The country was shaken by a 24-year-old student committing suicide on Monday by jumping off from the 19th floor of the Taj Land’s End hotel in Mumbai. In a Facebook live stream just minutes before, he sent out a message that went viral on social media. The police told NDTV that in one of his notes, he wrote: “I’m a drug addict…I don’t want to live anymore and hence committing suicide.” He had allegedly been depressed for some time and had come prepared for the suicide, NDTV has reported.
Today, stand-up artist Biswa Kalyan Rath wrote a post on his Facebook page, addressing this incident, and giving a message to young people and students in India. His note is a must-read in a society where the stigma and suffocating silence around depression and mental health issues drives young people to suicide. It has been produced below in full.
Young people in my newsfeed. College students, school students.
Another suicide has taken place. Another life is lost. I don’t know any other way to motivate you than saying this.
My CGPA in college was 6.83 out of 10 or less, I can’t remember or find that grade sheet. I almost failed in many subjects. I don’t know anything about biotechnology.
I did not get placement in any company. To put that in perspective, IITs have a near 100% placement rate.
I wasn’t good at anything then. I could play some shit on a guitar, or write a poem on some blog or click horrible photos with a DSLR camera. Complete lack of skill, completely unhirable.
My first job was a sales job and I was fired after 3 months. Monthly salary was 15k, which seems decent but all my friends were earning at least thrice the amount.
I was also going through personal problems as well, which I don’t want to get into but I was emotionally fucked as well.
These things made me feel like a spectacular failure.I was depressed for a couple of years and I lost around 8 kgs. I was thin to begin with. Thankfully I had friends to support me throughout.
After a couple of years, as I kept doing what I believed I would be good at, things started getting better slowly and steadily. I was a horrible graphic designer, a horrible web designer, a horrible coder, a horrible writer and a bad comedian for quite some time. I have embarrassed myself enough and been bad at multiple fields. But with support from close friends, I kept working at it.
Suddenly one day, things changed for the better and people who I assumed thought of me as a failure started messaging me saying they were proud of me. People started appreciating my work.
Today, I don’t feel like a failure despite whoever feels whichever way and I am happy with my life. And that’s a big deal.
Not everybody has as good friends as I did. Which is why I would like to tell you the following which I needed to hear then.
Moral of the story:
1. Failure at education system/college/school doesn’t mean failure at life, if there is such a thing. There is no correlation. Our education system focuses on competition more than knowledge. It’s outright bad.
2. If you work hard and do what you love, you will be happy. Success is secondary and it will also happen. You will win solely because so few people dare to try. Just work hard.
3. You have enough time to fail at multiple career options. Every failure is an opportunity to learn.
4. Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace it as part of life. Life is a series of failures, punctuated by brief periods of time where things seem to be fine. The amount of success people have in a year fits into a magazine. Everything else that billions of people have done that year is considered failure.
5. Nobody will believe in you for a few years. It’s just how it is. Please believe in yourself and work hard.
6. Don’t end your life. At least give it 30 more years. Dekho, kya hota hai. Maje lo duniya ke. Life is fucking spectacular and there is so much to learn and do. Life will change so much in the next few years you won’t be able to recognise yourself.
7. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help. There is nothing wrong with depression. It is a very natural outcome of the kind of society we live in. Hota hai. Sabke saath hota hai.
8. If you notice somebody behaving odd, talk to them. Be kind. Stop judging others, stop judging yourself.
9. Don’t do drugs. Just fucking don’t. They will ruin your life.