Friday (1 April) around 7 in the evening I read a message on my WhatsApp group that actress Pratyusha Banerjee had passed away.
While it took me a while to believe what just happened, from that very moment I knew that I had to be on field for next few days to report about the case.
Our schedule continued till the next day as we reached the hospital, where Pratyusha’s body was kept for post-mortem. Hours passed before the media was informed about the reports and the body was released.
As we went till the Oshiwara crematorium with her for her final journey, it was a painful site to witness.
Popular among her friends, Pratyusha, definitely left all including Smita Bansal, Sneha Wagh, Pooja Bose, Shilpa Saklani, Apurva Agnihotri, Ratan Rajput, Jay Bhanushali and many others, in tears during the rituals. But what made the entire site even more difficult for the onlookers was her parents’ grief.
Watching her parents mourning their daughter’s demise reminded me one of the conversations that I had with Pratyusha over a year ago. I called her last year on Bengali New Year. Being associated with the television industry as a journalist, I did interview her a couple of times, but, she never sounded so happy. Though I don’t remember the exact conversation, she said that she was relishing some Bengali dishes prepared by her mother.
While her mother continued to cry and plead to her daughter to come back, I could recall this conversation at that moment. Kamya on the other hand, who restrained herself till long, couldn’t finally hold herself back when the final rites were being performed.
With a heavy heart as we left the cremation ground, we only wished that Pratyusha’s soul rests in peace and her family finds strength in such time.