Title: The Story of a Suicide
Author: Sriram Ayer
Website: The Story of a Suicide
Note: This is an e-book which can be read in the website above.
The story revolves around four college students – Hari, Sam, Charu and Mani.
Hari, an average guy from a conservative south Indian family, and his sister’s pet, almost always keeps to himself. He is often disturbed and moody and battles constantly with his own demons.
Sam is a very ambitious guy from a rich family. He has got the looks, the brains, and the skills to woo girls – a deadly combination! And he is very well aware of his qualities.
Charu, an extreme feminist, is beautiful in her looks and impulsive in her decisions. She lives with an I-don’t-care attitude and comes off as arrogant at first. This, coupled with her highly unpredictable nature lands her in various predicaments.
Mani‘s mother is a laborer in a brick kiln and his father left them many years ago, to return occasionally to abuse his mother and Mani for money. Mani is wiser than his age, probably due to his experiences.
There are several other characters that play pivotal roles at the right times, as the story unfolds.
This is a story set in a college campus. It begins with a tragic event that brings Sam and Charu together. Sam is instantly attracted to Charu and she initially reciprocates his feelings. But soon things become unsure by her unpredictable behavior, coupled with Sam’s possessiveness.
All it requires is a bit of humiliation & a spiteful Facebook status to give an ugly turn to things.
Hari, Sam’s roommate, befriends Mani and the two become very close. For the first time in his life, Hari is able to confide himself in someone. He tells Mani about his demons and his childhood and this gets them closer further.
While the entire college turns against Charu due to her impulsive actions and devil may care nature, she turns to Mani & Hari for solace.
Meanwhile, there is a stranger sending inappropriate pictures to Charu. She is terrified when he sends an image of her cleavage taken from a very odd angle. A picture, not taken by her, but taken a few minutes back, when she is alone in her room.
As the story unfurls, the plot thickens and the four characters are caught in a mesh of each other’s doings with none of them having any clue about how the other is getting affected.
In the process, a life is at stake!
Relevance of the book in today’s scenario and tips to deal with them
The book brings to the forefront, myriad social issues. Some have been under much debate recently while some still remain unaddressed:
1. A Note regarding IMPULSIVE DECISIONS –
Many a time when we are anxious, angry or upset, we make impulsive decisions. It could be an action, a word, a facebook post or even refusing to do an act. Once we are cool headed, we often regret it.
Sometimes, it is too late to make amends. Even if, at times, our actions were justifiable, it wouldn’t be received well by others. It could backfire at any moment and wreak havoc! (As it happens in the book).
2. CHILD ABUSE & MALE RAPE –
How many times do we leave children unattended or send them with strangers? Most of the child rapes are committed by people within the family. How could we trust strangers when there are demons within the family itself?
While, there are people who believe that men cannot be raped. Even if they are raped, it means they are weak or in the colloquial language, ‘They have no balls’. They do not report the cases out of shame and because no one would believe them! By denying them, you are denying the fact that, even you are a potential victim.
Empathy is the key.
3. FEMINISM –
This is a term that most of the people shun. It has been defined, redefined, misunderstood and trampled to make it look disgusting. The thin line between feminism & feminazism should be understood here.
Charu has a point when she expresses that a female is an individual and has the right to take decisions about her life as much as a male has. By possessing her, one cannot take her reins in their hands or clip her wings and dictate how she lives the rest of her life.
But there are instances where Charu generalizes men as a whole and voices strongly how they are all similar when it comes to female domination or thinking with their genitals. This isn’t feminism and it is important to know the difference.
4. LGBT RIGHTS –
How often has this topic been discussed and why do people fear LGBTs? Why is Love feared, mocked at and shunned while hate and terrorism is well accepted?
Does the fact that your relative, friend or neighbor is bisexual or gay, affect you in any way? I think not. As long as people are compassionate and live peacefully, their sexual orientation is none of our concern. Hate and violence are what we should worry about. Not Love!
5. SUICIDE –
Suicides have been increasing at an alarming rate. This happens when people have to confront their own demons alone. Calling them selfish, mocking them or being insensitive about their pains will only worsen their situation. They need people who would really listen to them and also some counseling.
People fear change. People fear the unknown & the uncertain, which is why we think death as a finality & mourn. We have no idea what happens after death. Now, imagine how horrible one’s situation must be, for one to give up one’s life and embrace the unknown death!?
And when we haven’t gone through this phase, how could we judge them and call them selfish?
6. CYBER BULLYING –
Social media plays an important role in the story. It depicts how dependent and vulnerable internet and social networking sites have made us. Our emotions are almost always kept for display in all or many of these sites.
Technology has its uses but it also takes the ugliest of forms through cyber bullying. The book gives a warning that through technology, anything could be accessed at any time and that you are at your vulnerable best. How scary is that!? It is always better to be cautious and wary of the pictures you take, people you talk to, friends you make and the information you share.
Quotes from the Book:
- How can the world decide that men and women of all ages have to behave in a single regimented way? Every person is different; I have the freedom to live a life as I please. I am not saying all men are the same or all girls are victims of male domination, but you will have to accept that men have for centuries tried to control women and their destinies in ways that were convenient for them. I hate to be in a relationship that clips my freedom.
- People don’t remember what you did to them, but they would never forget till their grave about how you made them feel. You might argue that it was a reaction to how someone made you feel but never underestimate the potency of a disgraced beast.
- Much of our problems can be negated by killing our impulsive and reflexive responses. Aren’t our responses mostly to fight? Inflicting pain on ourselves with the hope that our pain will hurt the other is plain stupid. People just don’t care.
Do I recommend this book?
Yes. To get an idea about the trial and tribulations faced by victims of sexual abuse. To understand what leads a person to the verge of suicide. To understand the problems faced by LGBTs and how their lives get affected when they are discovered. The book narrates incidents that are very much real and messy and living in today’s world, we need to get a taste of it. Not to hate, but to be empathetic.
The book reaches out to the youngsters, moral policing ideologists, to the parents and to every living person. It keeps us engrossed right from the beginning, increases pace as the plot thickens and towards the last one-third of it, you can barely stop. Every chapter has been supported with beautiful illustrations.
I must admit that it dwells a bit too long on dream sequences repeatedly. It also leaves a lot of loose ends with respect to what happens to rest of the characters. But all this can be ignored since it drives home the messages.These are the kind of stories the world needs now. Raw, brutal and real.
Image courtesy for all images – The official site of The Story of a suicide.
The images and the contents with the watermarks belong to A Few Handpicked Things in Life.