Dark side of the dazzle and fame

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS)
Whether Sushant Singh Rajput ended his life or was killed is a raging question right now, but this much seems obvious that he was going through a phase of intense mental and psychological pressure in his last days. The situation again spotlights the dark side of the world of glamour and sparkles.
It’s often said that all that glitters is not gold, and Sushant’s untimely demise has opened the Pandora’s Box on how what seems perfect from the outside in Bollywood is often all about pressure, tension and insecurity.
It’s not just Bollywood, but also globally, too. Several known names such as Chester Bennington, Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger and Robin Williams among many others have succumbed under the pressure of courting fame or living up to its demands.

Here are a few names among Indian celebrities who could not deal with the pressures of fame.


Sushant, 34, rose to fame with his performance as Manav in the TV show “Pavitra Rishta”. He made a swift transition to the big screen in 2013 with the film “Kai Po Che!”. He was then seen in films like “Shuddh Desi Romance”, “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”, “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, “Drive”, “Kedarnath”, “Chhichhore” and “Dil Bechara”.

In his run, Sushant was in a relationship with actress Ankita Lokhande. He was rumoured to be dating actress Kriti Sanon and, finally, actress Rhea Chakraborty was his girlfriend. He was found hanging in his residence in Mumbai. A CBI probe has been ordered to investigate his matter of death.


Television actor Sameer Sharma was found hanging from the kitchen ceiling of his residence in Malad West, Mumbai. No suicide note was recovered. He has featured in daily soaps like “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii”, “Left Right Left”, “Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki” among others. He last featured in the ongoing daily soap “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke” as Shaurya Maheshwari.


“Crime Patrol” actress Preksha Mehta committed suicide in May this year. She was 25. She took her life by hanging from a ceiling fan at her residence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The actress reportedly left a suicide note but it does not mention why she decided to end her life. As per reports, Preksha went into depression due to lack of work amid the lockdown. Apart from “Crime Patrol”, Preksha has appeared in TV soaps like “Meri Durga” and “Laal Ishq”.


Television actor Kushal Punjabi, who was seen in “Ishq Mein Marjawan” and “Hum Tum”, committed suicide at his home in Mumbai. He was 37. There are several reports claiming that the actor was found hanging at his place in Pali Hill. It is also claimed that a suicide note was found from his residence.


She gained popularity as Anandi in the television show “Balika Vadhu”. Pratyusha committed suicide by hanging from a fan at her residence in Mumbai’s Goregaon area. Her then boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh took her to the hospital, where she succumbed.

JIAH KHAN (2013)

She was only 25 when she ended her life by hanging herself from the ceiling fan. Jiah, who has starred alongside Bollywood biggies such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar, took her life in 2013 at her Mumbai residence. She mentioned an “abusive relationship” with actor Sooraj Pancholi, son of actor Aditya Pancholi, in a suicide not she left behind.


Known best for her Kama Sutra condom commercial, Vivek Babajee, the Mauritian model, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in 2010 at her residence in Mumbai. In a dairy entry, she blamed her beau Gautam Vohra for her death and the police said that she committed suicide due to depression.


She was seen in the Indian version of “Charlie’s Angels” called “C.A.T.S”. Actress and model Kuljeet Randhawa put an end to her life by hanging herself in her apartment in Mumbai. According to a note left behind by her, she mentioned that she was putting an end to her life as she couldn’t cope with the pressures of life.


With a career spanning over 15 years, Bollywood diva Parveen Babi, who worked in hits like “Majboor”, “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Suhaag”, “Namak Halaal”, “Deewar” and “Rang Birangi” among many others, was found dead in her home in 2005. According to reports, during the last few days of her life Parveen was reportedly alone. She was known to be suffering from psychological problems for some years. Some said she suffered from schizophrenia.


Kuljeet Randhawa’s “C.A.T.S” co-actor Nafisa reportedly in 2004 hanged herself in her flat in the Versova area in Mumbai.

Vijayalakshmi Vadlapatla, who was famously known as the southern sex siren, Silk Smitha, was found dead at the age of 36 under mysterious circumstances. Her body was found hanging by a rope near her home in Chennai in 1996.

Divya Bharti rose to fame in the 1990s. She made her acting debut with the Telugu film, “Bobbili Raja”. After starring in Telugu films, in 1992 she made a transition to Hindi cinema with “Vishwatma”. Divya was then seen in hits like “Shola Aur Shabnam” and “Deewana”, and in a short span of time had become a contender to the Bollywood crown, and a serious challenger for the top superstars of the era, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit.
She was 19 at the time of death, billed by most in the industry as well as fans and the press alike as the next big thing in Bollywood. She is said to have married producer Sajid Nadiadwala, shortly before her death. She fell off the balcony of her five-storey Tulsi apartment flat. Many aspects of her death still remains a mystery.

GURU DUTT (1964):
Legendary filmmaker-actor Guru Dutt was found dead in his rented apartment in Mumbai in 1964. According to reports, the reason for his death was a lethal combination of sleeping pills combined with liquor. Guru Dutt is known for his classics like “Pyaasa”, “Kaagaz Ke Phool”, “Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam”, “Saanjh Aur Savera” and “Chaudhvin Ka Chand”.

(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at durga.c@ians.in)

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