Jiah Khan's suicide exposes the dark side of showbiz

Jun 06, 2013, 09:37 IST | Neeta Shah

Jiah Khan's suicide once again brings to fore the not-so-glamorous side of Bollywood, that which is full of drugs, alcohol, failed relationships and the frustration of not having made it big.

When a film producer asks, “What are you doing tonight? Can we have dinner?”, please remember there are no free lunches, or make that dinner instead! Are good looks and talent enough to make it in the big bad world of Bollywood or does one need something more? The glamorous Bollywood also has a dull side to it. On a daily basis hundreds of aspirants come to Bollywood with starry dreams of making it big…each one better looking and more talented than the other…ready to do anything and everything that it takes to reach the top.

There are only 10 top production houses and studios and being from a non- filmy background without a god father, the success rate is merely 0.05 %. So how does one break through this clutter? It’s worst for those who live all by themselves on limited resources. They have to additionally struggle to get their next meal or pay their rent apart from the usual Bollywood run.

After spending their initial days unsuccessfully in auditions and meetings, they get desperate enough to do anything and everything to achieve their starry dreams. Being rejected umpteen number of times, what follows next is - wrong company, drugs, alcohol and a full on self-destruction mode. This becomes a vicious cycle of desperation, loneliness, panic attacks and finally depression. One needs to have a heart of steel to survive here!

The shocking death of Jiah Khan…brings back one question - Why do young models, veejays and actresses like Nafisa Joseph, Viveka Babajee and Jiah Khan commit suicide? These girls were spoken in the media because they were known and famous but what about those aspirants who never tasted fame and have yet met the same fate?

There are multiple factors that could contribute for a person to take such a drastic step - whether it’s the cut throat competition, peer pressure, family pressure or a failed personal relationship. Such decisions are not taken overnight but it builds up over a period of time. A fragile person is always more prone to succumb to these circumstances. When one is thrown into the fierce world of fake people and insensitivity, it is important to be street smart and be emotionally and mentally strong. Never take people by their face value, do your R&D before trusting someone blindly.

It’s important for very individual to have multiple goals in life. One cannot wear blinkers and focus on acting…..acting & only acting. Identify your strength and convert that into an alternate career. There should always be a plan B incase plan A fails. It’s worst for the aspirants who live all by themselves in Mumbai struggling in the big bad world of Bollywood as they are more prone to an emotional breakdown as compared to the ones who stay with their families.

Loneliness does make a bad day worse. When one is away from their family…it’s important to stay connected with them on a daily basis. It’s equally important to have a good set of friends around you who can lend the much required emotional and moral support to carry on with your day to day struggles.

When one does not find luck through auditions and screen tests, they believe in the myth of hanging out at parties and events in the hope of getting friendly to directors, producers, actors and any and everyone remotely connected to the glamour world, hoping to finally get that one break. But this stands true only in grime fairytales. In reality these innocent starlets just fall prey to the wrong set of people who exploit them and finally dump them. Moral of the story: there is no shortcut to success.

A failed relationship just adds fuel to fire. The easiest way to deal with a failed relationship is to never be alone….focus your energies on work rather than sulking over the person who does not value you. Keep yourself occupied all the time. Identify the initial signs of depression. Speak your heart out to your friends and family. Yoga and meditation can also assist in overcoming it.

One cannot equate success to happiness. Happy people don’t have the best of everything in life but they make the most of what they have in life. Success tastes sweet only when one has tasted failure. So next time before taking such a drastic step…always remember you might have chosen an easy way out to relieve your pain, but by doing so you are causing greater pain to your near and dear ones.

Neeta Shah is the author of Bollywood Striptease

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