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Jiah Khan Family Interview Essay

I stopped Jiah Khan from killing herself earlier: Suraj Pancholi

After first facing accusations that he drove his ex-girlfriend Jiah Khan to suicide and then spending over 20 days in jail, Suraj Pancholi says he's still very much still in love with her and he's innocent of everything he has been accused of.

In a detailed interview with the Bombay Times, Pancholi paints a picture of a depressed, distrustful and posssessive Nafisa alias Jiah Khan that is now a familiar narrative. Pancholi says that he had met Nafisa over Facebook and it was her attempt at suicide and his nursing her back to health that brought her back from the brink.

As for Khan's mother's claims that he had driven Jiah to suicide, Pancholi believes he is the reason she hadn't committed suicide earlier. He said:

I know that she would not want me to go through this. If the mother blames me, I should tell her that I did not take her life. In fact, I gave her extension of life by 10 months. Had I not been there in her life, she would have tried this and succeeded earlier

The upcoming actor said that he had to constantly deal with her inability to trust him and says she would cry "every night during the seven months we were seeing each other" and had a "depression problem" for which she had undergone counselling.

Suraj Pancholi says he did everything he could to help Jiah Khan. AFP

Jiah Khan in a letter written before her death had accused Pancholi of partying, womanising and abuse, but the actor makes no mention of those accusations at any point during the interview.

Accused of forcing Jiah into performing an abortion, Pancholi claims that one day she came to him saying her menstrual cycle and he just took her to a doctor where she was given a pill.

"We went back home and everything was normal. When the police asked her family doctor if I was there at the time of abortion, they denied it," he said, adding that he had told the police he wasn't aware of a pregnancy.

The actor claims that he was told by Jiah's mother not to "be involved" with her daughter and says he was "tired of her daily crying and distrusting me", which resulted in him reducing the time he spent with her.

Pancholi says he had met Jiah before she was scheduled to travel to Hyderabad and refused to meet her the next day even after she called him asking to meet.

The actor spent over 20 days in jail after being arrested on 10 June and spent time in a police lockup and Mumbai's Arthur Road jail before finally getting bail on 1 July. But according to Pancholi, he never felt any guilt.

"I had no fear or guilt and in my heart I knew that just because we had broken up, it could not be considered wrong. I used to help her and have saved her life a couple of times before, so I knew I would get out," he said.

And despite all that he's gone through, Pancholi says he's still loves her and says that even the "five percent anger" he had earlier has gone away.

You can read the complete Bombay Times interview here.

Published Date: Jul 23, 2013 13:13 PM | Updated Date: Jul 23, 2013 13:14 PM

tags:#Bollywood #Jiah Khan #suicide #Suraj Pancholi #TheySaidIt


Jiah Khan's suicide note: What did Rabia teach her daughter?

Jiah Khan's mother has been on a crusade ever since her daughter committed suicide. Rabia Amin's given a blizzard of interviews expressing her grief and blaming first Bollywood and now her boyfriend for Jiah's death.

"Some sections of the media and some film industry people are speculating that my daughter Jiah committed suicide because of depression related to her career. However the truth is that it happened only because of the trauma and the abuse she suffered at the hands of Suraj Pancholi and his father Aditya Pancholi," wrote Amin on a social media site where she posted a scanned copy of Jiah's suicide note.

Jiah's rambling letter is more tragic because it contains little that is surprising. Her dangerously muddled notions about life, love and career are unexceptional except for the unhappy destiny they led her towards. The suicide note reveals a young woman who was desperate for love and approval, seeking it in all the wrong places with all the wrong men and for all the wrong reasons. It can be easily read as a primer of what not to teach your little girl.

Rabia Amin's given a blizzard of interviews expressing her grief and blaming first Bollywood and now her boyfriend for Jiah's death. Firstpost

"You may not have known this but you affected me deeply to a point where I lost myself in loving you," writes Jiah, describing a relationship where she was ready to sacrifice all — her body, career and self-respect — to win and keep Pancholi's affections. Romance is perhaps the most dangerous delusion, especially for young girls who are raised on a steady diet of fairytales, Bollywood movies and romance novels that valourise the all-consuming love affair, teach girls to hold out for Mr Right, wait for their "one true love."

But in real life, Prince Charming often turns out to be the villain, or at least a uncommitted cad. And greater a young girl's need for grand passion, the more likely she is to attract a parade of Mr Wrongs who exploit that yearning. Women who live to love as opposed to love to live are doomed to unhappiness. "You tore my soul. I have no reason to breathe anymore. All I wanted was love. I did everything for you," wrote Jiah mistaking an abusive relationship for the meaning of life.

"Aur bhi gham hain zamane mein mohabbat ke siwa/ Raahaten aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siva," declared Faiz Ahmed Faiz. A pity no one told Jiah. Certainly not her mother who offers up heartbreak as vindication of her daughter's mental state: "Reports that my daughter was depressed because of work is all rubbish. She was fine, she was sincere, pure and not manipulative at all. She could not stand lies." But here's the question Rabia never asks herself: Why did her daughter throw away her life merely because, in Rabia's words, "she fell for the wrong guy"? What did Rabia teach her — or fail to do so — that she would do so?

We all fall for the wrong guy/girl at some point in our life — some more wrong than others — but most of us find a way to fall right out. But not Jiah whose letter spells out "the pain of heartbreak when the person you love wants to abuse you or threatens to hit you or cheats on you telling other girls they are beautiful or throws you out of their house when you have no where to go and you've come to them out of love or when they lie to your face or they make you chase after them in their car." Dating Suraj Pancholi was an exercise in humiliation, but Jiah mistook her pain as the seal of authenticity: masochism as an affirmation of the strength of her love.

One sign of mental health is the instinct for emotional self-preservation, an ability to just say no to relationships that are damaging. And yet, call it the Sati/Savitri complex or television serial effect, the fact is that women are socialised to mistake unhappiness as a measure of emotional investment. Sadder still, the same parents who urgently school their children to keep their bodies safe never teach them the importance of protect their hearts. "You never appreciated my love, Kicked me in the face. I have no confidence or self esteem left, whatever talent whatever ambition you took it all away," writes Jiah, proving emotional damage can be every bit as fatal as the physical kind. And one can lead to another. Long before Pancholi came along, Jiah was already a victim of  "the rape, the abuse, the torture I have seen previously."

If these are indeed Jiah's last words, they indict not just Pancholi but also Rabia who seems to have failed to teach her child to love herself. Parenting is hardly an exact science. There is no guarantee of outcome even when we love them dearly and do our best. Damage, however, is almost certain when we fail to teach our kids certain basic values, the most important being to value themselves. It's a life-saving lesson for a girl who will inevitably encounter a patriarchical world that will attempt to reduce her to a body part and/or a social role. And more so for a young woman set loose in the barracuda-infested world of the film industry.

Jiah ends her letter on a haunting note: "I leave this place with nothing but broken dreams and empty promises. All I want now is to go to sleep and never wake up again. I am nothing. I had everything. I felt so alone even while with you. You made me feel alone and vulnerable. I am so much more than this." Perhaps Rabia Amin should have spent more time convincing her daughter that she deserved to be "so much more than this" — a body hanging from a ceiling fan.

Published Date: Jun 10, 2013 18:13 PM | Updated Date: Jun 10, 2013 18:13 PM

tags:#Jiah Khan #Jiah Khan suicide #Rabia Amin #Suraj Pancholi #ThatsJustWrong


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