THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Death by suicide is never a common tragedy. But there was something remarkably uncommon about the Kerala couple who hanged themselves, leaving a note- the double suicide happened in a plush room of a luxury hotel. The same hotel had been the venue for a lavish wedding for their daughter. Still more unusual, the couple had unsuccessfully attempted a hotel suicide three months ago, in a different establishment.
Sugathan (70), like many in Kerala a Gulf returnee, and his wife Sunila (60) had checked in to a luxury hotel a week back, in the middle of Onam festivities. As per police and hotel staff, there was nothing unusual about them, bar the fact that they spent a lot of time in their room.
The Kerala couple who died by suicide in a luxury hotel due to financial distress had celebrated Onam much like other guests just days before. On the day of Thiruvonam, Sugathan and Sunila dressed up in traditional attire and were served sadya (Onam feast) in the hotel.
On Wednesday, they had room service breakfast and lunch. It’s when they didn’t respond to calls from room cleaning service that hotel staff alerted the police.
Cops found the bodies and a suicide note that said the couple was financially stressed and that they held nobody responsible. There was also a request not to trouble their daughter.
The couple’s hotel bills remain unpaid.
Why choose a luxury hotel to end your life? Dr Arun B Nair, psychiatrist, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, says people long used to an affluent lifestyle often can’t cope when things turn sour and they sometimes don’t have emotional support.
The final act of ending your life in a pricey hotel is a lot of a last hurrah.
Cops say Sugathan returned from the Gulf and purchased a property at Malayinkeezhu three years back. But he sold it at a loss before his daughter’s marriage and his business also suffered. Per cops, he “slipped into depression”. TOI doesn’t have independent confirmation on whether he was clinically depressed.
The couple’s earlier suicide attempt – by taking sleeping pills – didn’t succeed because that hotel’s staff were able to intervene in time to send them to a hospital, the police says. Cops are now trying to establish the extent of the couple’s financial problems.
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