She got the dinner table ready and called twice for her son. He did not respond. She smiled and thought he might have slept. He had spend his whole day in his room doing nothing. He could not clear his medical entrance test by just 23 marks. He was upset and depressed. With care and affection in heart she climbed up the stairs and knocked the door. There was dead silence. She called out his name loving with a smile only to recieve reticence in return. She was growing anxious. She called out to him again. This time, worried and aloud. Loud enough to wake him up if he was sleeping. There was still silence all around, except for the sound of her heart; thumping loudly, rhythmically.Two more knockings on the door followed by no response, now brought tears to her eyes. She rushed towards the key stand. She selected an old rusted key from among the bunch of keys and ran towards the locked back door; way to the corridor, opening to the windows of that room. She was filled with worry, anxiety and solicitousness. Multiple thoughts hijacked her mind while she worked with the keys. With eyes brimming with tears, she could not manage the keys inside the hole. Keys fell from her shaking hands, which she picked up immediately. She wiped away her ‘about to fall’ tears and somehow managed to open the lock. Her heart was thumping aloud. She somewhere didn’t want the lock to open. She wanted to hide herself. She wanted to escape. But she also wanted to see her son. She wanted to know how was he? And why he wasn’t responding? She kicked the door open, which was jammed because it had never been in use. With heavy legs, and equally heavy heart she walked towards the windows of the room. She breathed uneasily and opened the window of the room. She drew the curtains away. Her eyes could not believe what it saw. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t move. She wanted to slap herself out of the dream. But to her misfortune, it was real. She saw her son sitting on a chair placed next to the closet, with his back towards her. Head weirdly resting on the shoulders. A red pool of blood covered the white marbelled floor near his legs.
Siddhant didn’t look the kind of teenager who would succumb to depression. Tall and well-built with hair that was always gelled, the 18-year-old was known to his friends as a cheerful, happy-go-lucky sort of guy. A student who just completed his twelfth, aspired to become a doctor. He worked very hard for the paper for two years. But if he was bothered he didn’t show it to his friend. “I give up mom. I could not be a good son. After dad, I thought I could take his place. I thought I could give you the life you deserve. But I failed. It feels difficult to bear the load of failure. I QUIT. I hope you understand… Mom. Take care of yourself.” A neighbor read out the letter scribbled on a piece of paper kept on the table. Overleaf the note were scribbled random lines which threw light on his last moments. “This is my first cigarette after a long time and I’m not addicted to it. I have heard that it makes death easy. I am sorry mom.”
Her mother was stoned. Seeing the slit on the wrist of her only son, or let’s say her only family, she turned into a respiring corpse. Every breathe weighed his son’s dead body. It was not difficult. Rather it was impossible for her to accept this fact that her son has left her alone. Thoughts took form of clouds in her brain. She took her son’s head and let it rest on her lap. She patted his shoulder softly and kept staring at a point in space. She was smudged in his son’s blood and her own tears. There was no way to console her.
Today, even after four years nothing has changed. She is still a respiring corpse. She still reads that last letter of her son. She still sits in his room, on the same chair her son had killed himself, and take tutions for 23 unprivileged children, so that no mother has to understand her children’s suicide. So that no mother has to see her child die due to exam failure. Something that has changed, are her eyes. Eyes, that are now dry. That have now more pain stored in it. It was so easy for her son to say sorry. “How can you be sorry after shoving my whole life? How easily you hoped me to understand. How can you expect a mother to understand the death of her only family. Really?”-she asks her son. Her son completed suicide and died once. But her mother who is left behind alone, die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand … Why?
But, she is brave. She is not a coward like her son. She compromised her life as a living corpse. But she didn’t choose to die. She decided to live. She decided to live for other children. She decided to respect the life God has given her. And she is determined in her work.
Siddhant is not the only student to take the tragically misguided step of snuffing out his life to get away from the pressure of examinations.
Competition to be the first, pressure of getting good grades and reservation systems are the main keys to the many suicide locks.
- Why suicide you may ask! The answer to this problem lies in most of the households as well as the educational institutes in India. The immense pressure that is put upon children by their parents to pursue a career that guarantees their financial future has turned into a mode of mental torture of the modern century. The constant and consistent pressure on the students to take up courses and career choices, without taking into consideration the inherent capacity as well as the ability of the child itself, is causing students to feel completely out of place with their own needs and aspirations in life.
- A career choice is a make or break situation for a student’s life. In this type of decision and scenario, it is important to understand that instead of giving in to societal pressure, peer pressure and personal motivation of status, parents have to consider the choices, capacity, and the overall aspirations of their children first and foremost. By empowering a child to take his or her own decisions as far as career choice is concerned; parents are enabling them to take control of their own lives and thereby, helping them secure a future for themselves. By enabling students to take this choice, parents and schools are increasing the sense of self-confidence and independence of the children themselves, which makes them much better adults than being driven around like cattle.
- And we can also not neglect the various reservations aspect. Reservations and quota are again a major issue. I agree that it has many advantages like it helps the backward castes people to show themselves. But I find reservation systems hollow from the base. Instead of putting reservations on the basis of castes, why don’t we put reservations based on financial conditions of the student. Is it not possible that a SC’s could be a millionaire and can study in whichever college he/ she wants. A general category student can be poor and is in more need for the reservation, than the rich SC category student.
To all the students reading this:-
Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Think before acting.
I hope this will help some among us. Spread the word.