Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Suicide..No!

Nithya sent me a mail about an interesting article, in which the author chetan Bhagat speaks of his opinions about suicide :

Nice article by Chetan Bhagat

Last week, an IITian committed suicide. People who commit suicide do it when they feel there's no future. But wait, isn't IIT the one place where a bright and shining future is a foregone conclusion? It just doesn't add up, does it? Why would a young, hardworking, bright student who has the world ahead of him do something like this? But the answer is this—in our constant reverence for the great institution (and I do believe IITs are great), we forget the dark side. And the dark side is that the IITs are afflicted by the quintessential Indian phenomenon of academic pressure, probably the highest in the world.

I can rant about the educational system and how it requires serious fixing, or I can address the immediate—try my best to prevent such suicides. For this column I have chosen the latter, and I do so with a personal story.

News of a suicide always brings back one particular childhood memory. I was 14 years old when I first seriously contemplated suicide. I had done badly in chemistry in the Class X halfyearly exam. I was an IIT aspirant, and 68% was nowhere near what an IIT candidate should be getting. I don't know what had made me screw up the exam, but I did know this, I was going to kill myself. The only debate was about method.

Ironically, chemistry offered a way. I had read about copper sulphate, and that it was both cheap and poisonous. Copper sulphate was available at the kirana store. I had it all worked out.

My rationale for killing myself was simple—nobody loved me, my chemistry score was awful, I had no future and what difference would it make to the world if I was not there.

I bought the copper sulphate for two rupees—probably the cheapest exit strategy in the world.

I didn't do it for two reasons. One, I had a casual chat with the aunty next door about copper sulphate, and my knowledgeable aunty knew about a woman who had died that way. She said it was the most painful death possible, all your veins burst and you suffer for hours. This tale made my insides shudder. Second, on the day I was to do it, I noticed a street dog outside my house being teased by the neighbourhood kids as he hunted for scraps of food. Nobody loved him. It would make no difference to the world if the dog wasn't there. And I was pretty sure that its chemistry score would be awful. Yet, the dog wasn't trotting off to the kirana store. He was only interested in figuring out a strategy for his next meal. And when he was full, he merely curled up in a corner with one eye open, clearly content and not giving a damn about the world. If he wasn't planning to die anytime soon what the hell was I ranting about? I threw the copper sulphate in the bin. It was the best two bucks I ever wasted.

So why did I tell you this story? Because sometimes the pressure gets too much. Like it did for the IITian who couldn't take it no more. On the day he took that dreadful decision, his family and friends were shattered, and India lost a wonderful, bright child. And as the silly but true copper sulphate story tells you—it could happen to any of us or those around us. So please be on the lookout, if you see a distressed young soul, lend a supportive, non-judgemental ear. When I look back, I thank that aunt and that dog for unwittingly saving my life. If God wanted us to take our own life, he would have provided a poweroff button. He didn't, so have faith and let his plan for you unfold. Because no matter how tough life gets and how much it hurts, if street dogs don't give up, there is no reason why we, the smart species, should. Makes sense right?

-------------------------------End of Article

I used to have a different opinion about suicide, thinking that well if you think you had had enough of life, you should be independent to take this decision.

I changed my mind, and very much so, after u realise the value that this life had given you. If you ever feel that you don't have a lot in life....

If you are a human being, you are probably among the luckiest living beings on earth....its a gift that God has given you,

Living in a civilised society, where your personal freedom is not taken from you, its a gift that not many people have...

If you have good health, you are gifted with it, a gift that many people spend their life dreaming about...

If you can simply read this blog entry, you have received a gift of education, which a good majority of people on this planet have not had....

And Suicide is leading you to? If you think tht you'll have a better life in your next birth ...i wonder who ever went back to his or her previous birth to speak about the wonderful life you had....

Doing good deeds in your life, hoping for a better life in your next birth, is a valid and acceptable action, according to me, because that in some way collectively makes this world a better place to live in. Giving up things or sacrificing good things in life, might also be an acceptable way of going towards it, though people have different opinions about it...

But then, life is a gift....a gift that God has given you, and you have to live on........

and if you feel tired, just think that you are performing a duty that God has given you, and the road will be easier...

Maybe this sounds philosophical...but then thats how it is...my opposition to the concept of suicide stays on....

1 comment:

shalini said...

Very true... The article just re-enforced my views bout suicide!

LiFe is too precious to waste over minor setbacks or heartbreaks...

We do end up laughin over most of our mistakes of the past... so why not just live and wait for the present to become the past!!