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An intensely personal account of the suicide of the author's friend, with the regret that it could have been prevented... if only they had known!
An intensely personal account of the suicide of the author’s friend, with the regret that it could have been prevented… if only they had known!
It was 5 November 2012, a Monday. As a new mother, my life completely revolved around my 6 month old son. As I braced myself for the coming week, my phone rang and my best friend at work was calling me.
I had quit my job in Mumbai to be a full time mother and had moved to Nagpur with my husband. I missed work and missed friends at work and thought that this would be just another of those calls about something that we always did together as a ritual and it reminded him of me.
Happy about this, I picked up my phone to hear Amit say, “We have lost Doctor!”.. I couldn’t understand it.. this was so unexpected.. and then he started crying…
I was numb.. images of my last meeting with ‘Doctor’ flashed before my eyes. He was happy. He sounded normal. I never thought he could die of suicide.
As the name suggests, Doctor was a qualified MBBS turned marketeer. He practiced for some time in Delhi but later thought MBA was better suited to his skill set and completed his degree and landed a job in our company in Mumbai.
We had a great gang in Mumbai – office buddies – he was one of us, and like Ted Mosby in ‘How I Met Your Mother’, all of us were trying to get him hooked to a girl. He was looking at dating and getting settled in the next couple of years and well – all of us were his ‘settled’ friends.
Some flings and long distance relationships almost but didn’t work out for him. Internally, this must have hurt him, but he never spoke about it. Or maybe he did, and I did not catch the signals. He wanted stability in his life. He never spoke about his family. He always spoke about how everyone else is settled and he is not.
Now, when I look at all this – there was something that was troubling him; all his stories ended in regret. The last one ended in his death!
We may call it a typical story. Boy meets girl, falls in love, differences start cropping up, he feels that the girl is using his money for her comforts. And when his fears come true, the girl walks out of his life.
In his last moments, he messages the girl. Sends her a WhatsApp image of the drug he is planning to inject if she doesn’t answer his questions, and the girl replies with a photo of her with her fiancé. She messages about her wedding plans. And Doctor kills himself.
Ironically, the girl was also a doctor…
But… the twist in the story is that in these moments, the boy calls a friend. It was just one ring of the phone… an unsure call, and the friend thinks that he must have dialled her number by mistake and that is why disconnected in a hurry. And the next thing she hears is that during those moments of a Friday evening, his depression got the better of him. He died alone. And his body was found only on Monday when he did not report for work and was incommunicado over the weekend, so a friend at work went to check on him.
Could this have been avoided? Yes. He was lonely, lived alone in a flat in Bandra, Mumbai. Later, we came to know that he had attempted suicide in the month of September when he had gone to visit his parents. Why was he then left alone again? Why did he not get the support that he wanted?
Answer is that parents were too ashamed that their son could do something like this.
Doctor probably thought that he acted immaturely, and created a facade of fake happiness for the next month or so until he injected himself with an overdose of a drug.
Suicide is an impulsive decision. However, suicidal tendencies are for real. When you know of someone who you feel needs your help, reach out, talk, discuss, reassure. Everyone wants to live, and love – give love, take love.
Each minute of your day is precious but it cannot be more precious than someone’s life.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022 27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044 2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033 2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080 25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040 66202000, 040 66202001
Picture credits: Unsplash
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Ruchi Verma Rajan is a woman on a mission of self-discovery.
An avid reader since childhood, she grew up in the idyllic world of Enid Blyton and went on to devour the age old read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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