Drawing we say is a natural talent. Something that an artist is born with. For me it was more like sitting to draw something from which I was inspired or that could tell part of a story of my life. Whenever I would feel helpless or frustrated, I would draw something out. I always think life gives us multiple options. When one door closes, another opens. Some people have the capacity of dealing with things with more maturity and more practicality whereas some others just easily look at the downside and give up. I consider myself to be the latter. Pessimism was my first alter. I would be fine the next day and thankfully did not let such things affect me. But today I’m here to talk about children of my age or around my generation who deal with a lot of mental and emotional difficulties leading to symptoms such as depression and anxiety. I would never heed much attention to people I knew going through such issues. I still remember an incident that occurred in the early days of summer. It was just another normal day when I headed for school to see more than half the students standing in the auditorium sobbing. As I asked a friend to what was going on I came to know the entire story. A girl in our class was rusticated from school during our board exams and was not allowed to appear for any paper. She was a bright girl with a sparkle in her eye. Beautiful in all ways with long hair and very sharp features. She was loved by her teachers and was a popular kid in school. I couldn’t stop wondering how her world fell apart in one shot. She was dating a boy outside our school. He was older to her and they had been intimate in just a few days of meeting each other. Her boyfriend asked her one day to send him a nude video. Maybe she was that hopelessly in love to not think of the consequences at that instant. She readily did not! The first thing the guy dared to do was circulate that video all around. It did not take much time for the entire school to watch the video and start slut shaming her. She started getting random unknown text messages from random locals and strangers who would ask her things like “What’s your rate?”, “How about just one video for me?”, “I know where you live. Your place or mine?”. In no time the school faculty was aware of such a thing. In order to save their reputation, instead of supporting her, they decided to kick her out of school. Her parents made her shave her head off so that she couldn’t be recognized and think that she is pretty. Even though her friends tried to console her, nothing worked at that point. She couldn’t stop blaming herself for what she had done. It was only just a month for this incident. Feeling helpless with no one around to talk to, she took her life by slitting off her wrists. Her parents howled till the drop of tear soaked up their eyes and that is when we all were informed of such a thing. I was shocked and felt myself choking thinking about what could have gone through her.

It is very important we learn to share what we feel. And if nobody supports what we think of, it is always critical to believe in ourselves. Maybe we could have saved her if at the right time she would be made to feel important and not treated as a threat to the society. Depression is not a an illness. Rates of anxiety and depression in particular have skyrocketed in what many are calling a crisis of mental health for our generation. According to Psychology Today, “the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.” There are many reasons college students might experience anxiety and depression. As more students from varied backgrounds, classes and ethnicities attend school / college at higher rates, the challenges they face can be new, unexpected and isolating. The internet can be a negative only when used for all the wrong reasons.

Essena O’Neill, a 19-year-old Instagram star from Australia with half a million followers, quit social media in late October, saying farewell in a teary final YouTube video. She quit because, as she said in an Instagram post: “Social media … isn’t real. It’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers. It’s perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgment. I was consumed by it.”

Why are we always competing to be someone we are not? Learn from the past. It helps us to become stronger and wiser. Remove the complicated questions that run through your head while you’re trying to get some sleep. Love the people who value you and trash the ones who use you. Never let anyone bring you down. You are perfect just the way you are!!

Below is a drawing I made on charcoal sketch back in March, 2015. This was one such art where I tried to depict the unheard cries of the people around you, who are combatting many different struggles but are unable to voice them. So hear and look out for the people who need you. Your one act of kindness can probably save a life.


12 thoughts on “Left unheard

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  1. Really sad to know about her!! I came through many such incidents they are much usual now a day. Please spread awareness in the girls that be much careful about such things. I usually strongly oppose such things whenever it comes in discussion. It is good to have relation but don’t spoil someone’s life.

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