Anyone who is keeping up with trending news topics would be well aware of the controversial Netflix series release of ’13 Reasons Why’
For those who don’t know about it yet, the show is a drama series following the story behind a high schooler’s suicide. It explores the 13 reasons that compelled her to do the unreasonable as she had confessed in 13 tapes. And as irrelevant as it sounds to many adults presently scoffing at “teenage” dramas, I promise it’s not.
The series isn’t centred solely on the suicide, while it is the crux of the plot, it opens its panels to more issues. Issues like ‘bullying’.
‘Bullying’ too meek a word to cover its impact. It takes many forms and many victims. It can be peer pressure, societal expectations or even parental pressure that motivates fear in young adults. Children at the burgeoning age of choices. Sadly also the age with the highest suicide rates, a fact informing cynics that we too have problems. That age doesn’t determine the severity of the issue or if it merits aid. That all things deadly aren’t physical but also mental.
There is much talk about how the show may be triggering to other suicidal individuals or survivors. I wouldn’t argue with that. But I will tell you this- The series doesn’t glamorise suicide as the only way to justice. It explains the impact of an individual’s absence on people. The impact of people refusing help or being too ignorant to be concerned enough to offer.The fact that while you may feel alone, you never are. There are always those who would be there for you, tell you better.
The series also talks about rape, the struggles of closeted people and many more problems struggling to walk out from under the veil of taboo in “developing” India and even the world. It is a series that adolescents must see. A series parents must see. A series families must discuss. Because no one looks suicidal unless you look hard enough. Because suicide isn’t cowardice and mustn’t be ever pitied. Suicide is a comment on an individual’s social environment and not their strength. Because they always leave signs. And there are always reasons. Because there are multiple stories to answer one ‘why’. And to understand that you must give this effort a chance. It has become an epidemic that needs to be stopped.
And you must be the one who helps do that. Don’t be someone’s reason why.