Actress Sandhya Mridul tweets her own #MeToo moment with disgraced actor Alok Nath. Vinta Nanda, the woman who’s searing account of rape by the actor 19 years ago has shocked social media, told the press that she is meeting advisors and will decide on a plan of action by today. Nanda had outed Alok Nath in a Facebook post detailing not just the harrowing rape but also the years of isolation, depression, trauma and suffering that she endured after.
This is Sandhya Mridul’s account of her experience with Alok Nath.
“At the very start of my career I was shooting a telefilm for zee in Kodaikanal. I was the lead. And very excited. Alok Nath was my on screen father and Reema lagoo my mother.
“Alok Nath was very impressed with me and called me “god’s own child” and openly praised me everyday. I was over the moon. I was a huge fan of this wonderful Babuji.. I felt so fortunate happy and confident.
“Till one night after an early pack up. The cast went out for dinner. At dinner he got progressively drunk and started insisting I sit with him and that I belonged to him and other stuff that I don’t clearly remember but it made me very nervous and uncomfortable. My co-star realised what was happening and got me out of there.
“We went back to the hotel without dinner. It was late and I was back in my room and the costume dada came to my room to give me my clothes for the next day as I had a very early call time. Few minutes after he left there was a knock on my door.
“I opened the door thinking it was him again ..it was an inebriated Alok Nath I instinctively tried to shut the door but he pushed it and lunged at me, I stepped aside he went flying past me into the room ..
“I fell backwards towards the bathroom door he lunged at me again screaming I want you you’re mine .. I dodged again he went into the bathroom and I think I latched the loo door and ran out of my room down the corridor into the lobby. Fortunately my dop was there making a call from the reception ..
“He came back to my room what ensued was traumatic because a belligerent Alok Nath refused to leave.. kept screaming shouting threatening abusing trying to grab me.. but at some point we managed to make him leave.
“The hairdresser was called and made to sleep in my room I was so shaken up.
“In a few hours Ihad scenes with Bauji, in one I had to sit on his lap and cry. I still feel nauseous when i think of it.”It didn’t stop there … every evening he would drink and every night calls were made to my room. I dreaded the ring.. I had to keep it off the hook most of the times. “But then he would come calling. It was a catch 22 situation. I had the hairdresser moved in to my room permanently. I was a nervous wreck. “Few days later I got very sick & was laid up and couldn’t shoot. The stress had broken me. He continued to traumatise me with calls.
“The hairdresser would answer. One day when he landed up at the door and cried and begged to be allowed in to sodas to me to apologise.. I couldn’t take it anymore I told her to accompany him in..he pulled a chair next to my bed and howled. Said he was an alcoholic and that he had destroyed everything his family his marriage everything’s and I was like his daughter and he respected me and that he was very sorry. He says he had learnt his lesson and that he would go to therapy and change it all..”I finally broke my silence. I screamed shouted cried and it was done. I believed him. I had to. He left. He got away. I don’t know how I shot with him for the remaining days and weeks.
“I’m grateful to my co-actors, my DOP & especially the late Reema lagoo for finally taking him on & protecting me like a mother from then on.
“But it was too late. The damage was done. A very disillusioned, disgraced & unsure me returned home. He went on to return to Bombay and tell people I was difficult and arrogant. Apologies forgotten. He was a popular man. I was a newbie. He laid the foundation others like him built on. All those who heard ‘No’. Attitude my biggest crime. The deal breaker. “Mr. Alok Nath. You know this to be true. As do few others. I had to forgive you for myself then and for my sanity but I will never forgive you for what you did with Vinta. Whom I have always respected and loved.
“I stand by you Vinta. What I went through is nothing compared to you. I’m so sorry. More power to you. To us all. I’m certain there are others. I urge you to come forward. “Your time is up Sir”. #Me too