Friday, November 25, 2011

Sister Death

Death. According to some recent reports. suicide rates are higher among the people of alternative sexual orientation, than any other group or community, all over the world. That’s because there are hardly any support system for a young boy or girl, who upon attaining puberty, finds him/her self to be different from the others. Death becomes an easy option, an escape.

In Maharashtra, they’d say suicide rates are higher among the impoverish farmers, and they are right.

But, suicide, or death wish for that matter, is not a problem in itself. The problem lies somewhere else. Death is the solution, emphatic way of saying, enough is enough.

The problem is life. The problem is fitting in.

For me personally, I never fitted in. For a while I tried, desperately, foolishly. It was difficult. Then I gave up. Instead, I begun was assume roles. That was easy. I killed myself and hid my body and wore someone else’s face, saw someone else’s vision of life, dreamt someone else’s dream.

Today, after 35 years of loss, I look back, and realise sadly that there was indeed a solution to my problem. What I had was certain mental conditions, some “chemical locha”, as Munnabhai would say, and a few trips to a psychiatrist and a few pills would have been just fine.

But, the place I grew up, there were no psychiatrist; no awareness of mental health. When I learnt who Freud was, it was too late. I already had morphed into something else. I devoured the everything Freud and his followers, from Lacan onwards, and I understood things, conditions, but not how to find myself.

I also got the pills. But those were different pills, and helped me forget. It was all I aspired to have, forgetfulness. And it was too late.

The tragedy is not that I am still alive. The tragedy is I could not kill myself. That was the tragedy. And after so many years and so many attempts, I have stopped trying.

Blame it on Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman is a writer of graphic novels, and fantasy fiction. He wrote two of my favourite books turned into movies — ‘Caroline’ and ‘Stardust’, and how he affects me.

Currently, I am going through his ‘Sandman’ series of comics, or shall we say, Graphic novels. The series centres around a personification of Dream, as a ruler of a meta-world between earth and heaven (or silver city, or whatever). Gaiman has created a complex world of Gods, demons and superhuman being and their interaction with morals. It is all very fantastical, but very affecting, especially too me.

Now, dream has a family, four sisters and a brother, Destiny, Death, Desire, Delirium, Despair.

I am especially fascinated by death. She is so cool, not only in her attire, but also in her attitude. She makes death look so normal, so welcome.

More on Nail Gaiman here.
More on The Sandman here.

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