I was shaken out of the stupor that studying stochastic processes generates by the loud crying of some girl near my hostel. As I looked out from my balcony it turned out to be someone I knew.
She was mourning the death of one of her batchmates,Ajay, who committed suicide probably in the early hours of the morning of 27th August.
I must have seen this guy in the mess, though I never probably personally met him.
The reasons are as yet unknown (atleast to me), but the general feeling is there was too much pressure in his course.
He was an Integrated PhD student in his 2nd year, he joined IISc with me last year.
He must have been barely 21-22...did he find himself unable to resist the pressure?
It is said "No pressure, no diamonds" but what about the 'corundum' that might just be crushed under the pressure that is meant for only diamonds? Is it not equally precious?
Was there some other reason? We don't know, and we might never know.
Whatever the reasons the question remains:
WAS IT WORTH KILLING HIMSELF OVER IT?
Maybe he found what he longed for:
A little rest and some peace.
The solutions may not necessarily be very forthcoming.
A lot of soul-searching needs to be done...by every one of us.
The course load on the students could be reduced, a student mentor program could be started.
But really was it worth the one, very precious, very promising life that was lost.
And this is not the first time someone in one of India's 'premier' institutions has taken this drastic step.
As Bob Dylan asks :
n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
Maybe this song by REM could tell us something:
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on
'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone
If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.