwell in chawls are by far happier than those living a solitary, lonely, isolated existence which is the norm, in high rise apartments?
As Dr Rakhi Anand, consulting psychiatrist at Vimhans, points out, "Family and friends play a very important role in a person's mental state.
If a person migrates to another city, the chances him or her having stress or depression is much higher, because everything becomes unfamiliar to them."
Randhawa's death raises a question mark about the pressure the life of big dreams requires. Questions that have experts scrambling for answers. One thing they all seem to agree on: That constant pressure on actors to remain in the limelight can and does take its toll.
Says psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh, "Acting, journalism and event management are high pressure fields, where one has to show results almost on a daily basis. Inability to achieve in these professions can quickly lead to depression."
Depression is a curable mental disease and has to be dealt with similarly. Not many people think of it in this light confusing it with a state of mind which will be self altered given time. This is as fallacious as averring that a person suffering fron say jaundice will be rid of it over a period . If only, those affected by depression and other mental ailments in its ambit, resorted to medical advice, many a precious life would have been saved, as also the avoidance of anguish, pain, suffering of those close.
It pained me immensely to see the picture of Kuljeets parents , with loss writ large on their shocked faces and helpless tears telling their own tale. Could they have ever envisaged a fate such as this for their daughter all through those years when she happily chirped around the house, and filled their lives with her pranks and foibles? Can any parent think of a possibility such as this? But the recurring occurence is only evident of the fact that should we avoid facing the reality of the growing incidence of deaths due to depression and inability to cope with the demands of modern life, we are only perpetuating a circumstance so easily avoidable.
If anything, Kuljeets suicide should be a 'wake-up call' to all of us in doing our bit to see that these events dwindle down to nothingness. We have been able to eradiacte small-pox, hepatitis. If suicide is dealt with as seriously and responsibly,I dream for a time when each human will learn to value his own as well as others lives.
Will Kuljeet have died in vain?