Anil Thakraney: Lessons from Jiah’s tragedy

14 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney


It’s a gloomy, rainy Friday in Mumbai, and for a change, I want to take a break from the usual work talk, and instead deal with a human issue. And this is triggered by starlet Jiah Khan’s suicide and the subsequent arrest of her boyfriend, who’s been charged with abetment. That case will collapse in court on the very first day of the hearing, but that’s not what I wish to discuss here.


Thing is, just like the showbiz, the world of media, advertising and marketing is bustling with single women. Naturally, they date, they have intimate relationships, they live-in or they marry. While our industry doesn’t put as much strain on the girls as it happens in Bollywood, the pressures of career success, the longing for a better life, the dynamics of human relationships, etc, are pretty much the same. Being single and often without family support means that the young women have to find a way to deal with stressful situations on their own. I personally know of at least two women from the ad world whose life went downhill because they fell for the wrong guy. One landed in a hospital, another one had a nervous breakdown, she left the country to live with her NRI parents. Thankfully, no one committed suicide, not that I know of.


But it can happen, and therefore this post. Now, I am no agony aunt, in fact, I usually like to spread agony all around. J However, this much I have learnt in life: Relationships will get forged, some will be great, some will be disastrous. You will meet nice guys and you will meet creeps. Creeps most likely, and I say this as a man: Many of us guys are jerks, we will eventually disappoint you. Therefore you have to make your mind steely hard, and the heart shatter-proof. You have to be emotionally tough. So that when things go all wrong, you can simply shrug, down a few tequila shots with your gal pals, and move on. No man is worth dying for, period. Don’t want to hear of a Jiah Khan or Nafisa Joseph tragedy in our world.


I’ll leave you with this quote from Marilyn Monroe, it worked then and it works now: “This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”


Good luck to all of you. And keep smiling.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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