Finally I decided to die. I had thought about dying enough number of times before, but never had taken the thought seriously. Perhaps I was always optimistic about the better days that ‘were coming‘, or maybe I apprehended the obscurity of death. ‘Every dog has its day’ and other shit-quotes, I used to cajole myself with, in my times of despair, every time something went wrong. But there is a limit of everything. There is a breaking point.
And I had reached that breaking point. I could tolerate no more the pain of a human life and I wanted an escape- even if it’s cowardly. I know people will say ‘what a loser’, ‘we have no pity for cowards’ and shits, but who cares! I don’t care anymore. Why should I care when I’ll be long gone by the time they get the news of my death and they can open their filthy scornful mouth. People are full of shit! Life is full of shit! God and hope and faith are all illusions created by sly human beings just to fool others and to keep them lingering in this pain and suffering when they could have a better choice. And I had made that better choice. Finally I had decided to die.
I didn’t waste much time in deciding the method to die— taking sleeping pills. After all that’s the time-tested and perhaps the easiest and the only painless way to die. It would slowly deactivate your brain cells taking you to a never waking deep sleep before you could even tell and all your worries would vanish in a blink. But getting sleeping pills was not as easy as the idea of killing oneself using those pills. I went to almost all the medical stores in the neighborhood, but none would give me one, without a proper prescription. I made all sorts of excuses but all in vain. So I had to think of some of the other means to execute my plan.
I thought of hanging myself from a ceiling fan. After all, one just needed a rope or could just even manage with a piece of cloth. Even the Wikipedia says ‘Hanging is a very simple suicide method that does not require complicated techniques’. And it has high mortality rate— of at least 70%. Fortunately I had both a rope and clothes. I untied the rope in the balcony, which I used for drying my clothes, brought it to my room, stood on a stool, tied one end on the ceiling fan and the other in a loop around my neck and was ready to die. I was ready to kick the stool away and hang there twisting and twirling, struggling for life, waiting to die; but towards the end, the thought of suffocating myself to death freaked me out. I could not hold my breath and stay without air for 30 seconds. I had earlier tried holding my breath, like maybe almost all people, not for killing myself but just to see how long I can sustain. And like all others, I too ended up gasping for air within a few seconds. The very thought of that feeling made me nervous. What if you’re suffering in a deep pain and you had second thoughts? You cannot even back up. Killing oneself by deprivation of air was a scary idea and I chickened out and gave up the idea. I tied the rope back in the balcony and hung the clothes, which I had earlier thrown away, back on the rope.
Next I thought about drinking half a bottle of phenol. But I gave up the idea at the very beginning. Even snakes do not die these days with these damned useless stuffs! What if I ended up in a hospital bed, with dozens of disgusted eyes around me, staring at me and murmuring curses about me in the ears of the person next? That would be more humiliating and painful than the present muddle I’m going through.
So finally I decided it had to be sleeping pills only. I forged a prescription daintily. I wondered why I didn’t think of doing this earlier. It was not that difficult. And why should I care about not doing illegal things when I’m about to die.
Finally all my depressions would come to an end. All my sorrow and grief would cease to trouble me. My job that I hated, the people around me who always gave me nothing but a headache, the car that I never owned, the house that I never built, the lover that I never had, the friends that I never made- will never matter at all. All these things depressed me throughout my life, and had always evaded me despite all my hard work and my efforts. Luck is a bitch! Or maybe I was not good enough for them. But why should I care anymore.
I emptied the entire pack of sleeping pills and gulped all the pills in it all together, with the help of a little water. I had managed to buy the pack from a medical store which I hadn’t visited earlier, with the help of the forged prescription. It was a Friday night; I came back from my boring-monotonous work, and decided it to be a perfect day to leave the world. No one was coming to disturb me. And I could die peacefully. Maybe no one would even discover my body till three days, until my office folks start searching for me to do their stupid work, and by then maybe even my body will be decayed.
After swallowing the pills I lazily lied down on my bed. I thought of how to kill time until time kills me. I took out my old-crappy phone and started traversing through the photos in my gallery. After going through 20-25 photos, her photo showed in. Her photo! My eyes became misty. She was my love. Or she is my love. I could still not forget her.
She never tried to understand me. It was always about her. How mean she was! We were in a relationship since school. All was fine. But as we grew up things get complicated. We started talking about family, children and future. Our first difference occurred over my family.
We were at a bar with some other friends. Out of random topics, this topic came out— with whom will you keep your parents? And she became quite unexpectedly serious on this question. I said if they get too old and needed my attention I’ll keep them with me. She was like you can also arrange for a help, as keeping them with us would affect our lives. Obviously it would but I just am ready to take that pain after all that they had done for me. We ended that conversation without any eventual conclusion.
After then, every now and then this question would pop up- who is your highest priority? I’d say my parents are my highest priority. For that she would argue, after getting married your family has to be your highest priority- your kids, your wife, they’re all you are most responsible for. And I would somehow change the topic.
Those days I was very busy. A new product was launched by our company and I being the sales-head of my branch, had to travel a lot of places for its promotion. I had to face all sorts of jerks and had to digest all sorts of insults with a fake smile. To top it, there would be she, always complaining that I don’t give her time. I was too busy, and despite that whatever time I got I used to devote it to her. Yeah I couldn’t meet her on week days. But can’t I expect this much from the person I love? A little understanding!
We met after a fortnight in a restaurant, and there she decided to break-up. She said ‘it never happened’. What never happened? I could not understand. Maybe she never loved me. She was just testing me like you test-drive a car before buying it. And I was not up to her expectations like the car which you test-drove but was not fully satisfied with the features so you dump it.
She was gone. I let her go, I didn’t follow her. If the person doesn’t even understand you, you can’t live a life together. I wiped a tear that had just trickled down my cheek as I gazed motionlessly at her photo.
I traversed a few more photos. She looked so charming! Then I came across the photo of this friend. I liked him a lot. He was two years junior to me. When I shifted to a city school, it was the same year he shifted too to that school, and I being the only familiar face from the same old school, he would always stick around me. Even in the assembly line, when we stood for morning prayers and proceedings, he would stand beside me abandoning his classmates who invited him. I would introduce him to everybody as my ‘brother’; I treated him as my brother. After some time both of us got accustomed to the new school and the new friends and our meetings became rare to none. When I left the school after class 10, I didn’t even thought of asking his number. But after some time I started missing him. And after many years we meet suddenly on a social networking site. How happy I was! We exchanged numbers and started talking frequently through texts or calls.
But after some time he even stopped replying me. And I don’t know what exactly happened. He had shifted to another city for higher studies and I had not had his new number. But I texted him a few times on social networking site and he never replied. If I got to meet him once before I died, one question that I would ask him was- what exactly happened?
Meanwhile, I started feeling a little drowsy. Maybe the pills had started its action. I was a bit nervous. But I was firm on my decision and there was no looking back.
I traversed a few more photos. I saw his photo-my ‘friend’ from office. It was taken with me on a trip we went from our office. Though he was irritating and I didn’t like him, he was the only person in the name of friend that I had here. He was bugging me about the money that I had taken from him and it really got to my nerves. I was depressed about a lot of things, rather everything in life, but it was this incident that triggered by suicidal.
I lost my new Moto Droid, which I bought using his credit card a few days ago. It wasn’t even available in India and I had ordered it from US through eBay. It was worth 45,000 rupees and it hadn’t been even a month that I lost it. Somehow it slipped out of my pocket as I returned from a bar one night. I got down and within seconds I checked my pocket, it was not there, but by that time the auto was gone. I had paid my friend 30,000 rupees and was yet to pay 15000 rupees. Instead of showing a little sympathy for my loss he was more worried about the money that I had taken from him and that irked me.
We had gone to the police station to file an FIR about the loss, but the reaction from the policemen convinced me that I was not getting it back. First of all they won’t even file an FIR; they will just file a report. Because if they file FIR it goes into the records of higher officials and also get into the record of crimes under that particular branch and they become accountable for it. Secondly, they will file it as ‘loss’ and never as ‘stolen’, as ‘loss’ is a much diluted word than ‘stolen’. When I went to submit the Xerox of the report to the police station the next day, the reaction of the police really infuriated me-he just threw the copies into the drawer next to him, without even seeing them or asking how many copies were there. Just to see his response I asked him how many were needed. He said one. I said there were three and he returned two to me without even looking, just as he kept them. And then he chased us away. Bloody mannerless bastards! They only know the misuse of power. It’s been a month now and I had left all hope of finding it.
Now you might think how crazy I am to commit suicide for a loss of a phone. Well I’m not that crazy. No one will commit suicide for a loss of phone unless he is some sort of a psychopath. But it was an indication of how things were going wrong in my life and how I saw no hope. Everything that could probably go wrong had been going wrong, in my life. All these things accumulated and the cumulative effect of everything was the decision that I had taken. It was a chain reaction— there was a chain of awful events that lead to the final outcome and the loss of the phone was just one link of the chain. I could even return his money today if I wanted. But it’s not about the money or the phone. It’s about how horrible things were going in my life one after another and I couldn’t see any hope. I was sure that if there were a competition on the ‘The Greatest Loser in the World’, I could come second even in that event, because I was such a loser that I can never win it! I’m such a loser that when for others it’s a sure shot and you can easily get something, for me you can be pretty sure that something would go wrong and I would never get that. I had had such experience umpteen number of times and the loss of the phone was just the trigger that I needed to make the ultimate decision.
I was a brilliant student right from my school— an all-time school topper. I did well even in my college. But I could not get a job of my choice. I was stuck in a job that I hated, amongst people I disdained, and despite all my effort, was not able to shift to a better place. My girl-friend left me, my friends deserted me, and even my Wi-Fi refused to work the day I needed it the most. So I was a cursed soul— a loner. And my life sucked!
I couldn’t tell when I drifted into a doze only to wake by a call. Maybe the pills had started showing its effect and I would bid goodbye to this sick world soon. It was this friend, whom I owed the money. He demanded for the money citing some family problems and said he would come to get it tomorrow. I insisted on him coming the day after, which he refused outright saying it’s an emergency. We argued for a while and then I submitted. What difference does it make whether he comes tomorrow or the day after? I’ll be long gone by then.
I started looking into the photos once again. I came across the photo of our school picnic. It was in January last year. We had decided to meet every year in January and go somewhere for a picnic; just us— the batch-mates of our school. We enjoyed a lot last time. I realized I wouldn’t be able to go for the picnic this year as I would be gone on a trip to an unknown place by that time. Somewhat, I felt I would miss something.
I looked into a few more photos. I came across the photo of Nick— the man without limbs. It was auto downloaded from my WhatsApp even without my knowledge. He is an inspirational man without limbs having a happy life and motivating many others. I felt a twinge. If a person without limbs can still be fighting with this world why can’t a normal guy like me fight? Why am I giving up? I remembered about Stephen Hawking. That man too once had suicidal thoughts, after he was paralyzed; but he went on to survive and fight and become the most famous scientist among the living and maybe one of the most famous scientist overall.
Why am I even thinking all these? I had made a decision and must stick to it. Moreover it was too late for a comeback now. I felt a strong urge of vomiting, but I restrained. I didn’t want to take any chance of ending up in a hospital. I felt a sharp headache too. I never thought sleeping pills would cause any pain. This was my first time. I never had any experience of dying before! Nausea washed over me.
I started traversing the photos once again. I came to a photo of my mother. I stopped. I shuddered. What am I doing? For her I had left my love and now for whom I’m leaving her? I was being too selfish. I was only thinking about myself-just like my love. Her serene smile and her calm eyes shook me hard. What will happen to her after I’m gone; who’ll look after her? Who will take care of the house? The roof of the house will remain without a ceiling, the house will remain unpainted, and there will be no walls and no gate of the compound. But that is not what matters the most, what matters the most is that they will lose their only son— their hope, of whom despite whatever he couldn’t achieve, they were very proud. They were very proud of whatever he achieved and they boasted of him in front of the others in the village where ‘no one was as good as him’. What will happen to them if I die! How will they show their face in front of others? And most importantly what will haunt them the most is the question— what exactly happened, just like the one I had for my friend. And both will go unanswered. They had so many plans for me— about my marriage; they said they would get the most beautiful bride for me. They had already made golden bangles for their future daughter-in-law and were pressurizing me to get married soon as they ‘didn’t want to die before seeing their grandchildren’. And here I am killing their future grandchildren! How could I do that?
Just then I got a phone call from the police station, saying my phone has been found, and asked me to collect if from the police station the next day. It was beyond my belief! As if a miracle had happened. How could our country’s police be so efficient? I wondered.
I decided— I had to live. I ran to the sink, inserted three of my fingers into my throat, and vomited as much as I could. I hurriedly called my office friend and he took me to a hospital within minutes, and there I was in the ICU will all sorts of tubes stuck into me and all sorts of drugs injected into me. And I went into a deep sleep soon.
When I opened my eyes I looked around to see whether I was still on earth or I was in hell (I knew I could not be in heaven). But looking into all sorts of electronic machines beeping and lights blinking around me I knew I was still on earth— in the hospital. I didn’t know for how long I slept— whether for hours or for days.
The doctor came in, in a few minutes, with a weird smile. ’Why did you do this?’ he asked. Before I could reply anything he continued ‘Why did you take a whole pack of pills for menopause and cry of suicide?’
Menopause!! I was dumbstruck! I told him I took sleeping pills but the doctor confirmed they were pills of menopause. I cursed the pharmacist for putting me into such an awkward situation. Damn these doctors and these pharmacists! Their handwritings are like encrypted code words which only they could understand. And if the pharmacist couldn’t understand the doctor’s handwriting he’ll give you the medicine that he thinks it is, and is available with him. How can he make such a blunder! How can they give tablets of menopause to me— a man? Couldn’t they even ask me once? It’s the reason why the medical service is so poor in our country— doctors prescribe any medicine they want and pharmacists give any medicines they want. Most people keep taking wrong medicines without even knowing.
I got to know that I was unconscious only for an hour, by when they discovered what pills I had actually taken. So there was nothing serious after that. They just injected some drugs to neutralize the effect of the damned pills and kept me in observation for some time. And after that, I was back to normal as before.
I was fortunate that none of my relatives or my parents were informed about my ordeal. I convinced them that it would never happen again and they too could see that I was having the will to live that’s why I contacted to be taken to the hospital. So they released me the same day and I was back at home, with the confidence of doing better in life; and most importantly with the vow of not giving up till the end.
I resigned from my job the next day, collected my phone thanking the police, and booked a ticket for home. I called my mother. I said ‘I’m coming home’ and I sobbed. My mother said in a soft tone ‘Come home son, come home. We are waiting to see you. And leave that damn city and that damn job. We’ll do something here’. My mother understands me even before I speak anything. I knew. I knew she must have got to know that something was not right here, but she didn’t ask me anything and pretended everything was okay. I couldn’t speak more, I just said ‘Okay’ and hung up the call. And I cried.
I returned the money to my office friend, which he took hesitantly saying I could give it later or would be okay even if I don’t pay. But I insisted. I guess he was not as bad as I thought. And life was not as bad as I perceived. Happiness is after all a state of mind. I was in a much better position than many others and there were people who loved me; I just never realized that.
In the evening a got a phone call from one of my school friends asking about my availability for the picnic and I said— I’m in.