Thursday, 28 July 2011

Why are successful people quitting so early?

Just recently movie lovers who knew Robbin Williams  were surprised, in fact shocked to learn that their favourite, funny, lively and versatile actor had decided to "opt out" of this life! I would say that his last act in the film called "Life," was the most surprising of all! A few years back, we were when we learned that Amy Winehouse was no more, and that she had died on the twenty-third of July in her own home. We all knew about the problems she had been facing. She had had a troubled marriage, she had a drugs problem, and an alcohol problem. Some years ago, the tabloids posted a picture of Amy Winehouse on their front pages of an Amy Winehouse who was literally starving and literally falling apart! Incidentally, Amy Winehouse was the winner of five Grammy awards in 2008!
A few years earlier, we read about how Anna Nichole Smith had died an untimely death, probably because of drug abuse! She had been a highly successful Hollywood actress who was slated to be a sensation in the world of acting! Marilyn Monroe died an untimely death on fifth August, 1962. She had been the victim of an unsettled childhood! James Dean was only twenty-four when he died in a high-speed car crash. The movies: East of Eden, and Giant fetched him Posthumous Academy Award nominations for best actor!Closer at home we all heard about the death of  +Viveka Babaji, Miss Mauritius World-2003. She was found hanging in her Mumbai flat on June 26, 2010! She had been facing problems in her love life!
Although these personalities might have belonged to different decades, nevertheless, they all shared similar qualities. They were young, they were extremely talented, they were extremely popular, and therefore, successful. They were icons for the young all over the world! So, then, why did they decide to quit? One thing becomes clear, it is very lonely at the top! When you become successful, you have greater expectations from others. When your expectations are not satisfied, then it causes disillusionment! Often, the person you love might not be as sincere as you thought! He or she might be hitching along just for the publicity, or to share the limelight, or perhaps to benefit from the hen that lays golden eggs! A realisation of the motives, and duplicity of one’s lover would cause immense disillusionment, forcing the person to slip in to depression. The Indian movie, “Page Three” highlights the short but brilliant lives of women in the modelling world. The world of success is as bright as a Magnesium Flare, but it goes out fast! Thus we have a tragic end in the movie when the model played by + Kangana Ranaut dies! The death of that model results from the rejections she begins to get from various fashion houses. The Glory is there, but then another comes to take your place and you lose your position at the top. This is heart-breaking for the model or the actress. It is very difficult to accept that your days are over, and that you should bow down with good grace. Unfortunately we humans cannot say no to the “good things in life” and we want more and more of them!
Perhaps this unusual phenomena might be explained by what Nietzsche, and Sartre and all the existentialists stated about life! Perhaps when a person reaches the pinnacle of fame and looks down, he sees nothing but a bleak and drab world to which he cannot return, and when he looks up, he realises that there is no more sky left! It is this realisation of being stuck in a gyre or a circle that makes one wonder if this life is after all worth it! Existentialism attempts to explain the meaning of life, and it suggests that we are all stuck in a circle, from which we can’t escape! The fame, attention, and glory that a superstar gets does not ultimately make him different from the common man because,they are both stuck in the cycle of life. Ultimately, the superstar who achieves success early in life might not have a reason to live for any more, because there is nothing more left to achieve. When an older person achieves success, then he is more wise, and more experienced, and he can just reminisce about his past struggle and even when he loses that glory, he can just relax and go into retirement gracefully! Alexander, before his death is said to have asked his men to leave his hands out of the coffin. He wanted to conquer the world, but Malaria conquered him. He probably wanted the world to know that although he had come into this world as Alexander The Great, but was leaving it empty handed, no better than a pauper!
If depression is the root cause of all these tragic deaths, then doesn't the world with all its scientific knowledge and technology have the wherewithal to address this problem? Just today I came to know that Robin Williams is no more! A tragic loss for the whole movie world, we will perhaps remember this versatile actor for his exceptional roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji! Although not so young at the time of his death, for Robin Williams was 63, I still feel that there was much more to life for him, if he had decided to hang on!

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