Kota Suicides: With Each Child, the Mother Dies the Cruelest Death
Kota, Rajasthan, is in the news lately for some heart-breaking suicides. Among them, Kriti Tripathi’s suicide is the most nerve wrecking piece of news that one may have come across. This 17-year-old girl jumped to death from the 5th floor after she cleared the IIT entrance examination.
She left behind a five-page suicide note, written neatly with absolute calm, addressing all her family members and a close friend. She spoke about the immense pressure and loss of faith in herself, which became unbearable for her. When her family perhaps was waiting to celebrate her success with the IIT entrance examinations, she wore silence in permanence.
In her suicide note, Kriti wrote
that her mother “manipulated” her to take up science because it made the mother
happy; Kriti’s interest was in writing, in English and History. She wished that
the same didn’t happen with her sister.
There’s nothing she can do to change that now. I do
understand that she may have forced the daughter to take up science, thinking
that it would get the girl a more secure future. She may have been ambitious
about her results. But which mother is not?
We as parents want to give our children the same childhood that we enjoyed. Things were simple then, as obedience came more naturally than rebelling. But aren’t most of us today standing on the foundations that our parents helped us create? Didn’t our parents force us to study? Were we not punished for scoring less? How many of us would be what we are today, had our mothers not been as persistent and didn’t force that discipline on us?
Every parent learns mothering and fathering from their own parents. People end up repeating what they experienced in their childhood because those are happy memories in spite of all the imperfections. They sometimes don’t understand that times have changed and so has the zone of reference.
Today, every child is more exposed, and they are constantly comparing their own lives with those of their peers, calculating in the process the advantages and disadvantages of belonging to another family. The grass always seems greener on the other side, and it is this piece of information that depresses them more than anything else.
Hence, these kids end up fighting bigger battles than we did in our childhood. The treatment obviously would have to differ from what our parents did with us.
No mother deserves to hear that her concern was suffocating for her child. A mother who bears her child, takes immense pain to bring her to earth, worries about the food-health-education-safety and everything else possible. The society blames her for everything starting from the child’s complexion to her bad habits. When a child scores well, she is showered with praises. When she doesn’t, the mother is said to have not controlled her properly. The mother takes them all with a never-ending hope and an undying love that she just can’t let go of.
A child dying due to an accident or illness or even murder leaves a mother devastated. But when a child chooses death over the life given to her by her parents, she defeats the very spirit of parenting in the most horrible way possible. Does she realise that with her suicide, she has murdered the mother with the worst form of cruelty?
Is death so effortless? Is life really so difficult, that it must be just surrendered? The beautiful young girl had the patience to write a well-drafted five-page suicide note addressing everyone she felt she would be answerable to. Her clarity even with the distress in her mind seems impeccable. Could she not have just held on stubbornly and turned the tables in her favour with the same clarity?
At this moment, I stand by Mrs. Tripathi and share her inconsolable grief. If only I could fill up that void, which goes way beyond the loss of her elder daughter.
(Koral Dasgupta is an author, columnist, academic and Advisory Member CBFC. Twitter/@koraldasgupta)
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