The recent suicide of Twitter comic Akhil Mehta - someone so full of life and an inspiration to many - took me back to an open letter I had written in this column last year. It was in response to an e-mail written by a teenaged reader who said he was depressed, just as Akhil apparently was, and on the verge of committing suicide.
With a heavy heart, I'm reproducing my response to him, here. As a silver lining, it might just help to add that he wrote back to inform that he has given up on his plan to take his own life. A ray of hope always lies, somewhere.
Relax, I'm not going to write about who you are and what you wrote in your e-mail to me. In fact, I'm not even going to talk about your life or about the problems that are making you feel like ending it. I'll talk about my life, if that's fine with you. When I got your mail, I wrote back that you're seeking advice from the wrong person.
This column deals with day-to-day stresses, by looking at the lighter side of life. And in this hay time for Babas, much as I'd love to grab this opportunity to turn into a spiritual guru, I am neither qualified nor capable of advising someone on serious matters involving life and death. But while I hope you benefit from my suggestion to seek immediate help from a professional counsellor, I still thought of letting you know that you aren't alone.
I, and surely many of those reading this right now, would have, at some point in life, got so fed up of problems that we'd thrown up our hands in the air and said things like 'what's the use of such a life?' Some of us have had troubled childhood or super stressed student life with unrealistic expectations. Some have witnessed domestic abuse to the extent that Karan Johar's 'happy family' movies seem like mean, teaser, fairytales. Some want to die because they are not getting married… some because they have got married. And some are in real bad physical pain… and so on.
But still we're all here, crowding out the earth and adding to the population explosion. Here's the thing. I don't know about your problems… to me, my problems seem like the worst. And still I won't end my life. Here's why you shouldn't, either. No matter how bad my problems are, I could still look around and always find someone who envies me. I know the mission suicide gang doesn't agree with this. But it's true, nonetheless.
Compare bad marks with having no opportunity to study, or parents who fight, with having no parents at all… or not being able to marry the girl of your choice with someone who is banging his head on the wall because he did… (all girlfriends turn into monster wives! Now, I'm dead). If you are further deep in pits, just think of someone in an impoverished, faraway village who'll happily agree to be in your shoes, just to be able to have food. Suddenly, your mother-in-law saying bitchy things about you doesn't seem like a good enough to reason to die, isn't it?
No matter how unwanted I may feel at times, someone somewhere will surely be at a loss if I die. Even if it is the 10-year-old on the traffic signal, whose name I don't know, but he knows that everyday he's able to sell me packs of pencils I don't even need by just smiling and saying 'please'. Unknowingly, each one of us is a part of someone else's life. It's an interconnected chain… and therefore it can't be our arbitrary decision to willy-nilly snap a link. We are not allowed to be that selfish.
And finally, no matter how strong my resolve may be to end-it-all, what's the rush? I don't want to go without knowing what God may have in store for my future. And these astrologers are bad, they just don't tell me. So, I won't go. Maybe by some stroke of magic, my misery is anyway destined to end a month from now. Maybe I'm destined to be the next superstar (okay, fine. It was just an example, you don't have to shake your head that vigorously). How can we be in such hurry to opt for the unknown without waiting a little bit more to see what unfolds here? And who knows, maybe life's even harder up there, and you may find yourself in some remote corner of hell with no food… or Facebook.
It's irreversible, silly, put those sleeping pills aside. They anyway cause indigestion. M my friend, don't think I'm making light of your situation. I can only try to imagine what you are going through. And I'm sure it's very, very tough. But, my only point is that we're all living through our respective hells in life, and we've kinda got used to it. I'm not sure if it'll be a good idea to try and trade it for yet another unknown hell. It may just be worse. Just wait it out, things have to get better. Suicide is not the last resort….it's just not an option… at all..
Sonal Kalra keeps telling others to not give up easily but no one seems to listen to her. Oh God, this is so depressing. What's the use of this life?
Mail her at: sonal.kalra@­hindustantimes.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/sonalkalra13. Follow on Twitter at: twitter.com/sonalkalra