Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Story of a Suicide- Book Review

When I learnt about this book titled 'The Story of a Suicide' , I immediately started reading this book. I have always wondered if there is no after-life, then could the morality or immorality associated with the suicide be classified in terms of black and white? Our scriptures say that this life is not the end because it’s just one of the many lifetimes we have been here. Recently, I read Dr. Brian Weiss’s and Dr. Michael Newton’s works and the picture of the afterlife that they have revealed in their books based on the case studies, is strikingly similar to that in our scriptures.

Our life is not as limited as we think it to be. We are all on our own journey, learning our own lessons at our own pace. No two fingers of our hand are alike. Similarly, no two humans can be alike. We all have our own set of strengths and weaknesses. But it does not mean one is lesser than the other. In the end we will all be the same. We are just at different points of the same journey. It is true that we all get deluded and start comparing ourselves with others. Sometimes in this process of judging, we lose our self-esteem while at the other times we as a part of the society as a whole become so consumed with a particular point of view/ way of life that any digressive point of views/ ways of life are ridiculed. The person who is different becomes a victim because the society collectively acts in a way to lower his self-esteem.

“The Story of a Suicide” by “Sriram Ayer” is a novel based on four main characters Sam, Charu, Hari and Mani. The story captures the complexity of circumstances of life which lead one of the characters to suicide.   Out of the four characters Sam was downright wicked. Charu was a mysterious character or rather it can be said that she had some kind of identity crisis. It was not very easy to understand her but there was one quality of hers that was appreciable, her strong headedness and her don’t care attitude towards the judgments passed on her. Hari was a timid and sweet natured guy.

The storyline is quite Ok. Although while reading, at certain points, the narration leaves you disappointed at the picture of these youngsters' lives which has been painted so grimly throughout. When I read the title, I had imagined it to be a story which would include problem as well as solution. But there are no words of hope written explicitly. The story is very dark and even the positive traits of characters are overshadowed with their negative impulses.

While Sam is a very good programmer, he is not very good in his interpersonal skills. He is not dignified enough to take rejections with a neutral mind. His revengefulness is what shapes the course of other lives in the story as well. Charu is strong but she is much prone to depression. In her definition of freedom, I find hints of overt use of sexuality as a means of escape. Hari is still suffering from the childhood trauma of being raped by his uncle. But his emotions seem all tangled with him turning gay after the childhood suffering. This turn seemed a little inconsistent as his experience with his uncle should rather have had scared him of men. Mani is a hard working student from low income family. His father had abandoned them and his mother was a labourer. He is dealing with his own problems like learning English. His involvement with Hari was an unexpected turn for me. 

All in all, I found the story to be a dark one. Although, there were many problems or rather mental barriers each character was dealing with, what I did not like about the characters was use of too much sexuality and mental violence in dealing with the problems.  I would have liked it better if there was focus on solutions rather than problems alone. 

On an ending note, life is precious and so are the ones gifted with it. Without sorrow, none would know the value of joy. It's true that sometimes life can be testing us in the ways which seem impossible to cope with. But at the end of tunnel, there is always light. The life may seem unfair sometimes, but life chooses us for a reason; because it knows we are larger than the problems it throws on to us, because we are capable to endure and win even beyond our own expectations. Because we are much more than what we think we are. Don't let your story end on a hopeless note. Be a fighter and remember that you would be pushed to light when darkness becomes too overwhelming for your soul.

For more answers about the book, read the story at 

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