AKU suicide

April 27, 2010

Here is an article on the suicide of Ishfaq Hussain, an AKU student who was due to be graduated in 2013. Here are the parts I feel that is the most important:

Ishfaq, his batch mates said, was a good student and also participated in sports. “He never flunked in his exams,” said one young woman, who was in the same second-year class as Ishfaq. “Our last major exam took place three weeks ago, so it’s not as if there was any pressure on us.”

As with most suicides, shock prevailed on campus. “Nobody could have thought he would commit suicide,” said one senior. “He was a really good cricketer and was named the bowler of the series in a recent university tournament,” he said.

There is worry and concern; why did the bright young man choose to take his own life?

“Ishfaq was a reclusive type,” said one of his batch mates. “He never spoke with anybody, especially with girls in the class. But since most of the guys from the northern areas in our school act like that around us, nobody really noticed anything weird about it.

Ishfaq belonged to Chitral and had only visited home once in the two and a half years he spent in Karachi. He was academically sound and a great sportsman. Recently he led AKU to victory in the intermedical college cricket tournament by striking five wickets. For someone doing so well, what went wrong? Did we miss something?

Ishfaq was a very reserved person, he didn’t have many friends. Close friends he didn’t make. Despite this, he had a prominent smile that always seemed genuine. He spent most of his time in his room, socialising very infrequently. Rumour has it that he would go through extreme phases of depression, while other times he would be hyperactive and over talkative. And no one noticed he was gone till a few hours after he had taken his life. We were too late.

It’s important to have a sense of belonging, the sensation of being wanted and  cared for. You can be talented, smart, but you may still not have friends, just because you you’re the outsider, the new guy.. or  because you lack confidence. You can be a talentless hack but if you have good friends you’ll make it through the day just fine. The worst part is, nobody notices. You may finally get some sympathy, some tears once you die but hey, you’re dead – you’re not around anymore to receive all this new-found emotion and care.


3 Responses to “AKU suicide”

  1. nhakram Says:

    I think for people who are depressed enough to want to/actually commit suicide, the most important thing for them is that they’re not around to feel ANYTHING anymore, which is important to THEM because much of what they are *constantly* feeling is negative, terrible, draining, utterly incomprehensible.

    In that last paragraph it sounded like he may have had some form of bipolar. I wonder how many people in Pakistan go through that all their lives and never know, attributing the extreme mood swings to external stimuli.

    The New York Times had a very interesting article on impulsive vs. planned suicides about two years ago – the link is below.


    • aerial_meds Says:

      So I read your response again. I think you’re right in that its the next stage of depression. First, you may want sympathy, care and compassion, but suicide nulls that. You’re still not getting what you need, so you’re still down. Eventually you become so miserable that you just want out, out from “constant negative feeling” as you say and that may be when you finally do it.

  2. f.z. Says:

    Feel something positive, you mean. That’s where good company, good friends come in.

    It’s a pretty long article, I’ll read it soon… busy with exams.

    Thanks for commenting.

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