I Combatted Depression By Smiling: Anu Malik
NEW DELHI (ANI) – Music composer and singer Anu Malik recently opened up about his battle with depression and how he overcame it. Reflecting on his childhood, he shared that he experienced a sense of pain at the young age of 10. Anu Malik learned to cope with depression by putting on a smile, despite the challenging circumstances he faced. He vividly recalled the tears in his father’s eyes, who was a talented individual responsible for composing songs like “Saarnga Teri Yaad Men Nain Hue Bechain” and “Haan Deewana Hoon Main.” As the eldest in the family, Anu witnessed the financial insecurity his father faced, causing stress for his mother as well. In such a world, he realized that he had to work to support his family, which further exacerbated his depression.
Anu highlighted the impact of changing family dynamics on mental health and his attempts to combat depression. He recognized that he couldn’t afford to cry and dwell on his emotions like others did because he needed to take care of his family. Instead, he picked up his Harmonica (Baja) and sought work relentlessly, knocking on doors for opportunities. During that time, he wrote lines like “Main galiyo ka raaja mere daulat mere dil hai aur yah mere baja.” While some people laughed at him, they were unaware of the immense depression he was enduring. Hence, he adopted a strategy of smiling and not letting anything affect him. Anu developed resilience and learned to move forward, even in the absence of the luxury of expressing his emotions.
When asked about the source of his motivation during tough times, the singer-composer shared that a song written by the poet Shailendra-ji inspired him. The song, “Chalane Hee Hai Zindagaanee Rukana Maut Kee Nishaanee Sar Pe Laal Topi Rusi Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani,” continues to motivate him. Anu regarded himself as an Indian and a fighter, believing that every Indian possesses the strength to endure and survive.
Anu Malik also revealed how he motivated Alka Yagnik, who faced a period of depression and couldn’t sing due to the loss of her father. Having experienced similar pain with the loss of his own parents, Anu understood her struggles. He expressed gratitude towards JP Dutta Sahib, who offered them a film called “Refugee,” featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor in their debut roles. For the songs in the film, Anu felt that only Alka could do justice to them. However, Alka was not in the right frame of mind to sing, being completely consumed by depression. Anu convinced her to listen to the songs, and when he sang the portion, “Aisa Lagta Hai…,” he witnessed a profound reaction from her. He recognized her immense talent as an artist and encouraged her to join him in the studio to work on the songs. Anu believed that Alka poured out all her pain of losing her father into those songs, resulting in one of the best-sung albums.
Despite his struggles with depression, Anu Malik managed to establish himself as a prominent figure in the Indian music industry. He composed numerous chart-topping songs that resonated with audiences.