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Sushant Singh Rajput.

Dashing, dynamic, successful, Bollywood heartthrob.

Rising from the middle class, he carved a top notch place for himself amidst scathing competition. Probably, there lay his appeal to the masses- his middle class connect, coupled with his boyish charm and zabardast acting skills.

But, the shining light was snuffed out too early. Everyone is stunned. Numb beyond words. Why this drastic step? Everyone wants answers.

He is not alone. Almost everyday, we hear of celebrities and common mortals committing suicide. Many a times, the reason is unknown or too frivolous to believe. Then comes a string of analyses by the so-called experts. Various theories are propounded, numerous dos and don’ts are prescribed and recommended. Then again, the very next day, we are numbed by more such tragedies.

Time for introspection, I guess. Probably answer lies in the life we lead, or are strained to lead.

“Life is a race.. If you don’t run fast… You will be like a broken anda….” (anda-egg)

Remember this dialogue from the movie 3 Idiots?

Right from birth, competition is deeply ingrained in our innocent minds. More so, in this digital culture, which has undoubtedly thrown an array of opportunities for a person to show his creativity, talent and skills. But, rather than showcasing of these traits, the pressure to excel has taken over. Dance competitions, singing competitions, art, painting, elocution, ….The list is long. Parents are continuously pressurizing their kids to participate and be amongst the top 3. Naïve minds get into the groove and here starts the journey which sometimes, ends in tragedies. For the need to be successful is drummed into the gullible minds. Earlier, participation was of paramount importance. But, now, success is the new mantra. Success or nothing.

A glamourized life- power, position, paisa. These three P’s have displaced the most important P – passion. Passion for everything you do, everything you want to be in life. Everyday, people just strain themselves to limits in search of success. In this pursuit, they forget excellence.

An apt dialogue from 3 idiots- “Success ke peeche mat bhago, Excellence ka peecha karo,Success jhak marke tumhare peeche aayegi…” (Don’t run after excellence. Chase the excellence. Success will have to follow you ultimately..)

Success, in itself, is fine enough. As long as you maintain your sanity in its unending quest. But, what if one fails? This circumstance is never entertained, leave alone talking about steps to tackle failure. We forget that there is little space at the top. Most of us would have to settle below the top. How to handle this situation? Does any parent, any coaching institute or academy teach such a so-called calamity? For success, the stakes are loaded much higher than the calamitous situation of failure or being an average. So, the need of the hour is to bust this self important imagery, the mirage of a celebrity-like life. Live life, rather than running through the rat race of life. Kids, right from an early age, should be taught to participate in, enjoy and live life, rather than balancing the equation of success and failure. If this equation is being taken into right earnest, then how to handle both success and failure should be taught.

Being successful is one thing. Living through the success is another. Because it’s lonely at the top. Its not easy being on your own at the summit.

This is where your tenacity is called for. Being at the peak encompasses braving the storms of life- ups and downs, fears and stakes, loneliness and anxieties. It is at this juncture that the support from family, friends and all those who matter is of prime importance. This is what we should be taught to reach out for. With the human cushioning, every storm can be weathered. The travesty of modern living is loneliness, breaking up of families, snapping of human bonds.

Earlier, joint family system and then nuclear families at least moderated the tensions one was going through. But, today, single souls re required to brave the hardships all alone, endure the struggles on their own, sometimes, far away from their families. With time being such a precious commodity, one may have millions of virtual friends and followers, but no real friend to bank upon in times of need. Once the ego-boosting virtual world is shut off, one is all alone with real struggles and anxieties. Need of the hour is the real human touch, a real shoulder to lean upon in times of need, a sincere advice in person when required.

Only then, the scourge of depression that we see everywhere can be stemmed. Only then probably, we may save innumerable young lives on the verge of collapse.

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