Sunset to remember

Fiction Feb 01, 2021

Trigger Warning : Suicide

The photo that you are seeing above is the photo that saved my life. Strange isn’t it? A photo saving a life. Well, it did happen. I took this photo myself on New Year’s Eve. While everyone was planning their indoor new year’s celebration, I took my camera, and went to the terrace of my 15-floor building, to soak in the last sunset of 2020. As I set foot on the cold, marble-tiled floor of my terrace, I realised how peaceful it can be when you’re a little disconnected from the civilisation. As I sat there with legs crossed and the camera in position on the ledge, the sun started going down for one final time in 2020. I pressed record and the camera started recording. Still scared and shivering, I carefully set one foot on the top of the ledge, and just when my mind gathered enough courage to stand upright on top, ready to jump and end everything once and for all, my pupils dilated and allowed me to view a wider, golden, far-reaching city skyline. This sent a shiver down my spine. It wasn’t because of what I was about to do, it was because of the realisation of its magnitude. Legs shaking, I carefully stepped down from the ledge and took this beautiful shot of the ‘golden hour’.

“How could I do this?”, I thought to myself. “How could I even think of ending my life?”

When the pandemic struck, I was a bachelor staying alone in a rented flat here in Mumbai. After switching jobs for almost 3 years, I had finally landed a job which made me happy, and it paid well too. I was starting to save money for my dream home. Even though I lived miles away from my parents in Nashik, I wanted them to stay here with me in my dream home.  My parents always have been very supportive of every decision I took for myself. Even when I decided to leave the comforts of our family home in Nashik and move to Mumbai, they encouraged me and did not try to suppress my decision by using their parental influence.

But life took its turn and the pandemic was a mere tool that my fate used to strip me off everything in life. A few weeks into the pandemic I was laid off out of the blue like many others, and spent the lockdown being unemployed. To make matters worse, my mother got infected with the Corona virus and developed severe symptoms. Nashik unfortunately was over burdened with cases, and due to lack of proper medical attention she soon passed away, which drove my father into a state of shock and grief. My savings were not enough to sustain me for more than a year. Because of travel restrictions I could not even move back to Nashik to support my father. I was in a pit.

Finally, the lockdown ended, and life was starting to get back on its feet. I too started to look for jobs and after a long battle, I found myself working as a clerk for a tiny company that needed manpower. All this while I had not been able to pay the rent, and the landlord was getting on my nerves with the constant bickering. There was no way out. 31st December was nearing which meant this dreadful year would soon be a problem of the past. “Is it worth going into the new year after all that I have been through?”, I doubted. “The pandemic has left me broke, bruised, and broken. Who knows whether things will improve in 2021? Suicide is the only way out.”

This brought me to the terrace on New Year’s Eve. But you must be wondering what made me change my mind. It was the sunset. Even though 2020 was bad for everyone, the sunset was still the same: elegant, calming, peaceful, beautiful. It reminded me of the fact that even bad things have an ending. And who knows what 2021 has in store for us? If I survived 2020, I surely can survive everything ahead of me. More importantly, I couldn’t do this to my parents and friends who helped me in my darker times.

That day, the sun not only set on a disastrous year, but it also set on a disastrous thought of me ending my life.

Samarth Oza

DJ Lit Editorial and Publicity Co-Committee member

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