June 3, 2014

Coincidence, Confused, Condolence



It’s human to show an instant connection (at least momentarily) with someone who shares the same name as yours or with someone who has the same DOB as yours. I once met a girl on my every day train ride during my last year of high school (junior college). She had the same name as I do, she too was a south Indian and she was an Arien too .  We went to the same high school (though she was a junior by a year). We board the train from the same station since we lived in the same town (Dombivli).

It’s not that we met every day or took the same train. So, our acquaintance stayed confined to train meetings. Soon we got to know a little more about each other. She had this carefree attitude, very bold personality and above average intelligence, smart talker and jovial too. When she was there along, the 1hr ride never felt that way. She always had something interesting/funny to talk about. Sometimes her sister (I believe older sister) Sandhya would travel along. Sandhya was slightly different. She didn't talk much. She always made sure she had makeup, her hair neatly done, stylish clothes. On the other hand, Vidya looked like she just woke up from the bed and came. But there was something about her that was attractive though.

As I moved onto my college (we eventually were in the same college too), we lost touch. Once in a while we might spot each other in college campus and stop by to say a quick hi and moved on.

During my college days I also got enrolled in a 3 year computer course (GNIIT) at NIIT. I took this course at a center that was about mid-way (30 min away) from the place I lived and from my college. I could write a book about my days at NIIT. But I made a lot of friends and acquaintances there since I seemed to spend more time at NIIT than my college. I took a 6 months break from NIIT since I needed to focus on my final year exams at college. So, I completely stopped going to the center and then wasn't in touch with many of my classmates, friends.

One evening I received a rather intriguing phone call and incidentally I picked up the phone. The caller at the other end failed to identify himself. He first asked – Is this Vidhya? I said yes and the response from the other side was – OMG, so you are still alive and the phone got disconnected. I have no idea till date who the caller was. It didn't bother me much but I kept wondering.
That day I might have received at least 10 such blank calls. Some would at least care to say hello and some would just disconnect after hearing the voice. My parents thought some guy was purposely pranking with blank calls.

The next day in one of a local newspaper that was in circulation we read a headline news that a girl committed suicide who jumped from the top of a 5 storied building. She was found dead (from the fall) from a building that was a block away from the NIIT center that I attended. The newspaper also had the girl’s name, age and the town of her residence revealed. I think you can guess now, the newspaper read “19 year old Vidya a resident Dombivli-ite……”.  

For readers it was too much of a co-incidence (name, age, place of residence) and the fact that the location of incident was at a proximity to the same NIIT center that I was attending. It was then easy to connect the dots between the blank calls and this incident. For the next week we received calls from a lot of people (especially fellow NIIT-ians) with a hesitation in their voice to probably offer condolence. I would then tell them, I am very much alive.


But to me the startling discovery was (one of my other friend who tagged along with us in our train commute mentioned) that it was the same Vidya whom I travelled with during my high school days. It was the same carefree, bold, strong minded girl. I would have never imagined for her to take such a stupid (sorry for the word) step. I always saw her as a person who was courageous enough to face any situation and not bail out by taking her own life. Or does one need more courage to take their own life than to live? Perhaps I underestimated the fact that being bold can go either ways.  I am still in denial that it was her and if it is indeed her, it still bothers me to the core that it probably was not a suicide!

~There is always a lack of good reason behind every suicide attempted or committed.




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