It was one damn lazy noon, much like any other one since the pandemic. With “Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh” song in the background and cooler on, I was reading a book, “English, August”, which is about Agastya who has landed into the Indian Administrative Service and now, when all of his friends are going abroad for further studies and jobs, he is going to Madna, “the hottest town in India”. Imagine a privileged young man from Delhi worrying about extremely trivial things like… like drinking unboiled water. Just imagine what kind of mental trauma he must be going through.
Anyways, this isn’t about him or about the movie I watched last night, “Lost in Translation” where Charlotte (female protagonist) has come to Tokyo along with his photographer husband on a business trip. It’s been two years of their marriage, but Charlotte’s not sure who it is she married, or why. She’s tired, bored, lonely, and… there’s this one scene where she calls her friend from Tokyo to tell her that she’s not doing well and needs to talk but the response she gets, brought tears in my eyes. Just imagine you’re in a city where hardly anyone speaks your language and you’ve no one to talk to. You’re lost indeed! But wait… This isn’t about that either.
It’s about how, at around 3, while I was reading, I got a call from my best friend who shared the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. I, at first thought of it as some kind of a joke but then, I saw a WhatsApp message notification of a friend sharing the same news. I still couldn’t believe it, the least to be able to process it.
After a while, when Papa came into my room, I shared the news with him and his reply was, “Arey, ise kis baat ki tension hogi? Sab kuch toh tha iske paas”. I found a lot of people sharing many such similar thoughts on Twitter.
“MENTAL HEALTH”, which almost every 2 in 3 Instagram page or celebrity is talking about right now is nothing but a mere “Bimari” for us. We don’t even consider it, let alone considering it CRUCIAL.
We hardly listen to anyone and even if we do, all we say at last is, “Arey kya itni choti si baat pe tension le raha hai”. Do you see the problem? We compare the wrongs!
What we all need to understand is that a person drowned in 6ft water is as vulnerable as someone drowned in 50ft. You just can’t compare depression!
The reason why I told you about the characters of the book and the movie at the start is because I want you to feel the urgency in the normality. ‘Coz from another frame of reference, a lot of people would only see Agastya getting the job and Charlotte living in a whole new city.
I have a lot of thoughts in my mind right now but I don’t think I would be able to express any of it perfectly. The news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide has really hit me hard and I don’t know how am I supposed to process it. I don’t think it’s appropriate to say this but I had a dream of having a conversation with him one day and now… Alas!
2020 is indeed the worst year and has been snatching away a lot from us but it’s also giving us some really hard lessons in disguise. The question is, “Are you sorted enough to understand?”
Talk to your friends, siblings, cousins, and even your parents. Break this mental health stigma and have that uncomfortable conversation now.
It’s not a bad thing to feel depressed, so please, express your feelings. Tell if you’re not okay. Talk to your friends, family, or anyone who you think cares, and if you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone, then just contact me (knowing that a stranger will never judge you). I’ll listen!