Dubai: Dressed for school, he kissed his mother goodbye and walked out of his home in Sharjah.

Hours later, his body was found hanging from the motor room located on the terrace of his residential building.

The Grade 11 pupil at an Indian curriculum school took his life on the afternoon of March 2. The 16-year-old was an above average student with an appetite for reading.

“My boy was a voracious reader. The last book that he was reading was on the rise of the Taliban. He left it unfinished,” his father told Gulf News on Monday evening.

“We are about to leave for the airport but my son [referring to the coffin carrying the body of his son] has, I think, already reached the airport before us,” the distressed father added, his voice trembling.

With this latest case, four teenagers in the UAE have taken their lives so far this year.

According to the boy’s father, there were no signs that would have alerted them to the fact their son was thinking of committing suicide.

Generation gap

Recalling what took place between him and his son on that fateful day, he said: “His exams were going on. It was almost noon and I found him sitting in front of the television, having a snack. I casually asked him whether it was getting late for him to go for his exams. He immediately got up and went to his room and got ready for school. He then kissed his mother goodbye and stepped outside the house. He was to appear for his mathematics exam that day. It was a normal day for us.”

But a telephone call from his son’s school changed everything for him and his family.

“My wife attended that call. The school notified her that our son had failed to appear for his mathematics exam. My wife panicked and immediately got in touch with me. After contacting everyone and failing to get his whereabouts, we approached Sharjah Police,” he said.

The father added that he regretted not being able to read what was going on inside his teenage son’s mind.

“You please come to my house and see for yourself. It is filled with books of all kinds. My son loved reading all sorts of books. The mind of a 16-year-old absorbed all that it read, analysed and reacted to it accordingly. He filtered all the knowledge from what he read and simply left us with many unanswered questions. Whenever I asked him how his studies were coming along, his reply would be ‘I have finished studying. You know that.’”

Speaking on how the generation gap between parents and children often leads to a lack of understanding, he said: “I am 51 years old and my son was 16. I made him understand things as per my outlook and he must have understood it as per his. Today’s education is also more job-oriented and as expatriate parents, we often end up comparing what he or she has accomplished. At times, when he used to hug us, I felt as if he was doing it as routine. I don’t blame my son. It is not his fault. It’s the times that we are living in today, the information that young people are letting into their minds and the inability of us as parents to understand the minds of our children.”

Gulf News tried to get in touch with the school but no one was available for comment.