Suicide by actor Kushal Punjabi at the age 37 again highlights how the high-stress Bollywood is taking a heavy toll on young wannabe actors.
Friends close to Punjabi, a fabulous dancer and a fitness freak, claim that the actor was suffering from depression following his break up with his wife.
Punjabi, who was last seen in Sidharth Malhotra-Jacqueline Fernandez starrer A Gentleman, committed suicide by hanging on Thursday night. A suicide note was also recovered by the Bandra police which said: ” ‘Nobody should be blamed for my death.”
According to reports, the actor was depressed and had been taking anti-depressants tablets to fight the same.
It was fellow television actor and friend Karanvir Bohra, who took to his Twitter handle to share the news of the untimely demise of Punjabi.
Punjabi is not alone from the Bollywood fraternity who took this extreme step. Before him Jiah Khan, Kunal Singh, best known for his role opposite Sonali Bendre in the movie Dil Hi Dil Mein; Manmohan Desai, famous producer and director; Silk Smitha, this south Indian film industry’s sex symbol; and many more aspiring actors and models like Viveka Babaji, Kuljeet Randhawa and Nafisa Joseph have succumbed to pressures of the showbiz.
Film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, whose daughter Shaheen Bhatt, also suffered from clinical depression, says the film industry is such a “high-stress business” that it consumes people, often making them prone to substance abuse and mood swings.
Bhatt says the constant urge to get validation for one’s work could be terrifying.
“It (films) is a high-stress business and that’s why not many can do it… You have a tendency to gravitate towards depression because you are dependent continuously,” Bhatt says. “When you show a trailer, you constantly wonder if there’ll be claps. It takes a lot of courage to be on centre stage and hope that people will shower compliments on you. However big a film-maker is, the day the film opens, everyone is scared.”