Well this one is not set on the same light-n-funny tone as my earlier post â€˜What is lifeâ€™ was. This one starts with a rather sad story of a fourth year IITian. Vijay committed suicide a week ago. He was found hanging in his hostel room, when after a dayâ€™s absence, his friends broke open the door. And there he was. Dead! Lifeless! Gone forever. [news link]
Why did he do this? The apparent reason highlighted in the media was that this fourth year EP student of IIT Bombay was short of attendance in some course(s) because of which he was not allowed to sit for the final exams. That meant he would have had to do one more year at the institute. He couldnâ€™t face that, went into depression and finally committed suicide. Dead! Lifeless!
That was the â€˜apparentâ€™ reason. The real reason is this. He misjudged reality. And when something happened which he could not face (because he had not dreamt of that; because it was so unreal to him) he couldnâ€™t take it anymore and he took his life. This I should state is the more general reason why people commit suicide.
Most of them who take their lives do it for the same reason. They are the people who never give a thought to â€˜allâ€™ that is possible with each passing second. When they step out of their hostel rooms to attend their classes, they only see the class, the short-term goal. They forget that thereâ€™s something called probability. And just â€˜everythingâ€™ in this world has an above-zero probability (however small that may be). That basically means â€˜anythingâ€™ can happen at anytime because the â€˜everythingâ€™ includes every damn option. And that does mean that as soon as they step out of their hostel rooms, the probability of a big and sharp peace of metal flying towards them and hitting them on the face and making them blind forever exists. The metal hits they eyes; the eyes are gone. No, they are not dead. But suddenly they are blind. Their life has changed in a second. Is that really unreal? Only if they never thought something like this could â€˜everâ€™ happen. Once you know â€˜anythingâ€™ can happen, you know â€˜anythingâ€™ will happen. Should the inability to see the world the way it functions, be a reason enough to end oneâ€™s life?
Reality is accepting the fact that you are never going to be the same person all the time. The change within you (or within anyone else) might happen within the blink of an eye, or it might be so slow that you wonâ€™t even notice it. The change could be for your good or on the extreme side, it could be the most disastrous thing to have happened with you. Do realize all the time, that you can hardly do anything to ensure either the magnitude or the rate of this bound-to-happen change. Realize the reality.
And then go ahead and ask yourself this: will you really want to live a life even when you are not the same person anymore? even when you have lost all the wealth you had? even when you have lost both of your limbs?
To answer any of these, and answer them â€˜logicallyâ€™, you will have to answer this first: why were you living a life at the first place? And that also means that if you cannot answer this, you cannot actually decide â€˜logicallyâ€™ whether you want to live your ‘new’ life after the â€˜changeâ€™ or you just donâ€™t want to.
When someone goes into depression, he cannot think logically. So he goes by instincts. Instincts might tell him that he would never like to live anymore. But that might not actually be the correct conclusion. When does logic work in pain? The pain is just too much to tolerate. And there he ends his life. Dead! Permanent end to all his pains. But wait a second. Wasnâ€™t this step a permanent end to a â€˜temporary problemâ€™? Donâ€™t you think that if the same person was made to come out of depression by some close friends and then asked to think about the whole issue â€˜logicallyâ€™, he might have had come with a different answer all by himself? Going by the logical way he would have first questioned himself about the real purpose of his life. After getting an answer (if he had been lucky enough), he would have moved to the next question: Could he really achieve what he wanted in life with the changes that had happened in his life? And then finally after getting an answer to this question he would have decided the action to be taken: to live further or to say life a cold good-bye. And then whatever he would have done would have been justified.
I ask you now to name me a single person who committed suicide without getting into depression. And when you fail to find any, you should realize that these people who took such actions failed to think logically. Their actions were based on their instinct which was affected in turn by the pain they felt because of the sudden change in their life. The pain was too much but then it had to recede. All they needed was time. All they needed was some support, some love, some affection and some more time. And then their decision would have had made any sense.
Talking about sense, does it really make any sense to blame the â€˜systemâ€™? How is it that all others in the same system are still surviving? How valid a question is this: Did the system kill IIT-ian? I will leave the answer to the reader.
What I look for is a solution. Isnâ€™t there any solution to prevent such tragedies? There indeed is. Before that I would like to mention few things. To begin with, one should not conclude that Vijay committed suicide because his Professors did not allow him to sit in the final exam (because of his own fault of course). We should also not conclude that he ended his life because he was upset about his choice between CS at IITG and EP(or whatever branch it was) at IITB (some of his friends did say this could be a reason!). All these explanations are superficial. He committed suicide and so do many others because he went into depression and he failed to think logically.
And now the solution. What is needed is nothing but the help of friends around such people to make them recover from apparent-tragedies, apparent-failures, apparent-misfortunes and any of these sucking feelings. All of us should be sensitive enough to others around us, listen to their problems and let no one take this irrecoverable path.
I grieve the death of a fellow IITian (and a senior to me) and sincerely wish something like this never happens again. But then the damn â€˜probabilityâ€™! Ok, I would rephrase my wish then: I sincerely wish that the probability of tragedies like this goes down and further down and down andâ€¦