The strongest emotion of all



I know someone who killed themselves
Not one, but quite a few
What terrible chances in their life
Did they so depressingly rue
That celebrity, who made you laugh
That friend, who joked, you thought
That unexpected person next door
Wonder what against he fought
What horrible demons did
Each of them everyday slew
I know someone who killed themselves
Not one, but quite a few

Loneliness sometimes hits hard. It often follows periods of frustration. Most likely when you are worried about things not happening your way. That’s when you get all philosophical. You ponder about the purpose of your life. You don’t see any. We all are going to die one day, why not now then? Endless failures look to cripple you. And more often than not you seem to be chasing the success that conveniently seems to elude you. You may have thought about it. Maybe not as dramatically as holding a kitchen knife to your wrist but you wonder just the same. What it is to slash open your wrist? To hang yourself from the ceiling fan? To jump from a tall building? To electrocute yourself in the bath? To lie down on the railway track? To gulp an uncharacteristic amount of sleeping pills? The methods are endless. The internet a handy source, the television a gateway into easy life-taking lessons. But most of us stop right there. Because we still, maybe deep down, but we still believe that better days are around the corner. And they are.

Just before the darkness swallows us whole, that tiny ray of light pulls us into the sunshine. We realize we are lucky. We are surrounded by our loved ones. That each failure was just a stepping stone to success. And we thank god for everything that is still ours. That time must have robbed us of countless possessions but it still spared us a few. We rue about all our dreams not getting fulfilled but aren’t we glad all our nightmares have not materialized either? Truth is for most of us, even when our life is staring down at the end of the barrel, we find in ourselves the strength to get back on our feet. Easier said than done, perhaps, but it comes to pass.

Now imagine all the darkest times in your life? When you have felt lonely even when loved ones surround you? Remember the scary moments and imagine being stuck in them for what seems like an eon. What is it to stare right in the face of the tiny ray of hope but yet being blind to the light on the other side? What is it to be enveloped in the arms of a loved one but not feeling the emotion? What is it to listen to the soothing words of encouragement whispered into the ear yet not being able to hear them? What it is to be perpetually frightened of our own shadow?

We read in books, we watch in movies and for ages we have been hearing that Love is the strongest emotion of all. We have experienced it in form of gentle scolding from our father, from the warm embrace of our mother, from the naughty smile of our child, from the friendly banter with our siblings, from the mock laughter of our friends, from the affectionate glance of our spouse. We cannot imagine a world in which they don’t exist. But we dread a world in which they do exist yet are unable to reach out to us.

We brand them cowards. Suicide, did you say? Why did he/she do it? They had so much to live for? Did not even think about his/her parents? kids? friends? family? We opine that lack of courage drives them to such an extreme step. But in reality, damn if it isn’t the most courageous thing you have heard of! What kind of exceptional strength does it take to denigrate our own life? When we come out of our occasional mood swings, we realize how trivial our problems actually were. It is only when we observe our life from a third person point of view, the silliness of our (in)action sinks in. But what if we ever lose the ability to observe it?

We are literate enough to know how a mental illness can be severely debilitating than a physical one. How stress and tension corrodes the body and mind. How significantly our psychological state can affect even the ones around us. How fleeting life really is. Did you now the pretty young girl, who used to stay around the corner, she did it! Did you know the smiling grandpa, who lived two stories below, he did it! Did you know the mischievous kid, who used to wave at you from across the park, he did it! We all have to sink into the oblivion one day but what if some around us have already sunk so low while alive that there seems to be absolutely no difference between life and death for them? Is depression the strongest emotion of all?


(If you find yourselves in a hopeless situation or you know someone who might be suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to get help. Talk it out. Don’t keep it bottled inside. There a lot of NGOs and help centers. If you don’t prefer them, reach out to a trusted friend. Remember, while taking your own life, in the process, you are destroying those of your loved ones too)


One thought on “The strongest emotion of all

  1. I wrote an article on National Suicide Prevention Day (Australia) about how suicide is an act of despair (a loss of hope).Hope is a theological virtue. Without the theological virtue of faith? There is no real hope. There is ‘natural’ hope – in the things of this world, but hoping for such things is part of the problem.

    There’s a magnificent letter of gratitude written to the Cleveland Police Department by Michelle Knights (the woman who was abducted by Ariel Castro, held captive, and raped and tortured for ten years).

    In it, she writes:

    Life is tough. But I’m tougher. Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.

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