A thought walked down her dura mater, tiptoing across the cerebrum. A pot of ink sneakily kept around the wrong corner was nudged. Ink fell and began spreading, drenching her thoughts in royal blue – taking away all shades of thought and all colours of imagination. Her mind was soon royal blue from head to toe and she stopped in her shoes. She turned toward the railings. A river was flowing under the bridge and there was no one to stop her. She put a foot on the railing and looked around. There was no one to shout for help. She got rid of her backpack. She wanted to be alone in her leap to the other side, her suicide.
Would the family be devastated? No one could tell for sure. Of course there would be wails and cries but then, eventually, it might not matter. Nothing would matter. As the ink in her thoughts dried up, leaving a blue soot, her grip on the iron railing got tighter. She hoisted herself up for the leap in the river and took the plunge.
A floating mass with frayed ends. Clothes hampering the smooth descent to the bottom. Fish scurrying away from this large human body slowing drowning from confusion to complete meaninglessness. Why would someone do it?
At this point, I am supposed to tell you why the woman jumped off the bridge. As a writer, I am supposed to know. I am supposed to tell you that she was trafficked as a child slave and had bitter memories or that her husband beat her often and for no reason. The funny thing is, I don’t know. Let’s try to find out together as she turns into fish food.
She was named Arjita. She was loved as a kid. No history of abuse. She was from Kanpur and her accent had a flavour of that place. Her language had been bent to suit the tongue and not the other way around. This suicide was from a small bridge over the river Chambal. She was alone, away from home and away from noise.
Let’s try to go back a day in time and see if we have any clues there. At this hour in the noon yesterday, she was sitting in her cottage and enjoying a cup of tea. Well, enjoying would be an overstatement. She was sipping it with no feelings. She had “lived enough” at the age of 35. The first time she realized this was when she went back to see her parents in Kanpur. After working in an MNC in Noida for two years, this was her first vacation. As her family came to receive her, she missed Noida more than she should have. She had imagined that she had no family and it was comforting. No, she didn’t hate them. It was that thing where you grow up to be a different person and cannot hang with your childhood friends anymore because you think all their jokes are racist and all their thoughts are sexist.
OK, so now we know that she was lonely. And that she spent her vacations away from her family. But why the bridge? Why the river? And why death? There are so many other escape routes but she took this one. And now we have her floating. A crow is circling around the river bank, with an eye on the corpse.
And at that instant, there is a beep on her phone in her holiday cottage. Someone has replied to a text she had sent last night. Would a text or a call would have saved her? I guess we will never know. The ink is leaving her head in black, floating strands – piercing through the waters, looking for the next mind to drench.