Dear Dr. Jehangir Khan,
I met you three years ago when I was coming out of a bad place. A smile made its way onto my face when the first thing I heard you say was that maybe all that any of us need are good stylists. You normalized therapy right there. That was the first and most important lesson you gave me. You taught me that it was okay to talk about mental health and that there was absolutely no shame in it.
A burden lifted off of me when I heard you say that it was okay to choose the easy option sometimes, especially when we’re not ready to climb mountains or dive into deep seas just yet. Only then did I truly start to come to terms with the decisions I had made. I realized I deserved to show myself some kindness, that I hadn’t done anything wrong by choosing the easy way out.
I know real therapy doesn’t work that way but I do wish I had a Jug in my life to tell me stories about Dona Marias and Chinese mountaineers. Watching you help Kaira made me realize that I needed to accept things the way they were to even begin to work on them. You were non-judgemental and patient and just so warm that you made me stop judging myself so harshly and most importantly I slowly began to smile and laugh and cry wholeheartedly.
Those story analogies you told Kaira made me seek happiness and comfort in the little things and the simple joys of life. The funky art you kept making and your firm belief in the fact that all broken things can be put back together made me fall in love with my broken self and all things broken around me. It made me look for stories everywhere and eventually made me write.
You’re the reason why I let myself write again.
Slowly but surely you made me love myself a little more. It’s been three years now and much like Kaira, I go about hugging trees and playing Kabbadi with the seas fully in love with life and everything it has to offer.
Thank you Jug, for helping me bring everything I loved dearly back into my life, in tiny baby steps. I am really glad that the notebook, the pen, and the music are all back and are here to stay.
Thank you Jug, for being my sunshine.
On World Mental Health Day, Nirupama writes a #DearMovies letter to our favorite therapist, Dr. Jehangir Khan aka Jug from Dear Zindagi.
You came into my life, like any other fictional character, but never actually left. You stayed, in my heart, constantly making me wish for you to come real.
You so effortlessly guided me that how wrong is our idea of the difficult paths being the right ones and the easier ones, leading to failure. Walking on the easier roads have become acceptable since.
I wish everyone could know your “Kursi Concept”. But, when you said that it wasn’t necessary for everyone to know and all I needed was to get to know myself inside out and then what others think of me won’t actually matter, I knew what I had to do.
After meeting you, I visited Goa and guess what? I was playing “Kabaddi” with the sea waves.
I learned from you how I need to sometimes let my parents step down from their position and allow them to make mistakes like a normal human being, like you and me.
Every time I failed in a romantic relationship I recollected the fact there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. That there can be many Special Rishtas in life and we need not to expect that one Rishta to take the burden, of all of them.
I have hated that buzzer, missed those weird glasses, that creaking chair, and that jug, Jug, more than Kaira ever could.
Unfortunately, she just had those limited number of sessions but I have a persistent Netflix subscription and each time life treats me poorly, I run to you and return with yet another gathered lesson and a happy letter I write to live.
To life and to your Jug!