“The Story of a Suicide” by Sriram Ayer is one that perhaps reflects the state of society and how youth relate to and deal with different aspects of life – ranging from social media to substance abuse to sexuality. The book is centered around four characters – Hari, Mani, Sam and Charu. Starting innocuously with what seems like a college love story between a social media addict guy (Sam) and a practical girl (Priya) that soon goes kaput, the action swiftly shifts to the college where Sam has got admission for his graduation.
Parallely runs the story of Hari who comes from a nuclear family where all seems hunky dory. Except no one knows that Hari has a secret that he is hiding. Hari and Sam end up as roommates and Sam is attracted to Charu, a quick affair that follows ends almost immediately and then unfolds the drama. While Sam wants to take his ‘revenge’ on Charu, Mani and Hari are drawn to each other. The author takes the reader through a whole range of roller coaster of emotions and relationships that are complex and heading nowhere. There is a sense that all protagonists have no sense of purpose – perhaps a reflection of the mindset of today’s youth.
Excessive use of cuss words and expletives, takes away from the core of the story. It does seem that the common thread is that each one is looking for love – love with respect and that is missing in these temporary relationships. Whether it is the attitude towards homosexuality or abuse of social media, the book does touch upon issues that are probably serious and need attention. Lack of communication is an unsaid part of the book that weaves together the stories of its protagonists that ends rather poignantly. It made me wonder how and why life can become so complex – and perhaps made me believe that it is important to keep communication open and clear in any relationship.
The part of the book I liked was when Mani talks of his fondness for his teacher Madhavi and is upset that she is getting married and leaving. When she says “after school you will meet new friends, you might fall in love and god forbid there might be times you may have to leave the person you loved deeply. But remember this, when you try to possess a person, love evaporates soon. What matters is how much you loved and how much you made yourself vulnerable for the other person to love you. This is true in both love and friendships. When you truly love someone, be it a man or woman, give yourself completely.” While this seems like a common sense approach very often most people allow for life’s complexities to overtake them. And this is when a relationship could have a disastrous conclusion.
And as the title suggests, the book ends with a suicide – but that’s not the answer in reality. So here are some of my tips on dealing with life
- Remember there is no situation that you cannot come out of. Always believe in yourself and you will see that you can work your way out of any problem.
- Never let your emotions get the better of you. Learn to be calm in the face of adversity.
- If you are depressed seek help – depression needs treatment – it is not something to be ashamed of.
- Be confident and do not let what others say affect you negatively. Remember people have opinions which are their own and you do not need to believe are true.
- Last but not the least, life is a gift from God that needs to be treasured. Make your life a memorable one for yourself and the people around you. It must never be thrown away. Every life and person is worth it and you must believe you are here for a purpose that you will find and achieve.