Thursday, May 10, 2007

Suicidal Tendencies

It was a bleak English winter evening. Dark, gloomy, cold and wet with certain heaviness in the air adding to the foreboding atmosphere as I walked out of the business school. Hungry and exhausted from the efforts of completing the group assignment, the blast of cold air cleared my over taxed grey matter as I contemplated my route home and ponders the great dilemma of what my dinner is going to be tonight. Maybe I'll stop by the Paki grocer; get some prata which will go well with that last packet of Brahim's instant beef rendang. Some fresh fruits will be good too. If that's the plan then I have to take the route through Bute Park but in this kind of weather and time of day, it is not something that I would relish doing. Well, just go through town and get some kebab or fries with curry then. Would love the barbecued lamb from Chicken Cottage, but had that yesterday, so that choice is out.

As I was immersed in my dilemma, my shoulder was tapped. It was Zam. Your typical perfect guy with wealth, looks and brains to boot. He is pursuing his doctorate. Sponsored by FaMa – father and mother. He declined scholarship as he does not like the idea of being bonded to any particular body or company.

Zam: Going home ?

Me: Yes, am just deciding if I should risk walking through the park to get to the Paki Store.

Zam: Great, I'll walk with you. I need to get some cabai burung.

As we entered the park, the atmosphere seems to get more depressing. The mist starts coming in and the trees bald of foliage looks as if it is in mourning. I am still undecided between the prata with chicken curry or perhaps do a masak lemak cili api. Zam's mention of the cabai burung bred this idea. There's chicken in the freezer and the rest of the ingredients in the larder. But then it will be at least another hour before I can eat. Decisions, decisions.

Zam: I need to tell you something, but please keep it to yourself.

Me: Huh, sure.(Still absorbed in what to eat).

Zam: I almost killed myself last week.

Me: What ? Whatever for ? Money is not a problem (god knows that is definitely my issue), your study is going great, your wife and kids come over every few months. What's wrong ?

Zam: That's what you see. Hmmm, I don't know, it's just that I feel the whole world is crashing around me. All these thoughts keep invading my mind. I can't sleep and think. It was such pain that I need escape from.

Me: So ?

Zam: I've made all the arrangements, even leaving instructions for you to take my remains home. You know, my stuff and of course my body. I would like to be buried where my kids can visit me.

Me: Whoa, now you're scaring me. (I was, what with the dark gloomy day and all).

Zam: I have everything figured out, from the kid's education down to the house and car settlement. The thing that stopped me was the thought of my kids without a father. I just can't bear the thought of them without a father. So, I sacrificed my freedom for my kids.

Me: Why are you telling me all this ?

Zam: I just need to offload, you are a good listener, keep to yourself and the fact that if I actually got through with it, you were the one who will have to sort the final bits for me.

We walked in silence all the way to the Paki grocer. I don't know what to say or make of this conversation. How can someone who seemed so perfect, who seem to have everything, harbour such thoughts ?

When we arrived at the Paki, Zam picked up his cabai burung while I, still undecided bought some sausages, beans and mangoes instead of what I had been thinking of earlier.

This post is inspired by Pi Bani's Mr. X who wanted to commit suicide after doing some foolish things. Go over to her site for the story.


Pi Bani said...

Just shows you can't really tell a person from his/her outlook. Sometimes we think other people are better off than us... they got good job, good money, good family... but deep down inside them, they suffer. Thanks for sharing, Apandi.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Apandi,

What goes on inside a person is anyone's guess?

You see, we are all challenged differently but tailor made for the individual by HIM from up above.

Some people, they have everything, money, power, status, good looks and stupendous fame and oceans of bodyguards and a fleet of luxury cars. Guess what is the only single thing they desire once there.

Brace yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just to have the absolute freedom to have fun and frolic of teh tarik along the street like the other common people without being recognised! Ha ha.

Yeah! All of us want to have the cake and eat it too.

So with regards to your friend, he must have had so much and he probably did not have the opportunity to be able to count his blessings, that it could be just a little lacking in his life at that particular moment and that is troubling him so much to warrant to take his own life! is such.....

Yang bernama Siti said...

I had been there. The thought just came. It was triggered by something my best friend said on the phone. I tried to look at my future but I only see a dead end. Nothing to live for. But after knocking my head on the wall for about half an hour trying to break my skull, I stopped. Something in me told me why not I sleep it out and see if tomorrow is better.

It is true Pi. Sometimes we see people having it all but they still feel their life is useless and they tried to end it.

Apandi said...

Pi, yes the cover are most often misleading, like its some cartoon but pop the vcd in and its get what I mean.

Ruby, are you back ? Hmmm, cake, a slice of apple crumble cheese cake would be great now. Anyway, yes, those who never see the wisdom of acknowledging their blessings will fall into this I suppose.

Siti, that is scary. Alhamdulillah, you have the wisdom to stop and think.

Raden Galoh said...

Scary and na'uzubillah... and humbled with the different tribulations befallened onto us...

Apandi said...

kak teh, ter-reject your comments, but no, I think it was him who came to his senses, I just happen to be there. Yes, kesian to have everything yet nothing at the same time.

J.T. said...

This entry reminds me of a rich acquaintance I know who lives in the States. She is Malaysian. You name it, she has it. Life in the fast lane, first class everything from house to vehicles to travels.In fact,she just moved into a huge house in an upmarket area. Yet, it is so sad to know she is still not happy. Her last meaningful email to me - in December - spoke of her empty life. Husband hardly around. Children are busy in school.
I wondered how is it with so much money and opportunities laying in front of her, she still rants about her dissatisfactions. One day she asked me a somewhat silly question (to me) but I guess she had her reasons for asking.I am not going to judge her on that. She asked,"How do people live in small houses?" Her idea of small is a link terrace house or an old fashioned two-room bungalow which we see in Malaysia. I gave her my two-cents worth:
People live in those houses because
1. they are either living within their means and can only afford that much; or
2. they just want something they can manage to maintain without killing themselves over housework. Age could be a factor when choosing a one floor house.
Then I said, "it is not the house that matters, it is how the people living in the house live their lives." She agreed with me. I hope she finds some kind of peace someday.

Mat Salo said...

Got my connection back on...

Cap'n.. Power nih ini citer. Not only for the message, but for the imagery and desciptive prose. Great writing bro'!Bravo! Caya tak? can only get better!

Apandi said...

jt, mmmm donno what to say lah. sometimes I tried to imagine being in their shoes, still I don't get it. But you are right, let not judge but be thank ful for what we are instead.

ms, power kebenda, main tekan je kekunci papan errr keyboard cakap melayu apa hah ?