“Sushant was very close to me, he considered me as his younger sister because I played Ankita Lokhande’s sister in Pavitra Rishta. We would share everything with each other while we were working together. When I left the show after one and a half years of my journey on Pavitra Rishta, he also quit after 3-4 months. In fact, we got our films together. He got his Hindi film Kai Po Che and I got this Marathi film. Our films also released in the same month mine released on February 14, 2013 and his released on February 22. So, our journeys in film industry were very similar. I remember I had invited him for the screening of my film and he had kept a special screening of his film for a few close friends and I was also there. I have seen his growth as an actor,” said Prarthana.
The actress still not able to come to terms with the fact that Sushant is not with them. She said she was stunned when she learnt about the incident, “I was getting calls from Marathi news channels for live since I am a Marathi film actress now and I have worked with Sushant in the past. Because of Sunday my entire family was there together and suddenly I got a call from a news channel. The journalist told me Sushant has committed suicide and they want an interview. I was stunned at that moment and did not know how to react. I was like I am not in my senses which Sushant are you talking about. I’ve been a journalist and now I am an actress so I understand both the parts. Now, I am in this side I can totally understand what the family’s of the deceased go through. We feel actors live a beautiful, glamorous life, but it’s not the reality. End of the day we are humans. The messages started flashing on our Pavitra Rishta Whatsapp group and I saw very late. It took me time to figure out what is happening. So, I called up Ankita and she was crying and I was completely clueless whom should I call now. Then I called Mahesh Shetty, he was also crying and he was going to see him. I asked him if even I should come along because he was our friend yaar. It doesn’t matter we were not in touch with each other since last 5 years but we have spent such a lovely time together. I treated him as my elder brother,” she said.
Social media is flooded with comments about Sushant’s ex-girlfriend Ankita Lokhande not commenting on his demise and his friend Mahesh Shetty not taking his last call. Prarthana, who shares a close bond with both the actors requests everyone to stop judging them and let them grief. “I can tell this about Ankita, she is devastated and crying like hell, but one needs to understand everyone had moved on in their life. News sunne ke baad woh wahin atki paddi hai… But she has someone in her life now and she has to respect that relationship also. She wanted to go, but everyone knows she is very emotional and sensitive. She is crying and how. When I posted on the Pavitra Rishta group let’s go and see Sushant for the last time, then we got to know that only 20 people can attend the funeral.”
She added, “Now, when I am watching him on TV, I am feeling like going and seeing him for the last time. But I know only a few people are allowed. I have spent so much time with him and Ankita that I understand him and know his roots. I feel like going and meeting him, but then I stop thinking that again people will judge why she is here after so many years? Why is Ankita Lokhande not here? Nowadays, you don’t know what you will be judged on. People are passing judgement on Mahesh Shetty that it all happened because he did not pick up his phone. People are talking so much about Ankita. They don’t even know Mahesh Shetty was the only friend who has stayed in touch with him in all these years. They are blaming him.”
Prarthana, who was extremely close to Sushant while working on Pavitra Rishta lost touch with him after he moved to Bollywood, “We were not in touch with each other since last 4/5 years after Ankita and he broke up. I felt very awkward and I maintained a distance at that point of time as I din’t want to enter their personal space. I am also a January born so I know how it feels. Sushant was like that he needed his space. I had told him I totally understand your mindset so I gave him that space. But I had told him whenever you need me I am always there. Then later he started doing so well in Bollywood and his friend’s circle changed and his lifestyle changed. He started working in big films and we lost touch. But yes it is heartbreaking. He was an inspiration for me, I wanted to be like him, he taught me so much. We started our careers together. He would always appreciate my work. He was so positive in life,” she said.
The actress says she had always told herself that she will meet Sushant only when she has achieved something in life, but Sushant has taken that opportunity from her, “We have a screening theater my husband’s. So, when we were getting married, my husband asked me why I was not inviting Sushant for the wedding and I told him I don’t want to meet him like this. We had big dreams when we started off and I will invite him only when I think I have achieved something or something big in life. Then when we made this screening theatre a lot of big Hindi movies are screened there and a lot of popular Bollywood actors came. So, I had told my husband jis din Sushant yahan aayega I will personally go and meet him and tell that this is my theatre. See, buddy I’ve also achieved something , but he did not give me that chance. He has left all of us,” said Prarthana.
She further added, “Also, there is this constant pressure of social media. When you know someone so closely and if something of this sort happens and you don’t post about that person, you get judged. Why didn’t you post is everything fine? If you react how you want to then again you are judged why are you reacting in such a loud manner. So, there is so much pressure. I always kept aloof from Sushant because I never wanted him to think that I am trying to be a wannabe and now because he is star I am trying to be friends with him or I am trying to butter him. So, I gave him that space and thought I will connect with him when I am also something.”
Recalling the Pavitra Rishta days, the actress said, “When we were working on Pavitra Rishta we would travel together in autos. We would stay at each other’s place whenever we got late after the shoot. I would stay at Sushant or Ankita’s place most of the time or they would stay at my place. We would travel in auto rickshaws in rainy season. Then when he bought his first car a Skoda, he took all of us on a long drive. Then when he bought Jaguar and Range Rover, he took me alone of long drive and told me come I want to show you the car. I remember teasing Ankita, I am going on a long drive with him. I had told him Sushant you are so lucky you have achieved all your dreams and he told me no yaar I have lots to achieve this is just a beginning.”
Prarthana also shared that Sushant was extremely close to his mother and would often talk about her, “Whenever he was with us, he would talk about his mother. He was the youngest after four sisters so he was the most pampered and close to his mother. He couldn’t take her death because it was so sudden. He spoke to her at night and morning he learnt that she was no more,” she said.