What has happened to national award winning actress Telugu actress, 23, who was caught for prostitution by the Hyderabad police, is the story of stardom, its fickle nature, an industry which is cruel and uncaring with no safety nets and finally a tragic human story: the trap of easy temptations and the fall into an abyss.
She was the darling of the family oriented Telugu films. Her Telugu film had been a runaway success. The actress who started young and rose fast with her role in the 2002 child fantasy film for which she got a national award, there were no scripts, no roles. She had worked in TV as well. There too the doors closed slowly. From, the casting couch to sex work was but an easy leap.
The actor, now 23, was taken into custody on Sunday at a hotel in Banjara Hills by the police in a sting operation, when she took a wad of currency notes from a police decoy.
In a statement on Wednesday she said, "I have made wrong choices in my career, and I was out of money. I had to support my family and some other good causes. All the doors were closed, and some people encouraged me to get into prostitution to earn money. I'm not the only one,there are several other heroines who are going through this phase."
She had worked in Nagesh Kukunoor's critically acclaimed Iqbal (2005), Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005) Ram Gopal Varma's Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) and popular tele soaps, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Karishma Kaa Karishma. These films made an impact in some way and for a time she looked set for a long innings in films. Since her last Bollywood outing eight years ago, She has acted only in a Telugu and a Bengali films. Clearly the options were running out.
This is in fact the third time she was caught for sex work according to the vice squad of the Hyderabad police She was once caught in a compromising position during a sting operation by a Telugu channel.
Heroines in any case fetch very little money unless you are in the top bracket. Many are willing to act for free or a session in the casting couch. The competition is always stiff. "Even top heroines with several super hits are not offered more than Rs one crore and if they demand more, there is always the ready options of a starlet or a new face from Bollywood for far less fee," said an office bearer of the Movie Artists Association ( MAA).
"One can not blame the industry for the failur of actors. It is the very nature of the film industry that when new blood arrives, old blood get discarded," says a prominent film director Tammareddy Bharadwaj.
Another well-known film producer, studio owner and also father of a super star D Rama Naidu said that the actress should not put the blame on the industry . "As producers and directors we lose huge money on films produced well and also positioned as per people's taste. With every failure we try to change ourselves and reinvent ourselves and try once again. She should have been a little more patient and tried other channels and routes- films, TV serials and also Ad films. She is young and had a bright future," he said .
All these things must have played in the actress' mind too. It is easy to blame a so-called fallen girl but nobody was there to give her a hand.