I just read an article, ‘Inside a Suicide’ in Femina (7 Sept’11 issue). It says, 1 suicide happens every 4 minutes in India. Stress & depression are the main reasons. In Mar’11: A woman, in Bombay, had thrown her kids from the 19th floor & then jumped to death. I could see the scene flash across my mind - the fear in the kids’ eyes’, the mother’s desperation & a moment later, their 3 lifeless bodies.
Why did she do something as horrendous as pushing her kids off the 19th floor? Why & when do we decide to commit suicide? Every suicide victim makes one last attempt at life. They wait for that one person, with whom they can talk & share their agony, somebody who could listen to them, & not judge, but just empathize. If only someone, anyone listened! Isn’t that why they leave little notes – their last shot at being heard? Deep down, they all really want to live.
I’ve heard older couples talking about the “ups & downs” of their married life & how they braved it, & today stand as an example of an ideal marriage. My “downs” were those 2 years right after marriage. My daughter was born in June’06. The helplessness, & hopelessness, I felt in the months immediately after that, is something I’d never felt before. I felt SO SO LONELY for the 1st time ever in my life that, within 5 months of her birth, I went into severe depression. Office, husband, baby’s needs, no emotional support, responsibilities, no sleep, house work, constant fights, baby’s constant wailing & crying, no proper food & care, family angle, everything seemed to come together & hang over my head like the Damocles’ sword. Those were the only weak moments in my life where, I felt I can’t take it any longer; I wanted to end the trauma because no one cared for me anyways.
I missed my mother.
And then, one day, in sheer desperation, I found myself going to a medical store & asking for sleeping pills! He asked me for a doctor’s prescription. I then planned that, I’d try my luck, & go around asking 1 pill from every store, & once I’d collected 36, I’d be set. Why 36?!? Well, I’d heard that you needed 36 for an overdose. But I couldn’t get a single pill. No prescription!
I then thought of the fan. But I was a complete coward. I wanted a painless death. Hanging felt gruesome. You had to push the stool from under your feet! I could tie myself to the fan but pushing the stool away? No, no, I couldn’t do that. I thought of the railway track & poison too but I chickened out!
But that wasn’t the 1st time I’d thought of death, & been terrified by it. I remember my bungee jump in 2005. I went up, very excited, & put on the safety gear, filled with anticipation for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Standing at the edge of the board, I looked down. He said, “Now jump”. An inch further & I’d be plunging down, head first. But at that moment, I just couldn’t propel my body any further. I still remember that ONE second of intense fear. Finally, he nudged me & I fell off. Trust me, the actual hanging in the air isn’t as frightening as that one second just before you fall. That second is utterly, absolutely, terrifying.
I managed the courage to bungee jump but it takes another kind of courage to end one’s life. And in this case, to be a coward is a good thing. After all, God never tempts us beyond our point of endurance. No matter how bad the days seem, we can always walk through it, one day at a time; because life is too precious to waste on anyone or anything. And I, for one, love my life too much to let it go to waste.