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Missing a laugh ?



I woke up today with a really sore throat and to the news that Robin Williams, the Oscar winning actor is no more. They suspect he committed suicide and that he was depressed of late. I somehow feel hurt when actors commit suicide. Their profession of portraying different characters is so close to what life truly is that I expect them to learn quickly. I understand the world of showbiz is dark, cruel and leads to insecurity, rivalry and once the limelight fades, to depression. But why ?

Remember his movie Patch Adams ? It was loosely based on a real life story and Robin Williams as the protagonist Patch Adams contemplates suicide when his wife is murdered, but when the butterfly comes and sits on his shirt, he feels he ought to live and continue making a difference. I wonder why no butterfly came and sat on Robin’s shirt yesterday .. He just might have got the message. Actors have the advantage of trying out different moods, different characters and learn to deal with the negative ones through some mood altering incident – then why do they not get the message ?

Like our quintessential Johnny Walker’s dialogue in the movie “Anand” – “Zindagi aur maut upar wale ke haath hain jahapanah,
use naa aap badal sakte hain na main,
Hum sab toh rang-manch kee katputliya hain,
jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon mein bandhi hain
Kab kaun kaise uthega, koi nahi bata sakta”

The gist of this is to say our lives are like a puppet show with the strings in the hand of God. We do what he instructs us to and live and die when he chooses. The operative word is “rang manch” which means theatre. Life is the theatre where we play different characters and death seems pre-ordained … As Osho says – life and death are separated by a revolving door that you keep going in and out of.

Why suicide and depression for an actor then ? Isn’t the truth obvious to them ? That all of us play different characters on the large stage called life and all that matters is what you give and how much you laugh. Thinking of Patch Adams brings a smile to my face as it does to many others’ faces…why couldn’t Robin think of Patch Adams in his moments of despair ?

Hey – the question is to all of us … Why can’t we laugh and remember a funny joke as we despair ? No rule in any rule (religious, regulatory) book says we shouldn’t but we just don’t. One of the things that sets us apart from animals is our ability to laugh, but we are trying really hard to bridge that gap by not laughing enough.

I love Osho because he is the first mystic who laughed and told jokes as part of his discourses. He doesn’t have any diktats for you to follow and he makes life fun – because he reminded us that laughter is what sets us apart.

RIP Robin and may you be born again in the Kingdom of God or here on Earth with a clown’s attire and a smile that spreads happiness into and out from you. I need one too … Have been grumpy for a while !!

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Categories: Daily ReflectionsTags: , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Wish it hadnt ended this way. But then clinical depression is deep, not something that can be wished away or fought just on will power. No amount of life’s teaching/experience can get one to ‘snap out’ of it.

    • You are absolutely right Adeeti. Will power doesn’t work with clinical depression, but many actors are not clinically depressed, they just can’t deal with the stardom sometimes and sometimes with the stardom going away and end up committing suicide or taking to drugs and generally opting out of life. I just feel, their profession should help them get adjusted better to the transient stardom, attention, adulation. That’s all. It’s tough to do but with a little awareness they are closest to that realisation.

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