My Review Of Suicide At IIT
Suicide is a topic that elicits a lot of curiosity in people. Everyone is interested to know the why, how, what, when, where of the action in question and especially the real purpose behind it. It is our inherent curiosity that does not let us live in peace till we find the real answers.
I’m no exception. The title of the book intrigued me and I wanted to know why someone would commit suicide at IIT. After all, it’s one of the premier educational institutions in the country, (the author makes it a point to stress on it) and the cut throat competition only ensures that the very best are selected.
My initial suspicion was that the victim could not handle the pressure, broke down and therefore took his own life. However the initial pages rapidly defy this. We find that the protagonist Siddharth is in fact an excellent student, overambitious and overzealous , with a good record, 8 point GPA ( That speaks for itself), a well paying job secured at campus placement and was behaving perfectly normal with friends and family alike. What could provoke such an intelligent student with a bright future to end his life?
Gradually we get a clear picture of Siddharth through the interview conducted with his friends, family and professors. The author has smoothly weaved in a few childhood and adolescence experiences which played a vital role in the suicide.
The book is cleverly divided into three parts by the author and evokes the interest of the reader by sucking him/her into the crime scene, as a spectator to the unfolding investigation. Giving one the feeling of watching an episode of CID and one literally gets the impression that ACP Pradyuman will be called to solve the case with his sidekicks Daya & Abhijit .
Ravi Kumar R has done a decent job at giving us a glimpse of the inner workings of the minds of students at IIT. His portrayal of the media and its sensationalizing tactics are spot on. The introduction quote by Kafka is well chosen and blends well with the rest of the novel. There are few instances where we find the protagonist merging with the author. The ending is a bit too optimistic for my taste, with his vision of India as a developed nation in 2030 , One can indeed hope.
The book is a breezy read, less than 90 pages and does not take more than two hours at a stretch. I recommend it for a short journey or a lazy Saturday afternoon.