Be­fore he be­came a lead­ing mu­si­cian, Kailash Kher was fi­nan­cially ru­ined. This is the story of how he at­tempted sui­cide, but was saved

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - Sa­marth Goyal

If I were to go back in time, to meet my 28-year-old self, who was about to take the plunge, I’d stop him, and say I don’t have any right to take my life KAILASH KHER, SINGER

We all fell in love with Kailash Kher’s voice, when he sang Al­lah Ke Bande for the Ar­shad Warsi film Waise Bhi Hota Hai Part II (2003), but we wouldn’t have heard that song or any of his later hits, if fate hadn’t in­ter­vened in the form of a friend. Kailash re­veals that be­fore his re­mark­able mu­sic ca­reer be­gan, a se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial loss had made him sui­ci­dal — and he ac­tu­ally tried to end his life! “I had lost a lot of money, and my world had come to a stand­still,” he says. “I was in de­pres­sion for a year, and when I could find no so­lu­tion, I de­cided to take my life.” Be­fore be­com­ing a singer, Kailash had an ex­port busi­ness in Delhi. He had run away from his Meerut home at the age of 14, and reached the Cap­i­tal, where inch by inch he built a new life. Re­call­ing those years, he says, “I’ve been through re­ally dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, be­cause I was all alone. I just kept on fight­ing.” That per­se­ver­ance was pay­ing off, as “things were get­ting bet­ter”. But sud­denly, when he was about 27 years old, dis­as­ter struck. “In the blink of an eye, ev­ery­thing just fell apart,” Kailash says. He ex­plains, “I had bought a plot of land, think­ing I’d get a lot of money from that deal. My par­ents lived in a rented house, and af­ter I bought the plot, I was very proud of my­self. I thought to my­self that I’ve bought my par­ents their home. But then the deal fell through, and I lost `22 lakh in that deal,” he says. Fol­low­ing “mul­ti­ple tries to get go­ing again”, Kailash moved to Rishikesh to learn astrol­ogy, his fa­ther’s field. But this didn’t help. His de­pres­sion, caused by the huge loss, per­sisted. Af­ter a year, when Kailash couldn’t cope with his state of mind any more, he felt sui­ci­dal. The singer says, “I had hit rock bot­tom. I used to stay away from ev­ery­one. One day, I was on one of the ghats [in Rishikesh], and the Ganga was flow­ing next to me. As I was think­ing about what had hap­pened over the past year, I just let go of the chain and jumped into the river.” But that wasn’t his day to die. “A friend of mine [who was nearby] thought I had slipped into the river, and he jumped in to save my life,” says Kailash. “Had he not saved me, I wouldn’t be talk­ing to you to­day.” Six­teen years af­ter that at­tempt, with more than a thou­sand of his songs in the pub­lic do­main, Kailash says, “My life be­longs to the Almighty. Only he can de­cide when it’s time to go.”

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