Sometimes, people just want to be heard and it can change a life: Divya Dutta

With the on-going pandemic which has aggravated personal and professional problems for many, talking about the importance of mental health and being there for each other. When a guy tweeted to actor Divya Dutta, recently saying he was feeling depressed, she replied to him and he replied it changed his mood instantly. “That’s all it took to uplift his spirits. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and it can change a life,” says the actor, who hopes that if people communicate once a week or twice a month and it will make a difference.


In light of actor Asif Basra’s death by suicide and other cases of suicide, there were many discussions on mental health and handling stress in the entertainment field. She admits that mental health is an issue not just within the industry but our society too. “Lives have become lonelier and more fragile. It was shocking to hear about the recent suicide cases in and outside the industry as none of us knew their internal battles and conflicts. All we perceived were happy smiling faces. To then say, pata hi nahin chala, is a frivolous outlook. It must be tough for a person to give up everything and take that decision of going away. It’s sad that we don’t look around more sensitively to see signs, to help someone share what they are going through- sometimes it’s enough to just listen.”

Any career that has ambition and high stakes will have stress and in the entertainment industry, celebrities are the face and people are interested to know about their personal lives, feels Dutta who adds, “It doesn’t help that this is an unpredictable career with no promises or guarantees. No matter how talented, or who you are, you don’t know when you will get a good break. Once you get it, maintaining a career isn’t easy. Everyone wants to project a happy picture of themselves and never let out what they are going through as unfortunately Any kind of weakness is looked down upon and in the power plays in an ambitious field where the stronger you are perceived, the more people consider you successful, people are scared to let others know that they are suffering, that they need help, that they are not fine. It’s brushed off with a smile and ‘I am fine. Thank you’.”

While we are all busy in our lives “trying to survive”, Dutta shares that it is not anyone’s fault but we should make an effort. She reveals she calls friends and senior actors just to talk to them. But when they ask, why did she call, they are taken aback to hear, “aise hi”. She says, “The smiles I feel in their voices are unparalleled .Our society can be agenda-driven. Most often, ‘How are you’ is replied with ‘I am fine’ and one doesn’t even hear that properly before moving on to the point. All I am saying is stop by, call people, reach out, hear them. Hamari industry mein jo successful hai usse sab phone karte hain, call someone who you don’t need professionally or is going through a career slump. In this industry the extremes of success and failure can shake anyone. If there’s family and supportive friends, you are lucky, if not, where does one pour it out.. A sensitive soul and sharp ears- that’s all we need!!”

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