Suicides That Surprise

I don’t wanna be disrespectful to anyone mourning Anthony Bourdain’s death, but I find it hard to trust the honesty of feeling anywhere in social media. I don’t think the couples who post their pictures love each other enough(I honestly think the guy is being a dick to her and sometimes it’s her fault too), and I don’t think travel bloggers who go to Santorini are very happy either. The sun is harsh and it makes you sweat.

But if you’re sad after Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, don’t let me interfere with your mourning. I realise it’s a personal thing, and you could’ve had your own personal connection with him in the way you have with artists (that’s probably a part of his legacy: he made chefs go “Oh, we can ACTUALLY be artists. Tamaatar aise kaato jaise Salvador Dali ki painting bann rahi ho”).


I’m not exactly unmoved myself. I’m sad too. Not in a “A part of me just died today” way but more in a “Dying sucks” way. I’m just saying if famous people who die are so important to someone, there’d be some evidence of it before they died. I have this person on my facebook who would regularly post Linkin Park videos and was devastated when Chester Bennington died. I knew he’d be sad before he wrote about it.

Maybe it’s like an old family member who’s been bedridden for years and hasn’t been a part of your everyday life all this while. When they finally die, it hits you at once and in the days that follow, wonderful things are said about their kindness, and their dick moves are rightly forgotten.

My own connection with Bourdain doesn’t go very deep: I once confused him with Antonio Banderas at a party. I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and loved it, and gifted his books to a friend for her birthday, but that’s it.

I was more occupied by what could’ve led to him killing himself. As soon as I found out, my first thought was “Does he have a stable family life?”, because I’ve been grappling with that whole excitement vs stability debate myself. I Wiki’d him and realized he’s been divorced twice. Other than a tiny sense of “Dekha? I KNEW it”, that doesn’t prove much.

So now that I’ve put one unsubstantiated theory out, allow me to make another: I think these people- Robin Williams, Bourdain, Avicii etc. are in a unique position to know that life is, eventually, hollow. They are better placed than most to know that. They’ve achieved whatever is said to be achievable, have more money than they thought they’d need, have been through marriages and divorces, have been on drugs and rehab, have had strangers fawning over them and hating them…that’s an enough number of ups and downs to go “there’s nothing left for me to feel”.

And the reason most of us don’t kill ourselves is that we still don’t have the things we always wanted. Acquiring a skill, getting a bigger house, loving the kinda person you dreamt of when you hit puberty(?) etc.

So the EMI that reminds you of the averageness of your life, could well be the reason you haven’t killed yourself yet.


Suicides That Surprise

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