Scene I: A City in the Dark
In the heart of the bustling metropolis Lehdi, a city known for its culture of hues, rich heritage and vibrant populace, an ominous plot was unfolding. Suicide rates in the city had been rising steadily, driven by the relentless pace of post-modern life. The antagonists of our story, calling ’em Solitude and Strainer, lurked in the dark, preying on gullible souls, the ones shrouded in melancholy.
Scene II: The Grim Realities of Our Times
Strainer, the god of demand, with a sly grin, laxed chaos of the 21st century world. He whispered relentless demands, cyberbullying, and the quest for social media victory into the ears of his victims. On the other hand, Solitude was the god of disguise, convincing the victims that they were alone, especially when in a crowd. The narrative they wove together threatened to snuff out every glimmer of life energy from their occupier.
Scene III: The Emergence of Hope
Our victor emerges from the abyss. Namely Hope, our protagonist, symbolising a promise… for better days, took matters into her own hands. Embarked on a journey through the labyrinth of despair, Hope is armed with an arsenal of preventive and coping strategies. She was ready for the ultimate battle... for the final showdown.
Scene IV: Words of Wisdom
Hope sought counsel from Tagore, who once remarked, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Realising that action was the key, she swung to cross the treacherous sea of despair to confront the evil Strainer and Solitude.
Scene V: Legal Beacon of Light
Bounded by enemies on each side, Hope found solace in The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA) of 2017, which takes centre stage, casting aside the shadows of judgments and legal repercussions for suicide attempts. Attempt to die by suicide as discussed in Section 115 of MHCA, 2017, states:
“Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 309 of the IPC, any person who attempts to die by suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.”
This legal victory of decriminalising Section 309 of the IPC and emphasis on mental wellness served as a guiding light on Hope’s path.
Scene VI: A City Reborn
As the saga unfolded, Hope led the charge, and shifted the narrative. Strainer and Solitude were taken aback as their influence waned. Preventive strategists like Mr Mindfulness, Ms Community Support, and Mr Mental-Health Awareness turned out to be the paramount warriors in Hope’s team. Hope’s positive energy and tenacity inspired others in the city, and the city began to shed its dark cloak. As we leap into a brave new world, innovative techniques in suicide prevention and positive child rearing emerged with the likes of telemedicine and AI-driven mental health apps, which have made professional help more accessible than ever before.
In classic Yash Chopra fashion, our story is not just about one individual, but also about the collective spirit of society. Our city was reborn from the ashes of despair, its vibrancy and heritage shining even brighter. Strainer and Solitude, the antagonists in the narrative, were left to tend to their injuries, acknowledging the undeniable truth that Hope possessed an indomitable strength, capable of consistently prevailing over the abyss of despair.
As the curtain falls on this Bollywood-style saga, the message is clear: in the battle against suicide, our formidable tools are hope, support, awareness and mindfulness. Our hero, Hope, proved that even in the darkest of times, a spark of illumination can trigger a conflagration of change. The Eternal Flame of Hope shall burn on, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, lighting the way forward, till the new antagonists arrive and then emerge the neo heroes, and the story continues.
The end is just the beginning...
(Disclaimer: This satirical article is a work of fiction, inspired by the storytelling style of Yash Chopra, and is meant to highlight the importance of suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental)
Sagar Singh Kalsi is Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Delhi
(This appeared in the print as 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan')