It has been a year since I first lay on the hospital bed. I see the doctor and nurse coming for their daily rounds thrice a day. I am functioning mentally and emotionally. I am breathing, but that is all. However, it is impossible to move; I feel like I am being held captive in a paralyzed body that does not operate. I’m in a coma, and I don’t know whether or not I will make it alive. I wish I could go back in time. In case you were wondering, my name is Aarush Singh.
A year ago:
I have been successful in my school life, whether it was being the class monitor, the school captain, or being the topper of my class. I never compromised with anything in my school life because I didn’t have a second choice. I have my higher secondary board examination this year, and I know I will make it this time.
I spent 8 months boycotting my social life, being a bookworm, spending every day cooped up at home, whereas some of my friends started studying only three months before the exams. I am sure most of you do that, but I couldn’t have conciliated being second on the newspaper’s front page, even by a few marks. I had developed a self-centered attitude because I received laurels every time, and I had to do it this time too. After all, my reputation s at stake.
The results were announced, and I felt such agony that I had never felt in my life before. I got 88.6%. For a moment, my fingers trembled, and I realized that all my effort and hard work had come to an end. I checked my marks over and over again in the hope that I had read them incorrectly.
“If you have only scored a 88.6%, you’ll achieve nothing,” echoed a voice in my mind.
I closed my eyes for a few minutes, processing the information. I was standing at the top of my seven-storied building; I played my mother’s faint smile in my mind for a while and jumped.
It’s been 8 months since I lay in this bed, and my decision to end this life has left drastic implications on my family. These eight months have taught me things; things eight years couldn’t.
Life has changed for everyone, my mother, my father, and my sister. Here’s what happened in the last eight months.
In the hospital
“Son, I am sorry I couldn’t cook your favorite meal today, the maid didn’t come and the market was closed. I hope you won’t mind. The doctor says you will recover very soon, and I am glad that you have started eating. I know you can hear me speak, and you gobble down the food when I am not around, my naughty little boy. Your papa has finally started believing my words; he too agrees that you eat the food I send. I will wait for you until you start talking to me; I will visit you every day.”
“I had a big fight with Rima aunty today, and she told me you jumped off by choice; you know how crooked ladies can be. Believe me, son, and I don’t care what she has to say. You know it feels like reliving the 9 months I had kept you inside me; I am eagerly waiting for you to talk to me again. I know it was an accident; you could never leave my side by choice. Your sister and your papa will be here in the afternoon; take care. I love you.”
“Bhaiya, I am so sorry, but she never listens to us. Earlier, we used to take back the food she packed for you and see her cry every day. So nowadays, I feed the stray dogs in the streets, at least the food isn’t thrown away, and she believes you had it. I know you love to see her smile, be it for the wrong reason right now. Papa doesn’t argue with her anymore. I have been watching your favorite soccer show every day. I won’t even touch the TV remote, I promise. I will never argue with you on anything, and I will give you all my share of sweet cream. I miss you.”
The house that was known to have a happy family is presently the quietest in the society. Aarush’s father’s business crashed after that incident, and the house is running with the little pension he gets. So he doesn’t go out anymore and keeps himself locked inside his room for hours. They knock at the door, and he eats the food inside his room. He visits the hospital once every day and comes back to his room.
His mother keeps staring at objects for hours till time passes by. Ever since Aarush has been in a coma, she’s been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Slowly she has stopped talking to people at home and outside the home, except Aarush.
Aarush’s sister used to be a topper in class, but she gets the poorest grades today. She is faltering and trying to stay strong but cries herself to sleep every night.
Attempted suicide is not just a decision you make. You are not the only one who has to deal with the after-effects. The impact is far-reaching, and it is harder for the ones who have to survive your death. They are the ones you love, the ones who love you. You may decide to run away from the situation you have been facing all this while but think of those who have been dealing with life-threatening situations but have survived so far.
You choose to leave your mother’s hand for a momentary pain; what about the pain she has to live with for the rest of her life?