Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On the brink of death

It was hot and sultry inside her room on the 7th floor. It was unbearable and Kalyani wanted to be in open air amidst cool breeze. The irony was that she had been harbouring thoughts of putting an end to her life since two days. She climbed the stairs to the top terrace just two floors above. Cool wind blew across her face and she stood inhaling it feeling some relief from the oppressive thoughts. She looked down at the road, the moving cars and the home returning people looked tiny like ants moving on the wall into a crevice. She hated all people after the bitter experience in the last few days. She found everyone wicked, greedy and lustful. She had run away from her home in a village after her parents insisted on her getting married to a farmer owning lands. A B.Sc. in computer science she longed to work in a city. She hated the village houses reeking the smell of cow dung, long lines of stacked gunny bags with grains, the bullock carts, the agricultural implements and the lack of sophistication in village life. He was just 10th passed. She just would not agree to be tied to this guy and came away to the city where her good friend lived.
Kalyani sent applications to several companies, and met people concerned but all she could get was foolish grins, lewd remarks, jobs are scarce and existing employees were themselves given pink slips. Her friend suggested that since Kalyani had very good looks and a beautiful figure, she could try modelling.When she went to a studio, the guy seemed pleased with her and took several pictures of her. He complimented her on her photogenic face and fine body and promised her a very bright future. But Kalyani was not amused at the guy repeatedly touching her cheeks, shoulders and having his hands on her constantly longer than needed under the pretext of adjusting. She however kept quiet. The photographer gave her Rs500 and asked her to come the next day for another photographic session. He suggested obliquely that she should be a little daring and accommodative if she were to succeed in her career and if she were compliant she could see lot of money. When she asked whether she should come in salwar khameez or sari, he shocked her saying with his lewd smile that the next day’s session would be sans clothes. Her dreams of a modeling career crashed with that and she never went back to that wretched place. She had exhausted the money in the next few days and wondered how long she could strain her friend’s hospitality. She got only regret letters with wishes for better luck .She could not even dream of going back to the village where tongues would be wagging about the girl “who ran away”. She was also determined that she would not live by letting her soul die and leading a life of shame.
It was with such melancholy thoughts that she was contemplating to put an end to her misery by one jump from the top floor. Though the thoughts of her mother and her affectionate younger brother tormented her, there was no going back on her decision. She was not afraid of the height nor did the fear of death deter her. In another five minutes, she thought her story would become history. She was now sitting on the ledge and as final prayers reciting her favourite sloka praying for happiness and long life!
“Kalyani? What are you doing here sitting alone dangerously on the ledge? Come away here” inquired her friend very softly. When Kalyani turned her head and replied “Yes, Amudha.It was very hot down there. The breeze is cool here.”
“I know that but people don’t sit in precarious positions to enjoy the breeze. You shouldn’t be doing what you are contemplating. I have promised you that I can take care of you till you get a job, may be even in six months. Why then this rash step when hardly three weeks had passed since you came? Remember life is precious and should not be lost by thoughtless action in a despondent mood” She brought down Kalyani safely from the ledge and sat by her side clasping her arms affectionately.Kalyani was silent for a long while after she heard her buddy’s impassioned plea. Taking advantage of her wavering, Amudha pulled her up telling “I am famished. Come along. Let us eat a masala dosa in the opposite hotel after you have a wash.”
When Amudha opened the door of her room, she found to her surprise an envelope addressed to Kalyani on the floor slid through the door.It was not there a short while ago. Kalyani grabbed it and tore it open in a hurry. Tears flowed from her eyes as she read the line loudly “Dear Madam, We are pleased to offer you a position in our………….” Amudha hugged her letting out a hysterical cry of joy and telling “Let us celebrate on two counts. You were brought back from the verge of death and you have a nice job. The celebration will be on your depleted account today.”
Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems that get resolved in due course


  1. there is a 'Kalyani' in each one of us isnt it?
    i guess so ... the only differnce could that we love and are loved ...
    i am sure many a life is lost just because they feel lost .. the rason to live and more importantly the reason to die seems to them as meanigless as their life!
    love i think is the only answer ...

    glad that the whole thing ended on a plesent note..

    that being said, i doubt if cowards can actually take this drastic step!!!

  2. Hi Sir :)

    Wonderful story. Extremely well narrated!

    "Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems that get resolved in due course" - Very very true lines.


  3. But sometimes fate plays ridiculous games. Whenever a decision is taken in haste, a better opportunity arises, but it is true that in the case of suicide there is no looking back.
    But again how can one enjoy life when there are no twist and turns :) kalyani would not have realised the importance of the job or would not have been that happy in getting a new job, if she had got it immediately :)A nice story :)

  4. Very nice story. I understand Kalyani's plight suicide is a coward's way out. It does not solve anything except create misery for loved ones. I liked the way Amudha gently but firmly brought her back. Unfortunately the world had people like the photographer too. Very well written. I hope youngsters learn from this story and do not come to hasty decisions. Very nicely written.

  5. A very moving story with a hopeful and a happy ending. Its true that many have us choose to end our lives when going through misery or turmoil/when things dont go our way. Everything looks bleak. But yet every cloud has a silver lining and we just need to wait patiently before we are able to view that.

  6. More than anything I would like to say that you're come out with the true meaning of friendship. If we have strong emotional support systems, life would not be that difficult. Thanks for the lovely post Sir:)

  7. At times just few seconds of patience.. or delay.. before a drastic step.. changes the whole scene!! Youth (of all times) lack patience and hence makes a mess even with silly issues.

    Good post.. !

  8. Thank you, Parthasarathi, for writing against suicide. From my own experiences, I have learnt that patience works wonders in solving problems.

    Have a great day, KP :)

  9. Nice Post KP.....If everyone had such negative thoughts the World would be Void of People.There are times you have to bear with situations You have to let a few things Pass..... by FEELING "THIS TOO WILL PASS"