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The Real Heroes.





               A few days ago, Bombay Times carried an interview of  the Indian rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh. It was a tell-all about his disappearance from the public glare for around 18 months; a period  during which he battled a very frightening monster called Bi-polar Disorder. The state of mind he described reminded me of what I have seen a dear one go through.  A person very close to me suffers from the  illness, and I have been a witness to the struggle - his and ours.

           We had never heard the name, or known someone who suffered from the illness.   So,  it was akin to solving a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces just wouldn't fit!  Our psychiatrist did explain it in detail and so did my counsellor, but, ultimately, we were on our own.  We didn't have anyone coming up to offer solace, or assure us that this wasn't the end. 

           At times, as I sat in the hospital lounge, I would look around trying to find someone who was in a similar predicament as I; on whose shoulder I could cry and from whom I could hear some words  of hope. But, alas, I found none! It happens to be an illness - like every other mental illness - which people would rather conceal from outsiders. There aren't any visible symptoms for the world to make out any difference in the patient. And, divulging such information might lead to who-knows-what!  Finding oneself all alone at such a juncture in life can be devastating, to say the least.

          Coming back to Mr. Honey Singh, I know the amount of  courage it takes to reveal such private (and delicate) information to the world, especially,  if one belongs to the glamorous world of films and music. I can only imagine the number of people in this glitzy world, who may be actually suffering from this, or some other illness, but who lack the nerve to come out and speak about their travails! The dark periods of the mind-boggling highs and lows that one goes through thanks to bi-polar, can be unnerving. And, if one belongs to such a  world, where one is always portrayed as an epitome of perfection, then revealing such facts could be detrimental to not only their image, but also to their career. But, here is Honey Singh, who has admitted to the world the truth about his life and come out a winner in many ways!

           Some time ago,  Deepika Padukone had  revealed the bout of depression that she had been through. The hopelessness and the despair she spoke about, made her a hero to many a sufferer in our midst. An actress of her calibre, coming all out about such a delicate issue was a brave decision indeed! And, now we hear about Honey Singh's struggle with bi-polar disorder. Unsurprisingly, these are  only two such  brave-hearts, who have opened up their wounds for the world to see;  people, who are otherwise expected to be flawless entities!

         However, as opposed to the denizens of our Indian film industry, the stars of Hollywood seem to have no such inhibitions in speaking about the trials they suffer, vis-a-vis their health issues. We know a greater number of Hollywood actors who suffer from bi-polar disorder or depression than we do of our Bollywood actors.  Maybe, over there they are treated like normal human beings, whilst our actors are revered as gods!  Why isn't it accepted that these are  illnesses that could strike anybody,  irrespective of social standing, religion or gender?  Why don't we all - including our screen idols - accept that they are after all mere mortals, who are prone to maladies of any and every kind?  Why don't we  just accept it and live, and let live?

         I think the fact that we deify them is the reason they fear coming out of the closets they hide their imperfections in. Wouldn't their acceptance of themselves, and openness about their problems make them more real in our eyes? The confessions these two  brave hearts have made may actually give strength to many a troubled soul who suffer behind closed doors, away from  prying eyes. Frankly, I have no knowledge about the kind of music he makes, but, Honey Singh's  story of  the battle he has fought could surely motivate others like him.  And, so could Deepika's story - she, who reigns the box-office today!

         We all need heroes in our lives, to look up to, to draw inspiration from. And, who better than those who have the guts to reveal their true selves,  their trials and tribulations, like Dippy and Yo Yo? They would definitely make better heroes than those who flaunt attributes which are as artificial as the smiles that adorn their faces on the giant posters along the streets!  If the stories of these two  exceptional beings are able to inspire even a handful few,  it would be an achievement in the truest sense for these celebrities, isn't it?

         A big 'Thank you' to you, Deepika and Honey Singh!  May your tribe increase!

       

Comments

  1. Honestly Shilpa, every person in mid thirties or early forties go through some type of depression. Mostly women are the victims due to stress & sensitive nature but unfortunately, most of the dont like to even speak about it forget about acceptg or admitting.The main reason is that any type of mental illness is considered as social taboo in our society. People dont realize that depressed people need to be more socialised, more accepted & more loved.

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    1. True, Harjit. People need to come out of their shell and address the issue and seek help, so that they lead better lives..

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  2. I hadn't heard of Honey Singh's illness, but I had read/seen Deepika's story. You are right. It was very courageous of her. I am sure she has inspired/continues to inspire many. These are the true role models.

    I hope your dear one is seeking help. He sure is lucky to have understanding and supportive family around him. Wishing him light and happiness and a speedy recovery.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shantala!
      Yes, he is seeking help and is doing well for himself.. touchwood!

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  3. It is so very well articulated Shilpa. And these guys, they are the true heroes.. Coming out in the open about something that has stigma attached to it takes a lot of courage and it gives courage to the ones who are still in that situation to fight and win it over..

    It was really inspiring to read this one :)

    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Geetika!
      I truly hope someone out there is inspired to come out and speak up, or at least seek help.

      Delete
  4. Nice post Shilpa. It indeed takes courage for people to step forward and admit what they experienced. It takes even more courage for people to want to help others to avoid going through it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vishal!
      Yes, it needs courage, to speak about it and to support its victim..

      Delete
  5. Great piece Shilpa! Inspires me to pen down my experiences on mental illness. Need more and more people to come out of their shell and write 'it' out!

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    1. Thank you, Rupa! And, I think you must do it. It will inspire many to seek help and feel better.

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  6. For me....u are the hero.....hats off dear

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    Replies
    1. Oh my! Thank you, Krishna! I can only say that God's been kind to me! :)

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  7. Thank you for highlighting this story. I'm so out of touch with the film/music industry, that though I've heard of Honey Singh, I can't connect him to particular song.

    In India, it is such a taboo to say that you are suffering from depression, much less bi-polar disorder. It's important for people to start accepting that mental health should be treated like physical health, which people are not embarrased to talk about.

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    Replies
    1. True, Corinne! The way people proudly talk about their diabetes or other such 'lifestyle' diseases, they never speak about depression/bi-polar disorder. The stigma that is attached to these illnesses is what holds them back from opening up. Wonder when things will change!
      Thank you for visiting my blog, Corrine! :)

      Delete
  8. Congratulations! Your blog post was selcted as one of the best picks for our Spicy Saturday Picks edition on April 02, 2016 at BlogAdda

    Please view your post here:
    http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/04/02/spicy-saturday-picks-april-2-2016-bloggers-weekend-indian-bloggers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you team blogadda! You made my day! :)

      Delete
  9. Good for you writing about such a hush hush disease and being picked by Blogadda. Congrats! Glad to hear that those Indian celebrities are coming forward and being honest about their mental illness. Having gone through my own experience with my son's psychosis, I can see that there is so much fear and misinformation about mental illness. It was a scary time and I'm glad my son got the support he needed. Not everyone is as lucky. Must be awful to be in the public spotlight and have that happen to you. Everyone likes to think celebrities are perfect and above it all but they are human with weaknesses and illnesses like everyone else. Glad to hear that some are being honest and speaking out at last.

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    1. True, Cat. If people became more aware and accepting of illnesses as part of life, then the sufferers would get the support they so need and deserve to lead fulfilling lives.

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  10. Congrats Shilpa. These problems need to be addressed. in general also if discuss any problem with our near n dear ones we get strength as well as so many different view point which alone one could not have thought. Keep it up.

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    1. True, Sangeeta! Discussing these things freely will help people cope with their problems better.
      Thank you for visiting! :)

      Delete
  11. Touching and true. Sensitive and much needed post dear Shilpa. Kudos to everyone who tries to make a difference in others lives in any way. You also have, with ur post. Loads of Hugs to you.

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