A 23-year-old Indian man allegedly committed suicide on Thursday because a crow sat on his head twice in the same day.
An engineering graduate, VH Anand spent the last seven months as a trainee at Bangalore's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). HAL is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies.
He was found dead at his rented apartment, which he shared with his brother, Hampanna. Local reports say he killed himself by consuming poison. His brother was visiting the siblings' hometown of Gadag, which is 420km north of Bangalore.
Anand's body was discovered by Hampanna, who returned home to check on his younger brother after he failed to respond to phone calls, according to the Bangalore Mirror.
Preliminary investigations reveal Anand was upset on Wednesday, after a crow sat on his head. He spoke to his mother at the time, expressing his fears.
His mother's words, it appears, failed to soothe the young man, who also spoke to his sister.
"My brother had called my mother, Parvathi, and told her about the crow. He was very tense when he spoke," Hampanna told Bangalore Mirror.
Family members became alarmed after Anand stopped responding to phone calls and when Hampanna reached Bangalore the next morning, he found his brother "lying on the floor with froth coming out of his mouth".
Anand was immediately taken to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
According to Anand's colleagues, he was visibly disturbed and also told his colleagues about the crow on Wednesday morning. Post-mortem results are still awaited but there seems little evidence to suggest anything other than a suicide.
"I am waiting for the post-mortem report, but even I think he took the extreme step due to the crow incident," the victim's brother confirmed.
Police suggest Anand consumed the poison elsewhere and locked himself into his home. A case of unnatural death has been registered at the Basaveshwaranagar Police Station, while investigations are ongoing.
According to the tenets of the Hindu religion, a crow sitting on one's head is believed to be a bad omen. Banu Prakash Sharma, an astrologer, was quoted by the Bangalore Mirror as saying Hindus believe crows contain the souls of people who have committed suicide
"After death, such a soul will not have or find any place to settle down, so it enters the eggs of a crow," Sharma said, explaining that it was therefore inauspicious for a crow to enter a house or touch someone.