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'Why I jumped off a bridge with the girl I love'

Denied permission to marry, Suraj Ganvir (22) and his 16-year-old girlfriend jumped into Vashi Creek; while both survived, the young man said he took the plunge out of fear of police action in case she died

While the scene was straight out of a Bollywood tearjerker, its real life implications were more disturbing than moving. A young 16-year-old girl, who was distressed when her family asked her to wait till she turned 18 to marry her beau, jumped into the Vashi creek to take her life on Monday morning.

Her somewhat more practical boyfriend also jumped in, but more because he was afraid that the police would arrest him if his girlfriend succeeded in taking her own life. Both survived the suicide attempt. Ulhasnagar residents Suraj Ganvir (22) and Pinky (16, name changed) had been in love for the past four years.

Suraj works as a salesperson at a shop in Ulhasnagar, while Pinky is a student of Std XI in New English High School and Junior College. Early on Monday morning, the two left their homes, and riding on Suraj’s motorcycle, went to Vashi creek. Although the girl was keen on taking her life, Suraj later said he was in two minds as he was willing to wait till his girlfriend turned 18.

Suraj (circled) assisted his girlfriend after they were rescued
Suraj (circled) assisted his girlfriend after they were rescued

Speaking to MiD DAY from his bed in Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Hospital, he said, “Pinky bunked college on my weekly off on Monday. We rode to Vashi and jumped into the creek, but were saved when a fisherman saw us while eating by the creek. He immediately rushed to save us.” He went on, “Even on Saturday, Pinky had left home with the intention of committing suicide.

The couple rode to Vashi creek and jumped into the waters last morning
The couple rode to Vashi creek and jumped into the waters last morning

I ran into her at Ulhasnagar, and she told me about her plans to end her life. I somehow persuaded her against the move, but she was adamant. She told me that we could either commit suicide or end the relationship. I knew that the latter was not an option because we loved each other.

Her father had asked me to wait for a few years, and to some extent, I was fine with that. But she was afraid that she would be married off to someone else. When we reached Vashi Creek, she jumped, and I followed her.”

Asked why he jumped even though he wasn’t keen on taking his life, Suraj replied, “I was afraid that in case she took such a drastic step, I might get arrested for it. So I thought I would accompany her.” Police officials said that even though he was drowning himself, Suraj was making desperate efforts to save Pinky, who swallowed more water than him. The two were rushed to the NMMC Hospital.

While Pinky is in ICCU, Suraj is recuperating in the general ward. Till late afternoon on Monday, Suraj’s brother and friend had arrived at the hospital, while his mother was unaware of what had happened. No one from Pinky’s family had turned up till 4 pm, claimed the hospital staff on duty.

Copspeak
The fisherman and police officials rescued the couple. They had ingested a lot of water. They were conscious and did not suffer any major injuries. We rushed them to NMMC Hospital where the girl was admitted to the ICCU, as her condition looked a little more serious, while the boy was stable. Since it was low tide, they did not drown. This is reportedly the girl’s second suicide attempt. “We have intimated their family members about it,” said Assistant Police Inspector Ramesh More, Vashi Police Station.

Doctorspeak
“When the couple was brought to the hospital, the girl was rushed into the ICCU. The boy was in a stable condition and so we are treating him in the general ward. We are anticipating that it was a case of aspiration pneumonia when water enters into the lungs through nose and mouth, instead of oxygen. This could cause a breathing problems, and there are chances of infection as well,” said Dr Prashant Jawade, medical superintendent of NMMC hospital, Vashi.

Rs 400
Amount Suraj gave Vinod Gowda (left), the fisherman who jumped in to rescue the couple. Gowda was upset over losing his daily catch because of the suicide attempt

Angry fisherman
Recounting the incident, Suraj said that the fishermen kept yelling at him and his girlfriend Pinky as they ended up suffering losses to the tune of Rs 1,000. They could not go fishing because they had to 
jump into the water and rescue them. He gave Rs 400 to Vinod Gowda (in pic), the fisherman who rescued them, as he felt guilty for having caused losses to his saviour.

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