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One mad moment was all it took for Stella to come to this decision. Just one mad moment was all it would have taken- To speak up. Or to speak to someone.
She answered the phone after three rings.
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t know. I am pissed and sad. I’m furious and I can’t stop crying. She could have talked to someone. Anyone.”
Trigger Warning: This article is an account about suicide with some graphic details that could be triggering for survivors.
I usually had sharp counters when she was furious or upset. This time however, I was blank. As blank was a dead phone line. Not even a static “hmmm.”
A few minutes clocked away.
“Any idea how?”
“They found her like that. Swollen red patches here and there. She had broken fat a few inches from all that swelling. Eyes shut. Mouth shut. Looked like they beat her. It hasn’t even been two years. She was only 29.”
I try to remember Stella. I’ve met her once. She was always pleasant. Lata always spoke of how strong Stella was. She was the first woman in Lata’s family to have an engineering degree.
Education, strength. Think empowerment.
“How are the others holding up?”
“They are devastated. It would have been bearable had she died of a heart attack. You know, it wouldn’t have been something that was in our hands. But this! We have blood on our hands. It was us, we drove her into this marriage. We are responsible. Yes, we failed her. ”
What did the word mean? Educated? Stella was educated.
She had an engineering degree.
Did it mean being financially independent? She had a small tutorial where she taught kids. Stella didn’t become an engineer. But she didn’t take money from anyone. She made her own.
Did it mean being happy? Stella, too, looked happy. Her dark skin glowed as she doted on her one and a half year old son.
My professors taught me that a woman is empowered when she spoke her mind freely and made her own decisions. Stella decided to die.
No one knows why. It will not be long before we hear people speak:
How could she do this to her son? And how will her husband raise a son all by his own?
Whatever be the case, she could have thought of her son before she died.
Maybe her husband was suspicious.
Or may be she had an affair. I saw her with a man on the other day.
Maybe she tested her in-laws’ patience. You know she is too lazy.
Maybe she didn’t have a person to confide in.
Or maybe she thought this was easier that speaking up.
Maybe she didn’t want to get married in the first place.
One mad moment was all it took for Stella to come to this decision.
Just one mad moment was all it would have taken- To speak up. Or to speak to someone.
But it didn’t. She didn’t. She shouldn’t. Or maybe she couldn’t.
We will never know.
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: Pexels
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