17 January 2005
On the edge
Most people have been there, at one time or the other. Also, everyone's thought that no one has had it as bad as them. Some come back, some don’t. But how does it feel to be there? What does it take to end it all? Just how many dreams have to be crushed, how many humiliations, how many people to not have by when you need them the most …
In my bluest of blue times, I have never actually thought of killing myself. I was born to live. Almost all of us are. What is the psyche, then, that goads some of us on to death? Maybe it's cruel of me, but I cant bring myself to sympathise with the suicidal. Suicide means absolute acceptance of hopelessness. If you can be so strong about being negative, why not be strongly positive, instead? Not that I am a raving 'positive thinking' kind of person. No amount of positive thinking will wish away your pain. If you feel rejuvenated by some feel-good book or talk, rest assured, it's just momentary. It's just a trick your mind is playing on you, so you get a breather, so you 'forget,' and get on with life. Yes, your brain does try to 'forget' things for you, which is good. But never force yourself to forget – else you will remember each excruciating detail.
Coming back to suicide: look around you, hasn’t there always been at least one person who's braving the storm and still smiling? Also, had anyone promised you that life is going to be a cakewalk? It's fine to be complaining about life, but is it that cheap to toss it away? People struggle, so they can live. And here I am with my broken heart, and think about nothing except my miseries. And cry that the world is going by without giving a damn about me. Honey, have you given the world a chance? You just slammed the door on its face. All of us who think that we got the worst deal, well, wake up. If it's a farmer in a Third World country, then I would probably not deny him the resentment (far too many things are going wrong for him, and setting these right is a global challenge), but not anyone else.
Am I wrong in the way I feel about suicide? Maybe life is simply too scarred for some. Maybe the beyond holds more promises than the present. Maybe. But too many things in my brain say I am right about this. The system could be freaking rotten. But by killing myself, I make it all the more unbearable for the people I leave behind. Kin of such people are doomed to a sense of guilt for life. The question that will haunt them forever is: "Didn’t I listen enough? If only I had done this, probably she would be living today …"
When each cell of a living organism is built to fight the battles of survival, how can some humans defy this basic instinct? And if suicide is a failure of the individual, the society, and Nature even, does making it legally punishable help? If a person does not have the right to end his life, how does the State get that right?
Death defines life. It is the knowledge about the temporal nature of life that makes it so beautiful and desirable. The gods envy us (Remember the line from Troy?), for we have life. And we have death. But the painful part is, it seems we have a choice.
Jeene ke liye socha hi nahin, dard sambhalane honge
Muskuraye to muskurane ki karz utarane honge.
Posted by Vijayalaxmi Hegde at 10:55 am