Dubai: As Indian expat Sheetal Mulani prepares to launch her book, Saturday When The Sun Came Down, in Dubai next week, she is swarmed by a riot of emotions.
Yet to come to terms with the loss of her son Mohit, who took his life in the city two years ago, she said, “I had to do this for our sake. I just wrote and wrote, and couldn’t stop myself. I was told the venting would serve as a catharsis. But I am not sure, my only aim is to alert other parents, to tell them that just because they cannot see the monster, it does not mean the monster isn’t there.”
On a mission almost to spread her message, Mulani cautions parents against what she calls are ‘mind-altering’ medications prescribed to youngsters to combat anxiety and stress. She said her son was “alive till August 26, 2016”. The 21-year-old was studying pre-medicine and economics abroad and was visiting Dubai for a short break when tragedy struck.
My only aim is to tell other parents that just because they cannot see the monster, it does not mean it isn’t there.”
- Sheetal Mulani | Indian expat
In a heart-rending first-hand account of what has transpired since, Mulani writes in her book, “There is no greater grief than the loss of a child and you would not wish it upon anyone. But out there in the global wilderness, like so many ticking time bombs, are thousands of young boys and girls on the verge of implosion. Children today eat more pills and capsules and officially sanctioned uppers and downers under the protective canopy of prescription medicine than ever before. It is almost acceptable to have anxiety and depression, as if these were badges of honour and indicative of dedication to doing well in school and college and even further on.”
She said, “No one told us Mohit was seeing a psychiatrist who in general take cover under the doctor-patient privilege. But as a parent, shouldn’t I have known what was going on in my son’s head?”
She said any change in a child’s behavior, however small, should not be taken lightly. “It could be weight loss or gain, a mood swing or just fluctuating temperature.
“Your child could well be on a drug regimen to overcome anything from peer pressure to fear of failure. Please take it seriously.”
In the preface of her book, she concludes, “If I can, through this effort, bring one life back from the brink and awaken one mother or one father to say, 'wait a minute are we missing something, not seeing what is in front of us', then Mohit, my son, you will not have died in vain.”
The book will be released at a private function at the India Club on October 24.