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Jiah Khan's death: Youngsters can learn a lesson
The latest name to figure in the celebrity suicide list is Jiah Khan. Khan made a grand entry in Bollywood opposite none other than Amitabh Bachchan but the promise fizzled out quickly. Perhaps the competition was too tough to handle. Or perhaps she didn't have the right connections.

It is still unclear whether a failed career or a failed love affair was behind the alleged suicide. But one thing is abundantly clear—Khan was not built to take setbacks and disappointments in life like many others of her generation. Almost every day we read about such suicides in the newspapers: youngsters taking their own lives because someone spurned their love or because they didn’t make it to IIT or whatever.

What ails this generation? Is it that they are indulged too much by their parents? Do they grow up believing that failure happens only to other people? Do they even realize that they are a privileged generation born in a period when they have more freedoms and opportunities and are fortunate enough to be raised by parents who are more like friends to them? I remember reading a motivational story about how the butterfly’s wings become strong because of the way it struggles to emerge from the pupa. If it didn’t have to struggle the wings would become weak and the butterfly, unable to fly, would die soon.

Perhaps our youngsters too need to experience struggle if they are to become mentally and emotionally strong. When I was young I was not allowed the kind of freedom my daughter enjoys today. That freedom is the result of my determination to give her a happier life but sometimes I wonder --am I doing more harm than good?  Am I unwittingly giving her the impression that the entire world exists to please her?   

Khan had a lot going for her. If she had persevered, she might have got that lucky break she wanted.  And besides, there is more to life than a career in Bollywood. As for love, did she really believe that her life depended on a man to validate it? In this time and age, when marriage, as an institution, is in terminal decline, why did she need the love of a man to give meaning to life?  And didn’t she know, as the fairy tale goes, that sometimes you have to kiss many frogs before you find your Prince Charming?  

One can understand giving up one’s life for a cause or for one’s country. But killing self for someone who doesn’t reciprocate your love is the height of foolishness. So is committing suicide because one didn’t pass an exam or get into IIT.  It is a pity that such youngsters do not realize what a wonderful gift life is. The best way to cherish it is to live it to completion, not leave it unfinished. Every life has its own purpose, but it takes time to reveal itself.

My plea to young girls like Jiah Khan is just this: love yourself. Don’t believe that money, fame and a man’s love make your lives whole. What matters is that you live the life that has been given to you as fully and honestly as possible. Good times always follow bad times. And problems have a purpose—they develop character. So take them as challenges. As it is, this country does not cherish its daughters so please don’t kill yourselves for silly things. Your lives are precious, whatever others may say. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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