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4 hrs after chat with sister, actress ends life

Express News Service

Posted: Feb 10, 2006 at 1317 hrs IST

One-and-a-half years after close friend and co-actor in the Sony serial C.A.T.S Nafisa Joseph ended her life, former Gladrags model and TV actress Kuljeet Randhawa (28) was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her living room on Wednesday evening.

Randhawa’s domestic help, who came twice a day to cook food, discovered her body at around 7.50 pm, when she opened the door to the posh three-room flat at Krishna Co-operative Housing Society, Juhu, with a pair of spare keys. Randhawa had been living there since July last year. “The external examination suggests death due to hanging,” said V N Tasgaonkar, medical officer at R N Cooper Hospital.

The police said Randhawa left behind a suicide note addressed to co-star Bhanu Uday, who plays the lead in Star One’s Special Squad. Randhawa’s eldest sister Kittu and Bhailal Gupta, her estate agent, both spoke to her hours before she was found dead.

“She called me at around 3.30 pm and sounded slightly low,” said Kittu. “She was probably missing home... she was a little disturbed but not this much, I mean, I never thought she would commit suicide.”

Kittu said Randhawa seemed happy. “There’s nothing that could have bothered her so much. She had recently joined a gym to keep fit... these things show that she wanted to live,” said Kittu. “I just cannot understand this. She was very impulsive and probably, it’s an impulsive thing that made her do this.”

Gupta also got a call at around 3 pm. “She said she wanted to vacate the flat because she was planning to go to the United States of America (Randhawa’s brother stays there). She wanted her Rs 1-lakh deposit back,” he said.

Gupta told her she would need to give a month’s notice. “She agreed and said she would vacate the flat by March 8,” said Gupta. “She sounded normal.”

According to the Juhu police, Randhawa had just returned from Delhi. “Just three days ago, she returned from Delhi after meeting her parents and relatives,” said Investigating Officer Police Sub-Inspector Manohar Desai.

Friends and actors, who interacted with Randhawa said she was a go-getter and a thorough professional, who was reserved and extremely emotional.

“She had a very strong connection with Nafisa,” said photographer Vikram Bawa, a close friend of Joseph. “When Nafisa died, Kuljeet cried and cried. It took us almost half a day to get her to stop.”

Sources said small incidents upset Randhawa and she took the slightest criticism from directors to heart.

Manish Wadhwa, Randhawa’s co-star in Sahara One’s Kohinoor, said she was strong and confident. “She was always on time and professional,” he said. Shivaji Satam, who starred with her on CID and earlier on Khaki, said, “She never had any temper tantrums.”

Anchor Mini Mathur interacted with her because Randhawa was Joseph’s close friend. “She was a little reserved, but I knew that all her co-actors were very fond of her,” she said. Randhawa was cremated on Thursday afternoon.

Excerpts from the suicide note:

Dear Bhanu,

You are the most beautiful person I have met in my life.... you taught me the meaning of love... Some cheques need to be cleared, keys to be given to my father... Everything in life is according to plans... As for my parents, I’m sorry. I’m sorry Mama. Keys of the car are to be handed over to my father. No one is to be blamed for this and it is entirely my decision.

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