The road leading to actor Jiah Khan’s home in Sagar Sangeet building in Juhu was like any other in the area on Thursday evening.
The two police vans, 25-odd police personnel, the crowd of media persons and the fleet of outdoor broadcasting vans, which had crowded the street as soon as news of the actor’s suicide broke on Tuesday, had vanished. A lone watchman stood by the wide-open gate to the apartment building.
Inside Jiah’s first floor apartment, a maulavi led a group of 10 young men, all dressed in white, in prayer. Jiah’s garlanded photo stood on a table, and in a corner of the room sat her mother, Rabea Khan, with her two daughters—Kavita and Karisma. Other women comforted the three as they closed their eyes in prayer.
The maulavi prayed for happiness for Jiah’s soul and Kavita burst into tears. Karisma, the youngest of the three sisters, embraced the elder one as Rabea quietly stroked her head.
“Rabea is a little better today. She was in a much worse state until yesterday,” actor Anju Mahendru who was also present at Jiah’s residence on Thursday evening, told HT over the phone.
As the prayer ended and all those gathered rose, Kavita was still being comforted by her younger sister. Rabea, however, put on a brave face. “Main sadme mein hoon (I am in a state of shock.) Pray for my daughter please. I am trying very hard to build courage,” she whispered.
“I have two other daughters to take care of,” she said, more to herself this time as she walked away, coordinating the preparations for Jiah’s condolence meet in the coming days.