A model was found hanging from the ceiling of a room at her residence in Kolkata's Patuli area on Friday, the third such suspected case of suicide in the metropolis in a fortnight, with stakeholders of the showbiz industry and psychologists voicing concern over the rise in such incidents and the pressures of the profession.
Manjusha Niyogi, 26, who was found hanging earlier in the day, attempted to die by suicide earlier as well, the police said.
Her friend and colleague Bidisha De Majumder, a popular face in bridal make-up photoshoots, died under similar circumstances inside her rented apartment in Dumdum area on Wednesday evening.
"My daughter was severely depressed after Bidisha's death and was constantly talking about her since then," Niyogi's mother said.
Television actor Pallabi Dey was also found hanging inside an apartment she had taken on rent in Garfa area on May 15.
The police said Niyogi was an ambitious woman who wanted to quickly establish a firm footing in the entertainment industry, but was depressed, possibly for being unable to do so.
"Manjusha had spoken to her husband and family members about her depression. She was saved by a friend during a suicide bid on an earlier occasion,” a police officer said.
The police summoned her husband, Ramnath Banerjee, a resident of Behala, for questioning.
"We have come to know that Ramnath and Manjusha had a heated exchange of words yesterday. Police will interrogate her husband for more details,” the officer said.
The back-to-back deaths have created a flutter in the showbiz industry, with many veterans pointing out that survival in the world of glitz and glamour is no mean task, and young men and women only look at the shimmer side, unaware of what lies in the underbelly.
Actress Indrani Halder said that initial days in the industry could be tough for many.
"There are times when opportunities dry up. It is difficult getting through such phases. I, too, experienced such situations in the past. Suicide, however, never crossed my mind,” the national award-winning actress said.
According to fashion designer Agnimitra Paul, youths sometimes find it difficult to handle the sudden exposure to the glamour world and the fast-paced life.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic was a big blow for the industry, which caused insecurity and frustration among a section of young models.
"Diagnosing the symptoms of depression and counselling at the outset is important. Many of us don't recognise mental illness as an illness. This attitude has to change,” Paul, who is also a senior BJP leader, told PTI.
Model Shubhomita (42), who goes by her first name, however, said there was no dearth of work for the talented ones.
"It is sad that 21-22 year-old women are ending their lives over factors that can't be reason enough. There is enough work for talented individuals. One should wait for the right opportunity. Fees may vary, depending on experience, but aspirants have to work hard to get established,” she maintained.
Consultant psychologist Dr Rima Mukherjee told PTI that work pressure, ambition and sometimes lack of support could lead to depression for many.
"There are some who are resilient. There are also others who give in to pressure. Many get involved in relationships but find it difficult to hold on to them. Some go against parents to enter the profession. All these factors taken together could leave them depressed," she said.