Karan Johar
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Robin Williams: Lonely at the top!

Karan Johar


Mumbai, Aug. 13 -- Glitz, glamour and the attention of multitudes is synonymous with film stars. But the top can sometimes be a lonely place. As Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Robin Williams passes away (on Monday, August 11) - preliminary investigation shows cause of death as suicide due to asphyxia - it gives us a glimpse into the darker, traumatic side of stardom.

The 63-year-old had been battling severe depression, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative, earlier. Other celebrities - closer home in India - have also taken the drastic step. The list includes film-maker-actor Guru Dutt, south siren Silk Smitha, models Viveka Babaji, Kuljeet Randhawa and Nafisa Joseph, and actor Kunal Singh.

In a previous interview, Shah Rukh Khan had told HT Cafe: "Nothing is worth ending your life. I strongly believe that, at the end of the day, a supporting family is what one needs."

Film-maker Karan Johar adds, "Such incidents make us question the loneliness that fame brings with it. It highlights the importance of friends and family to help tide over a difficult point in life."

Kangana Ranaut, who played a model who commits suicide in Fashion (2008), says, "You have to take care of yourself, and draw a line between what's reel and what's real."

Parineeti Chopra, who will become an investment banker if her acting career fails, says, "Your success in the industry is determined by the audience. It's not in your hands... I work hard and want to do well, but if things aren't going well, I'll do something else." So what pushes a celebrity to take such a drastic step? Psychologist Shweta Parekh says, "If the feeling of loneliness and low mood persist for a long time - anything around six months - it can be depression. It happens to glamourous people when most of their relationships become superficial. It can lead to further negative feelings, even leading to thoughts of doing away with oneself. Another reason is that these personalities have achieved everything, probably too soon in their lives."