Sunday, February 26, 2006

Suicide.... A cowardly act or bravery ??

Ok, please dont jump off your chair, and start dancing. I have absolutely no plans of committing suicide or anything like that. You don't need to be so happy. Also, please do not draw any conclusions. I am not even going into depression, etc. Nor did I have a heartbreak.

I am a regular reader of Mid-Day. Mid-Day has been my favorite local newspaper. It was fun reading it in train from Borivali to Bandra; people from Bombay would know what I mean. A few days back, there was a flash news of Kuljeet Randhawa, a small screen actress, committing suicide out of depression. She hung herself. An year back, former Miss India Nafish Joseph did a similar act. We read / hear of so many suicide cases. We spend a minute for them, and move on.

However, suicide has always aroused a great interest in my mind. I find the whole phenomenon very interesting, intriguing and very abstruse to understand. If you put yourself in the shoes of the person who commits the extreme act, you would probably have an idea of what he must have been through to take such an extreme decision. I am sure it would be a very intricate state of mind, something that one finds difficult to cope with. Some people are not brave enough to fight with it; and accept the defeat.

I was discussing the whole thing with K that day. K thought that people who commit suicide are cowards. She thought that such people do not deserve any respect or sympathy whatsoever, and its absolutely disgusting even to think of them with any esteem whatsoever. I was bit surprised to hear such a strong reaction from her. She strongly believed that suicide is a cowardly act; and I strongly disagreed with that.

I actually have a lot of respect, and a bit of sympathy towards these people. I always thought that committing suicide was a very brave act, and only a very strong and stubborn mind could think of doing something like that.

It takes lots of guts to hurt yourself physically. Try poking a needle in your finger... you probably wont dare to do that on a normal day. Try cutting yourself with a knife... you will think twice. Its not easy. It takes a very strong willpower to do anything of that sort. If this is true, then how can those people be termed as cowards??

I distinctly remember this: A few years back, I was rappelling the Duke's Nose at Khandala. Its more than a 1000 ft. vertical rock patch at an elevation of approx. 3000 ft, and the valley beneath it is literally fathomless. A small mistake there would take you 4000 ft down straightaway. After initial positioning, I was taking my own time before the moments of avalanche. I looked down, and a thought came to my mind: what if I fall down?.... I remember getting shivers and goosebumps at that moment. I could not even imagine anything like that. I realised that I was not the ones who could commit suicide. By jumping off the cliff.


Everyone faces difficulties in life... life is not easy. But most of us somehow overcome the trauma. Sometimes you have to face a few facts in life. Sometimes you need to be patient and let the time take care of everything. Sometimes you need to move on. I don't think ending the life is a good option though. There is more fun in facing the challenge rather than avoiding it. I guess that defines an individual and his character.

One also needs to consider others before thinking of such an extreme step. Often we have our family and parents who are dependant on us (not necessarily financially, but more emotionally), we have our career to take care of, and dreams to chase. Why should one leave everything incomplete and just walk out of the game??. I dont think its the right spirit.

Having said that, I still immensely respect the guts and mental strength of people who commit suicide. Hats off to ones who jump off from a building or hang themselves, or even for that matter ones who consume poison. What must be going through their mind in those last moments? (e.g. just after jumping, and just before hitting the ground. Or in those moments when you feel that the poison is killing you and you cant do anything. Or in those moments when you see your lungs are choking and you feel the oxygen deficiency in your blood). How do they feel?.... Do they feel relieved, or they feel bad?.

Does a human being have a last smile just before death?. I dont know.

I have to mention this story here:

There is a heavenly place in Sahyadri mountains, called Harishchandragad. I haven't seen anything more beautiful than Konkankada on Harishchandragad on a wet, misty day in peak monsoon. Its a massive concave shaped rock patch more than 2000 ft in depth. The feel of Konkankada is simply mesmerising... I probably cant describe that in words. I am sure people who have been to Harishchandragad exactly know what I am talking about.

Some people say that there was a guy who fell in love with Kokankada so much that he just jumped off it.

I dont know about anything else, but I would say he was lucky to experience the ultimate ecstasy in life. I am sure he had a last smile in those 5 seconds.


Vishal said...

Suicide is definately a cowardly act...Do you consider suicide bombing to be an act of bravery?

Gautam said...

Not sure if suicide can be called as a 'brave' act. Its just a momentary and destructive bravery, and those people must be going far away from such positive emotions when they decide to end their life. I guess facing the life even when things are going wrong is a brave act!

Soultan of Swing said...

brilliant blog, sir!
i beg to differ...although i'm probably a +ve thinker...if things go totally out of hand beyond the point of no return..then i guess suicide might be considered an option...
but's an easy way out of the misery..

Paladin said...

Nice one, Raut! I see that the old saying of "cowardly act" for a suicide needs serious thought. I guess extensive psychological and neurological research is needed to figure this out and ultimately, stop those people from committing suicide.

Anonymous said...

What would you say about people people who smoke? drink? do drugs??? again suicide or what??? experiencing exctasy in life??

i would seriously belive that suicide is not just a moment's decision... it would require serious planning..... hats off if they can pull it off also.... what if you jump froma building only to break your spine?? need perfect momentum and all....

well!!! what can i say?? never atempted it... never plan to... no matter how difficult the circumstances.....

on this thought... difficult circumstances!! dont you think thats a relative word?? how difficult is difficult???

luaprelkniw said...

The correct way for society to respond to a person making the statement "suicide is the coward's way out" is to arrest that person and prosecute that person for promoting hatred against those suffering from mental illness. My own feeling is that a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, to a maximum of 5 years, should be assessed. This crime should be vigorously pursued because of its seriousness: such statements further contribute to the erroneous messages created by the mentally ill brain itself, which often result in suicide or more deeply entrenched illness. Persons making these statements are indirectly accessory to murder.