Amazing people who make me go on n on n on:)

02 March, 2011

Suicide-Is it always the last option and is it really?

Suicide is something that you generally read about in the papers or hear of in the news with a distant third-person interest and approach, as something that only happens with ‘other’ people. However, when it comes around knocking the doors of your vicinity, it leaves you with a crumbling that gnaws at your insides and lingers maliciously often to grave consequences for yourself.

So when someone told me about a school friend’s sister committing suicide, it was a time-stopping moment for me. Here I was thinking and rethinking of her, let’s call her Aditi, and what could have led to such a major step. They were two sisters and I have spent a considerable part of my childhood visiting their home and thereby being equally friendly with Aditi, who was a couple of years older than us. I remember her as a blithe girl, with a care-a-damn demeanour and witty sarcasm for the world and its ways, but basically happy. She was not exactly a fighter but not really a loser either...a face in the crowd.

After my friend got married about ten years back and shifted to the U.S. I seldom met Aditi who also settled into a matrimonial alliance in Kanpur itself, except bumping into her at the market, or she would call once in a blue moon to find out about a boutique or so. I presumed she was actually fine, whenever I asked her ‘And so, how are you?’ and she would non-chalantly reply ‘fine’ and we exchanged random pleasantries. How generic has the word ‘fine’ and the query ‘how are you?’ become in modern times, we seldom realize!

And then out of the blue, one day someone told me she had hanged herself to the fan and given up on the shreds of life holding her so far. “Why?” was the first questioning that haunted the mind followed by many more...

Surely she had friends. Didn’t she have anyone close enough to talk to and talk her out of it? Or maybe she had ‘stuff’ she did not want to discuss and who tells others about the intentions to commit suicide just commit it and let the world know on its own.

But then such a serious step-what mind churning days she must have had prior to taking the final plunge. The haunting of ‘to do or not to do and what to do’, the going over of how it would affect the lives of those she would leave behind and the sheer helplessness of having no other option left but this. I could almost see her dying every minute with such thoughts for days together before she was actually pronounced dead.

I don’t know why her struggle was haunting me for we were not exactly bosom buddies. I didn’t even know if she had children or whether she was working... it was THAT distant an acquaintance. Yet the memory of her smiling face, refused to leave me as much as I tried for it to. Also at the back of my mind was the harrowing of the fact that if such was my predicament, how and what her family would be going through.

I was in casual touch with my friend, over the Facebook but I could not get myself to ask her about it or even express my sympathies or personal grief. I didn’t know what to say, as loss of a life often and always leaves me dumbfounded when it comes to consoling those who are left behind.

What goes through a human’s mind before he or she decides to jump off the cliff of a seething, breathing life?
As regards everything else, even on suicide I had an opinion. I considered it as a lame step taken by those who are cowards and not driven and striven enough to fight the stumbling blocks thrown on their way to cause to totter. It is easy to sit at the side-tracks and preach as long as you are an on-looker, while it is a mammoth task to go through a mind-numbing torture that life might force you to relive every day. But with time and my own little struggles, a sense of maturity and sensitivity has perhaps dawned in

Not proud of the fact and as candid as I can get, the sense of suicide as an alternative is not really alien to me although not really akin to my skin either. Contrary to sighting it as a coward man’s territory, I now view it as a very brave man’s arsenal. Sure, you are in a situation that suffocates have no one to talk to who would empathise instead of sympathising or way or hope out of the misery that is consuming you up like invisible termites at relentless work, within the facade of a shining, proud peripheral. You watch standing hollow and alone at the edge of the ghat, how your identity or self-respect is submerging into the harsh lapping waters and what is remaining is just a physical body and yet your body just stands there and stares.

What stops you then, from taking that step past the descending ghat, into the tempting waters, to end the history of the mere body too?
The thought of those left behind-their agony of the loss of a loved one, their humiliation and your own of being viewed as a weakling. What stops is a sense of guilt of having given up on responsibilities that life brought your way, guilt for killing every day those who loved you, with questions that you would not be around to answer and consolation that you would never be able to provide.

It is therefore a super brave person, who can go past such thoughts and more, to realize how would it all matter to me anyways once my soul departs from the physical imprisonment. Mooh-maya is what binds us as long as we are one in the teething population count and stops us from abandoning being a part of this statistics so readily.

As much as I would love to preach that suicide is never an option, it sadly becomes one for many who are trapped. Running away would bring them a mortification that they would have to live with, no matter how far they go. Fighting back requires courage and that path we know is beset with niggling complications.

I would still implore to keep life as an option, instead of suicide. To carry on for the sake of happy times, however intermittent and few and search for these, however latent and illusive. Some wise guy once said, “Happiness is just like a quickie, while sadness is a good long f@#$!” Let’s make time for quickies hence. Whatever pain we go through, it is not worthwhile to leave it behind for those who love you not by lack of choice, but by lack of conditions...unconditional love, they call it.


CutePriya said...

thanks for taking up the topic...its something that even I ponder over...Facing the life's challenge needs courage...Suicide not easy either...

Bikramjit said...

Hi I remember writing an aticle like that when i was going through a very tough time myself ..

IT does take guts to go ahead and kill urself and I am so sorry to hear that it was someone you knew. Human mind is quiet how do i say is something which no one has been able to understand so far..

Such people need lots of love.. I can understand what you say that we shud think of who we leave behind and all that but sometimes you reach a stage in life where you cant see any of that .. its like a blind dead end. most of the people who do it are the ones who feel alone..

We ponder over the thoughts why they did it but we dont know what condition they have been what they have been going through .. Sad very sad state of mind that is ..


Rahul Khatri said...

Quite thoughtful SC. The way you write really provokes the mind to think...whether its about letting out that cheeky monkey out or the thoughtful wise side.

And speaking about the post, its quite a good thought and analysis. Its really distressing to just even think about the thoughts of the one who's about to take such a step. But honestly speaking, there are only few who are really the ones who have this as the only option! Its just that they cant see the other options and the value of Life. And these days its become a trend sort of. Its not that all the ones who do it are cowards. But honestly most of them these days are. Whether it may be a student who's expecting a result or may be a quarrel with someone or silly many things which we cant even think of. Even I say jokingly at times dat such ppl shud be brought back to life and then sentenced to death. Coz they deserve to die not once but twice!

But I also agree that are such poor mortals who really dont have any other choice and one cudnt really do anything about it but feel bad. All we can do is just pray for the departed soul and rather create a peaceful feeling within that alas(may be) he's now free of all the miseries. We just need to send those positive vibrations to the soul. So that it doesnt get sadness even after death. And the transit to the next life becomes easier for them!

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

About an year ago, a student here at our institute hanged himself to death. No letter, no note, his parents just found him in his room when they woke up.
And we couldn't help but wonder, what happened that he took such an extreme step. Did he not think about his parents, how many deaths would they die, or friends, or himself. They say aatmdha is the biggest crime because you killed someone you loved, probably the most.
But yes, the victims have a different perspective. It might be like all the doors have closed on them and they seem to have lost everything that they thought they had.
It's brave to face death, yet it would be cowardice not to face the world instead and speaking out.

Blasphemous Aesthete

Ria said...

Nobody knows what goes on in the mind of the person who takes such a drastic step to end his/her life. As much as we wud like to dissect this topic n give our opinion on it....
Its not easy for the person who decides to take such a step all of a sudden. Mebbe they feel that this is the only way to end all the problems in life. said...

Thought provoking ... but all my thoughts are echo of yours other others who have written before me. People who do take this step are brave in my eyes. Brain is a mysterious organ and only the person knows the situation he or she is in. I can only pray that no one close to me takes this step for I am selfish and do not want to go through the loss. So it would be just for my and other loved ones sake ... and if I ever reach a point that I decide to take this step ... then I think it would be to punish the people who love me ... 'coz I think this is the worst punishment anyone can give the ones he/she leaves behind - Unanswered Questions and Guilt. Will kill them alive!

Me said...

My cousin decided to end his life 6 yrs back and we are still wish we could have had that conversation. Wish he could have talked to us and we could have shared his problems.

I know it is easier to say ki fattu tha and all.. but killing oneself is a major decision and a requires lot of courage :(

I wish people could reach out to each other more often....

Talha said...

Suicide is not even the last option for me

Asma said...

We should never think about suicide. All of us have to try to love and life will turn out fine.

Jack said...


Almost all of us at some point or the other in life consider committing suicide. I as a layman have my own thinking on reasons for a person to take this step. Those are suffering an illness beyond recovery, feeling of guilt after doing something which in own eyes is not acceptable thus inability to face near & dear ones after that and sudden provocation. And all three situations can be overcome if one can have good ear to talk to. When one takes this step, mind is totally clouded with the problem faced and logic is not there at all. If there is even a little thought that what legacy one would leave behind after such step instead of AAP MARE TO JAG PARLAY ( When I die, it is end of the world ), that would be deterrent.

Take care

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Sakshi said...

I am sorry Su, I couldn't even go through the entire post.
I have my reasons.

I just want to say, that, life is precious and sometimes, the whole magic of having that life is lost on to us. There are things that no one can fathom, sadness that is hidden behind the fake smiles and death, the inevitable solution.
I wish that, sadness could be read like a book, and help could be at hand!

I really hope and pray, that we don't lose the magic of life and preserve, whatever we have to make the best of it- because- There is always light at the end of the tunnel!

Linhy said...

Interesting blog and thoughts you got going on there!! Check out my blog sometimes when you get a chance. If you like my writing and what’s on there become my follower!

A Great Liar said...

Suicide is by no means an option, ever, life is all about what Dylan referred to as fighting against the dying of the light, and we should do that to the last minute.

Interesting read.

suruchi said...

Hi CutiePriya,
It’s like a khaye on one side and a kuan on the other...
Like they say between the devil and the deep blue sea, when the situation in between is actually no better:/

suruchi said...

Hi Biky,
You are absolutely right when you say that such people need love and such are the people who feel alone...
Being alone especially in a crowd can be devastating!
Thank you for the thoughts. We can only hope things like these don’t happen around people we care for or anyone for that matter.

suruchi said...

Hi Rahul,
I would never sympathise with students who commit suicide because of lesser grades and the like.
It is really unfortunate that parents have to bear the loss and love for such foolish children who do not realise that if they are breaking the grades expectations of their parents, worse is breaking those expectations where they would like to see their children in front of their eyes for life.

And the rate at which this ‘seclusion in inclusion’ syndrome is becoming is scary. We are with people and in all the activity and yet alone!
They really should be brought back to life and then sentenced to death.

suruchi said...

Hi BA,

“aatmdha is the biggest crime because you killed someone you loved, probably the most.”

That’s an amazing line...if only we all understand the import of it.
We make that person suffer, we kill that person’s desires, we make life hell for that one person whom we love the most...ourselves.
If only we could turn things around for us in the other positive way.

What you mentioned about the student hanging himself is such a sad waste of life and love spent on him.

suruchi said...

It is never easy agreed...and hence the need for such souls to get guidance...wish there was a less judgemental forum and wish everyone had friends whom they could trust and speak their hearts out with.

suruchi said...

Hi Tanvi,
It is a punishment...more so for those whom we leave behind and less for us who actually get released.
That’s an intriguing take...maybe a few strange minds actually commit suicide to punish those around them.
N yes, may we or anyone else never have to go through that pain

suruchi said...

Hi Me,
I am so sorry that you had to go through that and I can’t even say that I understand the agony cause no one can ever.
But the sad part is that we never really know that someone is sad to such a proportion till something tragic like this happens.

People talk about their sorrows but rarely about their intention to end their lives and it always leaves us with ‘it is too late now’ regret.
Thanks for reading n sharing your view.

suruchi said...

Hi Talha n Asma,
Suicide should not really be the last option.
In fact if it was an ideal, perfect world, I would say it is not among the options at all...wishful thinking perhaps can get us there!

suruchi said...

Hi Uncle J,
That is what I meant..for many it is a battle of what we are leaving behind and for others it is a care-a-damn...once I am gone and released, what bindings remain?
An ear to talk to that does not transcend into a mouth to talk about it outside or criticise you, is perhaps the rarest commodity in modern times!

suruchi said...

Would do...thank you!

Hi Linhy
Would check you out...thanks for dropping by

suruchi said...

Hi Sakshi,
I understand baby, whatever the reasons may be...and you never have to say sorry.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel...but sometimes the tunnel becomes excruciatingly dark and long.
Let’s pray for more patience for everyone and the light appears sooner than later.

suruchi said...

Heylo AGL,
Fighting is what we all do always, right?
Fighting with life or for life and sometimes to end the dumps of life!
I do agree that we should keep fighting and this was an attempt to plead to do the same.
Giving up is difficult but yet easier in comparison!
Thanks for reading!

Sudhir Kekre said...

I had a very moving experience a few years back. i met some really clever boys from IIT in the train when i visited india. one particular boy impressed me very much. he was reading ' To kill a mocking bird.' such taste at 19!
imagine my shock when i came to know that he too had hanged himself. Hope his soul is rested. The world became that much poorer.
a thought provoking article indeed.

suruchi said...

Thanks Sudhir,
It is indeed a sad waste of precious life and happy faces!

Punam said...

Hi Suruchi... this is what I had written - I asked the same questions like you did here:

But there is something I wish to tell you - that the state in which a person is when he is in grief or depressed, we can not fathom with a normal mind, It's a state of loneliness and despair that sends shivers inside the brain. It is a medical condition that needs to be addressed, because any person in his senses does not usually find the guts to go ahead with the step. The thinking mind reminds him of pain, of disability etc.
But the depressed mind does not THINK. Such a person actually feels the depression in every vein of his body - it's not just a state of mind. The depression, the sorrow and the sadness take over the soul, and one just wants to end everything because THAT depressing feeling is not going away. It's THAT feeling one actually hates because it reminds you of how things are so bad in your life. If you have ever been hysterical in a state of very high fever, that is the feeling I would easily equate to the mind that is pushing towards suicidal tendencies.
Apart from lots of love, medical care and a good psychiatrist is absolutely essential to avoid repeating episodes of depressive symptoms.

Sujatha Sathya said...

i had just read your post on ur mother & as i was scrolling down your other posts, this one caught my attention - quite obviously because of the title

i have been there & back
(my own experience documented here -
& i was curious to read your perspective

m glad you were not judgmental at all, which is the easy route to take & in fact tried to know & feel & wonder what must go thru a person's mind who contemplates suicide. kudos for that

Anonymous said...

Well i got to ur blog today itself through twitter n started reading n reading..
i came onto this post n thought of commenting on it coz i have experienced something like that from up close n personal..
Firstly my views - committing such an act is total cowardice, is a disease, or it can be just a knee jerk reaction.. people get hurt, angry or even to the extent of getting depressed.. Its either an act of cowardice where people just get tired of thinking "why is this happeneing to me..."
Depression is the most common cause when a particular person has no one to open upto... that is something which i think friends n family should recognize, talk it out, get treated n lead him to happiness..
As per astrology or as per life - however people take it - difficult times r bound to come in our life at some stage.. how we react to it, face it, come over it coz eventually its gonna get over decides how we r gonna lead our lives.. those who give in are known as CASES...
Now coming on to me... well am a doctor myself, a young one at it, got married n guess what - My wife tried to commit sucide bout 8 months into the marriage.. She survived that Purely coz of i should say Gods grace n my family's Luck.. Or else my parents n me wud have been in jail for sure.. (reason i hate these laws)..
Now we r getting seperated n still in the process (reason i am posting this as anonymous - later i shall sometime comment again) but the reason for seperation is not that we r having any problems but that we talked to her family for showing her to a doctor who will treat her n may b lead her to a normal life..
Now this is another reason for these cases which is people think that if they go to a psychiatrist they r labelled MAD... they r not ready to accept it as a normal disease which can b cured…
So its on to us to keep a watch n if we find anything amiss in anyone, talk to the person to get out of him the reasons n get that to the family concerned..
Well this has become a whole long blogpost rather than a comment bt then just wanted to share it I think..

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