A week ago, actor Asif Basra was found hanging in a private complex in McLeodganj in Dharamshala. The demise of the actor has left the industry and his fans in a state of shock. For many, Asif Basra is remembered for his character role in the 2007 film Jab We Met, where he played a railway station vendor. In an exclusive chat with Bollywood Hungama, Imtiaz Ali who worked with Asif Basra in Jab We Met remembers the actor and talks about mental health.
Asif Basra was living in McLeodganj since the past five years and was apparently not happy with his life in Mumbai. Talking about what must have prompted him to take such an extreme step, Imtiaz Ali said, “I think we must take mental ailment and mental illness very seriously and at the same time very casual. Much like Asif had played that role (referring to his role in Jab We Met). It is something very prevalent and everyone around us including us can have mental health issues just like physical health issues. So, it is necessary to accept it and be open minded about it.”
“I feel that he was an intellectual, his sensitivity was more than a normal person. Anyway, the sensitivity of an actor or artist is usually more than a common man. He thinks a lot, they feel a lot more, so their happiness or sadness in life is also more. With all of that sensitivity, you get the answers, you deal with it and you move on and you do your work. However, not all answers are provided. For that you do need company. For that you need people you can talk to, who can listen to you without judgement, who can then guide you. Like someone will tell me that you seem to be in a lot of pressure, talk to this therapist. If someone tells me that I will say okay,” he further said.