Pagin Pri: What to do With Suicidal Thoughts

by Pri.

Have you ever felt like your heart has been ripped out of your chest and it won’t ever be replaced? Have you ever felt like your whole world has ended and there is nothing in the world that can make you feel loved? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, being apart of the Desi community, we are raised (or trained) to think that showing our emotions or feelings is a sign of weakness. If we can’t show, or express our emotions, then what do we do? We bottle them up, and continue to do so until we hit our breaking point.

Sometimes our parents can discourage us from from seeing a mental health counselor because they fear what others would say or think, which leads young South Asians to explode through excessive partying, drinking, drugs, sex, rebelling, and some may even consider suicide.

According to Wired.Co.Uk, suicide is the number one cause of death amongst women in India. For a nation that places such a high value on life and death, that’s a big statistic to live by.

What drives a person to want to commit suicide? There are many factors that can contribute to someone’s suicidal ideas/thoughts. A person who considers suicide often feels like they don’t fit in, or they can’t deal with their lifestyle anymore.

Often, those who consider suicide don’t view their attempt from an outside perspective. But from an outsider looking in, we may call them selfish, and when we hear of such cases, we are surprised to know suicidal thoughts existed. You’d be surprised on how many people, even close family and friends, experience frequent suicidal thoughts.

Some common at risk symptoms for a person with suicidal thoughts are:

  • Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Feeling overly anxious and nervous
  • Feelings of being a burden on others
  • Talking about no reason to live
  • Sleeping too little/much
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Depression
  • Increased Alcohol/Drug use
  • There are many other symptoms associated with early warning signs of suicide. Please refer to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for more information.

Through personal experience, one of my closest friends attempted to commit suicide at the age of 18. For the purpose of confidentiality, we will call her “Anya.” Anya felt like she was a burden to her family, and she also lost her grandfather, whom she was very close too. From an outside perspective, we, as her friends, just saw Anya always smiling and keeping busy. After the loss of her grandfather, her boyfriend, whom she loved, broke up with her. She was heartbroken. Anya isolated herself from all of her friends, stopped going to classes, and when she would hang around her friends, she would excessively drink, like most freshmen, which made it seem like everything was normal. Little did we all know, when Anya went home at night, she was cutting herself, and overdosing on painkillers.

On July 16, 2008, I got a phone call from Anya, telling me she took 45 Tylenol PM’s and drank two bottles of Nyquil. She was crying and scared. I remember seeing her face, and holding her in my arms, and she looked helpless. I had no idea that everything had consumed her so much, that she felt like her only way out was to commit suicide.

After sitting at the hospital for hours, we were told she was going to be okay, but she needed to be evaluated by a mental health counselor, in order to determine if she was still at risk. It was then that Anya was diagnosed with severe depression.

A couple months passed, and Anya started to feel better. She began to open up to me more, and told me that her “trigger” point was when her boyfriend left her. She felt like her whole world crumbled.

What surprised me the most was hearing Anya say that her “world crumbled” because of a man. I couldn’t understand what it felt like to be heartbroken until it happened to me. It’s true; your whole world falls apart. Some people, who fall head over heels, really do feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves when they lose the one they loves. This sometimes leads them to thoughts of suicide. It may or may not be a valid justification, that’s not something you or I can make an assumption about, however, as someone whose had their heartbroken, I can say, I know how it feels to be surrounded by a million people who love and care about me but still feel so alone.

The moral of Anya’s story is, no matter what actually caused her to attempt suicide, whether it was her breakup, her grandfather’s loss, feeling left out from her family, or a combination of everything, the fact that she felt that her only option was suicide is eye-opening.

As a friend, I look back at what I could have seen or done. I would have tried to be there for her more, and shown her that, family isn’t always the only support you need. Blood doesn’t make family alone, because family can be built through trustworthy friendships.

It’s important to note – everyone who has ever felt like they have been a burden on someone else to know, you are worth it. I know right now it feels like the world is against you, and that nothing matters, but it will get better. Your life and the situations surrounding it will improve, and you will find someone that make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.

We fall and get hurt, so we can rise and learn through our struggles. We have pain so we can value the good times.

If you, or anyone you know is going through hardships, it’s okay to reach out for help. It doesn’t make you weak. There are people you can talk to anonymously, and your friends don’t have to know. It is okay to express your feelings; bottling up your emotions isn’t healthy, because sooner or later, your feelings will erupt in an unhealthy way. Take advantage of talking to a close friend or a mental health professional.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideas, call the National Suicide hotline 24/7: (1-800)-273-8255


Pagin Pri Pri graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She is pursing her Master’s of Arts degree in professional counseling at Amberton University. Pri has more than four years of experience working with adults with severe mental health diagnosis’. She hopes to give insight to young South Asian women on a variety of topics, including relationships, culture, family life, personal concerns, etc. If you would like Paging Pri to answer your questions, please feel free to write to her at All submissions will be kept confidential.

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

Moving on After Breaking up With Your Cat

“Take what you want//Take everything” reflects on a time with my partner and our cat, Layla. It’s a retelling of the chaotic night I adopted her. I didn’t know why Layla hid from me. When I chased her around, it scared her more. “Take what you want//Take everything” juxtaposes our first night, filled with misunderstanding, with the rest of the time we spent together. My fond memories call back to the loving moments Layla and I shared.

Such memories defined us; they reverberated in my partnership. I wonder if my partner, like Layla, only remembers her fear of me, over our shared moments of love. The title, a Kanye West lyric, is an acknowledgment that their happiness together–without me–destroyed my sense of self. When I see their photos, I wonder if I can see myself reflected in their eyes. I wonder if they still keep kind moments of our time together.

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Take what you want//Take everything

I remember when she would look at me from behind a laundry basket.

A small simple cat with green owl eyes. She was afraid of her new home and its owner. Shit, I remember the night I got her, she hid under my bed, in the middle just out of my reach for maybe 6 hours, watching me. She didn’t eat anything the entire day. When the night fell I was afraid she’d starve or come out and attack me. I was just scared. I didn’t have a childhood pet, I’m not white, I didn’t know what to do. I picked up the whole bed and yelled that she needed to move. I chased her into the closet with a vacuum cleaner. When she ran in, I called my lover and yelled to her that she wasn’t helping enough, she needed to be there to help me. That was our first day together, me and that cat. No one will ever have that memory but me and maybe her.

It was during Ramadan, my first year fasting.

Our problems had already begun by then. Enough so that I decided to fast and show retribution. I’d try to change into a more patient and understanding self. Like the Prophet (SAW) I guess. To become someone that my lover could feel safe around. Somehow, getting a cat felt like it fit into that picture. I’d be a cat dad, you know, gentle. We’d raise her. I’d fast and become New Again. Maybe I’d wrap an inked tasbih around myself and show I’m a man of God.

I don’t know how a cat remembers fear any more than I know how a lover does.

I know her body stored it. My cat’s must have stored it too. That first night, I wish I could tell her that I was afraid too. It doesn’t make sense that I was afraid really — I’m bigger, more threatening. We don’t speak the same language anyway, so how could I ever tell her? She learned to trust me though, in her own way. Her small bean paws would press on my chest in the mornings. She’d meow to berate me for locking her out some nights, or when I was away from home too long.

She lives with my lover now. They share photos with me, they’re happy together.

I saw my lover once, it was on 55th and 7th, Broadway shined blue performance lights over us. She wore a red sacral dress. She said her mental health has never been better. I think she was trying to tell me that she’s doing well, because she knows I care for her. I don’t think she was trying to say she’s happier without me. We don’t speak the same language. I actually think they are happier with just each other. And I loved them both, so it hurts. Sometimes, not all the time. And it doesn’t always hurt that bad. Other times it does get pretty bad, though. I probably owe it to myself to say that.

I look back at the photos, the ones of our life together, and the ones of their new life.

Two green owl eyes, and two brown moonlit eyes. I look for myself in them.

[Read Related: How Love Matures as you Grow]

By Umrao Shaan

Umrao Shaan is a short storyist, poet, and ghazals singer. You can find his songs on his Instagram. His other … Read more ›

Keeping our Friendships Strong as we Get Older

I organize play dates for my children. They’re friendships remind me of when I was younger when Fridays were consistently set aside for my friends. Now, it seems play is indeed meant for childhood and work is for aging adults. We often can’t find time for ourselves, let alone our friends, who are busy working mothers like ourselves. Or we moved into unreachable corners of this globe, far away from any means of physical communication. It’s fair to say, it’s hard to stay close to friends like when we were in college. Nowadays, it’s easier to travel, but more difficult to bond with others. “My Friend” asserts that we should not end let our friendships fall by the wayside. Even with physical distance and conflicting schedules, we keep our friendships close with kind words on phone calls, regular FaceTime calls, or even encouraging social media comments. Friendship doesn’t end once we become adults.

[Read Related: Connecting my Stories With Those of my mom and Grandma]

My Friend

The turbulent sea of a ticking clock,
A constant chime of chores
Unfolded laundry, unpaid bills.
For unplanned surprises, Life’s infinite stores

An achy neck, a heavy head,
A forever strong of burdens
Fleeting as they may be
Yet as real as my scribbling pens

In this world of lonely battles
Filled with competing souls
It’s you, my friend
Your comforting words, long strolls

Your phone calls, your laughter,
You listening when I’m remiss,
Your steady support,
The source of all my bliss.

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The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Mars D. Gill

Mars D. Gill is the author of "House of Milk and Cheese" and "Letters from the Queen". She writes mainstream … Read more ›

The Poetry Film Breaking Genres and National Borders

“After so Long” is a poetry film created for Simha’s EP, which is streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. The poem was collaboratively written by Simha, a U.S. native, and Jae, who is based in India, during the 2020 lockdown. “After so Long” was recited by Simha and their parents. In 2022, I directed and produced the film through my studio, Star Hopper. “After so Long” premiered on Nowness Asia in March 2022.

This film is a worldwide collaboration among trans and queer south-Asian artists from the United States, India and Canada. It was recorded, shot and filmed during the lockdown of 2020 and 2021.

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After So Long (English Translation)

Awake at 10 am but out of bed at noon,
I want to be here where I lose myself in these sheets
Glancing through half-shut eyes
At the gold pressing past my window
The glimmer remarks on the ledge of my bed
But the voices are so loud
Like dust collecting in the corner of my room
I am unaware to why I’m still here
With the chilling doubt of the breeze…
I’m swept into lucidity After so long

Mil rahi hoon mein aaj iske saang barso baad,
(Today, I’ll be meeting them after so long)
Koi paata nahi diya tune
(But with no destination sight,)
Kya karu?
(What should I do?)
Kaha jau?
(Where should I go?)
Shayad agar mein chalne lagoon,
(Perhaps, if I keep walking)
Inn yaadon ki safar mein
(Down this road of memories)
Mujhe samajh mein ayega,
(I will find out)
Yeh rasta kahaan jayega,
(Where this road leads)
Inn aari tedhi pakadandiyon pe baarte hi jaana hai,
(Through the twists and turns of this winding roads, I must keep going on)
Mujhe mil na hain aaj uske saath,
(I wish to meet them today)
Barso baad.
(After so long)

I feel like I’m retracing my footsteps
From these concrete stretches
To broken cement walls
Chips and cracks forge their way for new designs
I see the old abandoned buildings
That once held the warmth of bodies
Now just hold memories
Supporting the nature’s resilience
In vines and moss
After so long

Dhoondli shishe mein jaaga leli hai
(These isty mirrors have offered refuge)
Bikhri hui laatao ne,
(To these scattered vines)
Zameen pe uchi ghaas pe
(Amidst the tall grass stretching from the ground)
Lehrati kamsan kaliyaa
(The swaying little buds)
Bheeni bheeni khushboo bikhereti
(Spreading honeysuckle scent through the air)
Phir wahi mausam,
(I lose myself in reminiscing, the same season)
Wahi dil,
(The same heart)
Baarso baad.
(After so long)
Phir bhi mein chal rahi hoon aaj
(Still, I keep carrying on today)
Khudko khudse milane ke liye
(In the pursuit of my higher self)
Inn galiyo se guzarna hain aaj
(I must pass through these streets today)
Chaalte chaale jaana hai aaj
(I must keep going on today)
Kabhi hum milenge kisi mor paar
(Someday, we’ll meet again, somewhere on this road)
barso baad
(After so long)
Kabhi hum milenge kisi mor pe
(Someday, we’ll meet again, somewhere on this road)
barso baad
(After so long)

[Read Related: How to Follow Your Heart, Even When it’s Hard]


Poem by Simha & Jae
Produced by Star Hopper Studios
Directed by Varsha Panikar
Cinematography and grading by Tanmay Chowdhary
Editing by Asawari Jagushte
Featuring Vaishakh Sudhakaran
Music Production by Simha
Hindi editing by Rama Garimella
Recited by Simha, Rama Garimella, Annaji Garimella
English Translation by Nhylar

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Varsha Panikar

Varsha Panikar (they/he) is a filmmaker, writer and multi-disciplinary artist from India. They are the co-founder of Star Hopper, a … Read more ›