You may not know me, but I, like thousands of young girls in my generation, have seen you as Anandi in the serial ‘Balika Vadhu’ while growing up. You were an inspiration for all of us through your character, for how you stood up to your husband when he left you for another woman, how you sought an education and became the Head of the Panchayat in your village. I didn’t know you personally, but I knew your work, and I am deeply saddened by your death.
But what I feel most sad about, dear Pratyusha, is how your personal life is constantly being thrown around in the press now that you’re dead. No one is remembering you for your work, all they know of you now is that you had a boyfriend, Rahul Raj Singh, who apparently stole all your money, how you disowned your parents, how you were harassed by fake cops at your home… and what not.
I am not interested to know all this Pratyusha. I really am not. Your death is being used for media mileage, people who claim to be your friends are stooping to low limits by recording the voice of your mother post your death, to gain publicity in the media eye.
I remember another case, of a young girl named Sheena Bora. It is believed that her mother killed her. This case became more of a daily household debate than a criminal case. And we, only we are responsible for seeing the news and reading the newspaper and encouraging such yellow journalism.
There is so much you went through Pratyusha, and I sympathise with you and your family. But I think it is high time now that the court deals with your situation, not us, the common people who think twice before commenting on the lives of our neighbours, but don’t have any consideration, before picking up the newspaper to read and comment about the painful life of a celebrity (who is also a common person like us, unfortunately).
You know what, Pratyusha, your life will now be made into a film? Like Sheena, your life will too be made a spectacle in front of the people. Looks like films on murder cases (case in point: Talvar) and suicide cases are the new trend, and unfortunately all everyone can only talk about is how you were pregnant, or you were murdered or had a strained relationship with your boyfriend.
I know you wouldn’t have wanted everyone to know about what you went through, I know you must be pained to see how everyone is obsessing over your life, but no one is fighting for your justice, apart from your parents.
We are strange folks, Pratyusha. We loved you as Anandi, but chastised you if you wore a bikini in your personal life, which was none of our business. Your life was out there for all of us to see, but you chose to show us only the bright and colourful side of your life. And that is a line we have crossed, the moment you passed away.
Somewhere in this turmoil, the young girl from Jamshedpur got lost, whose professional work speaks more than her, who has given young girls like me a legacy to live up to, an inspiration in on-screen Anandi, who broke many stereotypes with her strong portrayal.
The High court played your last call, we all heard it and had our share of fun. Rahul’s ex-girlfriend alleged that you hit her and she hit you back, and we all are playing this in our head like a daily soap.
I ask for forgiveness from our society Pratyusha. I miss that bubbly girl who used to give those chirpy interviews where she talked about how she and her mother dreamed that she will become a big actress some day. I miss turning on the TV and not seeing you play Anandi. I feel distraught at the fact that I will no longer see you returning to TV. Maybe you didn’t deserve to live in such a society. I hope you are happy, wherever you are.
An agitated Indian citizen who doesn’t want to sensationalize your life anymore.