A recent conversation I happened to overhear allowed me to come to the conclusion that people throw the word “suicide” around a lot. “This client is so annoying. I want to kill him first and then commit suicide.” These words by themselves seem uncalled for. But then I overheard the rest of the conversation. Which again was nowhere related to the above statement. Just some random cock and bull story. So yeah, people throw the word suicide around rather callously. I do too.
I have always thought that it is easy to greet death like an old pal as and when it comes. Even when you take the call to end your life. Someone once told me suicide is selfish. Not really. What goes through a depressed mind is easily much worse than what the depressed mind’s family will feel after he/she dies. “Human Attachment” they call it. This made me wonder what it was that Aruna Shanbaug lived for. She was a woman scarred first by a man’s cruelty and then by the unrelenting judicial system. A woman, who was ready to leave this terrible planet and move to a better place (if there is one). Death came to her after 42 long years. And while the media dropped the Nepal victims and Salman Khan to cover this story, I can only imagine what a huge sigh of relief Aruna must have felt. Her case is often touted as an admirable trait of human survival. That may be the case. More so, it is an example of how human attachment drives those around you to do extraordinary things. Kudos to the nurses of KEM hospital who took care of her all these years.
A friend died this week. He had an accident. He was back home for his holidays. He didn’t deserve to die. It’s been eight years since we actually spoke to each other. Nevertheless, we’d bump into each other and exchange pleasantries. Around this time last year, we had a proper train ride together where we discussed our future plans. That was an oversight. The day of the funeral was visibly gloomy. The word of his passing away had spread within no time. I am usually averse to funerals. I never know what to wear or whether people still carry flowers. But by the time the family arrived with the coffin and the priest did his monologue, I found myself tearing up. Memories. I came across several of my schoolmates. Some of whom I was seeing for the first time in eight years. They were equally sad. Sad enough to not acknowledge me when I said hello. Is that what death does to people? Makes you forget the living? I don’t know. All I know is that this young man was more than another statistic. The fact that there was no standing space inside the church is proof of that. I somehow found myself wishing it was me instead of him. Is that selfish?
I agree goodbyes are hard. Be it an office retirement party or the sight a dead body being lowered into a pit, the pain is equally strong. There they are, all chirpy and lively, and then they are gone. Never to be seen again. Maybe that’s why a farewell is given all the frigging attention in the world. It must be simpler when the person going away is alive. As you may have guessed, I suck at farewells. Makes me queasy about the thought of my passing away. I have always wondered who’d come to my funeral. Wish I could get a bird’s eye view of the same. Very Tom Sawyer-ish, eh! Don’t worry, my fixation with death ends there. It’s not like I’m going to kill myself.
Dedicated to the memory of Roger Dias. An exemplary friend and human being, who passed away way too early. May his soul find peace.