A few weeks ago,a senior Mumbai cop couldn’t cope with the excruciating pain of cancer and committed suicide.Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain cut short his life and one more name was added to this sad and depressing list of people taking their own lives when spiritual guru, Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shot himself dead in Indore. I don’t mean to adopt a sermonising attitude towards these people,who chose suicide. Neither is there any point in saying they shouldn’t have done this. They must have gone through unbearable pain,predicament and turmoil in their lives to do this.
It may not be a sign of cowardice to commit suicide,but what’s life if not a perpetual strife of the profoundest and severest kind? Though circumstances could be unimaginably depressing and woefully pathetic, there’s always a silver lining to the cloud. I’ve never believed in god, esoteric power or religion, but I believe that life has a purpose and that purpose can be realised only till the natural end of life. It’s like a game of cricket. Nothing can be predicted till the last delivery is bowled. Suicide truncates that golden possibility. It jettisons all the chances and opportunities that could have blossomed.
The Quran condemns a man to be consigned to hellfire till eternity.In the 21 teachings of Muhammad, suicide has been considered the gravest sin;the Bible categorically condemns it and Torah, scriptures of Judaism, calls it ‘an audacious sin against the god’. Suicide is an existential conundrum. It’s not the exercise of free will. Rather, it’s the failure of volition or free will. It’s the misinterpretation of the very concept of individual freedom. Mind you,there’s no heroism that has been fallaciously attributed and accrued to suicide.
Albert Camus explained it beautifully in his letter to a very young Edward W Said:‘There’s an uncanny glamourous side to suicide. Don’t get lured by it and descend into an abysmal pit of self-loathing juxtaposed with a silly sense of self-glorification. Face the music because man’s condemned to experiencing pains and pitfalls throughout life. Don’t get fazed…by them….’ The human spirit has an astounding quality to bounce back. It’s amazingly resilient. That’s the reason, the indomitable human spirit eventually tides over all negativity and low tides in life.Remember, adversities are great but man is greater than adversities.