From Puneeth to Sidharth: Untimely deaths leave family and fans stunned

05:34 PM Oct 30, 2021 | PTI |

Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar’s demise at the age of 46 following a heart attack is the latest this year in a series of sudden deaths of people in their prime, leaving behind stunned families and many questions, often unanswered, of exactly why and how.


Shocking those who knew him and his cinema, and even those that didn’t, Puneeth, a known fitness enthusiast, was rushed to a Bangalore hospital after he complained of chest pain following a two-hour workout on Friday, doctors treating him said. The hospital added that he was non-responsive when he was taken and advanced cardiac life support measures were initiated for resuscitation.

Nothing more is known of the underlying causes leading to his death. Before him, on October 16, Ahmedabad-based Saurashtra batter Avi Barot, a former India Under-19 captain and a member of the Ranji Trophy winning team in the 2019-20 season, died after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was only 29.

Barot, whose father died of a cardiac arrest at a relatively young age of 42, said he was feeling unwell while watching TV at home and died while being taken to a hospital. He is survived by his mother and wife, who is expecting their first child.

On September 2, actor and model Sidharth Shukla, who became a household name with the TV serial ”Balika Vadhu” before his stint on reality show “Bigg Boss” that saw his popularity go through the roof, suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 40. He was at the cusp of stardom with a few Bollywood films behind him.


Ashesh Dhar, a senior Tata Motors executive, also died of a heart attack on July 24. A non-smoker, marathon runner and a regular at the gym, the 51-year-old religiously followed his health regimen. Dhar, head of sales, marketing and customer care, electric vehicles, had returned from daily jog when he suffered a cardiac arrest, his wife Meenakshi Dhar said.

Another B-town name, filmmaker Raj Kaushal, who helmed ”Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi” and ”Shaadi Ka Laddoo”, died just as suddenly. The 50-year-old had a cardiac arrest on June 30. He is survived by his wife, actor-TV presenter, Mandira Bedi and their two children, son Vir and daughter Tara.

The trailer of Kaushal’s last directorial ”Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar ” was unveiled on an OTT platform on Friday.

Earlier in the month, on June 4, noted entrepreneur Ankur Bhatia, executive director of Bird Group and owner of Roseate Hotels, also succumbed to a heart attack at the relatively young age of 48. Credited with launching the country’s first natural and perennial indoor ice-skating rink and café, iSKATE, in Gurgaon’s Ambience Mall, he is survived by his wife and their two children.

Gujarati and Hindi film actor Amit Mistry, known for starring in films like ”Shor In The City”, ”Yamla Pagla Deewana” and Amazon Prime Video series ”Bandish Bandits” met the same fate. He died following a cardiac arrest on April 23. The 47-year-old, who had no underlying medical condition, is survived by his mother.


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