When Mallappa, a farmer in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh, left his home in August last year, he told his family he was going to “buy groceries”. They never dreamed he had decided to take his own life and was actually buying all the things they would need for his funeral. BBC Telugu’s Hrudaya Vihari reports.
Among the things Mallappa bought that day last August were a white cloth to cover his body, bangles for his wife, incense, a garland and a laminated photograph of himself to be displayed in his house after his death.
Upon returning to his village, he placed them all on top of his father’s grave, located on his farm.
Along with the items was a note explaining that he had decided to end his life because he could not afford to repay his loans – some 285,000 rupees ($4,000; £3,100) that he had borrowed from banks and money lenders.
The note said that he had bought everything since he didn’t want to further burden his family with the cost of a funeral.
He then went to a small hut near his field, which he would use to rest during the day while tending to his crops. It was there that he took his own life.
Early the next morning, his son, Madhavayya, who was taking the cattle out to graze, saw the pile of new things on his grandfather’s grave – his father’s laminated photograph was among them.
“I sensed something wrong and I rushed towards the hut. To my shock, my father’s body was lying there,” he told the BBC, weeping.
Image copyright Niyas Ammed