Name of the book: Don’t call it suicide
Author: Nissim Ezekiel
Type: A play, Drama
Set up: India, Indian family home
Don’t call it suicide, is a play by Nissim Ezekiel. It will bind you to change your opinion about suicide. Not all are strong and competent. When you deprive someone of the love and support they need, you help them find their place in this world that houses all kinds of people.
People who give in on their life are often considered weak. ‘Don’t call it suicide’ sees the other side of the coin. It says, may be, the people around them were insensitive or too sensitive about them.
It knocks sense into our understanding of love and support. Do we accept people for who they are ? In the name of love, what is it that we offer our loved ones? Many questions rise and fall like the incessant waves on the sea after reading this small play by Mr. Ezekiel.
He dives deep into the conscience of the characters. It is a single family and they are all so different from one another. He makes them talk to the audience and they all have their justification to their character.
A typical mother who despite her grief of losing a son, tries to move on for the best of her family. She does not understand why he took his own life. So she refuses to acknowledge it as a suicide. She often asks her husband to call it death and not suicide. She does not care to understand the reason behind her son’s sudden suicide.
However, the father wants to know. He cannot move on because he has to know. When he sees that the suicide is a collective mistake of the family and the society’s insensitive behavior. He knows he cannot call it suicide. In a way, it’s a murder.
Such depth in the portrayal of characters is incredible in the play. The playwright has so beautifully introduced them to us with their words and expressions , with no necessity of much description. He has addressed feminism through the widow wife of her dead son. The real victim of the situation being her who is trapped forever in a life that lacks empathy.
A few lines from – Act 2 Scene 2
Nanda: How can anyone be not responsible for his own failure?
Sathe: Well, he may be temperamentally incapable of meeting society’s standards of success. If those standards were more flexible, if they provided more space, you understand for different temperaments, the so-called failure would feel free to live his own life according to his own preferences.
Nanda: What do you mean by more space?…………..
Sathe: ………. I mean tolerance, freedom, understanding. Not insistence on our terms for accepting people but acceptance of their temperament.