Just as 2015 was preparing to leave amidst the usual spirit enlivening Christmas cheer and ushering in of New year, a very happy spirited, well natured and sensible boy next door in my neighbourhood attempted suicide.
He had his reasons. Everyone does. Nobody commits nor attempts suicide on a whim. It may seem trivial to us bystanders, but maybe only they would know what hell breaks on them.
I have honestly never been able to completely empathise with them, but yes, I do not judge them. I do understand that every individual have different levels of tolerance, handle stress in different ways, and what may appear as a ditch to one, can mean an abyss to another.
We were shocked when we came to know of his self-assault. But seeing his family's trauma was heartbreaking; especially his mother. For a week, he battled between life and death, and his family and friends joined heaven and earth to keep him alive.
The second shock came when he attempted to end his life again in the middle of second week. None of us could understand him this time.
Was he insane?
Is he so lost that he cannot see his family's plight over him?
Didn't he value they love for him?
This time they brisked him off to Bangalore, and the Almighty knows what more they did to bring him back to life this time; psychologically even. He's finally out of danger now and recuperating well.
But this incident had me thinking, how fickle our hearts and minds are. They play such games with us, that our very lives depend on their muse. We make snap decisions heeding either of these two, and so many lives are put at stake. They are even so devious in their working, it takes more than just strong will and self control to escape their traps, and save ourselves from becoming a slave to them.
Suicide has become such a common cause of death in present day world, we hear about it everyday. We sympathise with some, we are shocked over few others, and some don't even affect us. History and literature too abound with such cases. And there seems to be no telling what can trigger such an extreme reaction, or who are most at risk. Studies suggest, those who seem most tough-going and joyous in their attitude are also more likely to go down this path.
I find this theory has logic. Just take the case of my neighbour. Nobody would have even imagined in his nightmare that he would choose this way out. Yet he did. Then among the renowned and famous, one which affected me the most was of Robin Williams- my favourite and most inspiring actor of Hollywood. Such people are so adept to hide their pain, that we wouldn't even know when their dam breaks.
There are signs to look out too, if you find someone close to you under stress. Timely support and caution can prevent the disaster.
In one of the personality building classes held during my high school years, our instructor asked us to always ask ourselves one question whenever we feel so helpless- who is the loser in the bargain?
The people behind the problem? - No. In a way they've succeeded in making our lives a hell.
Those who survive us? - Yes. Life will move on, but few loses leave a void.
We, the dead? Definitely. We lose our life and all chances we could have got to set things right, and all the chances we could have got to start afresh.
I have one question to add now. Does our ending our lives end all problems? The aspects concerning us may resolve, but what about the problems and trauma that arise in the wake of our death?
And for anybody contemplating such a move, as a friend I have only this much to say,
"Where goes thou?
Leaving us all behind?
Things will look up.
Please don't go.
We love you.
We need you.