Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan- His Body-of-Work Will Live On

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An artist who captured hearts and was unanimously respected as India’s very best- leaves a legend behind. Irrfan Khan took baby steps and then giant leaps to reach the stature he achieved.
But for me, he was the first MAN on TV I had a crush on. I remember how I forgot to breathe when I saw him in the drama, Banegi Apni Baat! There were some other handsome actors in the serial, however, there was none other like him. All the others were boys but he, he was the man- masculine, strong, perfect! I can even confess, I dreamt of him the days he didn’t appear in the episodes. My mind would create its version of what I saw- only to ensure Irrfan was there in every frame.
Irrfan Khan
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Every accolade for Irrfan was always like my personal victory. He even inspired the young girl in me who watched him on the telly and then on the silver screen when she grew up. The credit goes to Irrfan’s attitude to learn, improvise, sift learning from feedback and learn more. I don’t know how he was as a person in real life, but I am sure his super-strong persona always stood out.
So, it is more than sad- it is actually, devastating to lose my pre-teen dream man. ‘Coz dreams can end, but the feeling it elicits stays forever! Irrfan Khan gave the common ones like me a dream to dream! And he will live through his exceptional body of work- forever!
mental health

Mental Health: The Key to Happy Living

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Mental health issues are as common as flu nowadays. Sadly, there is a stigma attached to it that the common flu doesn’t hold. People tend to talk about an affliction like flu or allergies but avoid talking about what plagues their minds.

It’s important to understand what problems related to mental health sound like. Any unsavoury situation that affects individuals in a way that it leads them to be disturbed, disconnected or so sad that it affects their normal living and normal behaviour is a mental health issue. The obstacle can be a recurring tiff with a co-worker to any situation that makes the individual so uncomfortable that his or her normal living is disturbed.

Because we live in a society, we end up interacting with people. Not everyone behaves or reacts the way we expect them to. There is a line that bifurcates an expected behaviour pattern to an unforeseen one. The onus of our own reactions to a response lies solely upon us.

Job insecurity, failed relationships, a relationship not working as per what the individual looks forward to, a tragedy or an unexpected situation can lead to stress, difficulty in adjustment and more.

Troubled people take the counsel of our friends, family, google search or YouTube videos to find a way out. Self-help is a great way to go about. It shows that they are capable of seeking answers. It also highlights the individual’s desire to overcome stressful situations.

But the best way to go on about it is to seek professional help. Mental health experts are trained to assist individuals to dissect tough circumstances objectively. Mental health professionals instead of emotions, let wisdom govern an individual’s choice. The mental health experts help their clients distinguish between an ideal situation that they long for and the reality of the situation.

With expert guidance, an individual can overcome difficult circumstances efficiently and effectively.

Everyone in today’s world deals with stress. But everyone doesn’t need to deal with it the hard way. Taking the assistance of a mental health expert makes the job much easier.

There is no shame in finding a solution to one’s problem. It’s only a reminder that being happy is the main objective of living. Life is not an obligation but a gift. Don’t feel embarrassed. The only people who feel responsible for his or her happiness and personal well-being seeks professional help.

And every person in this world deserves to give themselves another chance at living happily.

Don’t cower down under pressure. Don’t give up or feel depressed. Mental health experts are here to guide you to live a fuller, happy and peaceful life. Write your own success story with some expert guidance. Consult a mental health expert now.

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Mighty Kites

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Who doesn't like them? I see you all shake your heads to negate. I know you all love it, and so do I.

 

The universal appeal is heart-warming. Every one of us can narrate at least one happy moment with it, if not more. This flying wonder has been a fascination for one-n- all ever since it was invented. 

 

China in the 5th Century BC did not really know that the readily available silk, silk yarn, and bamboo could give the world a universal getaway when it soars.

 

The Polynesians used it to send prayers to the Gods. A kite according to their customs symbolizes the Rising of Jesus. Homage waits for it on Easter annually in many countries. Vietnam modified it, making it sing a whistling note.

 

The Indian subcontinent uses it for almost any special occasion, be it the celebration of harvest, Independence Day or any other rather special occasion. Sometimes the citizens of the subcontinent use it to settle animosities too- in a most dexterous, harmonious and creative manner. The biggest personal wars usually end with one bout of competition. Not only this, team spirit; leadership also develops while we interact with it.

 

In Afghanistan, kite fights are common. No, don't take it like that! It’s a non-violent one! I bet there are no casualties of life, maybe of hopes and sometimes ego. Sadly, Europe didn't get to join in the fun as long as the Asians and Polynesians did. However, when they did, it led to the golden age of knowledge.

 

Wherever this invention went, it brought hope. It brought creativity and enlightenment. Humanity owes a big thank you to the land of the Great Wall. This object has demolished all worldly barricades in the craving to fly- the mighty- kite.

 

Kites have let to social harmony and development of scientific theories. The Wright Brothers became the first to fly, inspired by the Kite. Then, Kites have served well in military espionage and message delivery and something as mundane as fishing as well.

 

A kite for me, symbolizes the freedom to express, of fearlessly exploring my horizons and opportunities; a direct communication with the vast universe through its most popular medium- the sky. Through the kite, I send my wishes to the spirits above;  blessing and love shower upon me. I meet a stranger flying a kite; we become friends by the time my kite makes its route. Not everyone can afford to commute on a plane, yet a free ride of desire on a kite is always welcome.

 

The biggest lesson of life that this positive object- the Kite, teaches us is that we control the strings of our glories and stumbles, of joys and miseries. Hold the string too tight, and the flight never materializes; keep it too loose and it crashes mid-flight; maintain it just right, tactically strategize your personal skills and self-beliefs; then the sky will be yours.

 

Let’s all enjoy this euphoria. Let's all do some kite flying.

 

Author: Kleio B'wti

 

 

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Blog Post: Delhi Author: Kleio B'wti ©www.wakenshine.com, 2017.

Delhi

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The white beauty of CP to the red stone and marble power of Qutub Minar, the serpentine tracks of Delhi Metro or the greenery that adorned the streets every few blocks was marvelous. I could just walk from one park to another and feel happy about life.

 

Historical monuments were like neighbors.

 

I would find a dilapidated wall dating back to olden times, or a brick house, with an ancient dust of loneliness very conveniently. There were those ancient water reservoirs or burial places with extensive gardens that I could just walk down to in about 10 minutes from my house. No, I did not live in any affluent area. In Delhi history walks with you.

 

Most of us take it for granted and seldom notice but when we do, it teaches a new lesson of life on every interaction.

 

I am not sure how I can elucidate my feelings for the place - I really do not know. I can surely tell you though that I will miss the winters of Delhi, the unpredictable rains, the traffic signals that would go kaput on a slight drizzle, the auto rickshaw drivers who often refused to turn on the meter of the vehicle.  The few who stunned me by turning it on even before I boarded the vehicle are equally dear.

 

The broad roads where I would accelerate my two-wheeler to its maximum speed, the greens, the pretty newlyweds with even prettier red bangles or ‘Chuda’,  the ‘Momos’, the ‘Chole –Kulche’, the serenity of Lotus Temple, Delhi Haat, Select City Walk, North Campus, Jor Bagh, Safdurjung Place (my chosen historical structure), the street dogs who were my best friends and also some people who made Delhi such a dreamy place for me to stay.

 

Although there is a sense of longing, there is no regret in moving away from the 'Dil'. I did not shed a tear, I smiled and forgot to bid adieu to the land of Delhi. Yet I know a goodbye was not required, coz my heart, I carry with me and in my heart,  I carry my Delhi.

 

To all those who have ever loved a land mass more than life itself, all those who will discover such love someday. To all those who do not believe such a love exists, be prepared to get swooned by Delhi. You will find a home away from home; a friend among the green trees; a journey in a metro compartment; a delicacy on the streets of Chandni Chowk; a story behind every structure; a 'you' among its every iota of existence.

 

You don't live in Delhi; you have a love affair with the place.

 

Some take a pause. Others continue their relationship with Delhi until their dying breath. Then there are some like me who settle for a long distance relationship as breaking away from the place would mean killing a part of the soul.

I will continue walking this one-way street of love, holding hands, sharing a laughter, wiping a tear, screaming a blasphemy, walking, jogging, running, sprinting: Just Delhi and me and that's about it.

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Precious Cosmetics

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‘All that glitters is gold!'

 

The millennium generation has tweaked this old observation a bit. They have refined it into; “All that glitters is diamonds, precious stones, gold, body, and skin!

Marilyn Monroe<br /> Courtsey: http://www.polyvore.com/ user: wakenshine.com

This philosophy has booked phenomenal advancement in the wellness and beauty industry. Once upon a time, Marilyn Monroe had no qualms in using bleach to go blonde. The girls today do. They would rather experiment with no ammonia, Jewel-tone hair. ‘Pravana’ is a hair care company that is trendsetting this new look. The brilliance of gemstones like amethyst, emerald and topaz shimmer in hair fashion today.

 

The bling is back in skincare now.

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Most of the reputed cosmetic brands have come up with a gemstone range. The fast moving Lancome Ageless Minerale with White Sapphire Complex is one such product. The company assures that White Sapphire is embedded in the Powder Foundation. Lancome Powder Foundation hardly has had any opponents in the market since its introduction around 2014.

 

With a generation wanting unique consumer experience every day, the beauty industry is spending millions in Research and Development. They are referring to the ancient anecdotes of beauty and makeup and amalgamating a modern scientific twist to widen their market reach.

 

Inspired, some cosmetic companies are giving us the treat of the old era.

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They are bringing out the Cleopatra in every girl with their wide range of products like gold bleach, pearl makeup, and silk cream. History tells us how the Egyptian Empress Cleopatra and the Sumerians used gold dust, powder of other precious stones like emerald, ruby, and turquoise to enhance their eyes, cheekbones, and skin. Lakme, Maybelline, L'Oreal Paris are the front-runners in using precious ingredients in their eyeshadow range.

 

wakenshine.comThe ancients used diamond sparkles on their fingertips to make the nails shine! Lakme Absolute Gel Stylist Nail color mentions diamond dust as an ingredient in its nail product ‘Pink Diamond’. L'Oreal Paris has come up with a Nail Paint series as well that has precious ingredients. The nail paint range is called the Gold Dust Textured Nail Polish range.

 

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L'Oreal Paris is not only creating breakthrough makeup and cosmetics. They are imbibing the traditional Chinese technique of application for skin care products, as well. The company is extensively using pearl extracts and pearl saturated liquids. L'Oreal Paris White Perfect Night Cream is infused with pearl extracts.

 

Indians love Gold!

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VLCC has come up with an extensively profitable cosmetic treatment. VLCC Gold Polish Face Scrub, VLCC Diamond Facial Kit and Body Polish have captured the imagination of the consumer market in India. Nivea has come up with popular gold bath gel that intensifies options for the buyer.

 

The cosmetic and fashion industry is leaning towards the new trend- of 'Bling-ing' the market. It's crucial to investigate if these precious stones and metals really benefit the user. Ayurveda, since the times of Susruta, has used gold in healing and wellness. The Chinese have used pearls for the same purpose.

 

wakenshine.comDiamond particles were used as a facial and body scrub because of their exfoliating and healing property. Emeralds are good anti-ageing agents; Onyx is good for wounds and fungal infections. Ruby, improves blood circulation. Sapphires help in keeping the skin hydrated. Application of precious stones on the body heightens the sensory experience, alleviating stress.

 

All this sounds incredible!

 

It's good to be aware as a buyer, not impulsive. Wellness products and cosmetic brands may use these valuable gemstones in a very negligible amount in their products. Insignificant quantities of diamonds, rubies, pearls and more have a minute impact on the skin. In such circumstances, the use of precious and semi-precious components in the cosmetic is more of a marketing gimmick.

 

wakenshine.comRaging trends compels the consumer to be vigilant and informed. Before spending whopping amounts on gem infused or gold infused cosmetics, it is wise to scrutinize the ingredients of the package. The value of gemstones is soaring. However, these gem infused cosmetics have a standard price range that hardly wavers. It is always smart to check, recheck, investigate. Taking an informed buying decision is a huge responsibility.

 

As: all that glitters is not as golden as wisdom, nor as precious as a healthy wallet.

 

Author: Kleio B'wti

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Soldiers Weep Blog Post Author: Kleio B'wti ©www.wakenshine.com, 2017.

Soldiers Weep

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These eerie verses speak, “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.” - Douglas MacArthur

 

There are few mortals who rise up to this immortal speech and live and die for a greater cause, something nobler than their desires- called the passion for their land and the citizens.

 

For this love, they hunt, fight, destroy and kill! They are men or women who temporarily become the heartless machines. These live machinery sing, "There is not to reason why its but to do and die (Charge of the Light Brigade- Alfred Lord, Tennyson).

 

Ernest Hemingway quoted, “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”

 

Strangely, no one likes violence except for a sociopath! Soldiers hunt their enemy down, protect the families of their beloved land; sometimes march and conquer other lands- only for patriotism! They provide homes, wealth, richness to others at the cost of their own lives and sanity. How do I know this? Because I knew such a soldier- that young boy in his late teens, who saw the devastation in victory and the crumble of the dreaded German General, Rommel.

 

Abhay Kinker Sharan won many medals and honours including the prestigious medal from the President of the country, in time!

 

Yet, what I saw was a man who wiped tears secretly, living as a deputy- representing the friends he had lost, especially in the combat of Operation Desert Fox during the Second World War.

 

I am proud to say that I was born to the son of such a courageous yet ill-fated, triumphant soldier!

 

Many of us say that we hate war! However, a candle march is not going to stop the hatred! The conflict and hatred can only stop when we understand what pain and remorse we put our soldiers through. Movies and novels glorify soldiers. They talk about the martyrs, mostly. Very few talk about the ones who survive the ordeal.

 

An unknown poet rightly wrote,

“Those who survived were forever scarred,
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
'Neath the ground-
They had given their lives to keep free.” -The unknown

 

Ones who withstand war live a dead life until they reunite with their friends in death. They die each day, their hearts cry; but no one sees! They feel guilty for being alive. They suffer from PTSD that medicines don't cure, only subside. Death cheated them! Life makes them feel dishonest, yet they exist, coz they are those unfortunate beings who were ignored.

 

No medal ever makes up for the devastation they saw- their regiments’ men and that of the enemies.

 

Death does not take sides. It takes the wretched and the blessed away, in the same way. The Grim Reaper does not judge, he pulls a life away from the body with the same dispassion be it a hero or a villain! So many die daily, but none die like the veterans do. They sign up for death when they join the defence forces. They nevertheless, do not sign up for the wretched life they live after losing their men at war. Their bodies survive, with no hope of remittance, no desire of rebirth, no conviction in worldly good!

 

Soldiers never quit!

 

Soldiers live a worn-out time with the same valour and courage that they faced the first bullet at war. They endure the outcome of the war, pledging to fall every second with each martyred soldier. They resolve to live with self-worth and intellect, they determine to fulfil their dreams- yet they perished daily, with every new breath.

 

Is it worth letting the ones who survive the war to go through this ordeal? What makes us such heartless living beings? Why do we support violence, and not love? Why? The fearless warriors- the veterans, who were tricked by death, exist- because they hear their peers- marching, laughing, weeping, cracking jokes and saying something that's summed up in this touching poem by John McRae.....

 

In Flanders Fields, by John McRae

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Author: Kleio B'wti

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One Way Street Blog Post Author: Kleio B'wti ©www.wakenshine.com, 2017. Pic: Getty Image-

One Way Street

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If life is a highway, then sign posts greet the traveler on their route.

 

Where there could be a right side from a wrong one while driving on a road, the beast of a machine just like living follows the 'do's' and the 'do not's'. For free will as in the freeway- the spirit of survival never stops to amaze!

 

There are potholes, debris, bumps, speed breakers that jolt the drive, yet the vehicle of existence, changes gears to adjust to the geography of the path; to not break the momentum. 

 

A halt is necessary occasionally- to refill the gasoline of energy, to refresh imagination with new ideas and possibilities. A brief respite usually adds that extra punch for facing the odds in the journey called life. Worn out tyres of the vehicle are replaced as old and defunct relationships are renewed with new ones.

 

When the carriage breaks down, a detour to the service station fixes the beast as good as new, just as a doctor and medicines fix ailments.

 

Sometimes an operation is an only choice for curing illness while at other times a transplant is needed as an automobile needs a new part to run smoothly. An old car is often replaced with a new wheel. Relationships are revamped to acknowledge new technology and ease. Dressing style and lifestyle are upgraded to suit the taste of time.

 

There is no stopping a vehicle on its way. When the vehicle finally runs down dead, existence ceases to breathe. Thus,  continued existence is always poignant, forever transforming, constantly growing in awareness and understanding.

 

The quiddity of aliveness is a cryptic one-way street; where there is no point to revert to a womb that life starts from.

 

When life breathes, it lives, thrives, grows, travels through new experiences until it perishes into silence. 

 

It’s best to never give up an opportunity; to shed a tear of regret; learn from mistakes; nix to stop in the pursuit of finding solace. Refuse to lose the mojo of life yet drive safe; turn sound; steer with conviction to reach the utmost destination of one’s truest potential. 

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A trip on Grand Truck Road, NF 24 Blog Post Author: Kleio B'wti ©www.wakenshine.com, 2017.

Roads Less Traveled

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Roads less traveled are always the ones that intrigue us.

 

Living most of my life in the plains of Eastern India, I had this deep desire to visit the mountains. I wished for the landscape to be solely mountainous, as a child. I now know that to reach a mountain, you have to cross flat land bodies and sometimes valleys. The beauty of topography lies in its variety. My highway journey from Lucknow to Moradabad taught me this. We started from Lucknow at noon. We were soon on NH24; a part of the Grand Trunk Road.

 

The heartbeat of India’s road life maintained its olden charm. Tall and strong trees rose on both sides of the highway exhibiting their unique personality. Some had a sagacious aura while others looked disgruntled. Little counters of drinking water adorned the highway as it did when Emperor Ashok and Sher Shah Suri ruled ancient India.

 

The highway was adorned by emerald-like farms on both sides. The topography was constant yet captivating. Beguilingly, the atmosphere around the farms changed with every passing village. Stopped by a barricade, the detour paralyzed us in the midst of a village fair. The village fair boasted of sections exhibiting cooked food, local produce, beauty products, and clothes among other items.

 

Although we had estimated to cover the distance of 132 KMS in about 7 hours, the village fair had deferred us from our destination. Soon it was pitch-dark. Trees with the absence of lamp posts or highway lights were eerie.

 

Soon it was pitch-dark. Trees with the absence of lamp posts or highway lights were eerie.

 

We marginally escaped great peril when Dad’s heroic reflexes swerved the car off-road. An S.U.V had nearly collided with my parents Hatchback car. The route to Bareilly Bypass was in rubles. Traffic moved slowly as the highway was under construction. A narrow street-like part that was available for vehicles was further divided into a two-way street. Heavy vehicles like trucks and oil tankers joined the traffic of cars and S.U.Vs. The drivers of the heavy vehicles, living up to their arrogance, fought a war of supremacy.

 

By 8:55 PM we reached the sleeping city of Bareilly where the roads were dimly lit and empty. The only interesting sight was a stable with horse driven carts called ‘Tonga’ and those majestic beasts stationed in an ancient looking house. The horses chewed on fodder.  Turning left on NH24 to Rampur Road we reached the town of Rampur. The temperature suddenly dropped many Celsius. The breweries invited us to the town. One sip was all I wished for. Debris that had transformed into a road led us to beautiful houses. Although dark, Rampur had a welcoming atmosphere- a place I will explore someday.

 

At 11:20 PM when we touched Moradaba- a city of street lights, open shops and people moving around in merriment; ignoring the clock that would soon shout midnight. Civil Lines where we were booked in a hotel had the feel of Central Delhi.

 

Next morning I woke up early to explore the city of Moradabad. The chirpy neighborhood, with beautiful bungalows and Golden Shower trees that stood upright along the streets, was picturesque. I walked ahead to an ancient looking temple complex where a significant population of monkeys lived.

 

Absorbing the positivity of Moradabad, I returned to the hotel. This road trip was a prelude to the most beautiful journey of my life, to Corbett National Park- Tiger Reserve.

 

Author: Kleio B'wti

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Suicide Blog Post Author: Kleio B'wti ©www.wakenshine.com

Suicide!

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“ONE more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
​Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!”

-- Thomas Hood (excerpt from ‘The Bridge of Sighs’)

Suicide is a social pinch.

We often hear and read about those who end their lives wilfully. Many call suicide an act of selfishness, a bout of craziness or a rash hara-kiri. As per a report (that was updated in March 2017) of World Health Organization at least 800,000 people died due to a self-inflicted injury (refer http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en0/). The number of people who attempt suicide is even greater. This is the data that was compiled of those whose suicide attempts or a successfully executed act of suicide was recorded. The number of cases that were never reported is even higher!

Strangely, the world is always sympathetic to a victim of a criminal act be it a mugging, murder or a terrorist attack. The same world ridicules a victim of a self-induced death. Suicide is equally an act of deliberate aggression that leads to death as any other aggressive attack that amounts to killing. The only difference is that while the former is an inward act of violence, the latter is outward. In some countries, suicide is considered criminal. It has been perhaps termed so to curb this tendency. In other countries, suicide might lead one to a sanatorium.

Whatever social and legal repercussion the act may lead to, it is never good enough. The dead do not get their due and the ones who survive face it worse. It is important to understand that life doesn’t stop at anyone’s passing. The sun still rises and sets; dawn leads to dusk; the wind still blows; the clock still moves its hands and the earth still rotates on its axis. The family of the dead eventually move on. They never stop missing their loved one; they never stop thinking ‘why’ and ‘what if’? Yet they live, eventually they smile and laugh as well. It is the dead who vanish, achieving nothing.

The ones who survive suicide are the worst affected. They are never able to move on from the act. It usually leads them to try committing suicide repeatedly over a period of time. It takes more guts to slash one’s own body, in complete sanity than to pull a trigger on someone else. Death is a mystery. Yes, the mystery is intriguing. Everybody wonders what lies there. Some think of it as a new start, some a pause and some think it is sleep till eternity. However, no one in this world is conditioned to move towards fatal ambiguity. Yet, these very strong and courageous people try to take the plunge to death. Suicide is not an affliction, an act of rashness, a spur of madness, a vial of vindication or a pain to glorify.

The act is neither meditated nor random. WHO says that depression is one of the greatest causes of suicidal acts as is alcohol intake. It is possible that some people who were a few pegs down or those few who felt dejected tried to take their lives in their hands. However, as someone who has witnessed several suicide attempts, as someone who has seen the anguish of the survivor of suicide- I see suicide in a much larger spectrum. The reason why a person decides to give way to violence (inward or outward) rather than compassion is only one- pain.

If everyone remembers to be careful, intuitive, concerned for other people’s feelings; if everybody is peacefully cautious of their actions, they can prevent a suicide- by not hurting and hurling a life to willfully resigning to a random act of brutality- of committing suicide.

 

Author: Kleio B'wti

 

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