Monday, 15 August 2016

The Story Of A Suicide

The Story Of A Suicide is a gripping novel by Sriram Ayer. 
It expresses some serious social issues that today's youngsters face. It also raises pertinent points.

Can a suicide be prevented? Can we as a society ensure that there's no suicide & thus no - 'The Story Of A Suicide'?

There's a saying in Hindi- 'Na rahega baans, na bajegi baansuri'. 
It means that- 'If there's no Bamboo, the flute cannot be played (& there will be no music)'.

Unfortunately, the characters have to face the music, if the situations turn out in the dangerous sequence as portrayed in the novel. The Wikipedia and Youtube descriptions of suicide leave much to be desired. 

Here is what the novel depicts:

Parental Hopes & Aspirations & Need for Support-
"My Mani will become a very big man and a collector one day. I am confident. Saar, will you take care of my son?"
"I was never around for both of you. Especially after Hari, I became very busy. I have been a good father no? I will be shattered if something happened to him."
Parents pin a lot of hope on their kids, and look for external support. But, they must be a pillar of support when their child has erred, confides and needs them most. They must encourage and help their child to cope up. For this, the parents need to be grounded and be prepared to accept the worst. Sometimes, all that their child needs is their support & approval...

Parent's Sixth Sense 
“Hari! My son, my child, my life, I am there for you. I am coming. Nothing will happen to you. Please…please someone help! This can’t happen to my son. I would not allow this to happen. Please take me. Please spare him."
Parents know when something is amiss in their child's life. Then, why not attend to it rightaway? Need is for proper counselling.


Child's Desire
"I will one day make her proud, Charu. We are good people; my mother is a good human being. I will not let her suffer anymore. I will make her live like a queen, and that is the only way to show our revenge to the man who gave me just his sperm."- Mani
Children want to make their parents proud. Hope every child gets to prove her/his worth.


Morals & Morality
"Morality is a moving target. What’s theirs needn’t be yours. As much as you have a point of view, they have one too. The drama between people on different points of the pendulum makes one compelling story..."
“When you are poor, surviving consumes your life so much that we do not have the luxury for such drama."
Morality depends on us and our attitude.
It's all about English Vinglish 
"I could not understand English. I am so ashamed of myself."- Mani
English is important in today's world. One feels like a fish out of water without it...

Dependence on Social Media to Express Emotions & Share with the World

Twitter & Facebook posts have ample mention as they are a way of life. Today's generation has- Fragile Lives And Social Media
They can prove to be killing... Better to use gadgets in moderation... 
“I am going to throw-away my phones, laptop, everything, all electronic devices. I should have done this much earlier."- Charu
Need to Express Without Fear & Judging-game-
“I really like how Mani is able to express his past and sufferings with absolutely no fear. I will never be able to share my past with anyone. I have never shared it even with Anju. I like him. Hope I can share mine with him someday. Does he like me?"- Hari
“But the more I got to know you, I really started liking you. Actually I am inspired by your free spirit. Your ‘don’t care a damn’ attitude. Wish I could be like you. But can’t. I will always be a loser. Someone who never had the courage to speak out." - Hari
Friends can prove to be role-models. Everyone should get the freedom of speech and express freely. Pent-up feelings must be released.

Freedom to be Raw & Just
"Everyone is living a life of fear, hypocrisy and political correctness. I respect rawness any day." - Charu
“See, I don’t subscribe to suicide or hurting oneself. It is cowardice. But if you are threatened with injustice it is important to give it back." 
“Much of our problems can be negated by killing our impulsive and reflexive responses. Aren’t our responses mostly to fight? Inflicting pain on ourselves with the hope that our pain will hurt the other is plain stupid. People just don’t care." - Mani 
"But remember this, when you try to possess a person, love evaporates soon. When you truly love someone, give yourself completely. Allow yourself to be completely consumed by it, but never be selfish, always think of giving first. Let everything else flow naturally, including sex. Just be brutally honest to yourself. If it’s right you will know it."- Madhavi Ma'am
Environment Consciousness
“A tigress was skinned alive and the merciless monsters had the audacity to film the barbarism and upload the video on Youtube."
“How could he do this to her? If I had the power, I would chop off his body parts slowly till he bleeds to death. He needs to suffer the way she suffered."
Poachers don't have to be spared.
Guilty Minds Are Not At Peace
"A sudden deep paranoia struck him. He did not know why he panicked, “are they talking about me? I did not do anything." - Sam
Apps & Content Upload Without the Victim's Knowledge
“So? It’s all in the past, she is public property now anyone can ogle at her." - Aditya.
Jarvis app is scary. Technology enables content to be uploaded without the Victim's permission or knowledge. Voyeurism reigns...One needs to be careful with gadgets & electronic devices.
Rape & CyberBullying
"Out of desperation to find justice for the deceased girl the journalist approached ‘Anonymous’ a loose network of hackers from around the world for help. They are very active against rape culture and cyber bullying."  - Hari
The Football team's incident in a US town called Steubenville in Ohio, USA is shocking. 
"It is important to treat the cyber bully like any other stalker; this approach helps us understand why one is doing it. It will help us predict what he or she might do next." - Anwar
Hacking
"The business of hacking is bigger than what we assume. There are people who will hack into any of our data; credit card, bank deposits, income tax records, passport information, email and phone actually anything for a fee. They work by the hour. They will work both for the good and bad guys."
Gay Relations
“See, I hate to be the jealous kind, but is it unreasonable to expect to spend my boyfriend’s birthday with just him? I hate myself speaking like this. Damn," - Mani
Women have Sixth-Sense too
"But you are for sure a man when you took a photo of my chest. Boys are more bothered about boobs than girls." - Charu

When One Feels Dirty & Hopeless...
“I feel like committing suicide now. Exactly how I feel now. Feel very dirty and hopeless," - Charu
"...violated his trust, his body and his heart. It brought memories of him being vulnerable and powerless in the clutches of his uncle. He was afraid again... He needed to secure himself. He wanted to breathe. He wanted to cry. Alone."
Is There Hope? Can We Prevent Suicide?
"We can win their hearts, everyone, including your parents. Please don't give up on life dammit. Well if everyone who has a problem decided to commit suicide, this world will be filled with only dead people. Stop being a whiner. There are people with problems far worse than yours but are still looking forward to a tomorrow with hope.Get up and prove that you are capable of something. Anything! Have faith. Have hope. Stop complaining!" - Charu
The novel teaches us about expressing feelings, emotions & about acceptance - "It is important to accept ourselves. Accept our feelings, our past, our flaws, our situations. I am not saying this in a defeatist way, but once you begin to accept, you will start appreciating what you have now and be grateful. This way we can be less anxious about life, more secure..."
If we all accept the reality and express and listen without being judgmental, the story can be much different. Sharing & communication can open the channels and set people free from shackles. What we keep hidden, weighs us down... 

The best way to be prepared for the future is to start in the present. We better be aware of the issues at hand and attempt to solve them.

The novel is about many real issues facing us today- Gadgets, Social Media sharing, Technology, Friends, Camaraderie, Child Rape, Adult Rape, Sexual intercourse, Gay relations, Dream narration & interpretation, Parental expectations, CyberBullying, Hacking, Environmental activism,  Suicide... 
While one student is saved from suicide on the campus, his friend may not be as lucky... or is he? To find out read The Story of a Suicide here and experience the crisp narration, the illustrations, the gyaan and the reality. 

My poetic message for all- CHOOSE LIFE, DON'T GIVE UP
"We may rue our fate & feel why we are in that situation.
Take help, my friend, don't resign to suicide/depression."
Do you feel suicides can be prevented? How can we help? 
Please share your views in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. YEs suicide's can be helped.. we need to talk to those. Remind me of a post i wrote ages ago.
    I feel it is a shame that we are unable to help , imagine how alone the person is.. it is SAD...

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete

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