A few days ago a college mate of mine (I hadn’t been in touch with him ever since we last met about five years back ) passed away …but it was no accident . He killed himself ….
I was shocked to hear the news , more so because I could not imagine some one as intelligent as him to do something like this to himself . Since I don’t want to reveal his real name , let me refer to him as SG .
SG was a student of English literature . We both were pursuing the B.ed degree (Bachelor of Education ) , and used to be the ones to anchor most shows and other cultural events , that were held in college .
When I first saw SG , I thought (and so did many of my other friends ) he was just an arrogant and haughty young lad , who was a little too proud of his language skills . But it took me only a few interactions with him , to reveal to me that he was none of the above .
SG was a poet and philosopher . He was a reserved person and his closed nature was often mistaken for arrogance . He would just sit and stare into oblivion , or at the vast expanse of the sky , in the midst of a conversation .
Once we even attended an Arts festival representing our college , and both of us won accolades in our respective fields . But in all our conversations , SG never really opened up about his personal life or problems , not once . He did have his share of financial problems but was never really frank about them . I knew it , because he borrowed some money from me once , which he returned without ado .
I remember there was a time he fell seriously ill , during the course , but returned with a bang ! In fact , a lot of us failed to recognize him when he returned from the hospital – in place of his lean , pale self was a much heavier and rosier version of SG . But cheerful all the same …
But that was him ..his spirited self…Anyone in his place , might have abandoned the course but he did not … He returned and finished it .
Oh , and I didn’t tell you another thing about him . SG had an inter- religious love marriage , much to the distaste of the girl’s parents . But this of course happened much before he joined the B.ed course… So , he wasn’t the kind to shy away from problems , if he was , he wouldn’t have married his lady love , against such stiff opposition….
Hence ,when I learnt that SG had hanged himself to the ceiling of his rented apartment , you can gauge my utter shock at the news . You might even wonder , why I was not in touch with him over these years…
Well , SG wasn’t really a ‘people’ person.. He was a loner , only in touch with an odd friend here and there …He was not active on any of the social media sites either .
He was pursuing M.Phil in the same college where he was teaching . I just cannot fathom , the depth of the problem that tormented him enough to let go . What worried him so much that he didn’t even take his wife into confidence ?
Anyway , I have missed the details of five years of his life after the course , which is a big enough time for new problems to have come into his life . But what irks me is the fact that none of his close friends , could guess the workings of his poetic mind …
His death does raise one important questions about our society today . Have we all become so preoccupied with our own lives , that we fail to notice the problems of our next door neighbor or even our close friend ? Has this so called ‘virtual world’ of social media sites , brought us far from each other than near…? Is our love for our friends and family getting restricted to likes and comments on his pictures , which may not even be reflecting the reality of his ‘real’ life ?
Or is today’s generation too weak to handle stress? Are we so used to a cushioned lifestyle that even a slight strain in it , leads to to take steps with dire consequences….? Is our educational system to blame somewhere…?