Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

Subha Manoj


morning as I cooked, my son came up to me and said, “You know Amma, J said that
he does not want to live anymore.” The meticulous round dosa that I was trying
to make now looked a weird oblong. Cooking can wait, I thought. I turned
towards him and asked him what he just said. He obviously repeated the same
why would he say something like that?” I asked.
if you are wondering who is J, let me tell you that he is my son’s best friend
and is 10 years old.
know I asked him the same thing! He said we anyway have to die one day, then
what’s the point anyway.” My 9 year old muttered.
I was
on the verge of giving a dose of gyan session, then I stopped myself. Instead I
asked, “What did you say?”
said I don’t agree with you J. Life is so exciting. There are so many fun
things to do. We have school, friends, games, all the new things our parents
buy for us.” His answer followed.
couldn’t help but smile. All I could manage to say was, “You are right. Life is
indeed exciting.”
soon walked away to drink milk and got ready for school.
It is
beyond my understanding how sometimes kids end up saying such magnanimous
things and simply walk away. I wish I could get in their heads to know whether
they are still thinking about it or it is one of those many things they simply
say and forget about.
have been quite inquisitive about what kids talk among them. Those precious
animated discussions that my 4 year old daughter has with her tiny tot friends
has made me squirm my ears just enough to hear atleast one word. There have
been times when I have asked my son what is that he and his friends talk in
length when it rains and they are unable to play football. His answer is mostly
monosyllables or maximum… “Just like that…this and that.” And today is when I
have come to know that they talk about life and well…. Death! Keeping my
fingers crossed, after saying a little prayer I kept myself sane, thinking it
could be just a heat of the moment small talk the kids had.
As I
was back to making dosas, I wondered about the people who find themselves at
that scary, at-the-edge point of their lives, when they no more want to live
their lives. At that point, life is not something to be explored, experienced
and enjoyed but an end to the means. What could probably help them? A friend, a
good advice, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, an empathetic family
member, or a visit to an expert?
back as a child, our maid’s daughter committed suicide by drinking poison. The
reason was that she suspected her husband of infidelity. Deep in her heart she
knew and was quite vocal about the fact that she was dark and therefore average
looking, while her husband was fair and very handsome. But the point is that
just moments before she died, she cried for help. When she saw someone had
arrived to help her, she said that she wants to live and maybe it was all just
a suspicion. She kept crying that she wanted to see her two young children
grow. But it was too late by then. Our maid spent many days after this incident
crying how her son in law was really depressed and kept wondering how in the
world his beloved wife got that kind of an impression about him.
incident came flowing into my mind and I pondered what could have helped her? A
life that decided to come to a still, a soul whose purpose was achieved, an
unfinished life…an answer refused to come to me.

One Reply to “L.I.F.E”

  • Subha,
    May be the child is thinking that at end of the game you are going to die and there are no more levels to cross like candy crush, then it’s boring to play this game of life.
    I don’t know whom to blame for this, but sure we have to blame God for designing a game with one level and no extra life option.
    It’s an intense topic to talk.
    Good Start for the year 2015 and Waiting to read more …

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