Suicides In Bollywood: Unsolved Death Mysteries From Parveen Babi To Sushant Singh Rajput
Mumbai, the city of dreams and glamor! Every year, more than 9 percent of Indians move to Mumbai to find a place in the glamor world. However, the shiny glamor of Bollywood soon fades away as the struggle to seep into the ‘industry’ consumes them. From Parveen Babi to Sushant Singh Rajput, let’s revisit the deaths of top Bollywood stars whose alleged ‘suicides’ remain a mystery to date.
Guru Dutt, the first person in India cinema to set his foot in Cinemascope and set a benchmark in Bollywood that no one has ever been able to compete with, killed himself on 10th October 1964. However, his brother Devi Dutta had refuted the claims of suicide. The director/actor was just 39 years old and engrossed in a project when he ended his life. The maker of classic like Pyasa and Kagaz ke Phool was apparently always sleep-deprived and on sleeping pills to get some sleep. However, on the fateful night, he had alcohol with his dialogue-writer Abrar Alvi during a brainstorming session after brother left him for the night.
Till date, it is unclear whether his death was a suicide or accidental overdose and mixing of alcohol with sleeping pills.
When an actress dies in her prime by falling/jumping off the window of her own house, it is bound to raise many questions. On 5th April 1993, Divya Bharti, just 19 at that time, had returned from Chennai after a shoot and postponed another shoot as she was to meet the designer Neeta Lulla for her costume discussion for an upcoming movie. Apparently, Neeta Lulla and her husband were there in the house when this incident took place. Troy Riberio had covered the death in his Stardust magazine article ‘The Tragedy That Shook The Nation!’.
He wrote, “Divya who had already gulped a few drinks complained of being depressed. And during the course of her conversation, with the Lullas, she went into the kitchen, fixed herself a glass of white rum, and sauntered back in the hall. There she switched on her T. V. set and climbed over her balcony to sit on the parapet below, her favorite place where she would often sit, relax and nurse her drinks. But, unfortunately, on that fateful day, she slipped and succumbed to her destiny.’
He went out to write about the feelings of Divya’s father and brother after she was declared Dead On Arrival, ‘Her father, Mr. Bharti, was right next to her. He had taken the tragedy real bad. He was simply uncontrollable. ‘They have killed my daughter. Burndown everything. I don’t want anything, just give me back Divya,’ he kept sobbing like a child. Divya’s brother Kunal seemed equally shattered. Like a pillar of strength, he stood by his father, trying to console him. Later, when he just couldn’t control his tears anymore he burst out, ‘I shouldn’t have left my loving sister behind. I was with her till ten minutes before she could jump down. She was very depressed, she told me that. But, I didn’t know she would do such a thing. I don’t want anything. I just want my sister back. She was just nineteen. Is that the age to die?’ He kept repeating. He was then taken aside by his maid-servant.”
There were several stories revealed later about Divya being depresses, Divya and Sajid not being married, Divya and Sajid having a huge fight the night before. Many even claimed that Sajid Nadiadwala’s link with the underworld was another issue, or that she was tired of hiding her marriage with Sajid. Till date, there is no clue if Divya Bharti’s death was a suicide, accidental fall, or a murder.
Silk Smitha, the inspiration behind the superhit movie The Dirty Picture, apparently killed herself when she was just 33 years old. It was believed that she was not just depressed, she was even going through a financial crunch and disillusionment in love. Days after her death, people from the industry like Ravichandran and Anuradha, two of the few people with whom she shared a good rapport, revealed that Silk Smitha tried contacting them many times but they were too busy. Anuradha had promised to meet her the next day, Ravichandran also couldn’t connect with her. Both the stars regret this till date.
While everyone had ruled the death as suicide, there is no one who knew the exact reason for the death.
One name that has been taken multiple times in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput’s case is that of Parveen Babi. In the very beginning, it was revealed that Mahesh Bhatt, a lover of Parveen Babi, had told Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant’s girlfriend, that he could see the actor going Parveen Babi’s way. Parveen Babi was also found hanging at her Mumbai house and was declared to be suffering from Schizophrenia.
Considered to be one of the hottest Bollywood actresses of all times, Parveen Babi was found dead on 20th January 2005 when she was 55. She was unmarried her entire life but had love affairs with many. Her relationship with Mahesh Bhatt was of great controversy as she was the leading actress while Bhatt was married and a struggling movie maker. She was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 1977 after which Bhatt ended things with her. Bhatt had once revealed that her mental state was so bad that she distrusted everyone and even ran naked after him on one occasion, Her feeling of distrust towards everyone made her end things with all she ever knew. On 22nd January 2005, two days after her apparent death, her neighbors informed the police after Babi hadn’t collected her milk or newspapers from her doorsteps.
According to the post mortem conducted at the Cooper Hospital, her body was found to be having no food and starving to death was the reason she died. She had many allegations on different people through her life and an allegation on Amitabh Bachchan was one such.
Till date, no one knows if Parveen Babi died by suicide or due to starvation.
A really cute face that appeared in over 18 movies across industries of Bollywood and the Tamil film industry also died by suicide. It was on 7th February 2008 that the actor was found hanging by the ceiling of his house. He was working on a Bollywood film called Yogi when he attempted this suicide and actress Lavina Bhatia found his body. However, his father Rajendra Singh refused to believe that this was a suicide. The father said that his son’s body had bruises. Actress Lavina Bhatia was even detailed by the police in connection with the death. Even CBI probe was set in motion but the case was eventually ruled out as suicide.
However, there is still no clarification on the bruise marks his father saw and the mystery of another suicide continues to haunt Bollywood.
The actress who worked opposite the Bollywood’s legendary Amitabh Bachchan in her very first film and Amir khan in her second died by suicide in her home. Jiah Khan was just 25 years old when she was found dead in her home on 3rd June 2013. She had worked in movies like Nishabd, Ghajini, and Housefull. While it was considered to be a suicide initially, she had blamed her then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi of abetting the step. A letter was recovered from her house which pointed in abuse hurled by her boyfriend and even him cheating on her and doubting her loyalty towards her, which forced her to take the step.
‘I never told you but I received a message about you. About you cheating on me. I chose to ignore it, decided to trust you. You embarrassed me. I never went out, I never went with anyone else. I am a loyal person. I never met anyone with Karthik I just wanted you to feel how you make me feel constantly. No other woman will give you as much as I did or love you as much as I did. I can write that in my blood.
Things were looking up for me here, but is it worth it when you constantly feel the pain of heartbreak when the person you love wants to abuse you or threatens to hit you or cheats on you telling other girls they are beautiful or throws you out of their house when you have nowhere to go and you’ve come to them out of love or when they lie to your face or they make you chase after them in their car. Or disrespects their family. You never even met my sister. I bought your sister presents. You tore my soul.’
She even talked about abortion in the letter, ‘I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply. You destroyed my Christmas and my birthday dinner when I came back. When I tried my hardest to make your birthday special. You chose to be away from me on Valentines Day. You promised me once we made it to one year we would get engaged.’
There have been many speculation and rumors that it wasn’t, in fact, a suicide as she had her day planned in advance and was awaiting her sister’s arrival at 3 am the same day. Her mother had left the home and even talked to her two hours before the tragic incident. The case was transferred to CBI on her mother Rabbiya’s request who said, “All forensic evidence strongly suggests that Jiah was murdered and then hanged to make it look like a suicide.” She did not flinch from saying the Sooraj had indeed killed her daughter. But that came with a price and the Pancholis, backed by Salman Khan, filed a £12m defamation suit against her. They even said that Jiah was “emotionally unstable” and had attempted suicide in the past.
However, Jiah’s mom is still fighting for her daughter to get justice. On Sushant Singh Rajput’s death as well she had said that it is the Bollywood people who have killed him. And this brings us to the biggest mystery that we all are hoping to be solved quickly.
Sushant Singh Rajput
A death that has brought together the entire nation to fight against a system is the death of the brilliant actor Sushant Singh Rajput. He was just 34 and at the peak of his career when his body was found hanging from his ceiling at his Bandra home on 14th June 2020.
Ever since his death, there have been many stories and speculations about the actor being murdered by the Bollywood biggies. His girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty has been called in for investigation along with many other stars. Names like those of Mahesh Bhatt, Sooraj Pancholi, Salman Khan’s brother, and Sushant’s alleged friends Siddharth Pithani and Sandip Ssingh have been connected with the death. He was initially called depressed which forced him to end his life. However, soon, there were news of people involved in abetment to suicide and even gruesome murder.
There were scar marks on the actor’s body, his home wasn’t sealed, his post mortem reposts seem to be going off, his financial statement seem to be saying something else, and most importantly, his ex-manager Disha Salian had also apparently killed herself by jumping off her home ‘naked’.
A CBI probe has been set into action and everyone is hoping that he gets justice and the murderers get what they deserve in this case.
Bollywood is indeed a dark hole and can consume anyone. These were some of the biggest names that had a short-lived presence in the glamor world. However, their deaths seem too unnatural yet were termed as suicide. No one knows what happened to the stars. Yet, we are still seeking a light at the end of the tunnel that at least Sushant Singh Rajput’s murderers would be found and he would get justice.