Sidhartha Mallya: When will people stop referring to me as Vijay Mallya’s son?
For Sidhartha Mallya, the surname that was a matter of pride for many years turned out to be a burden when things got worse for his tycoon-turned-fugitive turned dad, Vijay Mallya.
“My surname was never a burden when I was growing up in the UK. I was sheltered from all of this (negativity that comes with the name). But, even today, when I am doing my first book, you still read articles with headlines — which are like ‘Vijay Mallya’s son wrote a book’. So, I think the burden stays where it is. (I wonder) at what level people will stop referring to me as Vijay Mallya’s son and give me respect for something that I have done for myself,” says Siddhartha, who wonders whether he will be able to come out of the shadow of his surname as he released his first book, If I’m Honest: A Memoir of My Mental Heath Journey.
He adds that he does get affected by the things written about him. “It is just how you deal with it. But does it (the negative sentiment that comes with the name today) get me in a spiral thinking I am a loser? No! Even on social media, when people find it hard to detach me from my dad, it can get a little frustrating. Like, if you don’t like my book, or the mental health work that I’m doing, that is fine, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. But don’t not like me because you associate me with someone else you don’t like,” he opines.
The 34-year-old, who currently lives in Los Angeles, USA, adds that the book is a “piece of art”, in which he delves into his inner demons, and how he overcame it all.
“I would like to think that I have contributed to society in a positive way to help people. I am hopeful that it would give me the respect to be my own person, which I deserve,” he says, as he goes on to discuss the part of his book, where he gas talked about harbouring deep resentment for his father.
On being asked how tough it was to process those feelings, Sid admits that dealing with it gave him the strength to give his emotions words for the book.
Talking about the mantra he follow, Siddhartha says, “Growing up, I learnt to deal with people with empathy, and look at things empathetically. And putting yourself in other people’s shoes. I’m not saying you have to agree with what other people do, but it does help.”