Can you even imagine an actor at the peak of his game taking a long break from his career, to spend time with his or her family? While it is indeed a daring move, Ayushmann Khurrana, who has emerged as one of the most bankable box office stars, a much loved one by the audience too, is doing just that. The actor said, “I do realise my children are growing up and my wife needs time from me. I am making a conscious attempt to take time off work periodically,” reasoning, “All of last year and most of this year, I was shooting four back-to-back films. So, this past one year was really tough. But now I am taking care of it, and I will strike a balance. I am taking time off from mid-November to be with my family.” It is a rarity for men to put a thought into work-life balance, especially when the family part of perks and duties still lies largely with women. But if not a star who can afford to make a choice, then who?
Taking a break from work is still a concept in a country which still refuses to embrace the benefits of work-life balance. Life could wait, first, we need to work. The result is that we miss out on a lot and are unavailable when our family needs us. Little do we know that life will pass us at a blinding speed and we will be left wondering when did the kids grow up, or when did mother develop such severe arthritis, or how did the spouse’s hair go grey so quick. Were we not watching? Were we not paying attention to those around us, those who are dear to us? And why just for our loved ones, how many of us dare to take a break from work just for ourselves? Just because we want to?
The ignorance towards my own self blindsided me last year when I suffered from a bout of depression, which left me wondering, how did my mental health end in such a bad state? I was in control of life, taking care of my kid, writing a book, working, being a wife and daughter and many more things that life required me to be. But in the many duties and roles that I had to play, I had ignored the one person whose well-being I was solely accountable for, me.