Just finished reading, and listening to the audio version, of Sriram Aiyer, The Story of a Suicide. The story begins with a suicide note:
I am going to die.
I am leaving. I am tired of fighting. I am tired of struggling to survive. I have finally made a choice today. Yes, I give up……….’
I kept reading to the end of the book, to find out the ‘I’ who committed suicide. Was it Hari, Sam or Mani. Charu was the least possibility because she is headstrong, fearless, adventurous woman who tackled many trying situation in her life from her childhood. There are many instances in the story where Hari seems vulnerable to commit suicide, on the other hand Sam’s (Sambamurthy’s) adventures with technology and social media can make him suicidal. And Mani already exhibited his suicidal tendencies.
‘The story of a suicide’ is a psychological thriller which will be liked by the youth of today. The story takes you through the psychological battles of the youths of today due to the changing lifestyle, which has become more liberal than during my college days. Unlike the straightforward emotional issues of affairs, relationships and education two decade back, now the youth seems to fight psychological battles about sexuality, homosexuality, insecurity, and career choices.
The story of a suicide not only deals with the issues that lead to psychological turmoils and suicidal situations in youngster, but also show how some of them succumb to vulnerable situations, while others brave the vulnerabilities. The background stories of the four main characters is narrated, which gives the readers a fare idea about why the character is reacting to a situation in a particular manner.
There is a beautiful drama ‘Caesar meets Draupadi’ in which they both discuss their insecurities and their views about the opposite sex. Draupadi tells Caesar “You know, history has often described me as strong, ambitious, cunning, selfish, confident, brave and even manipulative, but no one has talked about my loneliness, my insecurities, my pains, my disappointments. I also wished for a life of happiness, of being loved, a life free of loneliness. Being lonely is cruel. I have even considered suicide few times.” and Caesar says “But thinking about that day helps me wonder how women so cleverly manipulate their emotions making men powerless and weak.”
When I read the Title of a story, I just recollected all the suicides that happened recently. Seems like they killed themselves for minute reasons, which could have been easily ramified had the attention been paid at the right time. One family man committed suicide simply because he did not get salary for a few month; A boy commits suicide because he is insulted in school for not paying the fees; Another boy commits suicide because friends and family made fun of him for his unnatural height.
Two thoughts went through my mind after reading the story o a suicide – Did they all commit suicide for simple reasons, or did they also have some complicated psychological turmoils like the characters in the story. Maybe they were also fighting some complicated psychological demons, stories which were too frightening and unbelievable for the ordinary mortals in their family and social circle.
Once when a teenage school boy committed suicide, the mothers of teenagers in school said that no children would commit suicide for just one reason. ‘The reason’ only serves as the opportunity to commits the grievous act. So the mothers decided to use some technique to remove the suicidal tendency from the kids:
- They talked to their children everyday.
- In case the kid was in a bad mood, they talked with the child without rebuking.
- They kept in touch with the kid’s friends, classmates and their family.
- Had family meals once in the day.
- Told them that suicide is the act of a coward.
Suicide is said to be an act of an impulse, which can be reverted by some providential interventions. A women relinquished her bid to suicide after hearing motivational address on television in the background, just as she was tying the noose. Hope that someone who is on the verge of committing suicide will read ‘The Story of a Suicide’, pick up the positive instances in the story, and comeback to their life.