The Sleepless Night : Satabhisa Debata

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The Sleepless Night

Friday, 5th March 2021
Time: 02:07 am
Dear diary,

Hi, I’m back again. I feel stupid how 2 hours ago I said I will be having the entire room to myself. I take my words back that I’d be sleeping like a log tonight with no one around me.

 Clearly, I jinxed it. By that, I don’t particularly mean I miss my roommates. It’s just that; I need a human near me to assure me that things are alright. Everything is fine, everything’s going to be okay, despite the tangled thoughts going on inside my head. My always anxious mind has been triggered by a disturbing incident shared by my friend today. Since I found no human to transfer that information to, dear diary, it is for you to absorb what my mind is going through. So, it goes like this:

This uncle was staying in my friend’s neighborhood. The reason why I say ‘was’ is that he is no more. It is his death that has disturbed me to the core. He was in his mid-40s when his soul departed. A fun-loving person as my friend described him who brought the best of crackers for Diwali which every child in the colony relished. It was until really late that nobody realized, he could be a lonely person too. He never married, nor had a partner, and not that he never wanted to be hitched. He was working for a very reputed organization, earned a lot, and just needed a partner to live his life merrily. Unfortunately, that was the only thing that killed him. He never found anyone to live his life with. Like most Indian families, he also tried arranging his marriage but each one of them would drop red flags. This hurt him quite a lot and he took to alcohol, and chain-smoking. He had drowned himself into alcoholism and stayed intoxicated most of the time. His parents tried a lot to stop him, but nothing worked. His mother decided to live with him, but he pushed her away. He was enveloped by loneliness to such an extent that he found peace in pushing away every person who tried to help him.

To keep people away from him, he had found this idea to lock his main door from outside and he used the back door to go to work. That way, any visitor would naturally assume that he is unavailable, even if he would be inside drinking. He had asked the cook to go away long back, his mother was distanced by him, the neighbors and colleagues who tried talking him out of this phase were sharply cut off. He had created an invisible barrier against every person. The neighbors, tired of attempting to bring him back on track had given up. They would see him on rare occasions. He would rarely go out of the house.

One, unfortunate day, the people of the colony complained of a strong stench. Out of suspicion, they complained at the nearest police station. However, there is some rule that the police cannot break into anybody’s house, unlike what is shown in the films. It took about 2 days to get the orders from the district court to unlock his house and investigate the foul smell. When the police finally broke into his house, he was no more. That, of course, explains the smell. The way his body was found was most disturbing. The police assumed he was under the heavy influence of alcohol. His body lied on the bed oddly with legs dangling. His entire body was bloated indicating the beginning of the decaying process. It is a known fact that the tissues swell up due to the accumulation of body fluids. His face had swollen up to an unrecognizable extent. The floor underneath had dried stains of blood. God knows, how many numbers of his veins had popped opened. He wore a bracelet that didn’t allow that particular strip of his flesh to swell up and that only made it look worse. It was not only difficult to watch him in that condition but to take his body out for the postmortem. His skin was so stretched, it seemed like it would burst open with a mere touch, resulting in his body fluids splattering. It was all the more difficult to get his body out.

Probably his soul departed peacefully when he was asleep, or out of his senses. It is disturbing to me, even his parents didn’t know that had they lost him. It perturbs me that a person died and no one noticed it until weeks. It could be a week ago, or more. He was that lonely in his life; slowly dying every day, until one day when he stopped breathing forever. This is how hard life can get for some people. The truth is, he didn’t die of the alcohol but of depression and loneliness (I know, I am no doctor to say it, but let’s just put it that way). The toughest thing on my part was to digest the fact that this person was not a fictional character but a real human, an acquaintance of my friend. If something isn’t done about mental health issues proactively, that person could be me, or anyone else. Mental health is a serious issue and it must be addressed. The pain he must have gone through is unimaginable. Nobody desires a lonely life or to die with nobody by their side. It is so necessary to have someone to fall back on. The thought of his death and his last pictures give me jitters. I wish no one goes through what he went through.

With that hope, I pray for the world to heal sooner and wish you a Good Night.

Satabhisa Debata


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