Anthony Bourdain and “PARTS UNKNOWN”

It was like, we weren’t having enough of all the stuff jolting and exhausting us every single day and then there was Anthony Bourdain, just a few days after Kate Spade, getting all the attention on the headlines, shocking his world of fans and followers that he’d built over the years.

While I had not yet finished catching up to the sudden suicidal death of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, who “Parts Unknown” I watched just the other night on Netflix, was also gone at the age of 61.

Anthony Bourdain is a name that defines a celebrated chef, tv personality, world traveler, writer and in simple words, a gifted explorer of cuisine and human cultures across the globe.

Binge watching “Parts Unknown” on Netflix was more than just my love for food or my curiosity for diverse cuisines. He reminded me of his shows that were aired on TLC, that I watched with my Dad as a teenager. My Dad just loved his shows. He was a diabetic and with all the food restrictions he had and the rest imposed by my mother, he would satiate a lot of his appetite for good food, watching his culinary shows. I don’t quite remember the name of that TLC show now, but I do remember us all having a good time getting a peek into exciting cuisines, so different from our traditional Indian food, and also the many great places that tempted us to travel as a family, in the future.

Fast forward 15 years and my access to Netflix, I started watching his shows again. This time I remember the name. I watch his shows not only to enjoy what he explores as world food or culture but also as a memory of a time when my Dad was still around. It is weird how each time I see Anthony Bourdain on TV,  I time- travel back to those days and relate him to the time I spent with my father. And now, even he is no more.

Be it, Robbie Williams, Kate Spade or now Anthony Bourdain, they have all shaped their strong images through profound contributions to the world society as a whole and yet we discover them through their own shares of “Parts Unknown”.

While Robbie Williams made it a point to make his audience cry with echoes of laughter, Kate Spade emerged as a significant pioneer of creativity and one of the very few to effortlessly show her compassion by going cruelty-free for many of her designs. And it is needless to say how Anthony Bourdain, brought a fresh perspective to world cuisine in a time, that was still not so open to diversity.

We often conveniently assume that people who are “successful” and have a smile on their face are the happiest ones, rather, the luckier lot. They are believed to have achieved all their dreams and ambitions and have nothing at all that can take their “happiness” away. But to what extent is this true? 

Can success, fame and wealth camouflage the essence of being happy in the truest sense? Maybe ‘yes’ or even maybe a ‘no’.

Depression, mental anxiety, panic attacks or the sense of being lost is not so uncommon. And it is not meant only for those in the limelight. However, unfortunately, they become the icons of the Mental Health Issue Awareness that encourages people from daily walks of life, to speak out before they are tempted to take irreversible and drastic steps.

Stress, in all shapes, sizes, and colors has always had its omnipresence and might be hurting the person sitting right next to us. But sadly enough, we have this typically weird tendency of consoling by saying ” Don’t think like that, it’s just in your head”. Well, let’s get it out in the open, that “it’s just not in the head”.

There can be a million reasons why a friend, colleague or a member of our family might be tirelessly feeling low. As frustrating as it can be, to hear about all the sad stuff, just take a moment to think and empathize, how drained is the person on the other end, trying to reach out to someone whom they think, can help.

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This is NOT a sign of their weakness but a sign of struggle with one’s own self. It is the backlash of being and staying indefinitely strong, trying to fight all that life throws at you till the point all your shields drop down. Let’s accept it as a phase that we all go through at some point or other in our lives. Some are blessed to cope and sail through and there are many who keep waiting at the shore in a dilemma whether or not to sail on the boat.

Will it take too much out of us to be supportive of someone battling and failing to cope with stress and loneliness? Well, it will definitely take lesser time than blindly judging the person otherwise or even worse, not even getting the chance to know the person at all.

If you get a chance, please don’t hesitate to lend an ear or a comforting tone and make your presence felt for the one who is so lost, desperate and sulking in silence.

***RIP Anthony Bourdain***

Image Credit: Anthony Bourdain
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2 Replies to “Anthony Bourdain and “PARTS UNKNOWN””

  1. Nabomita , you have addressed the issue very beautifully, in simple words and putting the message very straightforwardly . Kudos. Hope it reaches to more and more people and helps them find a ray of strength and hope through your article.

    Liked by 1 person

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