In an exclusive conversation with OTTplay, Rajesh Dhruva talks about his friend and former co-star Sampath J Ram and the events that lead to his tragic demise
Last Updated: 01.04 PM, Apr 25, 2023
The tragic demise of actor Sampath J Ram came as a huge shocker to many. Having risen to prominence with his roles in TV serials like Agnisakshi, the 35-year-old actor had set out to make a mark for himself on the big screen and his recent performance in the feature film Shri Balaji Photo Studio was proof enough that, indeed, he boasted the chops to make the switch. However, in a rather bizarre and unfortunate turn of events, Sampath J Ram was found dead in his Bengaluru residence on Saturday, April 22, much to the utter shock and sorrow of his friends and family. And it then came to light that he had committed suicide.
The reports that emerged soon after claimed that Sampath was facing financial difficulties due to a lack of acting opportunities, which in turn forced him to take his own life. However, his close friend and colleague Rajesh Dhruva (who directed and also starred in Shri Balaji Photo Studio) asserts that the claims made so far are completely untrue, adding that the actual reasons for the suicide are completely personal.
"I have known him for over a decade and we have been incredibly close through these years. Not sure where the news of Sampath committing suicide due to the lack of acting opportunities or financial difficulties emerged, but it couldn't be further from the truth. Unfortunately, his death can be described as an 'act of impulse' which could have resulted because of some kind of domestic quarrel. I am not completely privy to what happened between him and his wife but I believe that he never intended on taking his life. Things got out of hand without realizing because of a minor disagreement between them and before you knew it, he was gone"
"What's more heart-wrenching is the fact his wife is currently 5-and-a-half months pregnant with their child. He was already discussing her baby shower and never seemed like something was up with him. As I said already, it all got out of hand as an act of haste. I am not sure what his wife is going through at the time but it must be terribly difficult," shares an evidently distressed Rajesh Dhruva, while speaking to OTTplay.
When asked about Sampath J Ram's rumoured financial troubles, it didn't take Rajesh Dhruva a second to quash or dismiss them. "Sampath had earned a grade II civil contractor license recently and he had taken on multiple projects back in his home town. In fact, he had renovated his own house with the help of the money he earned as a contractor. So, there is no question of him being 'depressed' or dejected because of his financial condition. Sure, he would have certainly liked to have done better in that aspect but who doesn't feel so? He was the chirpiest, most optimistic person I have known and every time one of us looked dull, it was him who cheered us up. As far as his acting career was concerned, he was looking out for more opportunities and had just returned from an audition with Zee. Of course, there was a baby on the way and a lot to look forward to. None of us is able to really comprehend what just happened - all I want is for him to come back," adds Rajesh, who has acted alongside Sampath J Ram in the TV serial Agnisakshi.
Rajesh Dhruva also tells us that the first time he heard about the death, he thought that someone had pulled a prank on him. It was only upon reaching the hospital that he could fathom the reality.
"He had so much to offer as an actor - he was great at comedy and I was writing my next feature which includes a very special role for him," he adds.