Saturday, March 27, 2010


I got to know a few days back that a girl I knew in my engineering college days died recently. She took her own life. I didn't know her too well. But, I knew her.

In my final final year in Delhi, I had too much time on my hands, and I had joined an NGO that worked towards creating awareness about suicide. My job there was to talk to people who contacted the NGO for help. These people were on the verge of killing themselves, but had enough will to hold on to something.

That girl I knew, and had spoken to a few times, lost that will sometime last week.

She was a very good student. Belonged to a not so well-to-do family. Parents wanted to marry her off. I felt she preferred being with women. Her marriage was fixed. I got to speak with her 4-5 times in February-March 2006. She had got married a few months after I left Delhi.
She wanted badly to escape. She finally did.

I had contacted that NGO because I needed to get some sanity in my own life. After the craziness that my last couple of years in Delhi involved, I had given up a lot of hope. Just talking to people there helped a lot. I am a fair bit suicidal myself, but I have never gone to the limit of actually getting close to dying. A few cuts, a few rat-poison induced nose bleeds are mostly enough to give me enough of a scare. But, when I felt I was going beyond these relatively harmless limits, I sought help. I recovered, thanks in no small measure to some very important friends. It was suggested that, having been through those killer times, I should talk to others in similar situations. It was very cathartic, and probably helped some other people too, in that they found someone who was not judgmental.

During those painful years, what I realized was that the worst thing you can do to a person contemplating suicide is to tell him that suicide is for cowards. It really does not help. Very often, a person thinking of taking his own life is at the absolute bottom of self-worth. Telling him that the one resolution he can think of will only make him appear even worse cannot be of help. It might appear like an attempt at simplifying something that is really a lot more complex, but just listening is a lot more helpful.

A person inherently does not want to die. It is difficult to imagine how caged one must feel to take that step. Most people also do think of what effect it might have on their loved ones - their parents, friends, everyone who came to know them. To ignore all of this, to ignore all the pain, to just give up not being there tomorrow in the scheme of things - it's not an easy decision. It is taken only when multiple calls for help are not heeded. It is taken only when everything else seems pointless.

During my association with the NGO a school girl had jumped to death from her 5th floor flat because she thought she had not done well in her Boards. I had spoken to her two days before she died. It is not a great thing knowing that there might have been a chance I could have convinced her to live.

It is still not a great thing four years down. I am sorry Sakshi.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food, Quizzing, My Life

I'm slightly worried right now because a recent visitor to my blog from Denver, CO, came here after searching on Google for "I let my young son play with my cock". I hope he was referring to the poultry at his farmhouse.

Anyway, to each his own daddy.

As someone implied on Twitter, the hiatus has indeed been partly because of a marriage. But not mine. Was away for a cousin's marriage. That was only for 3-4 days though. Some work-related submissions, some personal work and some work-life issues were responsible too. Plus, we did a couple of quizzes for NIT Durgapur at their Tech Fest, Aarohan. But, I am back now and that should make you very happy, no?

A good amount of my time lately has gone into mock interviewing candidates for various B-schools. It's more fun than anything else that I have done lately. And I get paid for it too. Met some amazing people, both as interviewees or co-panelists.

I like it that way - meet people for a brief while, get to know about them, have a bit of good time, and then move on. No pain of being in touch, maintaining relationships, with all and sundry. If someone's really great, you can stay in contact and get together for drinks/dinner once in a while. If
really great. Everyone gets painful after some time though. The time it takes to get painful varies, that's all.

Been doing the usual stuff, watching films, reading. And cooking. My cooking skills have improved considerably over the last few weeks. But, I can't bear to cook the usual
aloo-baingan and aloo-matar. Not that cooking them is any easier than cooking Thai red curry mix vegetable, but it's just too boring to do all the pre-cooking cutting and post-cooking cleaning for something that my bai can make with her eyes shut. So, only (slightly) exotic stuff for me. I am still not confident enough to make others eat what I have cooked though.

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