Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To be or not to Be

It was a typical summer afternoon. The sun was brimming fire. We were traveling by car from Nagpur to Hyderabad. The AC almost seemed non functional. Or so it seemed. You could only feel the difference if you walked out. We were on the rough rocky Adilabad terrain. One of the most underdeveloped areas in AP. All one could see around was miles and miles of parched land and some wild bushes.

I was cursing my friend for not taking the Rajdhani express from Nagpur. He had to meet a client on the way. He tried to compensate by putting a cooler filled with beers. We had some dry foods since we were warned that this area doesn’t have any decent restaurants.

I kept grumbling and drinking as we traveled when we saw someone frantically waving us ahead on the road. As we came closer we noticed a young boy , not more than 13, carrying chopped wood on his head. We stopped the car and came out. I felt blinded by the sun and thought I would pass out. It was that hot.

The boys lips were dry and he was thirsty. I fished out a bottle only half full of water which he drank in a few gulps and asked for more. I was kicking myself as I couldn’t find another one. Luckily we had some oranges.

My friend offered him to drop. The boy asked where are you going. My friend said doesn’t matter. Just tell where you want to go. The boy thought for a moment. And then asked what about the wood. My friend explained that we cant fit it in. but we can do one thing. We can buy it. He asked what will we do. We said he shouldn’t be worried. Some how the proud boy didn’t like it. He said no. you guys go.
We gave him all the food we had.
While leaving I slid some money in his pocket. This time he just smiled.

When we left him , his parched lips and red eyes haunted us. I requested my friend to switch off the AC. I switched off the music and we drove all the way in silence.

Today after two years suddenly I remembered him as I was talking over the phone with a friend in Orlando. A young boy who was hardly 24 years old had committed suicide. He had left behind his 20 year old wife and weeping parents. He had everything going for him. A comfortable business, doting parents and a loving wife.

I was looking at the irony. There was nothing going for the 13 year old lad. And yet he strove to survive. This boy had everything going for him. And yet he chose death.

It’s difficult to fathom a human brain. We really don’t know what was going on in his mind as he killed himself. It just wouldn’t be fair to sit on the judgment seat.

Both didn’t know why they were doing.

In life as in death, certain things remain an enigma.

All we are left with is – WHY?


  1. Very nicely written.. very true too.. the true reason for suicide get washed off along with the person.. later on people just guess..
    btw I liked the helpful attitude you ppl showed, but moreover it was his decision not to sell his wood to you, thats more commendable!!

  2. Thanks Rockfeather. grateful for your time.
    Yes indeed, he was a credit no doubt abt it.

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  4. This one is thought provoking. Call it a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. I feel it actually takes a lot of courage to die and he might have surely imagined how it feels for the family who has loved him for the past 24 years unconditionally.

  5. It sure does. doesnt it.
    Thanks for visiting the blog Chaitu and for your valuable insight.