Biharilal and Ganga are daily wage labourers. He had seven children. His eldest, Chhayya, a 16-year-old, was barely literate. She used to look after the household and her siblings when her parents went out for the day.
But she was really scared for the last three days. Because in a country called Switzerland, some scientists in an institute called CERN are experimenting on something that could destroy the world.
Chhayya was worried that the mountains would crumble, the earth would burst open and her parents and siblings and everyone in the village would die. Her father assured her that nothing would happen.
But she believed what the television channels showed repeatedly. And decided to end her own life before everything ends in front of her. On Tuesday afternoon, she consumed poison when she was alone in the house with her youngest sister.
Now, Biharilal is cursing the day he allowed his 16-year-old daughter Chhayya to watch television at a relative’s place in their village, Ashareta in Shajapur district. Biharilal said, “Chayya had asked me a number of times whether the world would end as they were saying on the television.”
Ganga said, “We did not think that she would end her life because of this. She was so sensible and being the eldest of the six siblings, she managed all of them while we went out to work.” But they could not gauge the intensity of her fears.
When Biharilal returned home on Tuesday, all Chhayya could say was, “The world will end tomorrow”. She died in the wee hours of Wednesday. The world moves on.