Why one should not suicide?

I was 16 or 17 when suicide thoughts stuck me on my face for the first time. It was totally normal, for every man-healthy and kicking- think of their suicide at least for once. This Albert Camus theory was further substantiated when I read half-preacher Paulo Coelho. “There’s always a void between words and action”, he wrote.

I had intrusive thoughts from a very young age. I was thinker – not in the stature of Aristotle; also a worrier. I was quite, laidback and introverted. All of this has a reason, something to pinpoint at my very nature – I don’t have a happy childhood. If you ask me why, I’d say I don’t know or may be I don’t deserve one. It’s not hard to digest as well, because not everyone deserves everything, right?

By the age 17 suicide thoughts consumed me. One day I find out that there’s not much left in me to live happy. Everyone said I was wrong. Of course, I was wrong. At that age one should not be soul searching, let alone think about killing one self.

Over the years I find it too hard to contain me. Thoughts of suicide popped up inside my head. I knew, this could not be the end of everything. But it was enough to destabilize one’s life. I had a guilt laden teenage. I had something in my stomach that won’t digest easily. I carried it fairly a long period of time until I felt I need to cough it out to someone. I never met that someone, but I did cough it out, before a counselor and she said I was wasting all my teenage and I can’t reclaim it, for its gone.

I knew I’m not going to die. Death solves nothing. It will be foolish to die one day without showing any resentment or remorse. Think about it, I’m living like everyone else. I buy groceries, going for movies, enjoying the sunset at Marine Drive and all in a sudden, without even hint, one day I’m dead.

It happens with people, though. I don’t know whether it’s the right way to do it. We all leave trails behind us. That let the people trace you. As you can’t physically present there since you’re dead, people are free to make their own assumptions. Sometimes people end up criticizing you, sometimes they upheld your value – both irrational things.

Why I don’t suicide yet?

Because I was afraid to do it. Failure could botch up my existence. Fear of failure was the only thing that stood between me and suicide. So despite being very passionate about dying, I was taken aback by the question which is half-certain to happen – what if I failed?

Then I find out it was not fear but the time that stops a man from killing himself. You give everything to time and hope for the best. If past hunts, one has to live his present in full. You can’t invite your past into present and let it jeaopordize your life. To cover the past you live the present to fullest. Time helps you achieve this. Time is not idle. It flows, in every direction. You float with the time. On the way, you let go somethings and you embrace some other things. Time teaches to outgrow. The only condition here is, you shouldn’t dictate the flow of time.

‘This too shall pass’ is the mantra I chant everytime my mind play tricks on me. You’ve to be patient to understand what’s happening inside your brain. It can program itself to make you believe that you’re in danger. Whenever this question pops up, before jumping to make conclusion, you’ve to analyse the depth of the danger.

When you’re in pain imagine the depth of it. How far the roots of pain travelled through your neurones. Ask yourself whether this pain is going to last forever. What’s the answer? — hours? Days? A Week? Don’t worry, just make a pact with pain and wait it to recede. You’ve to walk the path yourself inorder to drain the pain. 

Next, what if you don’t know how long will you have to bear the pain? Well, here’s the intervention of time comes handy. You give the question to Time.

You don’t have to retire from the question, nor do you feed it with new assumptions. Days bring in new characters, settings, properties and help you cope up with what you already know. Don’t take this as a futile excersice. Sometimes it takes more time for one to convince oneself things which he already knew, than things that are unknown.

Everyday is different. No matter how hard you try to prove the days all look same, there’s evidently differences in each second. Every moment is unique and for that very reason, you are missing a great deal of exclusivity.

One day you feel pain has infested you, like real hard that you’re about to die. You cry your heart out, have panic attacks etc… But, you survive because pain can’t physically cut or wound you.

The very next day, you feel the pain is receded. May be the next day, it’ll comeback with double the force of first episode. So it becomes a fight with the days more than it is against your thoughts.

Days wage this proxy war not to convince you about anything. But, that’s how days are. It has no reminiscence, it flows, it renews every moment and flies away like a beautiful bird.

Day are different so is the pain. You see ups and downs, everyday promises something new, A new pain or a new way to control the pain.

So put a check on the anticipation. Wait for the day to roll. One day, you’re almost dying of it. Another day you forget you had pain. It’s in this circle humans are bound to live and die. You chose to exit one day, you miss out on the upcoming days. Thus, the pain and pleasures are left out.

You can argue you never wanted to take this game forward. That’s good, but you’ve to admit all-things-beautiful life that you dreamt is never possible, or at the least it’s inside the heads of people and it’s too absurd to be true.

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Why you should not call a Woman (Total Stranger) Vaava on Facebook

When was the last time you heard a man, in his late thirties calling a woman in her early twenties a Toddler (Vava). Remember, this guy has no idea who this woman is. The only impression he has about this lady is she sent him a request on Facebook.

The request was more than an invitation to him, as he sends her a ‘Hi’ in the wee hours of morning (4 am to be precise). She didn’t respond instantly (of course she is not Apple’s Siri). Finally, when she saw this venerable man’s message in the afternoon, she did send a reply.

He kept shooting questions, one after another, before he introduced the monumental adjective Vava. She was taken aback. She never had a memory of someone calling her Vava. She was startled not because his epic reaction has anything to do with her reminisce. She was startled because she knew, with him uttering sugar-daddy words, an Idol she had in her mind has just been shattered into pieces.

This is not an isolated incident. Most of the women I’ve spoke to admit they, on a daily basis, receive flirting messages and photographs from men on Facebook. Most importantly people like this guy, who has the advantage of being a gentleman easily show their side rudeness when they knew, in a chat box, they are alone with a woman, as if in a closed room.

These are men who think sexual harassment happens only when you involve in a violent, Stanley Kubrick like rape scene. They believe keeping their dicks upright and attacking a woman in bed only amounts to sexual violence. No you morons. You hurt a woman, you belittle another person the moment you diminish their value and feast on their privacy and integrity.

You hook someone over internet and asking the lamest questions in the middle of the night is fine, because there’s consent between you two. You sending nudes or asking the other person to send you nudes are never going to be someone else’s concern until it’s consensual.

But it’s highly inappropriate if you try to hook someone innocent, ask them all the weirdest questions and enslave them with your privilege. It’s even more horrific if the same you post messages of anguish and outrage when a random woman is molested in a remote corner of India.

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Khasakkinte Itihasam comes alive on stage

Deepan Sivaraman’s drama Khasak, unlike O V Vijayan’s Novel –from which it’s adapted- begins with a parade of the dead. The souls of the beloved characters from Khasak make a stroll down memory lane, holding palm leaf torches, accompanied by a monologue – The inception of Khasak, their first legend.

Then, Deepan takes the audience to a memory, the moment protagonist Ravi becomes a fugitive. Ravi is reading a letter from his father. Soon after he finished it, Ravi goes back in time to rebuild the melancholic memory of his first sexual experience with his step mother. In a moment of piousness he screams in his head, sting by sin and morbid pleasures. He opens his eyes to find himself sitting in Kooman Kavu, the end of the bus route – the place from where O V Vijayan’s novel unfolds.

Khasakinte Itihasam, written by O V Vijayan is regarded as his masterpiece and arguably the best work of fiction in Malayalam literature. Khasak, as it is been fondly called, is a novel of epic proportions, something that stood the test of time to become the defining point in Malayalam Fiction. Critics revered Khasak, released in 1969, as the book that divided the novel tradition of Malayalam.

Khasakinte Itihasam is better known for its complex language and subtle craft, both easy roadblocks for anyone putting an effort to adapt it into any form of art. However, Deepan Sivaraman, a seasoned theatre artist pulled off the unimaginable, gave Khasak quite a brilliant adaptation to stage.

Deepan’s Khasak unravels in the darkness. Lights, shadows, music and imageries are the tools of communication. In the first half, Deepan’s Khasak goes on toes with the Novel. His actors are stunning, especially Allappicha Mollaka and Kuppuvachan, both are original and steadfast with the language and acting. Deepan weaves the story around Naijamali, who is actually the tour de force in the drama. He borrows dialogues from OV Vijayan to implicate the real feeling of the Palakkad dialect but at times, he shows no qualms in making some value additions, whether it is in the love act of Naijam and Maimuna or in the dramatic farewell of Naijam Ali when he was ousted by Allappicha.

As an antidote for the perplexed narrative of the novel, Deepan resorts a visual language, combining elements of video projections and authentic Pyrotechnics. As the drama reaches its second half, Deepan gains more freedom, with his style often gets amateur to wedge away from the Novel. Deepan employs different techniques of storytelling such as using symbolic videos and art house-like sequences in an apparent effort to present the drama in an independent form but which sometimes forces the audience to withdraw from the performance.

But, the drama ends with the best possible twist to the famous ‘snake bite’ scene in the Novel. Here, the grim ending in the Novel is polished for the theatre. It was indeed worth the risk he took. Deepan’s Khasak is without any doubt, a compelling drama, which in a sense is an incredible feat when you compare with the novel Legends of Khasak.

The drama is one of the best original and experimental works in a very long time, a bold adaptation and surely is a milestone, which in the long run will surely inspire more creative works that could bridge the great Malayalam literature with the thriving theater scene in Kerala and India alike.

Featured Image: Deepan Sivaraman’s play Khasak

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Days and Nights

Fragments of me still weeps,

of tales I forgot to tell,  words unsaid.

I pulled my body out of the blanket,

counted the wounds, touched the swelling skin,

I saw you there, scattered, like the seeds submerged in mud,

waiting to rise, like an enchanted promise.

I kissed a wound, where I found you,

kissing me right back with lips drenched in blood.

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