I too contemplated Suicide

Harsh Kalia’s untimely demise left me sad. I cannot claim to be close to him. I just met him once and I have a very hazy memory of that meeting. All I remember is that he was a good looking young man with a winning smile and charming manners.

Each semester Manipal loses at least two three students of suicide. Every time someone dies, a part of us dies. A beautiful bud is nipped even before it blossoms.

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When we are depressed, Suicide seems a very attractive option. I too have considered it often. There is no shame in accepting it. When you live more than fifty years, failures come like unwelcome guests and refuse to leave and you often see yourself staring at the bottom of the barrel. Life doesn’t seem worth living.Suicide

It first happened during the final year of the college. The second time when a police officer foolishly handled a loaded revolver for me to admire.

He had come to protect me from the angry workers in the factory. While he proudly explained the mechanism of the revolver, I was thinking of killing myself. Death was just a click away. The third time it happened in Miami.

But each time I survived by a hair’s breadth. The images of parents and family members flashed. My over active imagination created scary scenes of grieving parents, doting brother and sister and loving nephew and niece. The hands faltered and the moment of madness passed. Suicide didn’t seem like an attractive option any more.

Along with the moment of madness, the failures too passed. Success tasted that much sweeter. I realised that to enjoy the halo of success, one has to travel the dark tunnels of failures first. One who has never suffered the ignominy of failure will never fully enjoy the exhilarating feeling of success.

So, did I never feel depressed ever after? Far from it, life kept throwing lemons. I had to see the tragedy of losing both the parents, I struggled with alcohol and bouts of insomnia. Business failed and friends deserted. I felt lonely and abandoned. There didn’t seem any future. I suffer terrible mood swings which can sometimes leave me terribly depressed and sometimes create a false illusion of happiness. I had to dig for the strength within.

It was then that I re-discovered my passion for writing. It gave me a feeling of liberation. In that euphoria, I wrote ‘ Pizza Porn’. It is a light hearted and frothy novel. I wanted to bring a smile on the faces of people. Whether I succeed or fail is not important.

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There was another upside too. I can now cherish the look of contentment on father’s face as he died peacefully or mom’s serene face as she slept peacefully never to wake up again. Their family had stood by them. Each time when I sleep without a pill or stay dry for a period, I celebrate it like a minor victory. There is also that satisfying feeling that if you haven’t been responsible to bring any happiness in someone’s life, at least you haven’t been responsible for bringing grief to the loved ones.

Life is meant to be lived caring and loving. And when you love someone, you give undiluted and unconditional love without expecting anything in return. To take one’s life would be selfish.

A failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. When one door closes, a few more open. Life offers many opportunities. We do not know when, where and how. The trick is to wait for that moment and grab it with both the hands. Sometimes, that opportunity may slip. We have to keep trying and create another one. Keep knocking. Bad luck would tire one day and leave shame facedly in the darkness of the night.

Harsh is no more. No more are the other countless misguided souls before him. They cannot be brought back no matter what we try. But their death teaches us the value of life. It is a lesson, sadly learnt with a huge price tag.

Let us learn that lesson and remove the word ‘Suicide’ from our lexicon. That would only be the fitting tribute to the memory of Harsh and the others before him.

Anyone with issues please do not hesitate to share. We shall fight it together. Write to me on sudhirkekre@gmail.com or meet me when I in Manipal from March 7th -10th. I promise there will be no sermons. Just compassion and understanding from someone who has gone through that turmoil.

About Sudhir 58 Articles
Author of a two novels, Pizza Porn and Rambler Inn and Other Stories , nothing about Sudhir has been cool and smooth. Trained to be an engineer, he realised that he wasn’t cut out for that role. So he left engineering and worked abroad for a decade. He saw three ghastly terrorist attacks from close quarters. Whether it was Mumbai or New York or London, the response has been the same - of fear, outrage and sheer bravery.
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  • Sudhir

    Thanks Shantanu, Thatte, Vishwajeet. It is indeed a serious topic which has to be addressed by one and all.

  • S W THATTE

    i am in total sync with your words and thoughts … you seem to have seen life in the same bracket that I am … the point is if 2 or 3 suicides are taking place in Manipal every year …there is something drastically wrong with the place and the way the speed of relegation are affecting … one needs to go into the depth of why Harsh lost his life … I am told a lot of students are not attending classes due to the new addition of the laptop in their college bag … movies and games all nite are keeping them from their basic study routine …at SRM University, Chennai the wi – fi shuts off at 10 pm… the reasons for students like Harsh losing their life because parents were outside India and the student was living in a flat type accommodation , missing classes , demoted , alone , break down of communication with parents are all possible reasons to throw yourself under gravity ! Manipal student forum and MB must take this as a challenge to seek help of the Psycho docs to enrich those who are lonesome … every student after such a incidence MUST pass through the hands of a team of confident Psychological Support Staff…. The day at Kamath Circle and Tiger Circle can not be the same – some one needs to break this voodoo : 2 – 3 deaths by suicide… when the fees are high and life is precious , which parent will send his ward to a place which gets accredited with such recurrence … INSPIRED BY LIFE has become INSPIRED BY DEATH …. someone in and around Udupi and Manipal needs to address these issues in a big way …issues which have haunted the student community with low grades and high suicide rates : due to unknown reasons – for NO one is bothered to FIND it out … Who will ? .. Who has the time ? INSPIRED BY WHAT ? a lovely campus life is torn between LIFE and DEATH ~ unending passion for the slice of a Pizza … good education !!! but at what cost …. alas ….

  • Vishwajeet

    people take life too seriously. everything you said, i accept it. But we need to realise that happiness or sadness is a phase, which will pass.
    People need to explore the spiritual depth in and around them (instead of being bluntly stuck up in the physical world). It’ll help to see things clearly so you can move on.

    Great article though, couple of good points you’ve made. May God give peace to the dead.

    “Death is so final. Whereas life, ah life is so full of possibilities.” — George RR Martin

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