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Things change you see.


Things change you see

Sickness in the pit of my stomach
Spreads outward like spilled wine
Tipped carelessly on a white table cloth
Holding in the pain
Tightly knit
Sewn lips
Even though dying really
To end it all.
Desperately seeking closure (not susan)
So memories long held (now meaningless)
Can be obliterated
Without loss of further face (Eternal sunshine anyone?)
But the pain , all pervasive
Like cancer spreads
To all parts of the body
Till the head numb with grief
Finally stops pounding
And succumbs to silence.

Suicide-  a causal word now
Causes not a stir
And what pierces most
Is that he still does not know.
Care
Or
Even remember.

Things change you see.

© 2011 Preeti Shenoy

For more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

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This is a poem I wrote a few days ago. Most of my poetry is dark and sad, very unlike my posts which are peppy and so full of life (usually). Mostly the lines in my poems just 'come to me out of nowhere' and I scribble them down quickly on a piece of paper before they vanish from my head. If I do not write it down immediately, the moment passes and they are gone forever. 

Poetry, like Art , cannot be explained. It just can be interpreted in any way you like. Either it moves you or it doesn't. That is the beauty of it.

Today, a news item in Times of India, prompted me to post this poem on my blog. Sometime back I had blogged about growing apathy  in urban environments towards suicides and how we can do our tiny little bit. 
(Please read the post if you haven't read it before continuing further)

On Sunday night, Bangalore city claimed yet another suicide victim. Ruchi Shandilya who was just 25, ended her life by hanging herself from the ceiling fan, in her apartment, near Ulsoor lake. She has worked with manoviraj Khosla for three years. He is holidaying abroad and when he heard of her death,  he was shocked and   completely shattered.  She had been married for the past three years  to Prashant Kumar and her marriage had run into rough waters. There were constant fights. On Friday, after one such fight, Prashant stormed out of the house and moved into his friend's place.Ruchi later constantly tried to contact him but he did not answer her phone calls. On Monday morning when he returned home, the sight that greeted him was Ruchi's dead body hanging from the ceiling.


What truly breaks my heart in this story is that Ruchi repeatedly tried to reach out. I can empathise completely with her pain and her desperation (Please read my poem again now, it may make better sense.) Can you imagine her agony for her to have taken this extreme step? It is easy to say "People have fights all the time, why should anyone take their life for that?" Fact is it is not that single fight which would have caused her to end her life. It would have been the last straw that broke the camel's back.


The strongest signals which a person likely to commit suicide gives out is "I cannot go on anymore." They may not say so in so many words, but they may reach out. Suicide is rarely a spur o the moment decision. It is not like how it is shown in the movies. For more information about clues and warning signals click here. 

Suicides can definitely be prevented by talking about issues. And for talking one needs a trusted friend, a confidante and sometimes just somebody who cares enough to listen.


Had Prashant picked up Ruchi's calls, her death would probably have been prevented.
If Ruchi had a close and trusted friend whom she could have called when Prashant did not respond,  her death might have been prevented.
If someone who knew Ruchi cared deeply about her, her death could still have been prevented.

What I feel most hurt about is, nobody really cares..For most people, this just a story in today's newspaper which will go into trash pile tomorrow.

In any relationship, fights are inevitable. In life problems are inevitable. But what is needed is talking about it. One cannot cut off from loved ones, the way Prashant did just because he was angry. The least he could have done was pick up her calls. He owed her that much. After all, they must have had something between them, for them to get married. 


But things change you, see. (and that was meant sardonically).
_______________________________________________________________________

PS:
1.The protagonist in my second book, 'Life is what you make it' survives two suicide attempts. It is based on a true story and hence suicide prevention is a topic close to my heart.

2.If you have even one single dependable friend and a true friend, hold on to them. They are worth their weight in gold. (I will blog about what makes a dependable friend in my next post).

Comments

  1. I have been staring blankly at the screen for sometime now wondering what to write...Because I cannot find the words, because I want to write back... there is something inside that wants to take the shape of a voiced expression... A sad story, truly and I wonder why these things happen. There are times in life (thankfully, not in everyone's though) when dying is the best option that the eyes can see; the moments that cannot be open to reason; and no school, no loved one teaches us to anticipate that such a situation may arise and how we should overcome the same. It is important to know, just as we know and talk about love, about Metallica, about tsunami, about anger, about birth; we should know about this strong, compelling emotion as well. It is important.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am all teary eyed now...dont know how to react.
    If only one ear would have offered to listen a precious life would have been saved. So true - hold on to that one person in life, that one friend...

    Just think - think just once again before taking such step...just one more split second.

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  3. I like your blog posts too much...have been a bit busy lately so couldnt follow much....but you have some inspiring stories to tell either through blog posts or your books....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Finally!!! finally!! a different take on suicides. All along I have heard, people berating the person who resorted to this extreme step. Very rarely have I heard anyone even attempting to understand what might have gone on in the person's head. You are right when you say that all that is needed to avert this is someone who cares to listen..

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been to 8 educational institutions till date. Made a lot of friends, some very close, and drifted apart, as usually happens(at least in the pre-social networking era)with children.

    In the past few months I have seen people break friendships/relationships using as basis some inconsequential misunderstandings. I cannot explain how hard it is to want to be with someone close when you can't, because you might find a best friend again, you never find 'that' best friend.

    All it takes is looking beyond things that might seem important now but really make no difference in the long run. In the end it is the people you have around you that make life worthwhile.

    Again, Thank you for bringing this into people's consciousness.

    Beautiful poem. True, poetry flows from the heart to the pen, sometimes bypassing the head! Not many get it :-)

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  6. I feel bad for the girl...and also for the husband, as he'll never be free of guilt for the rest of his life. A meaningful post!

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  7. Its a beautiful poem... Truly makes the heart feel what Ruchi might have gone through in her final moments!

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  8. Too emotional to comment!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am stunned beyond belief...Prashant will regret his inaction forever...his life will be a series of "what ifs" now...

    One truly needs to hang onto at least one dependable friend.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I don't know very many basic facts about either person in this scenario so I cannot really judge it in hindsight.

    From what I do know, "using anger," "bullying," and "teaching lessons" in such situations generally worsens and does not improw the conflict. None of us are safe from getting trapped in such predicaments so thinking ahead and planning positive reactions for similar occasions may be useful.

    For a generally useful overview of human relations, I would recommend reading (and studying) "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great job on the poem, Preeti.
    Bob Hoff

    ReplyDelete
  12. That is Dark and very well articulated.

    Suicide is a reality that brings out a range of emotions for me that I cant find coherence of thoughts.

    Makes me feel like we are failing as a society, if people amongst our midst are driven to such lengths.

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  13. Incredibly powerful post. I know you care very deeply about this issue and you've hit home with a disturbing poem and some hard hitting words. Just numb after reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ramesh: Sorry if I have upset you..Thing is I feel so deeply and nobody seems to care about suicides.Today's paper has yet another suicide--a techie working in Infosys.Very young guy. He killed his baby daughter too before killing himself.

    Mysoul: Yes, a society, I think we need to be more sensitive.

    Bob: Yes--I have read th book several times. I agree. Thanks for the compliments about the poem.

    Palsworld: NOOOOO...Prashant cannot be blamed..It is truly not his fault alone and the idea was not to criticise and condemn a person for life. How can you blame one person?!! That is so not correct. We as a society should do our bit

    ReplyDelete
  15. Shachi: Sorry :-/ It's an issue which I feel deeply about.

    MS:Thank you so much. hard to find appreciation for such dark poetry.

    Caterpillar:I do hope he gets over his guilt and gets on with his life.

    Sucheta: I hear you. Thanks a lot for appreciating the poem. Not everyone gets it :)

    A: Thanks you.yes, one of the things needed is talking about it.

    Gaurav:Thanks.

    Life begins: The person deciding to take the final step has already thought out and thought out well. The events leading to it is hat need to be changed. Apologies for making you teary eyed.

    Ankita: I love you for this comment you wrote. A big hug to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Preeti,

    congrats on your book topping the list. Keep educating our society about this topic.

    It's sad to read such news everday. Suicide stems from the feeling of worthlessness . Any amount of listening is not going to help if they don't seek to rectify that self worth issue. We rather call them unhappy or angry people but we fail to see them as people needing medical help (psychiatric help). It's such a taboo in our society to accept our daughter/son has mental illness.

    The most vulnerable part of our body is our brain. Any small incident in our life can cause life long impact.

    our country is going thru fast development and with it comes social and psychological issues. We need to have more counselling centers at schools , colleges and in our communities .


    I am happy that you are raising awarness about Bi polar disorder. I have never heard of it when I lived in India in 90's. But learning about Bipolar disorder has helped me to see people in a different perspective. Educating ourselves is the best way to deal with people going thru depression.

    We need to teach our kids about art of listening along with self worth. We also need to teach our kids to communicate/share the issues with parents, friends or peers. A lot of physical activity helps to balance the mood swing.

    As a grown up just listening to our kids, friends, husband , neighbour with empathy can create such harmony in our life. We need to exercise our best gift the art of listening more in our lives. At times it can even save a life or two because all they wanted was somebody to talk.

    Hugs to you preeti . I am sure reading your post might help such people to reach out to somebody.

    BTW, can you try writing some happy poems about your kids , your husband and flowers around you : ).

    Charu

    ReplyDelete
  17. Charu: Thanks a lot for your long comment. I do appreciate. I am sure your comment is well meant and well intended but i am sorry it is slightly misplaced.

    Bipolar disorder is NOT depression.Every person who commits suicide does NOT have a mental illness. The reasons for suicide is definitely not always low self esteem or self worth..The reasons are truly complex and multifacted.

    When it comes to suicides by people with mental issues, many a time a person commits suicide within a week after a discharge from a mental hospital where the medical fraternity has declared the person completely cured.

    Talking does help, truly listening does help. Having a good friend to reach out to, does help.(This I agree with what you have said)

    Physical activities definitely DO NOT help control mood swings..If that was the case there would have been no need for prescribing lithium. (Bipolar? Depressed? --please have a 2 kilometre run and you will be fine)

    Sorry Charu--this is an issue which cannot be 'wished away' or 'arm chair cured'.

    And no, I do not write happy poems.I like dark and sad in poetry as well as in Art.

    Apologies if my reply is too honest and blunt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey preeti,

    A very touching post...

    we as human beings can & should alwayz be there...sometimes letting out things really helps not only in the case of just confessing the love to your loved ones but also in the cases as the one you have mentioned...

    Some people should know that keeping things to ourselves does not solve anything ..isntead sharing it loosens it up...

    I totally agree with this post of yours...and i make sure that whenever iam with any one and that someone is going thru some pain...i make sure that they say it...It helps :)..

    Just wnted to say that this post was something surely i could relate to...

    One advice to all who have read it....Sometimes...You just have to listen and youll help the person and make him/her feel better...

    ReplyDelete
  19. I re-read the poem after reading the news item and it had such a depper meaning. Yes, its true, if only we can do our bit to reach out to people it may help them but sometimes it also becomes difficult to open your heart to someone, like if Ruchi could have contacted some of her friends and spoken about it, that spitting out of all details itself would have made her feel so lighter. Truly sad.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are smiles you remember
    And cries you forget
    When you think you belonged
    Life puts you up to test

    Do not insinuate my friends for things they still are blaming themselves for... Had it been prevented it would have been. The only high ground easily achieved is moral high ground...

    ReplyDelete
  21. a sad but thought provoking post....I read the poem and Ruchi's story 2 days back but i couldnt reply immediately as i was lost for words...

    You were right in saying that if her husband had picked up her calls or is she had a close friend to pour out her sorrow, then she wouldnt have taken the extreme step...

    But if she had kept aside her worries and thought for a moment about the people in her life, her family..her parents, her siblings.....then she would have abandoned the idea of ending her life.....She has sought the easier way out and escaped from it once and for all...now her husband and her close ones will endure the punishment life long....
    Ending the life is easy but solving problems and living it out for the sake of our loved ones is a challenge.....She obviously chose the 1st way out and escaped the challenge....Sad indeed!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. My institute, IIT Chennai has been in news for two suicides by students in last three months. I have been thinking about it, for quite some time, and it refuses to go out of my mind. The reason being the same "For most people, this just a story in today's newspaper which will go into trash pile tomorrow."

    Your composition is nice. I wrote something on it, too which you may help me improve upon.
    http://avishekranjan.blogspot.com/2010/09/forlorn.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Preeti,

    I welcome your blunt and honest answer. I am aware of the issue but you have done good research writing your book. Every day I learn something new preethi .

    Keep educating about this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very true Preethi.... this will be just... just 1 more news for many people. Wish she could had such a friend who might have helped and stopped her. But in todays's tech generation relations losing their values and people are least bothered about their friends/relatives.

    Coming to your poem, i feel its not dark and sad. Its true and truth is always bitter :( i blv fights are integral part of a relation as they bring relations close but if its taken in wrong way the above incident happens.

    Come on people lets stand for our friends really....and be for them in need. Please.....

    ReplyDelete
  25. People who commit suicide are often criticized as cowards...but I feel it takes a lot of guts to make the decision of ending one's life.... And others(sometimes even immediate family and friends) never try to understand their perspective and how depressed they might have felt to take such a step... We need to always take care and listen to our family and freinds. We should also hold on to them. Strong friends in turn make us stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  26. a very needed post preeti :)

    the most valued possessions one can ever have are a bunch of trusted family and friends. They are your venting machines.. what you said at last is very true, a dependable friend is worth his weight in gold :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey Preeti..this is Gayatri(a silent reader of your blog till now)..sorry for that
    But this post couldn't stop me from writing..a very touching poem..
    Feeling very bad for Ruchi...what she must have gone through..when she had no one to share her feelings..

    No matter how busy we are..we need to give time to ours families and friends..take out time to listen to what they want to say..never know...unknowingly may be u will prevent your loved one from taking this worst step

    I love reading all your posts..
    all the best and congratulations on all your books..

    ReplyDelete
  28. Its been a while since I visited your blog and was going through some old posts and I kind of stumbled on to this.

    The poem is touching, and (rightly) brings out the apparent lack of empathy to suicides.

    Best of luck on your books. Hope it does well.

    ReplyDelete

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