Shikha Joshi was a 40-year-old struggling actor who was last seen in Ajay Bahl’s national award-winning film BA Pass (2012) that also starred Shilpa Shukla.
Shikha was found in the bathroom of her friend’s home on Saturday with her throat slit in a suspected suicide bid. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead. Police said Shikha was depressed as she had not found work in a while.
The model-turned-actor was survived by a 19-year-old daughter and her husband reportedly lives in the US. Shikha’s parents live in New Delhi and she had moved to Mumbai some time ago. She is said to have essayed small roles in TV shows but did not have sustained work or a consistent source of income.
In October 2013, Shikha and her brother were arrested for pelting stones at the residence of cosmetic surgeon Vijay Sharma in suburban Andheri. Shikha had earlier filed a case of molestation against the doctor.
She told police that she got breast implants in 2006 by the doctor and found a lump in her breast after five years. When she approached the doctor for a check-up, he allegedley touched her inappropriately.
Shikha and her brother were later released on bail as the offence was bailable.
According to reports, Shikha was also a member of the Aam Admi Party (AAP).
Ajay Bahl, who directed the actor in BA Pass, told Hindustan Times, “Shikha came across as a very happy-go-lucky person when I worked with her in BA Pass. She auditioned for us and we liked her. She was a beautiful actor and I planned to work with her in one of my upcoming projects. In fact, she even came to my office three to four months ago.”
The director said he had not personally met Shikha after completing BA Pass and so would be unable to comment on her financial situation and mental health in recent times.
Bahl said his assistant director Inderjit Singh spoke to Shikha around eight to 10 days ago. Singh told Hindustan Times, “When I talked to her, she was all charged up and happy. She was not depressed at all. She even told me that she had lost around 10 kg and was receiving appreciation for her new look.”
“I had earlier suggested to her that she should lose weight and then maybe better offers would come to her. She never looked hurt or depressed. In fact, she even told me that her daughter was doing well in her studies and she was elated about that too,” Singh added.