Second Chances

She is on the brink of adulthood, with much that life can give her.
If only she gave it a second chance. But will she?

A friend’s cousin, yet to be 16, attempted ending her life. I’ve never met or spoken to her and yet, trapped is my mind, this morning, in her thoughts. The various emotions her conscience must have battled with, her body must have rebelled against her decision, and finally given in, and the mental conundrum she tortured herself through, are now twisting and turning, in my head.

It astonishes me that the country I live in has the highest number of suicides in the world. About a lac Indians attempt suicide each year and the figures are quite disturbing. Alarming. Imagine, every 40 seconds a person dies of suicide in some corner of the world. Moreover, an unsuccessful attempt should not lead one to presume that the person will not attempt a suicide again. 80% people who commit suicide have attempted it at least once previously. It’s creepy.

Beyond myself, I am pondering over things like – while you are going on with your day, someone somewhere is searching ways to end their life. It can be your next desk colleague, the person sitting next to you on the bus, the person at the traffic signal asking directions to somewhere, the lady standing ahead of you at the grocery shop till, someone in the family, or perhaps, a cousin, a close friend. It numbs me.

I will not get into what persuades one to attempt suicide nor go listing reasons why one should not commit the act. I guess everyone has their reasons and moreover, there is little one can do to help them in time since suicidal people are indiscernible.

At times, it sure looks like the end of the tunnel is after all a blank dark void. Surviving thoughts as dark as pitch can need more courage than physically moving a boulder. In wake of mental distress, we lose the far-sightedness the intuitive human nature compels us to consider. There is no wrong or right. Nothing easy or tough. You lose the appetite for living through another day, let alone the rest of your life. Giving yourself a second chance, as a thought, is only as close as Mercury is to Neptune, tediously far apart.

After having done something similar with my life too, I now realize, that it doesn’t take much to peep beyond the fence. Even after 4 years, at the slightest strike of depression, I vacillate back and forth from positive direction to grim outlook. It is a struggle to continually remind myself – This is not the end. There’s always a second chance.

It’s not the last exam you failed at, there’s always a next chance
nor the last interview, as something better awaits
nor has the world reduced to just you to not find love in a second man
neither it is the last attempt if your first book, song, movie, dream or a goal did not reach desired heights
heartaches and failures only make you stronger
and you do have it in you to take second chances with life.

If all was to end at dusk, there wouldn’t have been another day.
Have you ever thought of that?

I have written this post hoping that it helps someone in the crux of time. Before it’s too late. Perhaps…


-Asha Seth