Away but Still Alive

Written By-Bhavana Bhardwaj

India’s Hindi-language film industry, known as Bollywood is one of the biggest film industries of the world. It is known for its glamour and style and also for its heart winning silver screening performances. But beyond the facade of entertainment, news of tragic and shocking deaths leave fans devastated.
Recently, Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, a prominent Bollywood actor who won hearts with ace performances in films like Kedarnath and Chhichhore. He was found dead at his Bandra home in Mumbai, the police said the actor had shown symptoms of clinical depression.
It’s often difficult to imagine what led a friend, family member, or celebrity to commit suicide. Melancholy, sorrow, pessimism, discouragement and many other words are synonymous to Depression. It can make people feel great emotional pain and loss of hope, making them unable to see another way to relieve the pain other than ending their own life.
Here are some of the cases of suicide by Indian actors, both male and female in past few days:
Guru Dutt: The filmmaker, whose real name was Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, known for black-and-white classics like “Kagaz Ke Phool” and “Pyaasa” are his gifts to the industry during the 1950s and 1960s. He is said to have been found dead on the bed of his rented apartment on October10, 1964 at the age of 39. He was reported to have been a suicide or a case of accidental overdose.
Vijaylakshmi: Known as Silk Smith in Tamil Cinema, was renowned for her bold roles, died in 1996 at the age of 33. She appeared in over 200 films, including “Vandichakkaram”, “Moondru Mugam”, etc. She acclaimed to have committed suicide because of extreme depression over debt from producing movies.
She was immortalized on screen in the 2011 film, “The Dirty Picture”, starring Vidya Balan as Silk.
Monal Naval: A young actress of Tamil film world who made her debut in Kollywood with “Badri” alongside Vijay. She committed suicide by hanging on 14 April 2002 aged just 21 in her room in Chennai. She died due to depression caused by her break up with choreographer Prasanna Sujit.
Nafisa Joseph: Nafisa Joseph was former Miss India and Video Jockey. She was found hanging at her residence in Mumbai on July 29, 2004 at the age of 26. She was to get married to a Mumbai-based businessman, Gautam Khanduja in a few weeks’ time. But she went into depression after he reportedly called off the marriage.
Jiah Khan : Jiah Khan was a rising star of Bollywood, she ended her life on June3, 2013 at her familys residence in Juhu, Mumbai flat. Jiah made her debut in bollywood in Ram Gopal Vermas “Nishabd” and then a notable performance in “Ghajini” and “Housefull”. Reports suggested that she had a tiff with her boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi and a six-page long suicide note was also recovered from her residence. Sooraj however, was charged with abetting Jiahs suicide in 2018 by a court in Mumbai.
Sai Prashanth: Tamil actor Sai Prashanth has starred in movies, “Mundhinam Paartheny”, “Vedacurry”. He was found dead at his residence on March 13, 2016. He committed suicide by drinking poison mixed with drinks. Police reports suggested loneliness and depression as the reason for the suicide.
Kushal Punjabi: Indian film and television actor Kushal Punjabi was found dead in his residence in Mumbai on December 26, 2019. He was suffering from depression. He appeared in films such as “Kaal” and “Lakshya” as well as the reality show “Fear Factor”.
Preksha Meht: She was a Crime Patrol actress committed suicide in her Indore residence on May 26, 2020.She was suffering from depression and expressed her disappointments regarding her career and failed relationships in her suicide note.
“Tum jo itna Muskura rahe ho kya gum hai jisko chupa rahe ho”.
The year, 1982. The film, Arth. The Actor, Raj Kiran.Raj Kiran’s real name is Raj Kiran Mehtani who made his debut in 1975 in the film “Kaagaz ki Nao”. He went into acute depression after facing failure in his career. Reportedly, he also went through a series of domestic crises. Later, he was admitted in a mental asylum in Mumbai. Suddenly, he vanished from the industry and was said to be living with his brother Govind Mehtani in Atlanta, but Govind later issued a statement that he is missing. Currently, there is no official update about Raj Kiran.
Apart from Bollywood world, there are millions of people who commit suicide every year. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds, one person takes his/her own life around the world. It is the leading cause for death among 15-19-year-old globally.
In India, there are various NGOs and organization that are committed to the prevention and treatment of anxiety, depressive, obsessive-compulsive and trauma-related disorders. For instance, AASRA is a Mumbai based mental health NGO which is noted for operating a 24-hour helpline to cater to suicidal and emotionally distresses individuals.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are a few suicide prevention helplines that are helping people by providing emotional and professional support in India.
AASRA +91-9820466726
Vandrevala Foundation 1860 2662 345, 1800 2333 330
Sneha +91 44 24640050, +91 4424640060
The Samaritans Mumbai +918422984528, +91 8422984529
Saath +91 7926305544, +91 7926300222
Lifeline Foundation 033 24637401/7432
Sahai 080-25497777

Be grateful each day, it’s your life, live it!!

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