Suicide is different

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Suicide. It feels all too familiar and yet so distant. Like it happened yesterday. Yet, like it never happened at all.

The recent news shook me, and I have since then been a little disturbed. I decided to take the plunge and explore what it is as my words try to streamline what my mind cannot.

Death and Suicide. The end result might be the same. But suicide is different.

A great many questions are left unanswered. One can’t accept the end outcome. Because one can’t understand why the process that yielded the outcome happened in the first place. What he must have thought in his final moments, we think. We try hard and scratch our heads. But to no fruits.

We are collectively caught in an endless loop of trying to accept, searching something on the internet, thinking some more about it, ending up in an unresolved state. Our emotions are unresolved because the life we are so painfully caring for ended unresolved- some dreams and some moments were left for some other day. Only here the other day will never come, the life will always have an unresolved ending, and our emotions will eventually seek answers to new questions only to occasionally glance back at the void in the ‘answers’ column we see today.

One of the frequent responses to the event we see is ‘I wish I knew. I wish I could have reached out’. In saying so, we welcome a pang of perpetual guilt, a kind that will in some cases forever stay. In all practicality, we very well know we would have never really known, but we wish. And on doing so, we are trapped in a bottomless pit of ‘I wish’. The heart strongly holds on to this idea even after years have rolled on. In some cases, decades. In some, a life.

It’s impossible to accept at times. That somebody so full of life can choose to not be a part of it anymore, is astonishing to the living mind. The restlessness of life appears a thousand times more appealing when compared to the peace of death. But what if a soul was just too static to see a dynamic viewpoint? Just too peaceful to see restlessness. Which brings me to one of the other responses to the event.

‘He was weak’. The zone that that human was in, is hard to fathom. Maybe, the illusion of life is wiped out for him. Maybe, he is seeking some greater meaning, some bigger truth. I am not advocating the action as right or heroic. I am trying to understand just like you. Perhaps, in that indescribable zone, the person understands that the pain is temporary but sees no point in contributing further to the opera of life. He sees his character dragging on or wasting precious screen time. He perhaps feels that the closing arc to the character is just about the most welcome thing at present. He gives it. I wish that wasn’t how the person felt. But again, I just wish.

I read last night about a ‘happy’ couple who decided to end their lives. I was a bit unnerved by the whole episode. The Ranthidevans lived in the quaintly peaceful village of Merces In Goa. They were in their thirties. They hanged themselves leaving behind two key elements to throw light on their unique path- a paid hotel bill of approximately 8 lakhs from Taj Vivanta in Panaji, where the couple had spent most of the last two months and a suicide note which read-

“We have lived a very eventful and happy life together. We’ve travelled the world, lived in different countries, made more money than we ever thought possible, and enjoyed spending as much of it as we could on things that brought us joy and satisfaction. We believe in the philosophy that our life belongs to us and only us, and we have the right to choose to die as much as we have the right to live. We leave behind no debts or liabilities. We have kept Rs 10,000 in an envelope for expenses. We are making this decision in our individual capacities.”

This true story doesn’t fall comfortably into the logic and belief systems we live by. But maybe it’s not meant to be understood by us. The ones it was understood by have left us.

The writers in the article beautifully summarise it when they say-

“A dream apartment in a boutique housing society in picturesque Merces, which, forgotten until now, is riddled with questions it was trying to escape. Merces, a hidden alcove, so close to the city yet so far; where a happy couple killed themselves, scripting an enigmatic tale of modern urban despair.”

Now coming to what triggered me to write this.

Honestly speaking, I was not a very big admirer of Sushant Singh Rajput. He was surely in my book of Good Actors. But not my favorite. Not that actor whose movies I tracked and watched with enthusiasm. Then why does it affect me so much? Why has it thrown some of us into a self-inflicted semi-paralyzed state? His story of how big dreams can be achieved with perseverance is one thread. His love for science, astrophysics, and life in general, and his infectious curiosity, are some other threads. But what has shaken us all so resonantly is perhaps the fact that somebody so young and promising renounced ‘fame and success’- something we are working hard towards. Sure, we are connected to him via his pleasing personality, his skilled art, his cinemas. But deep down, it’s the shock to our fundamental belief system that is causing worry and, subsequently anguish.

I started with the argument that suicide is different from death. The unanswered questions linger and haunt and then linger further. I think the same applies here. Sushant’s fifty dreams will keep us guessing ‘why’.

We all admire lives lived on their own terms, lives that lived freely. But our opinion flips when it comes to exiting the mega theatre. We like to have a nature’s call. We take it relatively well when the spirit of life is extinguished by death called upon by nature, and not by the free-spirited life itself. This dichotomy is what some souls choose to defy, and in the process, leave us firmly planting many questions that Google or Books don’t have an answer to.

Suicide is really different.

If you appreciated my thoughts, do share this with your friends who like me are still processing the tragic event!

You might also want to read the poem Death.

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6 Replies to “Suicide is different

  1. The law says ‘Suicide is a crime’. Since we come to this earth by nature’s call so we are supposed to be here till nature calls us into its own lap. Maybe if we do not obey it, we might get trapped till our time comes to naturally die . May be in that phase we may be more troubled than we were on earth. May be ‘as the scriptures’ say born again in this ruthless world to more frustration and a lot of fuss..

    1. I completely get where you’re coming from. Actually, I wrote this to understand/empathize with people who take the suicide route. I was trying. Of course, I am with you, and this should not be a step in any case at all!

  2. A very well written article! Nice to see the hyperlink added to it for additional information. However, I so wish I had not read the entire article of the couple, it was kinda disturbing to read about it. But I am glad your article is way better in that case.

    This was very unfortunate which had happened and one cannot ignore it because it’s been all over the media from a few days now. And then her sister in law as well…which we all must be aware of. I am like half shook of what’s happening around us these days. I believe it’s not very unusual though, because at one point in life, even I felt so useless in life, that I felt like what’s the point of this life anymore. But then I remembered a quote by Sri Sri Ravishankar Ji that says “you are useful and you are needed.” And I believe our life’s purpose is way above than what we can imagine and we are no one to take it away ourselves.

    1. Beautiful thought there. ‘You’re useful and you’re needed.’ Yes, our life’s purpose goes beyond what we can immediately see.
      Thanks for reading and investing so much thought in my article.

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