It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are – E.E. Cummings.
So much has been spoken about life, its challenges and about doors stuck in its hinges. Let’s face it; every individual is here to learn from his experiences in the form of lessons meted out over various incidents. Many people are not adequately equipped to handle the crisis presented to them at various stages and situations in life. Added to this are the tough living conditions in the present times, where both the husband and the wife work to support their family. One of the major drawbacks of this situation is, neglect where kids are concerned. The challenges of meeting the household and work commitments can be overwhelming to an extent where after a long day; all they would want to do is unwind.
Having none to share their concerns with, many children are forced to seek counsel of their equally ill equipped peers. It is then, not a surprise that there are chances of them going astray. Child abuse is one crime which is increasing at a rapid rate in recent times. It is shocking to note that most of these crimes are committed by members within the same family. When visiting uncles, aunts, cousins find the victim alone at home; these crimes are committed under the oblivious eyes of the unsuspecting parents. Scared, ashamed and panic stricken, with none to confide in, the victims resort to committing suicide, as a solution to their predicament. Most parents realise the facts quite late while others remain engrossed in grief, choosing to ignore the compelling reasons which could have led to this act being committed.
The Suicide Story – by Sriram Ayer is a story which revolves around four characters, Mani, Sam, Hari and Charu. A well woven intriguing story portraying the issues faced by youngsters in today’s world. Each character has a dark past, one that torments them all the time, which they wish to wash away.
Mani’s past revolves around his crush towards his teacher in high school. When she hands her wedding invite to him, he is devastated. Things at his home front are stressful, with his father having deserted them, making his mother the bread earner of the family. He becomes subdued and tries to commit suicide in the hostel but is saved in the nick of time by a fellow student Charu. He is made to understand the value of life and after a lot of soul searching, he accepts his sexual orientation. The fact that he is gay does not bother him anymore as he is freed of holding this truth to himself.
Charu is a young beautiful girl studying in the second year of M.sc Development studies. The rate, at which her mood swings happen, put her friends on tenterhooks, making it difficult for them to understand her. Having worked with an NGO dealing with sex workers, she comes to understand them from close quarters. Her attitude towards men is distorted, wherein she feels that every man is an opportunist, looking only for sex from a woman. She resorts to teaching them a lesson by seducing them to the brink of heightened levels of intimacy, only to discard them immediately, leaving them high and dry. She gets a kick out of this activity and it becomes her weapon against men.
Hari is a victim of child abuse at the hands of his own uncle (his mothers own brother). The horror his uncle puts him through, right from his childhood scars him permanently. Sodomizing him with his friends, beating him up, makes Hari lose touch with reality. His parents turn a deaf ear to his pleads which pushes him down into depression further. Unable to face his past and come to terms with it, he finds it tough to accept his sexual orientation. But after some serious introspection, he accepts the fact that he is gay and is freed of guilt and shame. But when his lover treats him the same way as his uncle had done years ago, he breaks down. When his father comes to know about his truth, he accuses him of bringing disgrace to their family. This is as much he can take and he commits suicide.
Sam: Is a gadget freak and a genius with technology. Born in an affluent family, he grew up in a large palatial house with plush gardens and takes international holidays very often. He was dating his classmate Priya, who broke up with him soon after, as their outlook on life was not same. He meets the vivacious Charu in college, and is attracted to her. Little does he know about Charu’s attitude towards men? Confused about his feelings, he tries to take revenge from Charu when she ditches him.
This story highlights most issues faced by people of all age groups in today’s world. From child abuse, alcoholic spouses abusing their families, sexual orientation issues, sex workers and their issues, love, lust, revenge, betrayal, choice of educational field, parental pressures, peer pressure, ragging, mockery, to income disparity issues and more. The story opens in the college hostel where Mani tries to take his life and Charu saves him. Being a witness to this and in order to escape his miseries, Hari commits suicide in the end, when his partner Mani betrays his trust and Hari’s father ridicules his sexual orientation. Is suicide a solution?
My views on this:
Today’s fast paced world has resulted in poor bonding within families. Lack of time and interest levels due to various reasons has made one on one communication a rarity, these days. Too scared to seek help from a professional counsellor, many youngsters are resorting to the extreme step of committing suicide.
Here is what you can do to help yourself and the society
- Each family must make it a point to set aside some fixed time on weekends to address issues within the family. The members of a family must be encouraged cogently to come out with their problems.
- Right from the time children are small, parents must instil good values in them. Pampering should be avoided and the child must be taught to be responsible for his actions. Discipline is mandatory and all efforts should be made to see that the family members adhere to it.
- Good and bad touch must be explained to the children from the age of kindergarten itself so that there are minimal chances of abuse.
- Coping skills should be taught to all members of the family.
- At least one parent must be available to the child at all times in case of emergency and when in distress the child should not be rebuked and sent off.
- Hobbies should be inculcated in each member of the family which they can work on as a team.
- The family is the best support system one can have and efforts should be taken to strengthen the bonds.
- Parents should attend classes on conscious parenting, so that they can address all kinds of issues in an effective manner.
- Suicide is never a solution to any problem. Professional help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist must be sought if matters turn critical.
- Most people commit suicide with the aim of hurting the people who they feel are responsible for it. Sadly, this is not the case. People who may have moved on can be least bothered by this act. They may actually heave a sigh of relief that they were saved by cutting this association at the right time.
Your life is a precious gift, given to you. It is important to learn coping skills, take professional help when required, and do anything to get out of the mess created by you. And when you bounce back, with a brand new outlook towards the same issues that once bothered you, you will fall in love with the new you. And who knows, the people who hurt you, might want to get back with you again. Whether you should allow them or not, would be a decision made by an efficient you!
So before you ring the bell
Snap out of the vicious spell
And have people tell
About how you snapped out of your hell
This book jogs your mind, unleashing the realities of life. Here is where you can get more information on it http://www.storyofasuicide.com/
Images Courtsey- Kidshelpphone.ca, cbc.ca,