Jumping off from a height

Taking un-prescribed pills in a large quantity

or shooting oneself to death

Does it matter which way a person chooses to take his life away?

Journalist from an international news channel, Changez Raja just completed his fiction based novel, “Abhi Jaan Baki Hai” and we can’t thank him enough for highlighting an issue that has been brushed underneath the carpet for so long.

For decades now, the ‘society’ has set standards for a happy life, with innumerable goals one needs to achieve, levels he need to accomplish and tests he just have to pass, in order to finally achieve his certificate; one which allows him to access a “happy life”. Fixating the person to blindly run after a set goal and overcome hurdles after hurdles, the ‘society’ makes sure it never defines happiness, so that a person never knows what he is running after.

Such is the irony of the ‘society’ that we live in. When a person is unable to live up to the set standards, he is ostracized and made to feel unworthy of “happiness”. And when happiness looks un-achievable, people become depressed and depression my dear friends, is as lethal as a snake’s venom.

In a world where treatment for physical health is appreciated yet that for mental health is delayed or often avoided, efforts should be made on a national medium to encourage people suffering from mental disorders, to seek help! Changez Raja’s novel, “Abhi Jaan Baki Hai” is the probably the first attempt of the sort.

Have we not seen how many people laid their arms to this deadly disease? Have we not felt their pain when it was a little too late? Have we not wondered aloud how things might have been if only we could have listened to them and told them once, that everything is going to be alright? Have we not wished upon our lives, if only we could bring them back and show them how easy it is to achieve happiness?

Anam Tanoli – Pakistani model who hanged herself
Cause of death – Depression
Saifulla Jamali – a final year student of IEFR shot himself to death,
Cause of death – DEPRESSION
Rushaan – a student from BNU who ended her life by jumping off the fifth floor of her university –
Cause of death – DEPRESSION

How many more lives are we willing to lose before we can put this stigma against mental health to a stop?

With a really touching foreword, the novel “Abhi Jaan Baki Hai” reaches our heart before we even begin to read it. It says:

For all those lives, which have been taken away,

And which have life in them as yet,

I will remember you till the moment I die,

I don’t want to see and memorise more of such faces

It should now stop!

As person who personally suffers from disability such as dyslexia, Changez Raja knows exactly what “stigma” is and is aware of its adverse effects on mental health and well being of a person.

For him, it is not just a piece of writing or a story conjured from thin air, he has met, seen and been with a majority of his characters.

Featuring a story of “Hina”, a Mehndi beautician, from the inner city life of a mohalla from Rawalpindi, the novel aspires to raise awareness about the link between domestic violence and mental health, along with the social stigma that is associated with mental health conditions, particularly Asperger’s Syndrome.

“Abhi Jaan Baki hai” is due to be published by the 14th of Feb 2019 by Ilm-O-Irfan Publishers, however it has already started receiving wonderful response from established writers.

“I opened the book two hours ago, and just finished it with tears rolling down my face.
You have done a marvelous job…..it’s a relatable and believable story”

Novelist: Aamna Mufti


“The subject of this novel is a taboo and sensitive one.

Yet fundamental, making us all stakeholders”

Journalist: Ali Moeen Nawazish

Thank you Changez Raja Sahab, for highlighting the issue which no one has yet dared to speak about. We wish this small attempt of yours help those who are fighting their battles against depression, stress and anxiety to deal with their mental health without any fear of stigma and label.


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