Saturday, 6 August 2016

The story of a Suicide- A novel by Sriram Ayer

It has been years that I have read any novel completely, reason being either they are too long or I dont find hem engaging enough to devote my time. The last novel, I finished was Chetan Bhagat's Half Girlfriend in 2014. It has been two years that I actually completed any novel. Recently I came across, Sriram Ayer's "The story of a suicide" and awesome, I finished it in just two days,

 Though I started reading it out of compulsion (it was a contest on Indiblogger where we are supposed to read and review it), but soon develop interest and finished it at the earliest. Two days are like a milestone for me as I have two small kids, getting free time, sitting and holding a book is really tough job for me. The one of the biggest reason, I finished it so soon as it is fully available online whenever I got time, I could read it in my mobile over browsing other sites.

The novel sets in Bangalore and Chennai, is the story of Charu, Mani, Sam and Hari. Four youngsters who are away from their family in order to get knowledge and education. Sriram Ayer in his novel has focused on many important issues like wretched education system, love, sexuality, hypocrisy and double standards. Hari who loves the renouncing of the violence like "Ashoka", himself fell prey of violence. Sriram has portrayed Sam as the other side of Hari, rich, assertive, athletic and a self-proclaimed tech geek. Both fall for Charu in their own way. 

The novel, though initially appears to be a love story, later turns out to be a hate story and the reason for the suicide. Though almost all the characters associate themselves with the suicide at one or another point of time but its Hari who fall its prey. The novel unfolds the situation or reasons which can lead to a suicide and also prescribed its readers through the character of Mani that no situation is so gross that we should decide to kill ourselves. Also there is always a solution and way out as being suggested by Charu.

“All of us have gone through unfair situations in life and at many times we have reacted rather childishly with less forethought and understanding of the consequences. My unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide, thankfully is a case in point," Mani said.

Much of our problems can be negated by killing our impulsive and reflexive responses. Aren’t our responses mostly to fight? Inflicting pain on ourselves with the hope that our pain will hurt the other is plain stupid. People just don’t care. We know this, probably that’s why it hurts us so much," Mani said. 

The character of Charu is the one which I liked and can relate to the most. She is young, a free spirit and one who knows how to face the problems. She knows, "It's her body, it's her mind. She has every right to do what she wants". She gives a damn about what other think of her. She is bold and beautiful. Her infactuation with sex worker, Saira and detesting of a TV show (which discloses a girl's privacy,) marks her level of maturity and feminist nature.

Also, the way she handles the stalker's conspiracy by discussing it with friends and taking help of Alex and Anwar. Her idea of suicide as a cowardice act but at the same time she believes in taking the revenge is really appreciable.
“See, I don’t subscribe to suicide or hurting oneself. It is cowardice. But if you are threatened with injustice it is important to give it back. We have to hurt the person who inflicted pain upon us. There is nothing noble in ‘ahimsa’. “I don’t believe in Gandhi or Christ. I have increasingly started to believe that non-violence is futile, maybe even against nature. I believe people want to hurt others or they constantly look for ways to get back at others who have hurt them," Charu replied.

The way she fights and overcome her fear "I will show them who I am. Losers." and then start investigating her phone., show that she is not weak and is fearless. Instead of crying or hiding herself she sets herself strong. The fear, panic and paranoia that had eclipsed her had faded away and an unnatural calmness masked her anger to hunt down the predator.

Sriram Ayer has wonderfully captured the various challenges that a youngster face in his life whether its related to education or love, he has very beautifully provided an insight about them. He has informed the do's and don'ts when they face challenges, and providing a platform to share their experience. He has through, various characters shown that life is full of ups and downs, but we need to be firm, equally stubborn to face them, instead of choosing ways like suicide or giving up the life we should fight and stand firm.

Through 31 chapters Sriram has very well maintained its readers' interest in the story and the way it unfolds will keep you curious to reach its end. He has also discussed various issues and problems and also the solutions to them. Obviously, won't discuss the whole story and kill your interest.

Life is full of ups and downs for everyone but teenage is a phase where you hardly know how to react. It is a phase where you are not fully an adult who is mature enough to handle things and not young that people will forget what you have done or doing. I, myself had gone through this phase and to be honest most of the situations told by Sriram Ayer is what I faced in my college life as well.

 Love, education, friends, expectations, sex is what I had already gone through. There was a time when I failed in loved and everything around seem to be dull and impossible, wanted to kill myself but thanks I discussed all these issues with my best friends and later on with parents. They helped me to overcome the low part of my life with their advises and experiences.  A problem is never so big that you can not find solution for it. Just give sometime and make sure you never think that you will handle it alone. Also over reacting or taking decision instantly, is what we should stop. We have friends and parents for these days only. Take their advises and soon you will overcome the biggest issue sand when you will look back, you will feel shocked when you think about their reaction to the problem. The reaction will look so immature and kiddish.