chapter  7
The Black Demon
Pages 22

This chapter discusses the specific lived contexts of suicidal practice to explore the high rate of suicide found in middle-aged men. It explores the notion of a 'dead-end' pulls in and builds upon the themes of movement and separation. The chapter situates suicide within a paradox and the wider debates concerning alcohol and migration, as they exist in the South Asian and anthropological literature. The chapter explores two of these: the first, drinking parties, and the second, overseas migration. The financial and health burdens of drinking create many more problems for men and their families, not to mention, as people see, high levels of domestic violence and suicide. The folk belief in Kalu Kumara and the clinical diagnosis of pathological jealousy capture in single frames the genesis and consequences of those experiences and anxieties. People find a professionalised critique of migration that fulfils many of the same functions as the vernacular fear of Kalu Yaka, the Black Demon.