(This is a story of a young girl driven to suicide. I squarely blame the parents’ academic greed pushing the young adults to choose the extreme step.)
I FEEL I’M INCAPABLE
I never thought of killing myself. But my college life had robbed my appetite to stay hopeful when the folds of stress are squeezing me. No one would believe when I say, the harsh reality I’m coping which has enough potency. To drive a sixteen-year-old girl to ask for the cruelest choice, ‘let me end this pain as quickly as I could.’
Nevertheless, I fought back to remain hopeful and stay quiet in this cramped hostel room. It’s crowded with five other batch-mates, deep in sleep not bothered about the silent demon taking over me. I want to switch off this mental suffering.
At one point I felt I’m not capable of stopping the errant calls. Ringing inside, ‘do something, I can’t carry the saddle of suffering anymore.’ My sweaty palms, trembling legs seemed ready to listen, ‘just do it, and cut short all today.’
I stepped out into the night, my legs felt damp, peeped down through the well of darkness three floors below. I grappled the parapet wall with my moist hands. Nothing was clear in encircling dark shadows, and teary eyes blurred my vision further.
I didn’t take much time. ‘I positioned to leap and finish off all my unhappy episodes. The pressure and uselessness of my studies, the holy obligation I owe to my parents. Through young eyes of sixteen, I see it as a bad case of my emotional inability to fight all the hardships’.
My next step was instant, impulsive. Holding my shivering body, hearing my trembling heart, weak with fear I plunged carelessly. The determined beast inside me has become stubbornly fearless, and the cold blackness swallowed me.
I HAVE LOTS OF DREAMS
I want to introduce myself. I’m a bubbly young girl. Rearing to enjoy carefree days as any sixteen years olds’ would seek to happen. All I waited to bring alive my fancies and to run about with free will. I’m happy that I’m ready to join college. I dreamed about the huge sunlit classrooms. Walking through the bustling corridors canopied by thick trees; I want to complete my two-year intermediate course.
I imagined I would walk down the wide pavements chatting with playful buddies, sipping tea in crowded tea stalls. I longed to sit with books browsing them in one corner of the library. I wished I elected my vocation and later invest my efforts at how my every day gets better perfecting it. If at all I sought sunshine every day, I knew it’s in my freedom. I expected my parents would love to see me grown up with myriad dreams buzzing.
MY HOSTEL LIFE
Today I’m in a shock. I’m forced to go to a boarding college. I found scary demons raging when I heard that I have to spend the next four years in a hostel. Spending a week in dorms, I wouldn’t hesitate to call this college as “academic detention center.” Or to be clearer, I compare the classrooms as ‘the coaching lockups.’
These are intolerable specifics which for a young adult like me is not education but emotional offensive in the name of it. The classrooms overcrowded, the residential spaces choking, curriculum overburdened, lecturers uncaring. Further, the food was uneatable, sleep scarce, relaxation zero and my mind funding self-destructive thoughts.
More days I’m coerced to stay holed in these ‘college hellholes’ my thoughts seemed taking ugly shades. You know how I have to try hard to restrain myself not to think like, ‘How much longer I have to endure the senseless, oppressive academic coaching. I haven’t blessed with huge patience. I’m ever in deteriorating distress finding ways to call: it’s enough!’
I heard my ‘not so pleased’ parents fussing, ‘You better perform well in the next exams, and we expect better grades than my friend’s son.’ The pressure thrust upon me, the compulsion to go through the circus of exams to gain grades in the school. I’m devastated; I neither hold the courage nor the language to defy the pressure hoisted on me.
Dear mom and dad, I wanted to see the world with my eyes, not through your desires. I wished you allowed me to take my small steps walking humbly to win small prizes every day. I pleaded, with both of you, tears running down; don’t push me into a race I’m not physically and mentally ready to go.
I remembered the happy days spent at home pretty well dear mom and dad. I was a toddler returning from preschool, every evening. You are all ears to my rant and chatter, and your attention is full until I halted. My weekend outings, where I used to look forward madly, to movies, ice-creams, long drives, made me think at one momentary tick, “Oh God how lucky I’m to be in such a delightful presence of my mom and dad. I’m ever thankful to you” I fantasized the future to be even more delicious.
Ten years later, I saw you took over by an unhealthy eagerness to convert me into marks and ranks delivering machine. Fatefully, to hit a goal only seen fit for you, I’m coaxed to join this modern day coaching dungeons. You expected me mentally to adjust: until I completed my two years intermediate course. Two more years added to coach for competitive exams.
I NEVER EXPECTED THIS HAPPEN TO ME
“How could my parents do it to me, won’t they ever get down to know what I look for and good at,” “Won’t they ever consider that I love sports, I enjoy music, I’m good at the painting, I wish to excel in literature. And I’m never keen on choosing engineering subject or IIT”. I wondered, ‘Didn’t my parents for the last sixteen years carry a damn inkling of where their daughter’s heart is.’
“Won’t they see me as a bundle of personal desires, and my innovative talents amount to nothing,” and the only premium you put on my head is I have to participate in all competitive exams and be a topper. Is this your agenda to have me thrown into this ‘exam coaching fortresses’? Then, if that is the case; mom and dad, “I’m sorry, I can’t, I quit, goodbye.”
Withholding hurtful moods, early mornings, I wake up with firmness. I decide, ‘Let me invest my studying efforts in some ways, lest, your financial stake, ambitions shouldn’t remain gutted.’ But at the end of the day, dear me, I can’t stand these witless lecturers. I don’t find one likable benefit: more tests, less sleep. It’s more supervision, fewer marks; more teaching, but nothing simple. In short, I present hopelessness incarnate – your daughter.
Dear mom and dad, suddenly when I wake up restlessness on top of my mind. One vicious idea runs wild. Like, ‘compared to this daily torture and humiliation, fear of failure: death seems a tempting alternative to find relief and put an end to this inexplicable pain.’ The folly – thinking about suicide would start like a swarm of bees buzzing in my mind. They are loud and clear, and definite. For me, when this shameful idea crossed my mind, I cry a lot, thinking about you and dad.
But the ruinous grip of negativity doesn’t allow me to think coherently. I’m pulled in again and again into the black hole of self-destructive bitterness. For me, these thoughts spin with higher gravity than the pull of affection I keep for both of you. I want to fight but I can’t – the agony of seeing every day filled with suffering had gone so deep that any hope of amnesty doesn’t merit as an alternative. Let the world listen to my plight!
Children are natural gifts; never see them as mementos. Don’t see them as guarded trophies within glass-doors displayed to advertise their feats, their achievements. ‘Like butterflies, children go through great pains and gains, experience many adversaries and advantages but sooner or later, like butterflies, they seek to be independent, strengthen their wings and fly into their freedom.’ Your role is to understand this realness of the living miracle called – our children.
Yours, Loving Daughter