Reddy, steady and don't go

A COLD breeze hits the face and the salwar flutters in the wind. The girl looks at the ground below, a hundred feet away. One plunge and that would be the end of all miseries. Her heart rattling and on the very verge of sinking, she turns back.

"I have to embrace the justice of death to escape the injustice of life," the girl bemoans. Is it the end of the road for her?

That was a five-minute amateur film on the futility of suicide made by city-based automobile engineer, B. Rajendra Reddy, with an intention of weaning away people from taking the extreme step. "Nothing can be more criminal than a suicide. No one has any right to take his or her life. Suicide is no solution to any problem. If one assumes so, they should realise that the soul is never free of torment. Death is no answer to problems," the young man says. Watching the immense pain and untold suffering of a dear friend who attempted suicide four years ago touched a raw nerve in Reddy. "Seeing my friend suffer so much I just prayed to God to relieve him of all pain. Those were the most disturbing moments in my life and his wails in the hospital still continue to haunt me," he sighs.

"I wanted to make a movie and take it schools and colleges and tell people that suicide could be the worst step any human being can take." Thus was born this short film, shot in two days in digital format, at a cost of Rs. 50,000 that captures the dilemma of a teenager who contemplates suicide after failure in an examination with great sensitivity and honesty. As if reflecting his mind and the sad reality of the State where lives of teenagers revolve around entrance examinations and their future is controlled with an iron hand by parents and society, the sole character of the film craves for `relief from all expectations on her and what others want her to be.' "I want to be what I am. The expectation ladder thrust on me scares me to death," the protagonist laments.

The girl ends her life frustrated at her failure to live up to her parents' dream of seeing her as a doctor. The short film was selected by an NGO from the State for screening at an international conference on suicide in the United Kingdom. Asks Reddy: "Whose mistake is it, that of parents, teachers, the education system or society itself?"

"Her soul struggles and the trauma persists. All alone, she rues that she has left behind a beautiful world, her affectionate parents and friends. But, it is a wee bit too late for her. It is only by staying alive that problems can be solved."

Reddy sure has an answer.

By Madhav K.V.S.

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