By Manjori Borkotoky
Conflicting reports, accusations, sensationalism. We’ve all read and watched so many reports on Bidisha Bezbaruah that even those who’ve never met her, feel like they’ve known her forever.
It was a rather rude wake up call, against depression and against the societal norms that we like to adhere to. Her ever smiling face had concealed the inner turmoil so well that not even her close friends and colleagues had an inkling of what was to follow. But then, the wide media coverage has led women who are facing emotional abuse or are distressed to reach out, knowing that they are not alone. There will be someone who will hold their hands and lead them to the peace they seek.
Time8 tried getting in touch with people who’ve studied and worked with her and we fell in love with her beautiful soul, once again.
“Every relation that she had, as a sister or a friend or any relation at all, she would always be there. We usually drift away once you start working or move forward in your life you sort of, get disconnected because we don’t have the time to meet or talk. But she would always ask how could we be so busy that we can’t meet?” says Nikita Mullen, Bidisha’s good friend and batchmate at IIMC. “Another interesting thing is everyone at IIMC knew her, from faculty to previous batches as well as juniors. She made friends wherever she went. Even on the first day of our internship when the rest of us felt intimidated, Bidisha was her chatty self and had made a bunch of new friends by the end of the day!” says Nikita.
Bidisha was not the kind who would dwell on any incident for too long, she was always the one to make up whenever there was a fight. “We used to fight sometimes and after every fight she used to come down and would say ‘arre chodd na, ho gaya…let it go,’ and she was such a strong person. She believed she could go through everything on her own,” says Nikita. “I was going through some personal problems and Bidisha would assure me of her support even during classes. I was an introvert; she pulled me out of my shell! I used to be terrified of the stage but having her beside me, I went up and danced once. She was like the elder sister I never had and everyone will tell you similar tales. The rest of us, we never realized she was suffering from such deep depression. She didn’t want us to worry about her, perhaps,” says Nikita.
Her ex colleagues too echo similar sentiments. Bidisha worked under Swasti Ray at J. Walter Thompson and later at Publicis Groupe. He couldn’t stop singing her praises either. “She never used to say anything negative about anyone. Even when others would be gossiping, her conversation would be about songs and food, culture, places. She would talk about her family, would show me pictures of her father and everyone, she talked about family trips and all when we used to share the same cab to South Delhi. Everything was always so happy and jolly with her around. Such good memories I have!”
“She would always greet everyone, even people who most of us didn’t even talk to much. She knew everyone in the office, she knew about their families. She would go and try to talk if anybody looked down or sad. But she did not talk about her own problems…,”he added. “I was there when she started her relationship with Nisheeth. They were a bunch of three. Nisheeth played the guitar, Yashi would play the keyboard and Bidisha would sing. So the three of them would go to all the concerts and would go for parties together and used to have a lovely time. And then we came to know that Nisheeth and Bidisha were going around and they are happy. Everything was going well. I was not surprised because they were good friends,” says Swasti.
Her family, still shocked is finding some solace in all the love that they have been receiving from people who knew her. “We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love for her that we have received over these days and will remain ever grateful to everyone for standing by us. None of us, nobody in our family had ever even imagined that she had touched so many people’s lives in such a short period of time,” says Kaushik, Bidisha’s brother. He just had one request, an appeal to everyone: “We cannot go back in time and undo what happened, but I hope we will all be more aware and attentive to the women in our lives, could be anybody- our friend, our sister, daughter, wife, neighbour…let’s pay more attention to them. Let’s pay heed when they reach out. And some women are reaching out now, that tells me her sacrifice has not gone in vain.”
There are prayer meetings being held on Sunday in memory of this bundle of energy. If in Delhi or nearby, do join IIMC’s 2013-14 batch as they are holding a prayer meeting at their institution from 4 to 6pm. In Guwahati, a candle lit march will be taken out, near Dighalipukhuri, 5pm onwards.