Pratyusha Banerjee shared a close bond with everyone on the sets of Balika Vadhu be it actor or script writers. A few members of Team Balika Vadhu shared their loving memories of the late actress with Indian Express.com
Gajra Kottary, writer (Balika Vadhu): (Pratyusha Banerjee’s mother inconsolable at daughter’s prayer meet, see pics)
I knew her because of Balika Vadhu. We really cherished her. She was an extremely bright and talented girl who was also a very quick learner. Initially, it’s her cuteness factor that impressed but later on one started seeing the spark in her. Her role was a tough one to do and picked up the thread well. I lost touch with her after Balika Vadhu but during the time she was there, I interacted with her at whatever functions we met. I have some enduring memories of Pratyusha. I remember, I was at this award function where she won 7 trophies. She was a petite and fraile girl and couldn’t hold all trophies. I and other held two trophies each and took it to her car. The other memory that I have of her was when we met for a BBC documentary that was being made on child marriage. They wanted one writer and lead actress for their documentary and since our show was on child marriages they had landed on sets to. I remember on a Sunday morning I went to Vasai and she was there in her costume. That day I got ample time to know her more on a one-on-one basis. that was the time I spent one and one. I remember thinking then that she was old enough to be my daughter. She was nervous before the BBC shoot and had very enthusiastically asked me how she should express and what she should say. She also asked me the secret behind my skin and complexion and said, ‘I want to have your complexion when I reach your age.’ Those words haunted me when I learnt about her death. It pains me that she will never reach that age. She was like a child to us. I remember on her 21sy birthday, she excitedly told me that she could do things that she couldn’t earlier. For her age, she was very strong. It’s so daunting and frightening for a girl from a small town to live alone and manage her life. She managed that and that was a big thing but somewhere things went terribly wrong. (Photos: Family, friends bid tearful adieu to Pratyusha Banerjee)
Shashank Vyas, Jagiya of Balika Vadhu: We started our journey together in June 2010 and for the next six years we worked for 12 hours almost daily. I was in touch with her after the show as well but for the last eight months we had lost contact as we both were busy. After Holi, I called her to ask why she hadn’t invited me and she was like, ‘You were not in touch.’ She was very chirpy and friendly. We shared a deep bond. I knew her before she became Anandi. There were three girls shortlisted for Anandi’s role and Pratyusha was one of them. And since I was selected first, I did a lot of screen tests with her. It was a nice healthy bond we had and we joked and partied together. I don’t think she had any financial issues as she had done a lot of shows after Balika Vadhu. As far as Rahul is concerned, I have met him twice. At her birthday bas thrown by Rahul, I saw them behave like a much in love couple. Pratyusha never told me she was going through a rough patch. But there was less of excitement in her voice lately. I however can’t accuse Rahul because I am nobody to judge. (Balika Vadhu star Pratyusha Banerjee dead, here is all about the actress)
Smita Bansal, Pratyusha’s onscreen mother-in- law: We worked for three years on the same show. We spent a lot of time together and there are a lot of memories. She came on sets as a very young girl. What I remember the most about her personality was that she was very vivacious and very loving. After Avika, she took over and we were skeptical of audience accepting her initially. Everybody had hopes and she lived up to it. She made friends very fast and became a part of our family. Even when she became so big and successful, she had no change in her attitude towards us. She treated me like her elder sister. It is so fortunate that we didn’t stay in touch after the show was over. Today I feel sad I didn’t know what was happening in her life. This is how industry is. To know what is happening in others lives is not possible always once you leave the show and move on. About Rahul, I will say this. I have met Rahul and Pratyusha looked very happy with him. She was in love. I don’t want to comment if I liked him or disliked him. But Pratyusha was totally in love. I had met him only once at her birthday. She looked very happy with him and I never doubted that she was not happy with him. But for the past few months since I was not in touch with her and I can’t comment. Also, I don’t believe she was depressed due to any financial crisis. She had enough work and was also offered shows on other channels but didn’t want to do it immediately as she wanted to get married. She was never a depressed person. May be she was depressed lately but I am sure it had nothing to do with finance.