Life is precious, no need to waste it
N J Ravi Chander
People losing their cool at the snap of a finger often with disastrous consequences are a dime a dozen in this stress-ridden world. Individuals sometimes take the extreme step without warning or displaying any suicidal tendencies.
Back in the late 80s, I witnessed the suicide of a close colleague who headed a public sector bank branch on the outskirts of Bengaluru city. The bank had funded the building’s construction occupied by it. The landlord showed no inclination to provide basic amenities prompting the top brass to caution the Branch Manager to stop disbursing money to the landlord from his overdraft (OD) account.
The Manager tried his utmost to heed the controller’s advice but soon gave in to the landlord’s persistent pressure and released the requested sum. Post-disbursement of the loan, he was like a cat on a hot tin roof, tearing his hair and pacing up and down the floor. Later, sitting inside his cabin, he buried his head into the palm of his hands and went into a shell. Given his mental strength and ability to take adversities in his stride, this was unlike him!
The following Sunday ended in a disaster. He took leave of his significant other, averring that he was off to see the dentist. He did go there, but after getting his teeth checked, travelled to the Public Utility Building on the upscale Mahatma Gandhi Road, took the lift to the 12th floor and incredibly leapt to his death even as a stunned crowd of onlookers watched on. Permitting the withdrawal against his bosses’ wishes may have left him disturbed and made him take his own life!
Another suicide followed two years later. An officer colleague working in the same Branch got into a shouting match with his wife one morning with both heaping profanities on each other. Unable to put up with the ignominy, he consumed a dose of insecticide. It all happened so quickly, and though rushed to the hospital, the doctors couldn’t save him. The death of two officers to suicides in rapid succession made one believe that something spooked the Branch. The Branch moved to a new premise, but not because of the suicides.
In another instance, a daughter of a colleague, reprimanded by the mother for not taking her studies seriously and talking endlessly on the phone, found the taunts too hard to stomach; not long after, she hung herself from her bedroom’s ceiling fan. It would be unfair to hold the mother guilty for her daughter taking the extreme step as she only had her child’s best interest at heart. The young teenager’s death was catastrophic and proved that there is always an element of surprise in a person’s suicide.
What is it that drives a person up the wall or triggers suicide? It could be depression, failure, anger, shame or just disappointment. Reportedly every forty seconds, someone commits suicide. Suicide may solve a temporary problem but is a sign of a weak mind. By the time you finish reading this article, some person living in some part of the world would have attempted or taken the extreme step to end his life.
(The author is a former banker who has taken up writing as a past time. He is a regular contributor to Kashmir Vision and other national and regional publications)