A Schemed Failure

Arshid Malik

 It was the summer of ’94. I was sweating profusely; thinking hard. I had decided to kill myself. The decision was binding since I had no way out. I was desperate. I had been desperate for a long time. I tried to convince myself that was I was planning to do was escapism, while adherence to the precepts of my religion also pulled me back but the desperation was so exasperating that I pulled the thread. I gulped down a hundred fifty or so of sedative pills with a few glasses of water. While I started to feel drowsy the world was frenziedly skipping by. Soon I passed into deep sleep which I had anticipated would lead to my eternal journey beyond. A few days later I woke up to a dizzy world. My head was spinning and I was laughing. That particular moment was dreamlike and I was not able to fathom my own being. Then I heard my father speak out loudly to me. I could hear him but not make out what he was saying. But I had figured that I was not dead and this struck me like a bolt of lightning only because I realized that I have to live through the same shit again. This realization turned into my strength to fight the system back and so I do till I die.

Suicide, I would like to explain, is a desperate act and is never accompanied by reasoning. It is as if your mind shuts down to everything after having witnessed your incompatibility with the world around you. The rejection leads to dejection and that is where it all ends. I was lucky (or maybe pathetically unlucky), I guess, to have survived, but others who walk the same path do not. One such person was Adnan, an engineering student, who breathed his last some time ago. His dejection was that he had not scored well. Stories carried in the local news dailies post his death, narrated first-hand accounts of his sheer brilliance and academic excellence. When two ends met the world knew something had scrupulously gone wrong. This realization led to the deceased’s father filing for a revaluation which brought up the fact that Adnan had scored all too well. I can well imagine how Adnan must have felt after learning that he had scored too low in his physics paper even though he must have known that he would score above average. The how and why must have led to Adnan’s “realization” that he was somehow incompatible with the system and aggravated by this subjective knowledge he took the last leap into oblivion. Little did Adnan know that it was not he who was “anomalous” but the system itself was an anomaly? This anomaly of a system, the “education department” in Adnan’s case, is solely responsible for his death. This system murdered Adnan – a boy who could have achieved something others may not even fathom. The system has its hands soaked in blood – of an in-accruable number of youngsters who never made it. The system is a cold-blooded murderer.

Kashmir has lost scores of thousands of youth to violence in the past few decades. Can we afford to lose more? I believe that the system plans to wipe out the entire generation of youth. Now, that may sound figuratively exaggerated but let me tell you that by pushing youngsters to the wall while walking its faltering walk, the system is generating a multitude of “dead-inside” individuals. The system, right from schools to major universities and professional colleges is doing just that. This system needs to be scrapped alongside the people who run it – the people who call themselves “policy makers” and “salvagers”. The system is defunct and some brilliant minds are paying the price for its obstinate presence. Mere talk and patchwork is not taking us anywhere unless and until we circumspect the whole scene and attend this pathological surmise of a system. Our leaders, policy makers and think tanks need to take the system home and flush it down the toilet and then come up with a plan and I dare them. I dare them to step ahead and create something new which is not a reconstruct of the shambles of the past and if they attain this they would have absolved themselves of the blood of the yet to come young constant of cold-blooded murder. For Adnan, they will have to pay.

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