The ‘Bigg Boss’ star and actor talks about losing her best friend in a car crash last month, and how she’s coping in the aftermath of the incident
Bigg Boss star and Kollywood actor Yashika Aannand has been the subject of intense speculation online after being involved in an accident last month. The actor was injured and her friend Pavani died, after the car they were travelling in met with an accident on East Coast Road in Chennai on July 24.
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Ten days later, social media is still abuzz with posts on the incident, videos that show Yashika driving before the crash, and brickbats from followers targeting the D16 and Zombie star.
Talking to The Hindu over a phone call after getting discharged from the hospital, the 21-year-old explains the events of the last few days.
“Pavani is my best friend of around six years; she used to be a model, but later gave that up to go work abroad as an engineer. She’d flown down to India this year to spend time with her parents in Hyderabad, and then came to Chennai to see me.”
“On July 24 (Saturday), four of us had driven to a resort in ECR to have dinner. We left the place at around 11 pm, and were returning back into the city, which is when the accident happened. I was the one driving my Tata Harrier, but I definitely wasn’t speeding,” she recalls.
Yashika then discusses what exactly transpired. “The road was really dark, and I unfortunately hit the divider. Our car drifted sharply and then toppled over three times. Pavani was in the co-passenger’s seat, but she hadn’t put her seatbelt on and the window was open as she was getting some air. So when the crash happened, she was flung out of the open window and fell outside, hitting her head. The rest of us were inside the car, but the doors were jammed and we had to break open the sunroof to escape.”
“Within minutes, a huge crowd had gathered. I wasn’t able to even stand up and I felt like my entire body was paralysed. We all were then shifted to the hospital. Only when I recovered, I got the news that Pavani had passed away,” she says with a shudder.
The actor adds, “I have to stress on this: I was not drunk or intoxicated, or using drugs of any kind. It was an unfortunate accident that happened out of nowhere, because of a moment’s lapse in concentration. And for that, I take full responsibility. I’m wrecked by the guilt of staying alive, and now I have to live forever with this. I wish I had not survived. But that doesn’t mean I’m accepting everything that is said about me on social media. There’s even a fake video of us circulating with people claiming I was drunk-driving. There are others blaming me for another accident from two years ago with another Bigg Boss contestant, and making me out to be this serial villain. It’s sheer madness.”
Yashika says that after Pavani’s funeral in Hyderabad, she spoke to her parents and the family just want their space to grieve as of now. “I was discharged from the hospital recently, and I have several fractures which means I won’t be able to stand up or walk properly for around six months. I’m not even able to cry properly because of my stitches. I am physically and mentally a mess, and I am going to attend PTSD counselling to try and recover from this somehow. I wanted to post a video online explaining everything, but I’m in no position to record myself talking. All I can do at the moment is think of Pavani and wonder what could have been.”
“Apart from the films I’ve already shot for, I understand I’m going to lose out on a lot of work after this incident. I also get the fact that I’m the subject of a lot of hate and abuse, but I really wish the trolls keep Pavani’s family out of this. It is a really sensitive time, and I hope all the gossip dies down as it’s hurtful in so many ways. And I hope Pavani is looking down at me and will forgive me someday,” she concludes.