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Remembering Pratyusha Banerjee on her death anniversary

Hailing from a middle class family in Jamshedpur, Pratyusha Banerjee, born on August 10, 1991, was a girl whose dreams were bigger than the city she was born in. To pursue her starry ambition, the actress moved to Mumbai in 2010, after bagging the lead role of Anandi in Colors’ hit TV show, Balika Vadhu.

At the tender age of 19, the daily soap gave Pratyusha her first big break in the world of entertainment. The actress made the best use of this opportunity and won the hearts of the viewers with her simplicity in no time. The show gave her the fame and recognition she was looking for. Moving on from it, Pratyusha went on to do reality television series Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Bigg Boss, though she didn’t last long in both of them.

It wasn’t just Pratyusha’s career that went through a rough patch, but also her personal life. The young star was in a relationship with Makarand Malhotra, a businessman, but the affair ended in a disaster with Pratyusha alleging abuse and complaining of death threats. It was believed then that she participated in the controversial reality show Bigg Boss to get over Malhotra.

Soon enough, Pratyusha met Rahul Raj Singh, a television actor and producer, at a common friend’s birthday party and it was love at first sight for them. After a couple of outings, Pratyusha knew Rahul was the one for her and the two started dating. There was little that was known when they were together. But soon there were reports of turbulence in her life that started to emerge in the media which included a fraud case filed against Pratyusha for not paying the complete bill on her birthday party. It also turned out that she was a defaulter in a car loan case as well.

It was only after her alleged suicide on April 1, when Pratyusha was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her rented residence in Goregaon, that her rocky affair with Rahul came to the fore. Pratyusha, who was in a live-in-relationship with him, had become an alcoholic and was depressed due to a financial crunch. Pratyusha’s mother pressed charges of abetment to suicide against Singh, accusing him of abusing Pratyusha, cheating on her and taking money from her, In a Mirror report, Pratyusha’s last conversation with Rahul also suggested that she was forced into prostitution. Post her death, close friends of Pratyusha – kamya Punjabi, Shashank Vyas, Sara Khan and Vikas Gupta – came out in the open to talk about how Pratyusha was ill-treated by Rahul Raj Singh and had distanced herself from them in her last days.

While Pratyusha came across as a simple, soft-spoken girl, the controversies she was embroiled in speaks volumes about how one can easily be led astray in the world of showbiz. Today, her close friend Kamya Punjabi was going to release a short film in her memory, but her former boyfriend has moved the court, seeking to stop the film’s release. He plans to pen a book on her.

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