Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't call it 'Suicide'

Photo of school children in morning assembly. Image source: Google.

“If I have failed, my parents have warned me not to return home tonight, or I will be killed!” a 5th grade student in Thimphu had told her friends as they were walking to their school on the morning of 18th December to get their final academic results. Her friends tried to console her but it seemed she was already injured by the words of her parents that had hit her ears like lethal bullets. As they stood on the school ground waiting for their names to be called out, she looked more nervous and worried.

Finally, when her results paper came through, all the little hopes she had been clinging to suddenly came to a standstill. Against her own wishes and against the great expectations of her parents, she had failed. She was certainly devastated and speechless. Later that day, her friends invited her to walk back home together with them, but she refused to join them saying she will follow them after a while. According to some of her friends, she was last seen sitting on a rock on the right bank of Wangchhu River later that evening. As the Sun gradually sank into the western skies, she had vanished out of sight. She had certainly executed the only option she thought she had at that time to escape from the possible punishments at home that night. Her body was fished out of the River in a couple of days, too late to be resurrected by the tears and regrets of her bereaved parents. Those words her parents had told her on the morning of that fateful day could never be taken back. She was gone forever.

This incident had happened about twelve years ago, but still there is a big lesson we can learn from it. In order to avoid such tragedies, the parents and their children should come closer so that they can understand one another’s needs and expectations. With rapid socio-economic developments taking place in the country, life is becoming increasingly hectic for both the parents and their children and hence, the gap of understanding between the two parties is widening day by day. Unlike the world in which we grew up as children, our children today live in a very delicate environment, pressed on all sides with the enormous weights of social, economic and academic challenges. So, without proper parental guidance and appropriate interventions from the concerned authorities, they can explode at any time.

The world today is full of competitions and life has become more complex and complicated. Amidst such competitions, we as parents all want our children to achieve excellence in everything. We want them to become engineers, doctors and pilots, regardless of their interests or competencies. As parents, I sometimes feel that we are demanding too much from our children. While we need to have certain set of rules and regulations at home to guide our children, I think there should be a balance of what we expect from them and what they can do to live upto our expectations. Whatever we do, I think punishing our children for their failures is not going to be helpful. As parents, our main sacred responsibility is to provide a ‘safe haven’ to our kids and hence, we are seen as the only source of security and safety. So when we fail to do just that, then where else can they take refuge in? As a result, disasters like the above incident are inevitable. Nobody will willingly kill himself or herself. We, the parents and society as a whole definitely should be guilty of contributing either directly or indirectly to the chain of events leading upto such otherwise-avoidable tragedies. It seriously calls for the need to be more responsibe to our children’s concerns, while establishing certain rules to guide them properly at home.


  1. At the end both are losers; one who suicides leaves precious path of life untrodden and one who triggered suicidal words loses his loved one. In this age, parents have to carefully deal with their children. Need to read the minds of their children rather than imposing their whims on their children. Suicide isn't an option for both. Really saddening hear such stories.

  2. sorry for the typo, I mean 'to hear'

  3. Very true, sir. Thanks for the comment la

  4. Lack of good parenting style was the main cause for committing suicide. I would say... parents had unintentionally killed their daughter. After all, it is all to do with 'EDUCATION". Most of us know that all are different in every aspect but many want all children to be same...class topper, college topper, world topper and universe topper. IS THIS POSSIBLE?

  5. Very true, mate. Thanks for the comment.