Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Other Diaries: Death Too Shall Pass

On 13th February 2015 i popped thirty sleeping pills in an attempt to suicide.
It amounted to 46mgs in my body, i found out later from the report i got from the hospital.
I was fifty three kilos. It was nothing in my body. My body was nothing.

The previous day while i was having tea i had given D Jeet's memory card which contained footage from our final day of shoot. The burial. The digging of the grave. Aalayam knocked at my door later that night and asked me 'what was in that card?'. I knew it in an instant. He had lost it. With a ludicrous grin pasted on my face i asked in hope for a miracle, 'tell me you didn't lose it'. He had. I conveyed the news to D Jeet. He was heartbroken. I was devastated and numb. I kept hoping it was a joke. D Jeet asked me why i hadn't dumped the card even after three days of completion of shoot. He asked me if i was busy with badminton or Florence. I was dumbstruck. He was hurt. I didn't know where to dump all my pain. Where does a director dump their pain? In a goddamn mise-en-scene gone wrong?

When it finally struck me i ran through the campus and into the street which Aalayam had walked. Went to the cigarette and liquor shops where he had bought things and asked if they could check their money box. They asked me to return at closing time. I went to the cigarette shop at 10.30 p.m. Waited till around 12 a.m. He cleaned the shop but didn't check the money box. I pleaded. He felt i was accusing him of robbery. 'I wouldn't take it even if it was a diamond'. I broke down. I couldn't even formulate my words let alone convince him. People gathered. Took my side and his. I was unable to speak. He didn't let me look in the steel bowls in which he kept all the coins and in which i was sure the 32 GB card was in. Tiny little blue thing. Looked ugly. Carried a tiny little funeral. A film.
I went to the liquor shop. They asked me to return the next morning. I did. At eleven a.m they let me know that the shop owner had gone home the previous night with all the money and that he hadn't found anything in there. I knew that they hadn't looked hard enough. The film was mine. It was my funeral. My death.

I had a lot of tea and bought a pack of razor blades.

I went back to the institute and wrote some mails and spoke to my concerned family. I assured everyone i was fine. I called upon her and hoped she wouldn't reply. She didn't. I was gleeful like i had a happy little secret inside my pocket. Only it wasn't happy. It was a weeping little wimpy child.
I looked at one of the blades and my wrist for a long time. My wrist was tired. I was scared of seeing my vein. I changed and headed for a medical shop. Asked for a strip of sleeping pills. They refused. It was not the first time i was buying it. They had given it to me over the counter the last time and i said that to them. I said i was insomniac. They complied. It was a bargain. Sad and helpless face in exchange for some breaking of rules.

I went back to the room again, tidied it up , watered my plants, curry leaf and all, took my dried clothes in, did dishes. Wrote a suicide note which made no sense to myself which as far as i remember said something about not being able to live without cinema. I wrote it on a paper from a sketch book that Sivaram had gifted me. The pen was a gift from Rehna. Purple. She had sent it twice just to make sure that the purple one was in there. My room was strip searched by friends later to find out which the pills were that i had taken. The note is no longer here. Good. I wrote the names of the six people i loved on earth on the note and popped them pills. I cut up my wrist so that friends wouldn't suspect when they found me if at all they did. I lay down to die.

I heard bangs on the door. Kunju Thalona had called the registrar and had asked him to check on me. She had intuition. I had death. They broke open the door. Emm, my neighbour was one of the voices i remembered. I kept asking her to keep speaking to me till i died. I wanted to hug her and kiss her and feel a human being till i died. I wanted a human voice which i loved till i died.
They took me to the nearest hospital. I was saved.

More than one doctor asked me how the 'experience' was. More than one of them asked me if i would do it again. School girl. Johnny Johnny. Yes Papa.
One of the doctors asked me why i had poured hot wax over my foot. 'Don't you think it's a funny thing to do?', she asked, ostensibly seeking a nod from the nurse stationed near her.
One of them assured Sethuvamma that i wouldn't do it again because i must have got tired of all the needles and pain and stomach cleansing. I must have. It hurts, physically. Tired? I hope so.
They could tell me a million things. I had nothing to say to any of it. 'You only laugh', one of the nurses remarked, amused. 

It was only on 17th february, after 4 days like she predicted that i regained complete consciousness.
In the days before that when consciousness peeped in and went back, i spoke to Sethuvamma, Kunju Thalona, her, calico and Rehna, August, Jay. I thought of the pens Rehna had sent me. I needed to start sketching again. I remembered some jokes from the conversations. Some professors, the registrar, the director and classmates visited.

I remember once when i noticed that there was a tube from my genitals which went to a bag full of my urine. I felt like an old woman. They did that in old age. When i sat up once it fell and piss spilled over my bed. The nurses changed me. I was naked. I must have been naked in front of a lot of people, i thought in the loo when i saw my shaven pubic area. I saw circular areas of glue marks over my belly and above my breasts. They were monitoring my vitals, i was later told. All cinematic. Wired girl, the vitals monitor and may be the green line going flat. Bated breath and tears in a cinema hall.
On the third day my withdrawal symptoms from cigarette addiction were the worst. I whatsapped a professor who was also earlier admitted in a hospital what he had done with his beedis while he was there. I arranged for cigarettes the following day and smoked in the loo. It was oxygen. I didn't know how smoke alarms worked and how much of smoke triggered it off. I coped. No alarm went off. It never did around me. Would have helped if some did.

In the hospital i had visions of streets in Kozhikode and Fort Kochi. I was walking them alone. Cloudy Evenings. Melancholic and hence nice.

On the last day there i dreamed of a funeral in Church of Christ the King, Park Circus. D Jeet, NN and i were shooting. There was a girl from my college. There was a car in which the coffin was carried to the cemetery and some nuns rode it. I sang Cohen's sisters of mercy in my head and whispered 'we weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right'. D Jeet and i had once spoken about that line. He had used it as a title for one of his work. I loved that line. All of us weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.

Except nothing was.
It was my second attempt at suicide. The previous one was when i was 19. It seemed like a long time ago. It wasn't. I wasn't that old, urine bag or not. I was nowhere close to death in the first one. I brushed past it five days ago. I am alive but i know how i am going to die. It is terrifying and sad. It is an end and a definite one at that.

I sometimes wonder where i stashed all my love and lust for life away. In which dark closet of my past i had buried it so well so that i could fantasize about death and defy love. I will never find out. May be i don't want to.
Back in the institute i faced all sorts of responses. Bad to bad. I thanked Emm. She gave me a sketchbook. I laughed. Played badminton.
When Sethuvamma and Kunju Thalona leave i want to shut myself up in my room and weep. About what they went through i shall not even attempt to write. Nor about Calico or her. Something dies when you kill. I must have killed a lot of them. I was a born bitch. Fangs and all. Family killer. Killer.

I thanked a lot of people. There was a girl i fell in love with when i was in my first year here. Sri. She sent me a text when i was in the hospital. She was who was there when i was in CCU. Jay told me later that she was who was relaying news to family before they arrived and the one who stayed. A lot of people texted me. NN called every day. She was in Mumbai. So was D Jeet. Our short film was getting a 'married print'. [Sound and picture get married. Nothing fancy. Institutionalization of cinema, i called it]. Sri's text read this way

'Get well soon. You can't die without writing a single word about me in your blog. I exist in your life. I do exist. U better understand how much everyone loves you, you silly stupid girl. I hate u!'

Dear Sri, dear everyone, do you know why i write? It is so that i survive.
Much love from that closet in some alley bathed in darkness and pain.

Out the window at the hospital. Was told it was on the 6th floor.

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