To Die For


Why "love failure" stalks the young men and women of Hyderabad

On January 23, a 24-year-old postgraduate student Kiran Kumar hanged himself in his hostel room in Barkatpura, Hyderabad. His friends told the police that he had been preparing for competitive exams. But the trigger, apparently, was not academic pressure. He had fallen in love with a girl. When his overtures were rejected, he locked himself in his room for a couple of days. The body was found soon after. He did not leave a suicide note.

A research scholar at BITS Pilani in the city, T Manjushetty, had a crush on a girl who was his junior. When she married another man last year, he was heartbroken. On the day the newly-married girl resumed classes, he jumped to death from the third floor of his hostel building.

"Love failure" is a silent malaise stalking young men and women in Andhra Pradesh, with several instances of techies, engineering students and research scholars, succumbing to the despair that follows a setback in love or courtship. The police say that unrequited love is the most probable trigger in the many suicide cases that they encounter. "In 2011, there were 15,077 suicides in Andhra Pradesh, of which nearly half were related to disappointments in love,'' an official of the Central Crime Station in the city said. Authorities say that Andhra Pradesh is next only to Tamil Nadu in what they call "love failure suicides".

Many of these luckless romantics do not leave suicide notes in order to protect their beloveds from troubleóboth legal and familial. If their decision follows a break-up, they ensure that tell-tale text messages, phone numbers and emails are deleted before they take the extreme step. It is only through friends that the police come to know. Some even keep their one-sided romances a secret from their friends. A few leave hints.

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