By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: If Jiah Khan had lived, she would have been 26 this month.
On Feb 20 when Jiah would have celebrated her birthday, the Pancholi family would be observing a memorial for the dead girl.
Says a very close friend of the family, “Jiah was like a member of the Pancholi family. She shared all her problems with not just Sooraj but his parents. In fact Sooraj got close to Jiah when she had attempted to harm herself earlier.From that day onwards Jiah came and went in the Pancholi home as as she wished.”
The friend of the Pancholis says Sooraj, who lives on his own away from his parents, has not been able to grieve for his girlfriend.
“The tragedy of losing his girlfriend never sank in.Before Sooraj could feel the pain he was sucked into a tornado of accusations. The truth is, he stopped living a proper normal youngster’s life from the time Jiah died.”
Says the friend, “All the sh.t happened, Sooraj was dragged from one accusation to another. When he’s accused of being a murderer Sooraj wonders whom they are referring to. He has become a loner. He is scared of how he would be judged. He hardly meets friends and is petrified of partying because of the way it would be perceived.”
Now fully into preparation for his debut as a leading man in Nikhil Advani’s remake of Subhash Ghai’s Hero, Sooraj lives all alone with two dogs.
Says the friend, “Sooraj has stopped interacting socially. He doesn’t know how he will be judged if he lets his guards down.He has still not dealt with his grief for losing Jiah.Too much sh.t happened after that. Now his family feels Sooraj must take stock of his feelings.”
The memorial on Jiah’s birthday in February is seen as an occasion when Sooraj would be able to confront all the emotions of loss after his girlfriend’s death that he hasn’t so far been able to confront.
Says the friend, “Sooraj’s parents know he is suffering from inside. The only way it can stop is if Sooraj faces up to the tragedy.”
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