Padmapriya’s (Local MLA’s wife) suicide incident was still fresh in my mind and had generated many a waves of thoughts in my mind and I read friend Vikarn’s blog posting on a friend of his attempting suicide. The waves of thoughts now overflow from the container of my mind and falls on my blog.
The phone rang and as I picked up the phone I heard the voice saying, “Samvartha, do you know Rajesh committed suicide” “what?” I screamed. “You eccentric people just make lives miserable for the rest” she said and banged the phone.
She always saw Rajesh and me as synonyms. Our birthday and our bent of mind everything did match though we were different. But she somehow liked to see us under one umbrella named ‘eccentricity’.
I walked to Aravinda’s house and informed him about Rajesh. As one can expect there was silence. We called up other friends and informed them. We were waiting for the body to be brought to his house, so that we can pay our final respects to our talented friend. We waited, speaking about how a man becomes a ‘body’ after he dies. After waiting for long we got to know that the body is being taken to his native place and is not being brought to his house. It was the 16th of February 2005.
On the 18th I went to my friends place who had informed me about Rajesh on the 16th. We sat on the stairs and she made me promise her that never in my life I wouldn’t do something like what Rajesh did. She criticized Rajesh for having committed suicide. As she spoke about suicide tears rolled down from her eyes. “You know, I had a brother. He committed suicide. I was young then. But I very well remember how much my mother suffered and she still cries for him. You people will never understand what harm you people do to others. Imagine what Rajesh’s mother is going through now. He is gone. His family survives to suffer”
As I walked back home from her house, I remembered her words and the images of Rahul’s mother when Rahul’s body was brought home flashed in my minds screen. Rahul, my childhood friend had passed away in a mysterious accident. A life was cut short early. I remembered how his parents suffered the death of their son. Yes, it must be the same grief that must be in the air that breathes in Rajesh’s house and in my friend’s place who told me “He is gone. His family survives to suffer”, I thought. The cry of Rajesh’s mother and that of my friend’s mother and their families echoed in my mind.
”Death is not a problem, but dying is” said my dearest friend Govind once. How true! People say “cowards commit suicide”, which is not true. It’s the strong people who commit suicide. Because it takes a lot of courage commit suicide.
My friend, who accuses me of drinking
Drink and see, drinking is much harder.
Oh martyrs, who died for the country
live and see living is much harder.
– Bhupi Sherchan.
(Translation from Nepali to English by Prashit)
Yes, agreed that living is tougher than dying. But it takes a lot of courage to die. We live not because we dare to live but because we don’t dare to die. We tell ourselves what Sheik Ibrahim Zauk said and hide our lack of courage to die:
Ab to bechaini se yeh kehte hai ki mar jaayege
bad-az-marg bhi chain na paaya to kidhar jaayenge
(now, out of distress I say- I will die,
if I find no peace even after death, where shall I go?)
How many times the thought of ‘dying is better than living such a life’ doesn’t pass our mind? But what stops us from taking the step? Yes, its not death which scares us but dying!
If someone has to triumph this fear of dying and commit suicide what an overpowering reason the person should be having? However trifle the reason would appear to us, it is an overpowering reason, when looked from the eyes of the person. We can’t deny that.
The cry of the silence of the one who committed suicide, has anyone heard it? He must have said something when he committed suicide or may be there is something that he had to say which he couldn’t and is trying to say through the act of suicide. If cry is a language of communication even suicide should be! What does a suicide (or attempt) try to say?
What does suicide cases communicate? That a soul departed or does it say that we- the world- failed to keep alive the desire to live in that soul?
My friend Pattabhi says that every farmer suicide is a murder. True. To me every suicide is a social murder.
If that cry of silence was heard, understood and attended at time, may be the desire to live wouldn’t have died. That cry is not a cry, to me, it’s a crying whisper, which holds its arms ahead and begs for understanding. Even suicide attempts beg for understanding. Un-understood agonies un-attended agonies lead the path to suicides.
Does the voice of the suicide and the one who commits suicide get drowned in the mourning of the family? People can hear their cry but not the silent cry of the dead.
Is dying the only option? No its not. But yes its one of the option. Is it a sane one? Don’t ask me, for I personally regard life as precious.
I remember what the protagonist of the Oscar winning film THE SEA INSIDE says at the end:
”living is a right, not an obligation”
28 June 2008