Not every star kid owns the key to success. Unlike the hot nepotism debate, there are some who struggle their way to stardom. While some succeed, some fall prey to the glitz and glamour of the upscale lifestyle, where all that glitters is not gold. Behind closed doors, they are as vulnerable and naive as anyone of us. And one such star kid is Prateik Babbar. The boy, who inherited the best genes of icons Smita Patil and Raj Babbar, could’ve got the best in life too, but that wasn’t the case. Prateik soon took to drugs and it only looked impossible to give it all away.
“My struggle with drugs started before high school. Sports and music were constructive escapes for a while, but, they could only suffice for so long. My first real drug was a disturbed childhood. Constantly faced with internal dilemma, the voices in my head debating where I belong and who I am, drugs came disguised as a glitzy escape. As years went by, I got acquainted with the narcotic underbelly, which led me to my first run-in with drugs at the age of 13,” Prateik said in a bare-all post in Mid-Day.
The 30-year-old revealed that the habit took the better of him to such an extent that drug dependence became a part of life. “Getting out of bed was almost impossible; nausea greeted me each morning, my body ached and I oscillated between hot and cold every few minutes. At that point, I didn’t even have a drug of choice, I took whatever I could lay my hands on,” he said.
Prateik debuted as Genelia D’Souza’s brother in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. He soon won accolades for Dhobi Ghat, Dum Maaro Dum and Aarakshan. The drug addiction also reflected on his work as his films continued to fail at the box office. “A drug overdose made me sit up and take note of the monster I had become. I couldn’t recognise the man I saw in the mirror. I decided to finally seek professional help. I was up for any sort of withdrawal symptoms. Drugs had consumed my brain to such an extent that even after a detox, it continued to hold some real estate up there. I spent three weeks in rehab trying to convince everyone I had beaten my addiction. But now, I am stronger, confident that whatever tribulations befall me, I will heal,” Prateik told Mid-Day.
Its been one year since Prateik defeated his addiction. He says he feels happier and healthier than ever before. “The only way to keep cynicism at bay is by sharing the emotions that fueled my addiction in the first place. The second is to break the stigma associated with addiction. I want to tell every addict that there is assistance. I can’t promise that it will be easy, but I can assure you that it will be simpler than following a life that will eventually destroy you, and everything you love,” he said.