Absolutely saddened to hear of the tragic, untimely demise of one of our apartment neighbours...a young lad in his early 20s! He was Project Coordinator / Guest Lecturer at the prestigious IIT-M. Was here for a short break and had just returned to his campus yesterday morning, we learnt after. By evening around 7-8 pm the same day, a few students and coach found him lying dead, partially burnt, on the hockey field!
The police initially ruled it could be a case of suicide or murder; found nothing suspicious! His body was sent to the Govt. hospital for autopsy. Family was notified. Some of our flatmates saw the father in tears late last night, but by the time they could enquire, the family left for Chennai. It was the father's sister who had come to their flat when they had to leave abruptly, who told us that the son, the young man was no more.
By this morning we received news that the police had recovered a 11-page suicide note from his room purportedly written by him and they've registered the case as suicide in the FIR. As per reports, the police said that the suicide note mentioned mental depression and stress as the main reason for this drastic step that tragically ended his life before it even really began; also that no one was responsible for his death!
Was it a momentary decision that snuffed out his will to live or a nagging, persistent feeling that he couldn't take the stress anymore? No one knows! And as always happens, people who knew him or those that hardly knew him and even those who never knew him, contributed generously with their two bits to what could have been the reason for this act.
His life ended... but the tongue wagging has only begun. They say he was unnecessarily pressurised by his folks to always keep performing; that his parents kept comparing him with the top achievers and wanted him to do better; that he behaved quite strange, sad and stressed in the last few months; that his father was quite strict and compelled him to continue on the campus despite him pleading to quit; that he was quiet and aloof; that perhaps we as a community should have stepped in, reached out and stopped this from happening, if only we knew!
Was it HIS dreams or his family's that have been burnt to cinders? There is so much more to life than the pride of taking pride in your children's achievements. Only wish, we as parents take time to listen to our children. Understand what they really want from life, rather than impose our dreams and desires on them. It's their life and we are merely their caretakers. All we ought to do is provide them with the right environment to grow, learn, live and blossom to the best that they can be. Help them to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life; the extraordinary will take care of itself!
With all due respect to the family of the young man who lost his life, I'm neither judging them nor saying they didn't give their best to the boy. I'm merely drawing an important lesson out of this unfortunate incident and reminding myself what I as a parent should be focusing on...
Give them the right foundation; imbibe good values; show them kindness, compassion and care; tell them it's okay to fail; Let them fall, not once or twice, but many times...and teach them to pick themselves up and move on; don't judge or blame them; don't lecture or advise them, instead have open discussions and conversations with them; be their listening post; give them a shoulder to cry on; show them you are there for them anytime they need you...
My heart is still heavy, even as I end this note... May his soul rest in peace. And may the Lord give strength to the family to bear this terrible loss.