The Death Wish



The chalk outline has been washed away, the orange safety cones removed and the greyish black concrete looks as though it has just been laid. There is no trace of her ever having lain there on the ground, cold and lifeless, eyes unseeing.

In 2017, an elderly lady jumped off the balcony and killed herself in the condominium where I live. The incident haunted me for days. I would stare at her balcony for hours wondering what it was that forced her to take such an extreme step. I wished I had known she was going through mental turmoil or even been able to help somehow.

I tried to imagine how she must have felt in the moment before she plunged, ten floors down, to her death. One moment of hopelessness, futility, unloved by the ones she cared for the most in the world. That’s all it took.

I hoped it was all over for her in the flash of an eye. I hoped she didn’t suffer or writhe in pain while we carried on with our lives within the comfort of our homes unaware of the tragedy that was playing out a short distance away. Our self-contained boxes. The incident left me feeling very helpless and vulnerable and I decided to start writing The Ghosts of Gurugram.