Mumbai, May 15: Taruni Sachdev, a child actress best known as the Rasna girl, was among the 13 Indians who died in the plane crash in north Nepal yesterday.
The 14-year-old had also acted in the Amitabh Bachchan film Paa, where she was a friend of the progeria-afflicted character played by the superstar.
As Bollywood reacted with shock, Bachchan tweeted: “Just reading that Taruni Sachdev the girl child artist in Paa, has perished in Nepal plane crash… please God may this not be true.”
Taruni was on a visit to Muktinath in Jomsom, 200km northwest of Kathmandu, with her mother Geeta, who also died in the crash.
Yesterday’s list of the victims from India did mention the names T. Sachdev and G. Sachdev, but it was only today that Bollywood found out it had lost one of its own.
Abhishek Bachchan, who played dad to his real-life father in Paa, wrote: “SHOCKED and very saddened to hear about the Nepal plane crash. Lost 1 of my cutest co-stars. Little Taruni Sachdev from PAA. Speechless….”
Taruni, a familiar face in the advertising world, had dozens of commercials to her credit, including the one for Rasna, a soft drink brand she popularised with the words “I love you Rasna.” It prompted many to call her the Rasna girl.
She also acted in the Malayalam films Vellinakshatram and Sathyam and was a participant on the Shah Rukh Khan-hosted game show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?
Taruni’s father Harish has reached Kathmandu.
Among the Indians who died, eight were from Mumbai. They included Kamal Arora, 53, his wife Menaka, 50, and 19-year-old son Shiv. Kamal ran an imitation jewellery manufacturing business. Shiv had joined his parents for a trek.The other victims from the city were brothers Mukesh and Ramesh Handa, and a brahmachari who had been living in the Iskcon temple in Juhu for the past few years.
No details were available on the Handa brothers except that they were young and lived in Bandra.
Tirumala Kadambhi Srikanth, a 36-year-old Infosys employee from Chennai who was admitted to hospital yesterday with severe injuries, has been put on ventilator.
Srikanth’s wife Latha, 30, died in the crash. The couple’s daughters, Srivardhini, 9, and Sreepada, 6, are in the same hospital as their father. They are out of danger.