On the eve of 17th January, room 345 at The Leela Palace in Delhi was delimited by the investigation agencies as Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former U.N. Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in there. Of late, Sunanda was under the constant media limelight after her controversial tweet-battle with the Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. After some of the most romantic tweets on Mr. Tharoor’s Twitter timeline by the Pakistani journalist, Sunanda threatened the ex-UN Undersecretary General to a divorce. Although Shashi Tharoor, more popular as the Twitter Minister, declared his account as hacked, Sunanda diverged with the opinions of Mr. Tharoor by claiming time and again that Tarar was indeed “stalking” her husband. However, before the real reason of her death gets together with us, let’s have a look back at the remarkable life of Sunanda Pushkar —
6. Early Life
Born on January 1st 1962 to a Kashmiri family, Sunanda Pushkar was the daughter of Lt. Col. Pushkar Nath Dass. While graduating from the Government College for Women in Srinagar, Sunanda married Sanjay Rana, a Kashmiri Pandit, but the marriage didn’t last long and the couple was separated by divorce on mutual consent in 1988. A year after her divorce, Sunanda moved to Dubai where she married Sujith Menon in the year 1991. However, in March 1997, Sujith meet with an accident in Delhi, leaving Sunanda and their only child Shiv Menon in financial crisis.
5. Sunanda, the Self-made Businesswoman
Sunanda began her early business career with a company called Expressions which became really popular among the event management firms, and in a short notice of time claimed big sponsors and events all across Dubai. During this period, she organized various fashion shows for renowned designers from across of the globe. Her successful stint as an Event Manager led her to organize a great Mammootty show together, which was indeed a wrong decision, and left the couple in serious financial crisis. According to sources, this show was organized to save a failed marriage from going ransack.
4. Life in Canada
With financial crises disturbing her personal life, Sunanda decided to keep her son Shiv with her sister-in-law for some time. However, she shifted Shiv back to her parents place but by the time he was brought back to Dubai the seven year old child had developed commendation disorder. In order to have a good healthcare system for Shiv, in the year 1990, Sunanda decided to move to Canada. After joining an IT firm from San Francisco, Sunanda grew her bank balance swiftly but these days of happiness ended soon after. However, she managed to find a stable ground for herself after global recession in the year 2001, when she bagged an offer from a company called “Noble House International” as a program organizer.
3. Affair and Marriage with Mr. Tharoor
After her stint with Nobel House International, Sunanda moved back to Dubai in 2004 and joined TECOM Investments as a Sales Manager. During this work episode, Sunanda became financially strong and became an integrated part of big business parties in Dubai. It was in a similar kind of party, organized by the billionaire Sunny Varkey in 2009, that she met Shashi Tharoor for the first time, though Tharoor was accompanied by his second wife Christa Giles. On 22nd of August, 2010 Shashi and Sunanda tied the love knots at Tharoor’s ancestral home in Kerala. This was the third marriage for both the partners and became a much hyped issue among the media for days. The marriage ceremony was completed with all the Malayalam rituals with special guests invited from different corners of the world.
2. The Infamous IPL Controversy
Before getting married to the Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, Sunanda Pushkar was popular among the media for her “sweat equity” of 70 crore rupees with Rendezvous Sports World. The company made bid during the IPL season of 2010 for Kochi Tuskers, where Sunanda acted as the Director of the company. Later that year, the equity shares were sold for twenty times the original cost and raised question about Tharoor’s intrusion as a Minister of Parliament. The controversy spread like wild fire and culminated in Tharoor’s resignation from the Ministry. Although Sunanda tried to defend themselves by proving herself eligible for the post of director with all her previous work experiences and saying that she had offers in past from Kolkata franchise too, but sadly, these didn’t work in their favor.
1. The Twitter-Row
After years of enjoying the lovely relationship with Shashi, things began to turn sour with the short-spanned, but tremendously hyped, twitter controversy where Sunanda made joint-statements related to the budding virtual “love-affair” between Shashi and the Pakistani Journalist, Mehr Tarar.
Claiming Shashi’s relation with Mehr as “extra marital”, Sunanda posted several tweets humiliating the Pakistani journalist to the extent of calling her an ISI agent. However, Shashi denied the tweets and declared his Twitter account hacked, and his wife being physically and mentally “sick”. Well, it was only hours before she was found dead in her hotel suite.