Loneliness, illness forced me to walk out of house, says Kerala man who placed own obit

Joseph Melukunnel, who had disappeared after advertising his own obituary in newspapers last week, was picked up by the police from a lodge room in Kottayam Tuesday. Photo: Manorama

Kottayam: “Years of loneliness was what drove me to the brink of suicide. My health condition is worsening by the day. So I thought of ending my life as I don't want to be a burden to others,” Joseph Melukkunnel, who had disappeared after advertising his own obituary in newspapers last week, told the police officers who picked him up from a lodge room in Kottayam in the early hours of Tuesday.

The police were at a loss of words when the elderly man explained to them the reason behind his bizarre act.

The 75-year-old, a resident of Taliparamba, had gone missing since last Thursday after publishing his obit in the Kannur edition of all major vernacular dailies. Following a frantic search across the state, the police took him into custody at 2.30 am on Tuesday from a hotel in Thirunakkara in Kottayam town.

Joseph’s relatives, accompanied by the Taliparamba police, came over to Kottayam Tuesday morning. After verification of details, he was allowed to go with them.

According to the police, Joseph told them that he decided to walk out of his house after loneliness became unbearable. Before advertising his own obituary in newspapers, he had made up his mind to commit suicide as he felt it was the only option to end his pain and struggles.

On November 21, he had attended a relative’s wedding at Kaduthuruthy. After arranging the publication of the news of ‘death’ and the advertisement on November 29, he went to Karnataka on Thursday morning and spent a couple of days there. He returned to Kottayam and checked into the lodge on Monday, the police said.

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