R.I.P. Jiah Khan: 20 February 88 — 3 June 13
"She was fed up with the struggle... she was besotted with Bollywood, but Bollywood had nothing to offer her..." — Rabia Khan, Jiah's mother.
Nafisa alias Jiah Khan, who starred in a films like Nishabd (2007), Ghajini (2008) and Housefull (2010), committed suicide at her residence in Mumbai's Juhu area, on Tuesday 3 June 2013. She was 25.
The British-born actress was found hanging at her flat in Sagar Sangeet Building in the posh Juhu area of northwest Mumbai around midnight. The cause of the suicide is not yet clear, police said, adding that autopsy reports were awaited.
The body of the actress was taken to the Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle Monday night and later shifted to J.J. Hospital in Byculla.
"The body was brought here last night. It has now been taken to the J.J. Hospital," a source from the Cooper Hospital said to IANS. However, he didn't reveal why the body was moved.
Police are questioning her domestic help, security personnel and neighbours to ascertain what could have triggered the extreme step.
News of her death was first reported by actress Dia Mirza through a social networking site around 1.45 a.m.
Jiah shot into the limelight in 2007 with Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd in which she plays a teenager besotted with a man old enough to be her father. She got a Filmfare Best Debutant nomination for the role.
"Shocked and choked to hear about Jiah," Varma tweeted after hearing the news.
"Never seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah when I was directing her in Nishabd," the director said in another tweet.
In 2008, she was seen along with Aamir Khan and Asin in the blockbuster Ghajini, a remake of A.R. Murugadoss's Tamil film by the same title.
She was last seen in Sajid Khan's Housefull with Akshay Kumar, Reiteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutta.
She was born Nafisa and changed her name to Jiah before going back to her birth name. Her mother is Rabiya Amin, an actress in the 1980s who was seen in the Tahir Hussain movie Dulha Bikta Hai.
Here's what her friends and colleagues from showbiz posted on Twitter:
Amitabh Bachchan: WHAT ...!!! Jiah Khan??? What has happened? Is this correct? Unbelievable!
Dia Mirza: I was too shocked to say more last night. This is NO WAY to go! Life is too precious. The worst phases pass. THEY DO. Never give up! #Jiah
Sonam Kapoor: Terrible tragedy. Very very shocking and disturbing news. Nobody should be in so much pain and a state of such hopelessness. I hope her soul finds some respite in death.
Shruti Haasan: RIP Jiah Khan - so sad to hear this news this morning. May she find her happiness somewhere.
Anupam Kher: Jiah Khan was full of life when I worked with her long time back. So sad that something drove her to take this extreme step.
Riteish Deshmukh: Worked with Jiah in Housefull. She was full of life and had incredible sense of humour. She was a friend and will miss her. Am deeply saddened
Shahid Kapoor: Shocked and saddened to hear about Jiah Khan. Very disturbing.
Bipasha Basu: RIP Jiah Khan! God bless her soul!
Amrita Arora RIP Jiah khan... Too young too beautiful to be gone so soon!
Celina Jaitly: Cannot fathom what led her to such an unfortunate end...what must she be going through. Rest in peace in arms of God Jiah. Adieu!
Sonu Sood: Shocked by Jiah Khan's news. Had met her recently, was full of life...too early to go. RIP.
Manoj Bajpayee: Its shocking to hear that a young one has commited suicide. May your soul rest in peace Jiah Khan! Too young to go.
Neha Dhupia: Shocked and saddened by the news. Gone way too soon. RIP Jiah Khan
Kunal Kohli: What she must've gone through to take such a step we'll never know. May her soul rest in peace. Jiah Khan.
Aditi Rao Hydari: Very sad news about Jiah khan. Makes me feel vulnerable. It's a strange world.
Rohit Roy: Woke up to the terribly sad news about Nafisa. Such a sweet girl. No age and surely no way to go.
Arshad Warsi: Shocked to hear about Jiah Khan, she was too young to give up on life.
Kunal Kapoor: So shocked and saddened by this terrible news!! May your soul find peace.
Minissha Lamba: Jiah Khan.... Peace be upon your beautiful soul
What users are saying about the actress on Twitter (Real time)
Motive behind death a mystery
According to call records on Jiah’s mobile phone, Monday night between 10.53 p.m. and 11.22 p.m., she was on a long call with Sooraj Panscholi. Shortly thereafter, she hanged herself.
"We are trying to ascertain the details of the final conversation between Jiah and Sooraj Panscholi and whether it had anything to do with her suicide," a police official told media-persons this afternoon.
Her mother, Rabiya Amin-Khan, an actress of yesteryear, told police that Jiah was very depressed since some time as she had no acting assignments in hand.
Jiah also appeared for screen tests for some Telugu and Tamil movies but was rejected, Rabiya informed police.
According to her, feeling defeated to achieve her dreams of making it big in Bollywood, Jiah was on the verge of calling it quits and becoming a professional interior designer.
The news of Jiah’s death - which has stunned Bollywood - was first flashed by another actress Dia Mirza through a social networking site around 1.45 a.m. Tuesday.
Despite getting a dream start in Bollywood, Jiah’s career somehow failed to take off and some industry insiders claimed it was due to her becoming "choosy" about roles.
The lissom actress was reportedly advised by a producer to put on some weight to get more work in films, but she preferred to consider quitting.
Jiah joins a list of young and promising actresses whose careers were tragically cut short by a mix of emotional-professional issues. Some of them are: Divya Bharati, Nafisa Joseph and Kuljeet Randhawa.
Laid to rest
The troubled actress was laid to rest on Wednesday 5 June at Santa Cruz graveyard in Mumbai.
While Jiah's sister and her mother were inconsolable, her boyfriend, Suraj Pancholi, who came to bid her a final farewell, was in tears too.
Celebrities like Riteish Deshmukh, Kiran Rao, Siddartha Mallya, Sophie Chaudhary, Urvashi Dholakia, and Prem Chopra came to her residence to pay their final respects.
Tuesday night actor Aamir Khan, who worked with Jiah in Ghajini, visited her residence around 11.30 p.m. and met her mother.
Updated 10 June 2013
Unrequited love killed Jiah: Rabiya Khan
A week after Jiah Khan's suicide, her mother Rabiya Khan Monday opened up about the reason behind her daughter's death, claiming the drastic step was not due to the lack of assignments but due to her troubled relationship with her alleged boyfriend Suraj, son of actor Aditya Pancholi.
"My point is to tell you the truth. It is being said that she was depressed and had no work, but it was not the case, Rabiya, who has three daughters - Jiah, Karishma and Kavita - said at a press conference.
"She was attending atleast three to four events a month. She was making money and was living comfortably in her house with two maids and even had a car and a driver. It was the insecurity that her love was not respected and recognised that was killing her day by day.
Bollywood actress Nafisa alias Jiah Khan, who debuted opposite Amitabh Bachchan in "Nishabd", committed suicide at her residence in Mumbai's Juhu area June 3. She was 25.
"Jiah was a poetess...she had a diary in which she wrote all her poems. I wanted my daughters to recite them at prayer ceremony, but we couldn't find the diary. I couldn't get myself to touch Jiah's things, so I told my daughter (Kavita) to look. She (Jiah) had a Prada wallet box and her sister found the letter in it," said Rabiya.
All Jiah wanted was love, she added.
The letter, where Jiah had penned her troubled relationship with her Suraj, was found by her sister Kavita Saturday and was handed over to the police.
Although the letter doesn't mention any name but is talks about the sorry state of Jiah's relationship.
"After all the pain, the rape, the abuse, the torture I have seen previously I didn't deserve this. I didn't see any love or commitment from you. I just became increasingly scared that you would hurt me mentally or physically....," the letter said.
"I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply. You promised me once we made it to one year we would get engaged. All you want in life is partying, your women and your selfish motives. All I wanted was you and my happiness you took both away from me," the letter added.
Talking about the letter, Rabiya confessed that there were many things in it that she wasn't aware of.
"I knew about his (Suraj's) abusing her and not respecting her and also about the presents and the Goa trip. But I found out other aspects, which were hurtful," she said.
"The letter does not have a name, so who it is addressed to is something you can only ask Jiah. But because of the incidents in the past and what she told me, all of these things point out to Suraj Pancholi," she said.
Talking about the things Jiah shared with her, she said that they had a detailed discussion about Jiah's relationship with Suraj when she had visited her in London a few months back.
"When she came to London during her birthday, I saw that she always had tears in her eyes. I asked her if this was regarding Suraj and she started crying...she said that he abuses her and shouts at her. When he drinks, he can't handle himself," Rabiya said.
"I asked her to lay off for a while. I told her that in a relationship space is most important... She had tried to cut down, out of his 10 calls she used to answer just two. This was the time when I came to know about the nature of the boy," she added.
Jiah had confided in her mother that Aditya Pancholi was unhappy about his son's relationship with her.
"She said that ever since it came in the paper that Jiah Khan and Suraj are dating, the father created a scene. He told him that Jiah was so much elder to him, but Jiah told me that it was hardly a year. So Suraj was aware that his father didn't like the relationship," Rabiya said.
She also clarified that Aditya Pancholi came to see Jiah's body only after the police had come.
"In my house, only Anju (Mahendru) and her friend came. I called my family members...three to four families came. After three hours, Aditya Pancholi came and Suraj didn't even come. He must have got to know, but he never came," she said.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the troubled actress. May she rest in peace.