Karan Johar is known to be the wittiest person in Bollywood having a great sense of humour; no wonder, he successfully carries out continuous seasons of the celebrity chat show #KoffeeWithKaran without losing an inch of popularity. But as we all have known, all that glitters, is not gold, hence the lives of celebrities are not so much shiny as they appear to be on the screen. They have their own problems and difficulties to deal with; any profession doesn’t assure health and happiness.
However, the best part of celebrities, these days, is the fact, that they are not shrinking back from their responsibility towards society; and after #DeepikaPadukone and #IleanaDeCruz, now it is The Karan Johar, from our Indian film industry who comes out with his version on depression.
It is difficult to believe and accept, that one of the biggest filmmakers of the country, who has given us plenty of larger than life panoramic views, who spreads love and joy through his vivid presentations can have a dark reality like depression.
Yes, he admits that he has been in depression for two years and that have been the darkest period of his life.
He is a film maker and we all know, how much he loves cinema; a popular film maker eats cinema, breathes cinema and lives cinema; yes, the last phrase is kind of tricky; every artist, especially in the film industry needs to deal with this; living in cinema and it seems that the #KuchKuchHotaHai director has realized the pain of dealing with life and relationships of Bollywood, today, at the age of 44.
“The industry should not be generalised for the reason of your loneliness. But you really wonder how many of your relationships matter and how many don't. Sometimes, the lines are very blurred in our industry. We live in this bubble all the time because we talk film, we sleep film, you eat films. And then you build relationships and emotions, and you don't know if those emotions are only for films or you take them even when you are not working together. So you end up wondering about every equation you make in the industry,” Johar admits.
Once a friend of mine, who was a fresher in the cinematography field told me in a discussion; “life and relationships of actors are false; their world is makey. An actor is asked to personally romance with every co-star of his/her half-an-hour before the shoot, the director advices them, so that their chemistry is well established, they know each other and get comfortable with each other; hence cinema is an imaginative world, where real people do not have any real emotions like love, joy or happiness; it is all a mechanical cycle”, today when I hear the statement of Karan Johar, I feel an echo of the same.
We all know that Karan Johar has not yet married, and for some reason, his sexuality has always been questioned; a few months back, one of his interviews stated clearly, that he has always been an introvert and making new friends or girl-friends had never been his cup of tea, since childhood. But society doesn’t spare anyone, people will assume things and gossip about everyone without knowing them personally and sometimes it is difficult to deal with.
When a person is actually disturbed with the fact of loneliness, the society plagues him with questions, and he gets into anxiety.
“At 44, when you don’t have a life partner or kids, it is difficult to deal with!”, he admits, it is difficult without a partner, a companion or somebody to grow with. He confesses his concerns and worries about his future, which is wealth and fame have not been able to compensate.
Also he has not been able to deal with his father’s death, a relationship which was so valuable to him as a person and a cinema lover.
All these factors piled up together till he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety attacks.
What is inspiring in this case is that, his mental set-backs have not come in the way of his work. His resigned mood has not affected cinema; he continues to work with the same passion and dedication spreading love and joy, visible from his current, soon to be released magnum opus, #AeDilHaiMushkil, which means he has coped with his problems already; it is not that, he hasn’t been threatened by these issues, but he overcame his fears with a firm will power.
He opens up with his mental health issues to spread an awareness to the world, that having depression or anxiety, doesn’t mean a person is handicapped and cannot do his daily jobs, and we drop out hats with respect to his optimism and responsible behaviour. There is nothing to get embarrassed about it, and he proves it.
Depression and anxiety can be like a heart attack, it can give you physical as well as mental ailments, but the right attitude is to fight with it, come up with it for treatment.