Morbidly fascinating

There are some things that fascinate me. Most of them are morbid. Like Snakes. And Death.

A couple of days back, K and I watched this documentary on TV. It was a movie called The Bridge and it was about people falling to their deaths from the Golden Gate bridge. Suicides. Watching person after person jump off the bridge, I couldn’t avert my eyes or stop watching it. Listening to a teenager talk about his close brush with death, it saddened me. It also raised questions.

What makes a person consider death as an alternative to the life they lead? I am not being judgmental here. I can imagine a couple of scenarios which might make me think death is better. I am curious to find out if people I know think of death in conscious terms. What would push them over the edge?

Reading Karthik Rajaram’s story a few weeks back I was grappling with the same questions. What does it take to prevent such needless fatalities? Is it a question of a support system in the form of family or friends? Is it some kind of mental illness that causes a person to willingly walk to their death? Or like everything else is it just a choice?

if you have watched this film, what are your thoughts on it?

8 comments

  1. Hi Lux,
    I have not watched the movie so can’t comment on it per se – however i can never agree on suicide being the only alternative – as a generality i feel we have no right to take something (life) away that we can’t create/replace. However i have a different view on “medical sympathy killing” – especially if the person is brain dead and organs can be used for donation.

    However, as for Karthik’s story – while its totally unacceptable that he actually took away lives of young kids and an old MIL (his FIL is alive in India!!)- he had a definite “problem” that probably should have been treated earlier. One of my very close friends used to be his family friend and told me that he had a very troubled childhood ( early loss of mother and father remarrying that didn’t work well)
    None of this however is any reason to kill people including yourself
    I hope we learn to treat mental illnesses as illnesses and give them enough attention!!

    Maggie

  2. I guess it is the ‘unknown’ which makes death so fascinating and the topic of many discussions….but I agree with Maggie, suicide can never be a solution to anything. The way I see it death is as normal as life, one is born, one dies and the cycle repeats..nothing more, nothing less. Isn’t bhagavad gita which says, it is like getting rid of dirty clothes and wearing new ones, the physical body goes through life and death, but the soul lives on and never dies…simple and sensible. Silly philosophy for many I am sure, the kind that doesnt make sense but for me – the more I think about it the more sense it makes. No wonder humans think about death so much…look at me going on and on when I should be in bed fast asleep 🙂

  3. @Maggie: I hear ya. I guess I am ambivalent on this with no strong feelings either way.
    @UL: You hit the nail on the head. Its probably the “unknown” factor that intrigues me. Btw that is no silly philosophy. I grapple with coming to terms with it. Specially after my appa’s loss. As much as I want to believe he is still there in spirit, I am not sure I am “feeling” his presence. In some way, I feel disappointed and let down.

  4. To me, someone who has attempted suicide would not say it is wrong. Of course, I would accept murder is – which is what this Karthik dude did before committing suicide.
    There still is many a time I wish one of my attempts had succeeded. I have promised to myself that I will not try again for reasons known to me. I do not think suicide is an act of cowardice or mental illness. One cannot say what the other person goes through to take that decision. I might be one of the few here who would have a different opinion as such. I strongly believe that another person has no rights to judge one’s life.
    I have not watched this movie you have written about; but other movies that do deal with death & near death situations. I forget the name of the movie; but there is one where a few doctors experiment with the moments where your heart stops and u get revived. Fascinating. My reasons to want to die is not all that though 🙂

  5. @laksh – watched a movie P.S.I Love You. Life of a widow whose husband did arrangements for her to receive his letters..so she keeps feeling his presence and his letters inspire her to do this and that..and what happens in the end..watch it if u have not.

  6. watched a movie P.S.I Love You. Life of a widow whose husband did arrangements for her to receive his letters..so she keeps feeling his presence and his letters inspire her to do this and that..and what happens in the end..watch it if u have not.

  7. @Apar: Am really really glad you keep your promises 🙂 Hugs! I did read your post. Interesting viewpoint.
    @Anamika: Will definitely try and catch that movie soon.

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