Television actor Samir Sharma allegedly ended his life by committing suicide in his Mumbai apartment. The 44-year-old actor was found hanging in his kitchen on Wednesday night. The police suspect that he probably died two days ago.
Recent social media posts of the late actor raise the question if he was battling depression.
On last Monday (July 27) Samir had shared a poem on his unverified Instagram account that reads:
"I built my pyre
And slept on it
And with my fire
It was lit
And all that was me
I burned in it
I killed my dream
To wake up from it
Now my dream is gone
And I with it
I woke up to ashes
And I was in it
I took what was left
And left it in a stream
And hoped my ashes
This time have a better dream."
On July 20, the actor had shared a short film he made, on his unverified Facebook account. Titled "The Cut", the effort has been described by the actor as: "A film about the psychological effects of the isolation due to the lockdown on a person living alone."
Another poem shared by the actor on Facebook on June 8, reads: "I breathed through you,
I lived through you,
I felt what you felt,
I dreamt what you dreamt
I forgot where I ended
I forgot where you began
I was who you were
But didn't know who you are
And I didn't see it coming
I just saw you going."
Many similar poems written in Hindi and English, with pain and heartbreak as themes, can be found in his social media accounts.
Samir Sharma used to stay in a rented apartment in Malad West, which he had reportedly moved in during February this year. A social media post he shared in the first week of June indicates that he was looking for another change of residence, and was keen to move into a shared apartment.
"Looking for a shared apartment, with independent room in Malad West or Goregaon West, if anyone has a place, and is interested, pls DM me.... Thanks," posted the actor on Facebook on June 2.
The post raises question if he was facing monetary crisis.
Do such social media posts hint at depression? Kolkata-based psychiatrist Dr Om Prakash Singh told IANS over phone: "We need artificial intelligence on social media and also awareness among the common people that if anybody notices this kind of depressing content in the profiles of their friends or anybody else, they should alert the nearby mental health establishment or someone known to the person, so that something can be done. In India, a few instances have already happened where people alerted the police and they took precautionary measures."
Dr Singh also shared that over the past few months of lockdown, "cases of depression and anxiety among people have increased and that is not only because of confinement but due to several other factors like uncertainty of the future and lack of support which is testing our coping skills", he said, adding: "Some people are facing economic problems, too."
Samir Sharma was a popular face on television. He has featured in daily soaps like "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi", "Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii", "Left Right Left", "Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki" and several others. He last featured in the ongoing daily soap "Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke".