Varun, my neighbour’s seventeen year old son wanted to commit suicide. Declaring his intention to his parents, he closed himself in his room. His parents tried to persuade him to come out of the room. But he did not respond. They knocked on the door. He did not answer. He stopped talking to them. They were very much worried. They became panic. The whole neighbourhood gathered there.
Hearing the noise I went there. Varun’s parents were crying. He was their only child. His father explained me the situation. I came back to my house, took a file and returned to their house. I knocked on his door and said, “Varun, if you are really serious about committing suicide, I will help you. Please open the door”.
His parents were shocked. With sign language I requested them to keep quiet.
After some time the boy slowly opened the door. I went inside and locked the door. As I suspected there was no sign of any arrangements for suicide in the room. He looked at me suspiciously.
I said, “Don’t doubt me, Varun. I really came here to help you. I strongly believe that every man has the freedom to die. Birth is not in our hands. But surely death is. Are you sure you want to die?”
He nodded. Still he could not trust me. I saw disbelief in his eyes.
I sat on a chair and opened the file I brought.
“What is this?” he asked.
“In this file you can find everything about committing suicide. First, there are many ways to commit suicide. Gun shot, hanging, drowning, electric shock, lying under passing train and bleeding to death…If you fail in this suicide attempt, permanent brain damage and severe neurological damage may occur. So you must succeed in your first attempt itself…..” I went on speaking about the pain involved. My vivid descriptions of pain and torture made him shudder.
“…The pain cannot be avoided. It is part of suicide. We need not make big issue of it. Now you know about the methods. Which method do you choose?”
He thought for a few minutes. “I don’t know…” His voice was not audible.
“You must decide quickly. Next, you go through this file. Here you can find the photos of corpses of persons committed suicide using every one method. If you commit suicide, your photo also will appear in the newspaper. It is inevitable. Since it would be your last photograph how do you want it look like?”
Now he was really panicked. He went through the file half heartedly. The file was full of horrible details with photographs. I could see his hands tremble.
I asked “Do you want to do anything before you die? Any favourite food…..mmmm…do you want to meet any person last? Decide quickly. This is your last chance.”
He gave back the file to me. “Why do you keep a file like this?” His voice was weak.
“One of my nephews wanted to commit suicide years ago. So I collected all information on suicide on his behalf.”
“Did he commit suicide?”
“No. He was a coward. After seeing the file he decided not to commit suicide. Forget about him. Time is running out. Decide quickly. How do you want to commit suicide?”
Suddenly he became very angry and said “Why do you force me to commit suicide?”
“I am not forcing you. Committing suicide was your decision. I want to help you”
He shouted at me. “I changed my decision. I don’t want to commit suicide. You may go”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. Please go”, he said without looking at my face.
“OK. If you ever change your mind, don’t hesitate to call me. I am always here to help you “
Taking my precious file, I left his room.
“What is he saying?” his father asked me anxiously.
“He refuses to commit suicide” I winked at him.
After that incident, Varun started avoiding me. I have not seen him for years.