In which we all share a suicide, but not really

14 Jan

There was an attempted suicide on the tracks today.

I was in the train that met the attempt.

Everybody’s doing the things they do while they commute; I’m listening to music, the three college girls opposite are being giggly and chatty, the middle aged lady next to me is just sitting.

When suddenly, knifing into the ordinary, the train driver announces: Suicide!

The train halts. The three girls look upset and get teary. The middle-aged lady tuts and complains about the delay in the service that will now ensue. I’m guessing this wasn’t her first suicide-on-the-tracks.

It was mine.

The train is emptied. One lady is rebuked for walking towards the head of the train: morbid curiosity to see the mangled remains, or her first time too?

Everybody is talking about the attempt as the station is emptied. I plug in my ears even harder with my music. The bus I get on to is full of people talking about the attempt. I don’t even know if it’s a he or a she, or if he/she lives or dies.

Or why.

None of us do. And yet, the whole station shares one moment of one person’s losing struggle with life. So public. And yet so isolated.

When I was younger, I did not understand why people became angry at the thought of suicide and those who attempt it. Then I grew up a little and did. Now, I’m back to simultaneously harbouring immense sadness and compassion for those who go that way, and anger.

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2 Responses to “In which we all share a suicide, but not really”

  1. Peter Wells aka Countingducks January 16, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    I can hardly imagine what that experience was like, or how saddening and disturbing it was for you. Life is so precious for most of us, that to want to caste it aside is too sad to contemplate,

    • astudentinkolkata January 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I wonder how many nights of sleep the motorman at the helm of that train has lost.

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