“I didn’t think she would do something like that!”
“Not her!”
“I never imagined that she was that type!”
I caught a few snippets of conversation from the large group congregated in front of my class.
Naturally, I assumed that they were just gossiping about random stuff. That was only until I noticed their sad and mournful expressions. Also, the class representative, who harboured extreme and rather unhealthy devotion to the school, was unconsciously scribbling something with a tiny pencil on the door jamb.
When I pointed it out to her, she exclaimed, “You only live once!”
I shrugged. Strange.
My best friend came running up to me. “Did you hear about that girl?”
“Hear about whom?, asked another best friend of mine, who had arrived just then.
“That girl Anamika!”, exclaimed the first. She was literally bursting with excitement.
“What happened to her?”, I asked, being the ever-curious one.
“Apparently, she committed suicide, sometime last week. Can you believe it, she killed herself over bad grades?”, she exclaimed.
“Which girl Anamika?”, asked the second, ever-clueless friend.
“Gosh! She studied with us for a month in Year 11, before she left to India. Don’t you remember?”, asked the first.

Yes. I remember. I remembered her well enough. She was a childhood friend of mine. She used to come for Bharatnatyam dance lessons at the same place I used to go. I’d lost touch with her after 4th or 5th grade.
Then, she got put into the same class as me, in Year 11.
In Year 11, she was there for barely a month and then she left to continue her education in India.

Most of you wouldn’t believe me, but I actually had a dream the day before yesterday, in which she appeared. Something about my friends (strangely, Anamika was included) and I, going for a camping trip to some mountainous region, and then, Anamika gets lost, and we are unable to find her. And then, I woke up.

But, the very idea that she is no more is kind of unimaginable.
The worst part is that she took her own life. That too over something as trivial as grades at school. I wasn’t very close with her to know what her problems exactly were, but rumours about her taking her life over grades abound.

I think all that mush about ‘grades decide your future’ is just utter rubbish. I mean, how many successful people failed school or never even attended it in the first place? That’s right: MANY!
So, why should grades be the absolute deciding factor? Probably because of parental and societal expectations.

Today, I saw it all.
How much her two best friends sobbed and wept.
How much her friends and classmates mourned her.
And I imagined how much her parents and elder sister must be grieving for her.
It is like she disappeared, leaving a big hole and enclosing all her family, relatives, friends and acquaintances in a large, fluffy cloud of misery.
Why do you want to do that, Anamika? Why? Just why?
All I can say is that, if not for some very special people, it might have been me in her place.

P.S. The name is changed to protect her identity. Anamika is a Sanskrit name, meaning nameless.