While everyone else has been busy speculating about the reasons for Jiah Khan’s suicide, Bollywood’s big stars have refrained from commenting on it. Perhaps the murk and the complexities surrounding the tragedy have played a deterrent.
But one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Shah Rukh Khan, has no such qualms. He speaks to us about Jiah Khan and the pressures that come with high-profile professions.
“I feel sad for Jiah. I met her once socially. So I wouldn’t be able to comment on what exactly happened. But nothing is worth ending your life. I strongly believe that, at the end of the day, a supporting family is what one needs,” he says and adds about the glamour world: “I think it hurts if you are given recognition and then it’s taken away. The loneliness of a star is a scary place.”
While he was fortunate not to undergo any setbacks, the superstar believes that nobody can escape the stress of the job. “I get depressed even today if my film doesn’t do well, or if my cricket team doesn’t perform well. The world of recognition is a difficult world. So far, it’s been good for me. But it depends on the person. What’s your nature? How thick a skin do you have? How much pain can you take? How much can you give up and go away? How much it hurts you to not achieve something?” he says.
Having stayed at the top in Bollywood for the last 22 years, does he have any advice for the younger generation on coping with the pressure?
“There is no formula to deal with it. What advice can you give to someone who has not even started off properly? I just tell everybody — not just youngsters — don’t count your success in crores. We make it banal by doing it. Success is an internal feeling; it’s intangible. The bigger the stardom, the more we get caught up with the nitty-gritty of putting a number on emotions. I have got so much in the last 22 years, but I’m still dissatisfied at times,” he says.