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TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee's death: It's time we must learn to "Love Thy Neighbour"
I came to know about the shocking news of Pratyusha Banerjee's suicide from a Facebook status of one of my friends for the first time. However we are taught, by default, not to accept "as true" anything we read on 1st April...right!! So like many I also thought it might be a prank or a scene from any upcoming TV serial. I wished it to be a normal "April Fool" prank. But alas!! It was a joke of course but a serious one by destiny. It was fateful, but true.

Pratyusha Banerjee the sweet bubbly girl from an eastern Indian state Jharkhand who had once enthralled the audience playing the role of adult "Anandi" after the first generation leap in the famous TV serial "Balika Vadhu" in 2010, again left people shocked and dumbfounded with her acting skills…though this time it was a real one. She is no more as her suicide (?) attempt didn't fail her.

Pratyusha Banerjee is neither the first celeb of the showbiz world who allegedly opted to kill herself nor she will be the last one. Last time perhaps it was the suicide by actress Jia Khan that stunned the nation to the core. We know that there exists an ugly reality behind the beautiful and starry dreams of entertainment industry. Though struggle exist in every profession, but, in glamour world its bit tough to handle as "twist and turns" in this profession is quite frequent.

Apart from Jia Khan and Pratyusha Banerjee, many other aspiring actresses and promising models like Jyoti Randhwa, Nafisa Joseph etc had ended their live falling into the quite common emotional traps. Being a celebrity is a quite a daunting task. A celeb has to stride on the egg shells at all times, given the merciless, fragile and flimsy nature of the industry. Cut throat competition, lack of professional success, ambition gone wrong, lobbying issues and unhinged and deranged love lives are by and large reasons most celebs ruthlessly end their own life!

However, we have a tendency of romanticizing deaths especially the tragic ones involving celebs though nobody cares to be taught a lesson. We think depression or stress will not happen to us or people related to us. I wish there would have been a support system (basically to deal with psychological turmoil) right in the glamour industry in particular and in every profession in general. That would really save many aspiring lives and promising young professionals. Had it been so, I wouldn't be writing such article at this moment as Pratyusha Banerjee would have been alive.

However in this case what touched me the most, are the after revelations of actor Anuj Sachdev who was a neighbor of Pratyusha Banerjee as both of them used to stay in diagonally opposite flats on the 7th floor of the complex.

He had heard Pratyusha howling few hours before her death. He didn't wish to intervene thinking it as her "personal affair". However after her death the actor would have been surely left with a permanent guilt as he could have saved her had he rang the bell.

This reminds me about the "Bell Bajao" (Hindi for 'Ring the Bell') - an anti-domestic violence campaign - that was launched in India on August 20, 2008 by Breakthrough in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNIFEM and the UN Trust Fund. The campaign urges people to take a stand against physical abuse through simple acts meant to interrupt domestic violence and let the abuser know that others can hear them and will act to interrupt the violence. I think…seriously we should give it a thought when it comes to hearing about howling from behind the doors or from anywhere because that may be the weakest emotional moment for some.

Love thy neighbor is what we have been taught all along, but does that really happen in real life?

In our busy life do we really have time to see what's happening in our surrounding? With 'privacy' also becoming such an integral part in our lives, we stick to "live and let live" formula. Isn't it?

Let me share two small personal incidents in this aspect. Once while doing my evening walk in the nearby garden I overheard howling of a girl from a corner. As it was getting darker...I guess nobody seemed to be concerned about it. Some regular joggers even suggested me to ignore such things looking at my bewilderment, which may be like inviting inconveniences.

However, I couldn't stop myself and went to the corner only to find a girl in her mid twenties literally inconsolably weeping. I tried to pacify her but all in vain. Looking at my initiative some people gathered and finally they helped to take the girl to my house which was nearby. After some moments she was able to stop and told me about her problem which as usual was a relationship issue. Her fiancée was threatening to back out from the marriage which was already scheduled.

Surprisingly she happened to be from my home state Odisha and was working with Fortis Hospital. I checked her FB profile if she was telling truth or not and found that she wasn't faking. Finally she went to her PG accommodation and I confirmed from her owner about it. Well…my hubby was bit annoyed at first instance as he was concerned about me because it is risky to be involved with unknown people but later appreciated.

Similarly one night we heard howling from the flat above us. We knew the family - a mother with two grown up daughters - had shifted newly that time after the sudden demise of her husband. Again after dealing with the dilemma - should we go to see them or not - we finally went upstairs and rang the bell. We found that the younger daughter was terribly missing her father. Thank God!!

In the above two cases I am not saying had I not interrupted, there would have been tragic cases of casualties but still who knows? All I want to say is we should learn to give our attentions to such things.

Few months back I had read about an incident on Internet in which three magic words "Are You Okay" from a stranger saved a person from doing suicide. A person was trying to jump off from a bridge when a passerby noticed that. He just went and asked him "Are You Okay" to distract him from that extreme step and the good news was that he was successful in doing so.

All I want to say is we are surrounded by many such people who need some help. We are humans and we definitely have our most fragile moments. Let's be considerate and let's not ignore them while feeling it would be like "invading their personal lives".

And for Pratyusha Banerjee…I wish had Anuj sachdev (I'm not blaming him as anybody could have behaved in the same way) not ignored her howling she would have been probably alive. Let her soul rest in peace!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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