How will you feel if your day starts with a suicide-news? Even imaging that seems tough right! But this is reality.
WHO says, for every 40 seconds one person ends his/her life by suicide worldwide. The most suicide rate occurs in low and middle-income countries. India, as you know, is one of the middle-income countries and has the suicide rate of about 21.1 per 100,000 people. And that's not all! In the year 2012, India accounted for highest suicidal death. Suicide is one of the top three causes of death in India among young population ageing between 15-35 years. The prime reasons being dissatisfied relationships, disillusioned education, bullying and abuse (physical as well as mental). Year on year, the death toll is on an increasing trend, which is even more disturbing.
Though there are various reasons, the ultimate cause for suicide is our so-called societal systems. Sriram Ayer neatly describes it in his novel “The story of suicide.”
Here are some of the stand-out elements of this novel
· Website version – Easy to navigate, responsive in all electronic devices, easy-to-read font and colour as well as its free.
· Illustrations – Simple yet enticing. Wonderful job by Ghana indeed.
· Audio version – Inventive and heroic
· How do I? section – Well researched, thought provoking interactive articles for the one who is in need.
Alright, let’s get into details.
“The Story of a Suicide” by Sriram Ayer is a young, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends novel, which grippingly tells the stories of Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani, whose lives are interconnected in a web of love, passion, revenge and deceit.
Today’s youngsters are expressive, self-absorbed, independent, afraid, hurried, fearless, fame hungry, but surprisingly resilient. In a world that makes unreasonable demands on them, many are disillusioned about their education, relationships, jobs, sexuality, bullying, and abuse. In the backdrop of a powerful story and visuals, this project aims to reach out to young people, by verbalising their struggles through the story, informing the do’s and don’ts when they face challenges, and providing a platform to share their experiences.
The story of suicide is an unorthodox tale connecting youngsters and society. How they see and deal things, especially personal things - from handling relationships to sexuality to social media. The story is poignant and impactful. As you read you could visualise about various things that happen in our society and also relate with the ones your directly involved at when you turn over the last few pages of the book. It raises questions that remain unanswered in our society. Few of the chapters reminded Aravind Adiga’s “The White Tiger”, except that the narration of this story is dark and emotional while Adiga's is sarcastic.
The characters were neatly defined and are easy to relate to our personal life. Be it their names, characterisation or behaviour, everything connects with the readers inducing us to complete the story. The names Hari, Mani, Sam and Charu are very familiar and are like the people living next-door so it is easy to connect.
The narrating style is simple and crisp. It is a social drama with romantic angle in it yet the pace is convincing throughout. It misses the compelling narration, with that it would have been an engrossing read and that is a drawback with “The Story of Suicide.”
Charu’s take on male chauvinism (Chapter 17 – Facebook post) is my personal favorite. The representation of male and female was ingenious and also daring.
Drafting a letter manually always holds a special emotion when it comes to expressing yourself. And the author has used that medium perfectly to convey a strong and impactful point. It was creative, expressive and bold. It also shows aggression towards all male counterparts and their peculiar interest.
Here are a few quotes from the book that moved me
Why do you and your tribe want to possess, control and lock us up? You can’t even manage one. Why do you feel so insecure about your capabilities?
You are all designed to think only from the head of the penis, everything else follows later.
How I deal with life - Understanding life
We are in a society where an individual is judged by anyone and everyone, starting from father, mother or family members to teachers to even an unknown person. You will be judged for whatever you do. And the judgement differ for male and female. You cannot utter any words against them, if at all you do so then you will again be judged. At one point you tend to suppress your thoughts, opinions and anger. Once you suppress your emotions, you also feel frustrated. The frustration, after crossing the threshold limit, will push you to do all kind of unlawful things.
Always remember these three elements in life – Suppression, Frustration and Aggression. These are not concepts of life but daily experience that we fail to sense and comprehend. And yes, these three are interrelated to each other.
One must understand these three elements in life and also learn to settle in. There are no tips or short cuts to deal with life. Simply live with it.
Illustrations: Ghana, Story of Suicide
Illustrations: Ghana, Story of Suicide
The Story of Suicide - Book Review Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 16:20 Rating: