Life is a blessing and a joy to be lived and experienced to the fullest. But sometimes for an individual, it becomes a burden and he is forced to take the extreme step of suicide. Loss of life is a tragic event in any of its forms.
What are these forces that drive a person to such a pit that he sees killing himself as the only solution to his misery, suffering and pain? These are the forces of betrayal, shame,depression, failure, defeat, heartbreak, helplessness or loneliness.
I came across this novel by Sriram Aiyer – “The story of a suicide” recently. Once i started reading it, i could not keep it down till i had finished it. The story is interesting and narrated in a very unique style with each chapter focusing on different issues faced by the youngsters in our society. It is the story of Sam, Hari, Mani and Charu and how their lives are interconnected through deceit, betrayal, hurt, passion and heart break.
The book vividly captures the pressures these young people face as a result of stereotyping and non acceptance by society. Hari is sexually abused by his own uncle but fails to find any confidante within his family and friend circle which drives him towards frustration, loneliness and despair. The hurt and pain he experiences makes him completely hopeless. A person can face extreme difficulties if he has hope, even if that hope is just an illusion. Lack of support system of any kind is his undoing in life. Even his parents refuse to believe him when he approaches them for support and help. He is warned against hallucinating by his doting dad who later refuses to accept that his son is a gay.
Later Hari finds a friend and partner in Mani, but his trust is soon broken. This episode in particular is quite ironic in the story as Mani himself had reached a point in life because of despair where he decides to end his life. Luckily life gives him a second chance to live. But he himself becomes the cause of despair and reason for a friend’s complete disillusionment with life which forces him towards the doors of no return-suicide.
The book can be read here http://www.storyofasuicide.com
Many shades and stages of lust, passion and love as experienced by Sam and Charu are well portrayed. Ego of a person can drive him to even hurt and harm the person he once confessed to truly love. Sam resorts to snooping on Charu by implanting a software Jarvis in her devices to record her activities, but this act of his had far reaching effects which he had not expected in his wildest dreams.
The lines which i found had a deep meaning and were profound are mentioned below-
“When a person loves another to fill a void, then the relationship is doomed for failure. It is born out of fear, insecurity and low self-esteem. And this is common among men and women. But the way both of them handle that during and after break up may be different.”
Saar, this is my son Manivannan. I am a labourer in a brick kiln from Devarapalayam in Dharmapuri. I have never been to a school saar, but my son is very intelligent. His school head master told me that he has scored big marks. I am very happy. He is my only hope saar. My husband ran away with another woman, when Mani’s brother was just two months old. My Mani will become a very big man and a collector one day. I am confident. Saar, will you take care of my son?” Alex remembered this scene distinctly.
This book by the author is a strong and very timely initiative to bring into focus the lacunae in our society and its detrimental effects on sensitive individuals. After each chapter in the book, a guidance column on’ how to cope ‘ on different topics like heartbreak, loneliness, betrayal, sexual abuse, harassment and bullying are given in detail. One can find great suggestions and course of action to follow in times of despair. link is –http://www.storyofasuicide.com/how-do-i-all.html
To be strong and cope with the hardships in life, one should strive to develop inner strength. Instead of looking for happiness outside, get in touch with your inner self and achieve true contentment. Keep your expectations low as when these don’t get fulfilled, the hurt caused is immense. Be your own true friend and practice self love. Accept yourself completely and stop looking for approval from others. Learn to move on , let go and forget. You cannot move forward in life if you are buried under the burden of past mistakes and regrets. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help from family, friends or professional psychologists. You don’t have to suffer in silence while fighting the external or internal demons.
I would recommend this book for reading to everyone as it carries pearls of immense wisdom and learning. Let us strive to the best of our capabilities to bring this topic into focus and discuss solutions to stop suicides at all costs. Its high time society and we, as integral parts of this society learn to let go of the age old prejudices and stop judging and stereotyping people. Everyone deserves freedom of choice and right to live peacefully.
pic and video credit: storyofasuicide.com