THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was close to 11 in the night. Anu Ramachandran, a housewife, was doing the dishes in the kitchen when her 16-year-old son came to get the routine goodnight kiss.
“He came as usual asking for the goodnight kiss. He’s taller than me and bowed his head. Usually, I would give one, but on that day, I kissed him on both his eyes and cheeks. He gave me one in return and went to bed as usual,” recollects Anu as tears rolled down her cheek.
The woman did not know then that it was the last kiss she could give her only son. The next morning, she woke up to see her son hanging from the ceiling of his bedroom.
Anu suspects her son committed suicide under the influence of Blue Whale game. The police haven’t endorsed her claim but are unable to provide another valid reason.
If police investigations prove Anu right, the death of Manoj R Chandran (known as Manoj C Manu on Facebook) would be the first reported case of Blue Whale suicide in the state.
“He was very adorable boy and we were good friends as well. He called me “mi” and I would call him “vava”. He never hid anything from me,” Anu said. Anu’s husband Ramachandran works as a mechanic in Saudi Arabia and he too was in the house at the time of the tragedy.
“It was heart rending but equally confusing was the provocation. I didn’t get any clue until I browsed his iphone and FB account,” she says.
His phone had some images of self-mutilation by Manoj, which she suspects was one of the tasks set by the game. One image showed an incision on his hand.
“He told us that he got injured during a football game. However, to his friends he said he got hurt by a glass piece at home,” she said.
The youngster had once told his mother about getting a new game “Blue Whale”. “It was in last November and he said the game will be over only if he commits a murder, or suicide.”
“I was really frightened and I asked him to delete it from his mobile. Though he said he had deleted it, I suspect he was continuing with the game,” she says. As per Anu, Manoj started being aloof and spent long hours in the night on his mobile sometime in March.
“About two or three weeks before his death, he once said he slept only by 5 am. in the morning,” she said.