End is nigh?

This blog is so scantly read that I can actually write about this without raising an alarm among my loved ones. It's no secret that my desire to exist wasn't particularly strong at any point. My relationship to life and its various manifestations has been tenuous for well over a decade (as discussed in length here). Ironically, those are also the years that could be categorized as my best/productive/happy years (except the last 3). I described life 12 years ago like this: "[i]t's like a good movie that I want to keep watching....[And] all movies come to an end, but some bad movies are so bad that we cannot stand it. So we get up and leave the theatre in between. That's how I see life. If life gets really bad, regardless of what follows, you end the nonsense."

That's kind of what happened in July 2015. I underwent a relatively complex surgery in my arm and came out of it with a spasmic pelvic floor (because I forced myself to urinate even before the anaesthesia wore off  completely, messing up nerve/muscle co-ordination for good). It had a severe impact on my day to day life and it started nudging me out of the seat bit by bit. To add to that, I had another accident recently and was diagnosed with a bulging disc in my L4-5. So now on top of the spasmic pelvic floor and associated symptoms I have to deal with persistent back ache and the occasional tingle down my legs.

I have been trying to fix the old issue the last 3 years with not a lot of success and I'm going to try to fix the new one too. But in all honesty, I'm only going through the motions: see doctor, see physio, do stretches, try to keep busy etc. My ideological position and my disenchantment with everyday life are likely to meet sooner than later. The wobbly nihilist is becoming steadier by the day.

I figured I'll start the process of shutting down, close a few lose ends. Consider this post as my announcement, the real life equivalent of  the 'System Will Shut Down in the next 15 minutes'. The timeline I have in mind is around July 2019. I think I have enough 'courage' and pain tolerance to carry through until then but I'm not completely sure. It's also quite possible that things change and I get back in the seat. I'll be faced with many moments of irony, contradiction and absurdity [1] in the meantime, no doubt, and I might even address a few of them here.


1. For a nihilist who's decided to end it, an announcement like this is as pointless as it gets. In fact, this only makes things difficult -- not in a direct sense because now I have to fend off the usual voices of concern and panic. But whenever I'm not a nihilist I think about what my role should be in bringing about social change. I had many aspirations on that front in my younger days and many have died out with ideological clarity and aging. Few remain. One among those is the de-stigmatization of suicide. Few philosophers have written openly in favour of it and I'd like to highlight their views in the coming months. Not just as abstract ideas but my personal engagement with them and divorce it from the usual narratives of depression and mental illness. This is a question the modern society will be faced with a lot and at some point they'll have to embrace them as everyday occurrences that are sad and devastating, commonplace nevertheless. Maybe even take it out of the simplistic prism of something that needs to be 'prevented', all the problematic dimensions of suicide notwithstanding.

Update (May 02, 2019):

In spite of my reasoned pessimism (?) I have actually managed to heal my a back quite a bit over the last several months. As I mentioned to some of my friends my mental state was directly correlated to my state of physical being. It's still fragile and far from perfect (or the pre-2015 level), but this will do for now. So yeah, consider the the July 2019 'deadline' nullified.


Anonymous said...

Many reads but only few will comments.

Anonymous said...

Nor are your thoughts the thoughts of you alone. The sea of common thought does claim them
as her own; and so do all the thinking beings who share that sea with you.
Nor are your dreams of you alone. The universe entire is dreaming in your dreams.
Nor is your house the house of you alone. It is as well the dwelling of your guest, and of the
fly, the mouse, the cat and all the creatures that share the house with you.
Beware, therefore, of fences. You but fence in Deception and fence out the Truth. And when
you turn about to see yourselves within the fence, you find you face to face with Death which
is Deception by another name.

Jeyavel J said...

Hi Suresh, I am a newbie astrologer. I have read many of your posts and have enjoyed it. Thank you for your insights about the society we live in. I have a request, can you share your birth details(date of birth, time of birth and place of birth). Iam interested in seeing the chart of a nihilist.

with regards,


Padmanabhan said...

“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don't really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” -Kurt Vonnegut. This too shall pass. Go with the flow my friend. Things will get better.

Dugi said...

Suresh, cleaning my garage for a move and logged onto this old laptop. Found you in the bookmarks. You blast from the past. 11 years at least I'm sure. Damn. Sorry you feel life is shit atm. Drop me a line to my gmail sometime. Ta Durga

jude said...

Dear Suresh, this is Jude. We have run into each other online and offline on several occasions. The first was when we played chess against each other at Sathyabama during our 2nd or 3rd year of engineering. After that, we met at a running/atheletic competition where you were attempting to complete a 800m race, then on a class trip in a train to Delhi where we talked about a number of things, in particular, your love for Vince Carter and his magnificent dunks. Later, we have had a few discussions in Orkut community about several topics including caste and tamil politics. Despite being at the opposite end of the political spectrum, I have found your views astute and your wit funny. I have also followed your youtube videos/documentaries, cooking videos and this blog.

I am very sorry to hear about the tremendous pain that you are in. I can partially relate to what you are going through as I suffer from chronic jaw pain myself. About 4 years ago, I had an anxiety attach after which I began to grind my teeth during the night, which has left me with debilitating pain. I have been unable to chew food and have a constant dull jaw pain and headache at all times. While I am surviving, I am definitely not thriving. Just getting through the day. However, like you, I believe that there are things that I owe society and that thought keeps me moving.

I would like to get in touch with you. I promise, I will not be asking for your credit card number or attempt to convert you to another religion :))
My number is +1 318-497-1779 ( I am currently in the US) and my e-mail is judepj@gmail.com

Hope to hear soon from you bud!

~ Jude

Karthik Selvaraj said...

Dear Suresh, I will pray for your comeback. I just sent you an email, it is a thank you note which I drafted on 12/13/2011, but i didn't sent it then, sitting on my drafts ever since. I sent to you on englishtamil@yahoo.com. Please read it, I hope you still use that email. My thought process improved upon hearing you 8 years ago, you are my idol.

Suresh said...

Padmanabhan, Durga and Karthik,

Thanks. :)

Suresh said...

Dear Jude,

It’s such a pleasant surprise to see your note here. I mean, I have looked you up under ‘Jude Praveen’ so many times in the past (as recently as about 3 or 4 months ago).
Since you’ve listed a bit of chronology of some events, let me give you my side of it (also because I'm a sucker for nostalgia). :)

1999 (October or November)

We met for the first time at the Sathyabhama library. We played each other at the semi-finals and was soundly beaten. You went on to become the ‘First year’s winner’ (they did it separately for first years and they combined Sathyabhama and St Joseph’s for some reason).

2000 (Jan - March)

We met at the MCC grounds. We both ran the 800 and 1500. You came second in 800, I came third (I still remember the all yellow ‘uruvam’ passing me in the last 100ms). In 1500, a guy from chem dept came first, Ramesh from my class came second and you almost beat me in the last 150m but I somehow managed to keep third. Again, it was a first years only event.

2000 (sometime between August and October)

Again at the library. Oddly enough, neither of us was part of the competition (in my case it was because they allowed only one person per department and it happened to be a 3rd yr guy; don’t remember why you weren’t playing). We played outside and this time I managed to get on top. My best friend then, Badri, was also there.


Ran into each other in the ‘pandhal’ a couple of times.

2002 (sometime between August and October)

Met at the St Joseph’s basketball courts. Played a few bullet style games in the magnetic chess board I always had in my bag.

2003 March

In the train en route to Delhi. We played some chess and spoke about some stuff for quite some time (I lost my voice the next day). The thing I remember the most is your take down of the Indian army (about their gear and their abuses in Kashmir) and my shameless defence, very much in line with the Thuglak reading right-wing nationalist I was at that time.


Our discussions in Orkut. I was not a right wing nationalist anymore by then, but I had also rejected all forms of nationalism. We had a back and forth about Tamil nationalism. You expressed your desire for reviving some ‘proto-Tamil’ values and how an independent Tamil state is viable if we kept at it. I kinda dismissed them as pipe dream given the oppressive Indian state machinery etc.


I’m sure now we’d find ourselves in the same side of the political/ideological spectrum and not too far from each other. I wish you had left me a word some time between 2007 and now, or continued to identify yourself as Jude Praveen somewhere. :p

I'm sorry to hear about your condition (letting out a big sigh). Our conditions are so weird and 'out there' that we could neither anticipate it nor get it treated at a 'regular' hospital. Given that you have desire/will to go on, I wish you get better.

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