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     Volume 4 Issue 51 | June 17, 2005 |

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Drawing a Line with Reality

There is no suicide for which all society is not responsible. - Cyril Connolly

Elita Karim

Sometimes, life just gets to be too much of a hassle. With an everyday growing need to be the best in whatever one does, eventually, one simply loses the initial enthusiasm and the innocence involved behind doing something one really loves. In a society where the battle between the weak and the strong are defined and judged in terms of finance, gender, religion and social class, there is always a clash with an emerging group whose actions and thoughts reflect peace and equality in the form of creativity and art. Young people in particular conjure up a world of their own and desperately try to draw a relation between reality and their dreams. Practically speaking, in spite of all the long after-dinner discussions about how we should all work towards a better society, somehow we are the ones who actually shirk away from it.

In the last four years, other than the incidents that I read about in the papers, four people I knew took their lives. What strikes me, is that all four of them were artistic in nature and actually defined the phrase "creativity within one's own soul". Something else that hit me was that all of them were bright and young women between the ages of 18 and 24. All of them were students in leading private educational institutions and had a circle of friends of their own. They unconsciously were out to make a difference around them with the extraordinary abilities that they had.

Monica was a second year student at a leading private university and was part of a writing club. Just starting off her life at the age of 21, she would use her sensitivity about the happenings around her and write them down. She wrote poetry and fiction about the social condition, dirty politics within friends and relationships between parents and children, lovers, even between nature and living beings. One fine day, she kills herself merely because her work and proficiency would not get recognised by her family, friends and society. One might relate this incident to the famous poet Sylvia Plath who took her own life, and point out the romantic essence that goes with all kinds of deeds performed by writers and poets. However, in a society like ours, there might be many more reasons than actually meet the eye.

These youngsters somehow become frustrated at the fact that their abilities do not get recognised or given due respect by their family members merely because they happen to be girls. Other suicide cases involve upcoming public speakers, talented musicians and outstanding photographers. Each of them opted to give up on life, instead of facing the everyday challenges, which turned out to be harder and harder to keep up with in life.

Experts say that the idea of misinterpreting reality is called Psychosis, which actually results in suicide attempts because the incorrect perceptions can cause severe suffering and a false belief that no hope exists. People usually need to believe that there is a purpose to their lives. It is a spiritual issue rather than a medical or psychiatric one. Stress at home, work, and in the entertainment and information media are causing more reports of people "cracking," or mentally "breaking down," than ever before. Somehow, the mind of a creator dwells on a level which normal people cannot seem to get or comprehend.

In our society, women are still restricted to areas where their ideas, thoughts and creations are not acknowledged by others. Even at home, these young girls do not get the support that they require to trend on their chosen paths. Most parents still think that girls should not have an outlet to expose their inner talents or creativity, so that they don't miss out on a well-to-do marriage proposal. Since marriage seems to be the solution to every single problem, sometimes, many young women are also forced into it, through emotional blackmailing, a threat to stop their education or being locked at home.

Obviously we as a society have a greater responsibility to promote and encourage the creativity of young people and also recognise the warning signs of when they cannot cope with in reality. Unless we are more vigilant and compassionate towards our young, we will continue to lose such bright, beautiful individuals.

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