Friendship is a relation that we need to nurture with care and keep safely. But getting a true friend is always very difficult. No matter whether we are very successful or a struggling amateur. In today’s busy and self-centered life, getting a true friend has become a rarity even when we are almost always connected to social media.
If social media has done anything to us that is it has taken us away from our humane relations, it has taken away the bonding created through personal interactions. Very often we create a positive impression on social media when the reality is completely opposite. Today, social media has taken away our personal space, very often this false world on social media deter us from addressing our personal issues. So in reality when our personal issues may be killing us, we keep posting happy updates on social media giving a wrong impression. The result is often devastating. Our near and dear ones don’t understand our problems because they see our happy updates and we are left with no one to share our pain. This may lead one to commit suicide.
Marathi filmmaker Atul Tapkir’s story tells us the same. He committed suicide after posting his suicide note on Facebook. This post published on 14th May, 2017 was written in Marathi. The English translation available here reveals a lot about what was behind his happy looking other Facebook posts.
In his suicide note, Atul said, he made the Marathi film “Dhol Tashe” for business but made huge loss. While his mother and sister stood by him and helped him not to get into depression, his wife Priyanka started harassing him and threw him out of his own house. Priyanka did not stop there but also visited houses of his friends and neighbors and defamed him. As a result some of his friends started taking advantage of this situation and started teasing him in person as well as over phone.
In his heartbreaking suicide note Atul narrated how he and his father jointly arranged to pay maintenance to his wife and kid and how they arranged for that money even when they themselves were not getting food. His suicide note also gives details of how his wife used to abuse him and his family including her own son. Even the little child was not spared by the mother and that is how cruel Atul’s wife was.
So finally, Atul had to quit. He ended everything by committing suicide and posting his suicide note on Facebook.
A wife being cruel to the husband is no new story today. Nowadays, with the help of legal system Indian women openly show rowdism in their families. Even society cry with these criminals and some take advantage of the situation. What is more glaring in Atul’s case is his friends not only mocked him in person but also by calling him. We wonder, about the quality of friends he had. Friends, who should be strengths to him, became his biggest foes.
Teasing in friendship is no new experience to us, but it becomes unbearable when teasing becomes a norm or when that maltreatment comes in the most trying times. Because, friendship is not about teasing alone. It is about understanding the other person and also to stand by him.
Atul would have been better off if he considered these so called friends as enemies from the day they crossed the line. A hard hitting enemy gives one strength but a hard hitting friend takes away all the strength. If Atul didn’t know about misandry that is understandable; many of us don’t, but Atul didn’t know how to select friends as well.
Atul Tapkir’s story tells us that judging people is necessary because not trying to judge them can be very costly. Only if Atul could judge his friends and consider them as his enemies, he could have saved himself. As the popular saying goes, “friends and books should be a few and well chosen”. Are you sure you have chosen your friends correctly?