HYDERABAD: Tollywood actor Ranganath, who hanged himself, had started turning down acting offers and stopped playing his favourite game of tennis in the few weeks preceding his death. When he was found emotionally low, he would say he was pained by what he saw on TV and the goings-on in his surroundings, his maid servant, P Meenakshi, has said.
The 66-year actor was found hanging in the kitchen of his residence at Gandhinagar on Saturday evening. On top part of the door of a shelf in the kitchen, the words ‘Meenakashi Bank (AB) deposit’, ‘Bonds na beeruvalo vunnai. Ameku appaginchandi. Don’t trouble her’ were scribbled in a mix of Telugu and English. The maid, who used to work at the actor’s rented house, also lived in the same house.
She served the family for six years. The actor’s family members said Meenakshi was more of a family member and she provided the much-needed service.
“It was not that she began serving my father. Earlier, she had served my mother selflessly. After my mother died, we thought he would be alone. We did not have anyone trustworthy. She was like our family member. That is why she was there,” said Tirumala Nagendra Kumar, son of Ranganath. The actor’s wife Chaitanya died in 2009.
Kumar said that since Meenakshi was not their family member, they would address her as maid. “She used to take care of my father and kept watch whether he had food, etc,” he recalled.
Meenakashi said that she never used to leave home except at times when there was work at the home of Neeraja, daughter of the actor. The maid servant hails from Kurnool and came to the city a few years ago. She also worked at a hospital but quit the job around a year ago.
“When asked why he was tensed up, Ranganath used to say that he was pained by what he saw on the TV and wondered why issues occurred the way they did,” Meenkashi said.
When someone approached him with acting assignments, he used to ask what the need was for him to act. He is believed to have told his family members that he did not have the patience to act.
Nagendra Kumar said his father used to be affectionate towards everyone. “We wanted him to be more affectionate towards us and less towards others. But he used to be the same with everyone,” he said, adding that his father became more depressed with the death of his (Nagendra’s) mother.
Nagendra works for a bank and shifted to Dubai two years ago and thereafter to Bengaluru. “I used to speak with him over phone. I was supposed to visit him two days ago,” he said. Ranganath’s elder daughter lives in Hyderabad and younger daughter, who works at a private institute, lives in Bengaluru.
Ranganath, who committed suicide at his house in Gandhinagar in Hyderabad on Saturday, was cremated at the Bansilalpet crematorium in Secunderabad on Sunday.