LIKE Divya Bharathi, the Bollywood actress who met with a tragic end a few years ago, Nivedita Jain, a 19-year-old Kannada film actress, has carried with her the secret of whether her fatal fall was an accident or an attempt to end her life. And the circumstances of her death will continue to haunt friends, family and fans.
For 24 days, she was on a life support system as a host of doctors from fields as varied as general medicine, neurology, homeopathy, reiki and even mehakari—a Japanese method of healing—treated her for severe head injuries and multiple fractures of her arms. Her father Capt. Rajendra Jain renamed her Rinki, in the hope that this would bring good fortune and help her recover from coma. An affidavit was duly made and advertisements in all local dailies announced the comatose actress' change of name.
On Tuesday last week, ironically Nivedita's birthday, friends gathered at her bedside and sang 'Happy Birthday'.Poojas were performed at various temples all over South India, food served to 500 orphans and leprosy patients in an effort to appease the gods. But all was in vain. Nivedita died on June 10, a day after she turned 19.
But the Kannada film industry is rum-our-ridden over Nivedita's earlier suicide attempts. She shot to fame as a swimsuit-clad siren in Shivaranjini four years ago, but her next eight movies flopped at the box office. The result: the actress who quit school to act in movies didn't get new assignments, and turned to modelling. Depression set in, claim industry sources.
Her parents initially maintained that Nivedita fell from the terrace practising a dance sequence before dinner on May 17. Later, they changed their version claiming she slipped while practising the catwalk preparing for the Miss India contest. But the police registered a case of unnatural death and insisted the body be sent for post mortem. Accident or suicide? The question remains unanswered with doctors who treated her and carried out the post mortem quoting medical ethics to nip any attempt to get at the truth.