(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
February 19, 2019)
Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here
I subscribe to Joker’s words, “I am an idea, a state of mind.” to explain how I do not always think of suicide. If these notes give such impression, it is because they are written in that very state of mind in which I am thinking of killing myself. No, the notes written here are not by Sidharth Vardhan, there is no Sidharth Vardhan, he is a mere amalgamation of different ideas, states of mind – that often contradict each other, whose mutually envious existence fills the Sidharth Vardhan with more and more of anguish. I,.myself, who write these notes, and call himself, a cynical suicide, is a state of mind. And thus no one should judge the one that goes by name of ‘Sidharth Vardhan’ through this state of mind – on second thoughts I don’t care if you judge him. But you must realize that this is not the only the state of mind he is in.
People who like arguing are fools. We don’t believe in something because it is rational. We do so because a belief has an appeal to us. Philosophers do not come with new philosophies they just discover their natural inclinations. Socratic philosophy was already in the air, Socrates just had the sensitivity to it. A mere accident. The accident of gift of the genetics of genius he had in him. And this gift did make him awesome, but he didn’t make a conscious choice to believe in what he believed. Once he sensed his own philosophy, he had no option but to profess it. Aristotle didn’t choose to believe in his own planetary system – he just smelled it and once he sensed it there was no way for him to reject it. It is thus that when I talk of philosophers, I must be forced to use passive voices. Stoics don’t choose to not be affected emotionally by anything, they just can’t be affected. Cynics can’t help being critical of anything. Idealists don’t know how to belie their ideals. When they do something contrary to their beliefs, that is of necessity arising out of conditions – and they will say so. They just don’t recognize this lack of choice when they first find themselves believing in their philosophies.
All cynics must, of necessity, be nihilists too. Because nihilism is the inability to believe in something. And cynicism is being, by nature, be critical of it. Barring the hypocrisy of believing in something that you are too critical of to believe in it, all cynics must also be nihilists. And nihilists must of necessity become either suicide or murders. Perhaps both. Because nihilism is inability to believe in something.
Two numbers that humanity had trouble discovering were zero and infinity. And the two have a lot in common. But I am not a mathematician to bother talking about that. What interests me is the reason why humanity was unable to discover them for so long. And the answer is that human imagination can’t handle extremes. Of numbers. Of sizes, can anyone truly imagine how large the universe is? Or how small an atom is? Of time, what happened at time zero? And on the moment when the universe ends? Or for that matter when earth ends? And a day not that far away if you believe what scientists have to say. The extremes defy our imagination because we are in habit of thinking in terms of continuity – we must wonder what is smaller and what is larger, the before and after. And thus we must think in terms of souls and ghosts, netherworld and rebirths. How could our knowledge that can’t help being anthropomorphic, being self-conscious can think of a time when it is no longer there? It is not death that scares people, it is nothingness that follows. Even the worst illusions of hell are better to imagine. I too am scared of that nothingness. I wish for death in as far as it will turn all my feelings, all my existence into nothing. But I wish to stay alive somehow through my death. I wish for a sort of posterity and that perhaps is what I hope from these notes. I also wish to know how the world fairs out, whether the Earth and Humanity survive. I wish to know if someone will remember me with tears and longing. Those wishes I don’t see getting fulfilled. But what I would really like is the bad imitation of life
My last wish that I don’t see ever getting fulfilled is for someone to hold my hand and tell me “I understand.” That is perhaps all I need from all my friends. But perhaps they aren’t friends. Perhaps I just don’t have the luxury of friends.
Sooner or later, these notes must be concluded. That is perhaps one freedom not allowed to suicide notes. They can’t be too long – Hannah was accused of being a drama cute because she made 13 tapes. I am afraid my notes though addressed to no one will attract far less compassion.
Pain Letters -24
I hate this. Why can’t I stop thinking about you? I hate you, I don’t even want to talk to you. I don’t think I can ever trust you again. Even if you were to try to come back, I would just ask you to leave me alone. And yet, I keep thinking of you. And yet I want those efforts at friendship from you to reject. I want you to feel that hurt I feel. How small a person I have become! To hate someone, to envy someone for her happiness. I can’t even pretend that I want you to happy. I want you to suffer as I have felt. Harvey Dent was right when he said either you die a hero or become a villain I have become a villain. Though I was never a hero I do wish I was dead by now. Exactly how can you indifferent to my suffering after everything? Even now, after so many humiliations, I want to know how you are doing in life. How come it never occurred you to apologize? How could you hurt someone and not ever want to apologize? Though no answers will satisfy me. I will hate myself for wanting it if you suffered. And I will hate you for being happy when I, whom you talked about loving, being a friend or caring, is suffering. Do you even remember me?
Pain Letters – 25
I hate this. Why can’t I stop thinking about you? I hate you, I don’t even want to talk to you. I don’t think I can ever trust you again. Even if you were to try to come back, I would just ask you to leave me alone. And yet, I keep thinking of you. And yet I want those efforts at friendship from you to reject. I want you to feel that hurt I feel. How small a person I have become! To hate someone, to envy someone for her happiness. I can’t even pretend that I want you to happy. I want you to suffer as I have felt. Harvey Dent was right when he said either you die a hero or become a villain I have become a villain. Though I was never a hero I do wish I was dead by now.
You said you were busy though you contradicted it later. Just as you contradicted that suggestion of yours that happiness lies only in illusions when you said you won’t be happy if you knew the source of happiness is not real and later when you said that you were happier in reality than in illusions. But it is never a question of being busy. It is a question of priorities. I skipped my meals and missed my sleep for you. I just wasn’t high enough in your priorities. And that is what I can’t make my peace with.
You were really closer to sir and friends. You won’t call me on Sir’s phone because it didn’t seem good for him. But you didn’t tell him that I and you had something. Why? Because it wasn’t ‘serious’ – so much for your songs! And how come you had never a problem telling me about when you had sex, when you didn’t have to and when I had explicitly told you not to. Why? Isn’t how I feel of any importance to you?
I was always your back up. Ain’t I? When you broke things with zoddie you remembered your feelings for me. Then you found that singer friend and they were gone. When it didn’t work out with the singer, you found feeling for me again. And just as you developed feelings for your sir, they reduced for me. When you found a permanent thing with him you didn’t need back up, so here I am, discarded. One day you want me because you would have so much time, two days later you don’t have time to say goodbye.
And as if that is not enough, here I am. Proving myself even a bigger loser crying and begging you again to come back. To set my mind at rest. Somehow. Anyhow. To have one last fight.
“Today I can write the saddest line
I loved her and sometimes she loved me.”
– Pablo Neruda
….. Well, if only that was all that was needed to write beautiful lines! In my case, it was I loved her and sometimes, occasionally, when there are no better alternatives, in between other lovers, when she got nothing better to do, and as long as I know it was nothing serious, not going to last, stupid, illusion, as long as no one in the world know of it even if I know of all her lovers, she loved me …… and yet look at the heaps of trash I have generated in this diary.
Pain Letters – 26
You kept saying you want me in your life but not enough. Not at the price of my dark side. Not that badly. And I don’t blame you. No one wants me badly. It is my fault. I should have known better – better than to yield to your righteous anger and protests that I should show your dark side. Better than to take you at your word when you said I can call you even when you are asleep. I am sorry if that sounds sarcastic because it isn’t. I should have known better. I often forget people don’t really mean it when they tell me how important I am in their life.
But I do maintain you didn’t wish to have my dark side. If it was simply you can’t handle it, you would have struggled, maybe even cut calls, but always come back afterward. I understand people, I understand they will struggle when they see my dark side, especially when I have been their patience stone. There is nothing as terrible as your patience stone in anguish. don’t expect to be patience stones. But I expect them to survive it and still want to be my friends. When you stay away, you affirm the words, I might otherwise have doubted because you said them when you were upset because of my state of mind. So I can’t handle believing I depress you and you really don’t want to talk to me anymore. That all I remember getting from me was a pain letter.
Do you think it was easy for me to be your friend? I was the one to whom you told about how you were in love for Zoddie even before you told Zoddie. Do you think it was easy? Or was it easy for me to stay after you brought the whole jealousy trip? The on-again, off-again love? Because you couldn’t handle the one time I sprightly delayed the reciprocate to your ‘i love you’. I could go on quote examples and examples, but I guess you took me too much for granted to appreciate the effort it took me to be your friend.
Anyway, I did learn one thing though. This is what happens when happier people don’t leave me. I become the cause of their depression. You, Sabah. Now I know. Now I won’t reproach anyone for leaving. I wish you had not left me when I was in that suicidal frame of mine. But whatever. Better me in pain than you.
Pain Letters – 27
You were right, love is fucking stupid. I lost the person I wanted to keep most in life and, after becoming a cause of depression for her.
I am sorry for some of the things I have said. I don’t expect you to forgive me. I can’t forgive myself. I am the smallest person in the world. For writing these letters and not being able to delete them. For to whatever extent it is possible, I want them said. Hopefully, you will not read them. I don’t expect you to forgive, the words still come out in the hope you will understand though. But to be honest, that hope is dying.
Pain Letter – 28
I still think you will want to come back. And by apologizing for my behavior and asking for another chance, I … Well a part of me still wants to open the door for you. Make it easy for you to avoid one thing you can’t do ….. Not to a loser like me. Apologize. But no, I won’t do it this time. I resolved never to contact you or Sabah or Vessey or Heshamul or Koel at beginning of this year. Not to contact anyone for whom I could be useful.
Pain Letter – 29
I don’t think I had wanted anything as strongly as keeping you in life. And it was for selfish purposes. I always knew that sooner or later you will realize what a loser I am. And want to stop loving me. And when you started belittling you-and-me thing at the same time when you were developing feelings for you sir, I knew you were struggling because of it, only too coward to break it. Just the same as you had earlier struggled with the whole one-week long ‘girlfriend’ thing because you were in love for Zoddie. But I thought we would always be friends, I really thought you meant it when you agreed that we are ‘stuck together’. So something beautiful was destroyed when you said you could go away from me anytime you like. In fact, the loser I am, I still think that we are stuck together. That one day you will want to come back (though I don’t know why, you are perfectly happy and definitely happier away from me and you have proved you can leave me anytime, even prefer me out of your life). And that day scares me, for that day, I will hurt at least one of us, if I won’t let my anger out, I would hurt myself (for scooping so low on dignity). And if I do let out my anger I will hurt you – since I know you won’t come back for me except to use me as a means to handle some crisis in your life – some anxiety attack, problem with one of the friends (who being physically closer mean more to you) or something like that and so would be weak … And since I know that, for all strength, you developed from your career, you can’t handle my bad moods. I do hope for both ourselves that such a day won’t come.
Not a Pain Letter – 30
I probably made one of my best decisions in life when I called you sis. In the Arabian world, there is a concept of patience stone. When life gives people too much trouble, they would take a stone and tell them about your fears, anxieties etc. Because stones can be such patient listeners. There are of course people who are patience stones for others. People who find energy for life and use it to be happy and make others happy too. They not only let others pour the poison of their life on to them but give happiness in life. I somehow end up becoming a patience stone for all my friends (a bad one, I never have the energy of that one) … Well, all, except for you 🙂 you were my patient stone in times I really, really needed one. As you are for several other people. And so this is to say ….. What is that word people say when they are grateful? Than ku? Think u? I don’t know, I never use it. But you get the gist, right?
I wanted to say it because I know how sometimes being a patient stone can be a thunkless (?) job.
You remind me of the Hindu God Shiva who drank poison to let others have the nectar. You are like that, taking poison of sadness from others and I know, though you won’t let it show, that you barely save yourself from it … Much like Shiva who had to hold the poison in his neck to protect himself. No amount of gratefulness can pay back for that constant effort of holding the poison inside your throat and not let one poisoned word showing your frustration and irritation out.
And I have observed how for all the talks about loving yourself most, you are always turning our conversations around me and my life. And I, being a good, healthy, selfish brother take it for granted that it should be so.
So thank you. (I said it once, I am not saying it again. Don’t get used to it. In fact, the world should never know. This never really happened).
And happy birthday, wish you all the happiness in the world. Take care of yourself and your family. And yours too… For their sake as well, because there is no such as seeing one’s patient stone break down. So do look after yourself… Maybe cut on calories a little 🙂 though otherwise, you are still amazing. Not a day older than fifty years old 🙂
A sort of author’s note
I call this diary a piece of fiction but there are notes in it, especially the pain letters and the names carried in them that might convince you that they are based on reality. But there are two reasons that will explain why it is still a piece of fiction. First, the fiction here is mixed facts in such a subtle way that often you won’t be able to tell where one starts and where other ends. The facts that do show up in work are so isolated in absence of related facts and perspective that they are unable to give the reader a picture of reality – only a small fragment of reality which is nearer to what is called; fiction. Even the image reader might form of receipts of letters is probably going to be far from correct. The letters were never meant to be read by strangers and so there is not even at an effort to give readers an initiation into the circumstances in which they were written. Even with the cynical suicide himself – you will see, as I have said, only a particular type of state of mind. Second, even if the names of recipients of letters were real, and in fact, some of them received some of those very same letters, it still doesn’t mean an author might not create their fictional doubles and address those same and a few more letters to these doubles. One of the persons to whom most letters are addressed is just an illusion of the author’s mind – a fact clarified by the very person on whom the author had screened that illusion. In some parts, there was a myth that a camera captures a part of your soul and that is what is used to make your image. I too have used the fragments of souls, mine and those shared with me (sometimes only illusion of a soul), to draw the pictures of people in this diary. A picture is not a real person – it is only a likeliness of your one single quality – your appearance. In the same way, the characters here are not real people.
Tell me how can a parent turn you into a joke?
He or she will give the child a toy, let it learn to love it and then steal it.
Tell me how will God turn you into a joke?
He or she will give you someone to love and then steal that person from you.
Tell me how will a friend turn you into a joke?
He or she will gain your trust and then break it.
Tell me how can you best play God with someone who trusts you?
Tell them something as if it is the truth, then tell that it was an illusion and then be offended because they won’t find happiness in illusion.
I mean if you really want me to find happiness in that illusion, why break it by telling me the truth?
Pain Letters – 31
Here I am talking to you again. I thought it was over, I thought this time for sure. That now that you have abandoned me when I was down in the abyss of suffering and you were happy, all I could feel for you were gone. But apparently, it didn’t. Yet again I know you are in crisis and I know it- how I have tried removing you from my life, as hard as I tried to make you a part of it earlier but I keep on finding there are new connections I had developed that I had made and forgotten about. And they bring your tidings to me. But this time something is definitely broken. You are grieved at the moment, but my presence will only make it worse. No, I can’t come this time. I guess that is what will keep me away. Not anger, not self-respect (and how connected they seem these days! the only way to have any-self-worth it has started appearing to me, is to hold fast to offense given to me by people who broke my trust) – no, but the idea that my presence in their life can depress people.
I now know why broken people left me when they were mended. I am like the forests in Doctor Who series who were there on humanity’s side in time of crisis but people only learned to connect them to fear instead of security. Or Thesterals who were considered unlucky because only those who had seen death could see them.
Now I just wish that people I care about should grow to want to avoid me, feel depressed by my presence in their company because that is the surest sign that I have done my part in their life.
I didn’t like you back when you had left and were happy. But I hate myself for feeling that way now that you are grieved. I can’t hold on to anger. Not on you. Once again I failed. So here it is. Forgiven. If you sought forgiveness, you got it now. And I am sorry too. I should have been a better human being. I should have been more understanding. I should have been able to let you go. Perhaps it was easy to forgive you for what you did to me but I couldn’t forgive you for things that I did to you. Yes, I held you responsible for all the pain letters I feel guilty in writing to you. But I forgive you everything now and seek your forgiveness. I hope you have forgiven yourself too. Don’t take it to mean I want you back in life. I know I have no such right anymore. And to be honest, being in contact with you will be a scary prospect. It is the apology that should be our last communication.
I am sorry for all these pain letters, I should never have let you know of them. Believe it or not, the first one that I let you see was not to mortify you, it was more of an apology for having made you miserable with my problems when you had far more important things in life. It was a plea for understanding. I am sorry you should ever see those pain letters. You didn’t cause them, my misery is all my fault. I should have known better. Why would anyone love me? Sooner or later you had to see what a loser I really am.
The bitterness in the letters that followed after you left was inexcusable. I have tried to live by the principle of never saying something unkind except when it was necessary. And those pain letters were unkind and unnecessary. I won’t take them off here since I don’t expect you to come on the site and even if you do, it would be a lie to hide them. They shall stay here as proofs of what a disgusting loser I become to people I get really close to.
Goodbye. I do hope you find to have all your dreams come true.
Pain Letters – 32
There are more than one bitches my sister had of this name and I address all of them. I address particularly the one who died that day of electric shock when we kids were busy playing video games. We couldn’t even guess the reason of your anguish till long afterward. You were tied to an iron container by a steel chain tied to your collar. A naked wire touched the container. Current from wire passed from wire to continue to chain to you and you died after suffering from shock for a few seconds. We saw you suffer in agony. And we couldn’t do anything.
And you Rosie, the one who suffered from epilepsy attack. Our house was filled with dogs during those years – Change (a name inherited by several permerians from their dead predecessor just as name Rosie was inherited by several labs), Babli (a street dog that was never accepted in our house for that reason, how snobbish we could get!) and Lovely (the fierce thing who lived the longest of all dogs I have in our house). I never learned how Bablie who was discarded to streets faired in her life. I only saw her once years afterward and she seemed to have done comparatively far better than quiet, boring, sexless life that my family has forced on its ‘beloved’ pets. Only Cattle had their need for sex fulfilled in our house and that was purely for economic purposes. Not that cattle are better for that purpose, I saw a little calf Nandani that I raised from a few weeks old lose her feet. I have cried for her sake long after she was gone even long after she was gone Even a parrot died after years of never seeing another of its kind in its small cage, its wings that had long forgotten to fly only a burden on its little shoulders.
Do you wonder what became of Lovely? She lived to old age to a time when she was completely incapable of moving. My cousin brother, to give him his due, took good care of her in her last days. I wonder what she thought of in her last days. Long days with no possibility of any physical movements. Did she expect us to make her better? I sometimes wish dogs didn’t love humans, worship us like gods because we don’t deserve it. We aren’t good friends either, or even friends.
You Rose, every time you suffered from an epileptic attack, the whole family would gather around you. I would hold you in my arms and you would lay in them trembling in them your eyes looking up at us, hoping, expecting us to save you. How many times do I let you down, Rosie? you never gave up, you just couldn’t. Of everyone I have failed, it is failing you I regret the most. I don’t know what else to say to you. I remembered how you once fell from the room and were more afraid of being scolded than pained by fall. I remember how no chains were ever strong enough to keep you tied. You broke them, made them lose to get out of them or sometimes we had to get rid of them because they gave you rashes on necks. I remember how you would run away and out, perhaps too tired of caged existence our house gave to animals and how I had to go out seeking you out. I remembered how no amounts of food was enough for you. I remember how you would greet me every day when I came back from school.
I am sorry to have failed you and all the other animals. If my family members have faced misfortunes, they can not have any claims of innocence, especially not me. I wish I was a better human being. As if some knot got my eyes, I could not cry on your death, the very least you deserved. But I have done it several times since not that these naracisst moanings of mine serve you in any way,
I am not a romantic. Death to me is not a thing but an end to the thing called life. It is simply the name given to all the ways in which machinery of a living body stops working. So if I enjoy romanticization of idea of death in paintings and writings, or romanticize it myself, it is merely for aesthetic pleasure. They do not appeal to my sense of reason just as other imaginary beings like dragons, Gods or phenoix won’t
Still, when very young, I first discovered the nature of AIDS and Cancer, an image of death as a sentient being – a clever one at that crossed my mind for a moment. They say it is because of death we love but death when it comes in form of a plague, shows us the hypocrisy of love because our loved ones would be too afraid to even hold our hand as we die in agony. Maybe she is cleverer than we think she is. And that is why we have never been able to beat it.
That we have not been able to beat it is something widely observed. But we do have made a lot of progress in trying to fight it. We have discovered cures of lots of deadly diseases. And we have developed immunity for several others. Common cold was the weapons Europeans had used to colonize America. Americans never had common cold germs of Europe so had never developed immunity for it. Common cold must have come like a plague to them. So we might argue, common cold might once have been deadly in Europe and Eastern World too.
But now we have developed immunity against the same. Nietzsche said what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. Humanity as a whole seems to live with the same principle. What doesn’t destroy humanity (even if it kills humans) makes it stronger. Maybe Black Death never returned because people grew immune to it. But that is idle speculation. What I wish to observe is that we do have made progress in fighting death.
However, death seems to attack back with more innovative ideas. There are diseases like Cancer, hard to detect when it is easy to cure in earlier stages and almost impossible to cure when easily detectable. Death seems to have learned ways to play
hide-and-seek with all our health tests.
And AIDS which would attack your immunity system leaving you vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. How clever of death to attack the very defenses we have taken generations to develop!
I don’t even how to make effort or in what direction to make. I don’t have it in me to walk another mile to find happiness. All I want is for this suffering to end. Everywhere I see, there are people … Living things suffering. I don’t want this anymore. No more of this world in my eyes. I must close them to the world and close them so that they are never opened around.
I have said it before that this is not alone me. Often I have felt as if I was dying, and it wasn’t a future of speech, it did feel like dying. I die, I have died countless times before. I have burnt in unbearable agonies but it is as if I am born anew each time from my ashes. Like Doctor I regenerate. But even Doctor was tempted to let it go. It must end sometime. And one gets tired. I understand him, I have lost so many loved ones too. And I too have been cheated by the very people I trusted in. I too have seen my whole value system, everything I stood for shattered by my friends or rather, since luxury of friends is denied me, people who stand in the proxy. But I am no Doctor. I have no claim to have his bravery and his forgiveness. I am a lesser mortal, who just wants to stop.
These notes must now come to end. I think I started them because I am such a coward and thought through these notes I will gather the courage to take that leap to the last destination. I guess these notes aren’t helping at all.
I no longer think I am an author worth reading. But some of the writing in this diary is too low for even my low standards. And I am tempted to revise them – cut badly written parts, and also the letters which should have been published, if at all, separately as they do not belong in here. A couple of them that are ‘Not a pain letters’ were actually written in good spirits. But somehow the revision seems wrong
Another temptation is far too stronger. It is to delete all these notes altogether. I am so often tempted by this one. To begin with, the notes are embarrassing. I am an alive person with suicide notes so many that it took the shape of a diary. Second, I don’t want some of the people I know in real life to know about them – just too many explanations. Also, they showcase some of my worst states of mind. Third, I don’t want anyone mentioned whether directly or indirectly in these notes to think that they have been the cause of my suicide whenever it takes place. Guilt is one disgusting feeling I hate most and I don’t wish to cause of it in others. And after all, we all take lives even as we breathe without feeling guilty. Why should my death cause anyone any guilt?
And to be honest, I would have deleted everything I wrote twenty times already if it was not for a resolve, one of few I have been able to keep that I took when I started writing – to never, ever delete anything I wrote no matter how much I doubt it. I took it because there were so many stories regarding manuscripts being saved by wives of authors or authors having second thoughts and rewriting whole stuff from scratch after burning manuscripts. I have no claim to greatness of such authors but my writing was important enough to me – I didn’t want to regret destroying what I write. I would be too lazy to rewrite (i can’t even edit this diary before publishing it). These notes end now, though like me, I don’t know how long they will stay around. I don’t have a wife or a caring person to save my manuscripts from myself.