She looked at her beautiful paintings adorning the wall, and sat down in her favorite chair to pen her letter. That done, she took a deep breath and went ahead with her plan.
Ananya was studying in the 12th Standard of a reputed school in Bangalore. She was attending coaching classes every day of the week and weekend as well. It was the all-important board exams of course. She was a very good student. She was among the toppers in her class. Her teachers loved her. Her coaching class teacher was banking on her to top the Board exams and showed her the “Wall of fame” where he was dreaming of putting her picture the next year. Her parents were egging her constantly to give her best. Even her Principal had called her with 4 other classmates to give them a special pep talk about how the school was looking at them to be toppers.
Something started going wrong for Ananya after the first 3 months. She was increasingly tired and worried. Her marks started falling. Her parents were worried sick that she would somehow lose the race. Her father started hitting out at her mother for not taking enough care of her. The mother who had quit her job to supervise Ananya’s studies felt wounded and resentful. Ananya was told not to waste time in silly activities like painting and badminton that she enjoyed. It was just the matter of one year. She can do the things she enjoyed after that year. After all just like her elder brother, she had to be a doctor too.
Walls were closing in on her. Her parents were increasingly fighting among themselves because of her. Her tuition teacher was worried that she was not concentrating well enough when in the last test, she only scored 92%. She had it in her to do better than that. Everyone was pushing her to work harder, to perform to get that elusive 95-96%. And she was crumbling under the weight of expectations. She feared that she would let everyone down. She hated to be the cause of everyone’s unhappiness. Her father who had worked so hard to send her to the best school and tuition classes. Her mother who quit her job so that she could actively help her handle her studies. Her brother who was her ideal. She loved them all and could not let them all down. Surely, such a life would not be worth it!
Those were the last thoughts in her mind as she popped the entire bottle of sleeping pills and drifted into sleep.
Sirens screeching, the ambulance took Ananya to hospital. But, she was already gone!
Yet another young life had been sacrificed on the pyre of expectation. Every warning sign that she was not able to cope, that she was losing her battle went unheeded. She had forgotten to smile. She looked confused and upset. Even her normal performance at school became erratic. She became increasingly withdrawn and even lost her appetite. But each such sign was unseen by those who had put blinkers on. They kept pushing her till she could take it no longer.
We give life to our children. We don’t own them. What could be more precious than their happiness and life?
This post is based on a true story that I read.
This is an entry for The Moral of the Story is…! Contest by Indiblogger and Colgate.
Pic courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net