One of the most shocking news in this decade is the unexpected demise of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Shashi Tharoor. Even after her death, very less has Ben known about the early lives of Sunanda. It’s known to the masses that Shashi Tharoor was her third husband and the people often judged her for marrying again and again. But no one really tried to think and learn why she did so.
Sunanda Mehta, who is the schoolmate of Sunanda Pushkar, portrays the unapologetic life of one of the strongest women of the century. From the beginning itself, the strength of Sunanda’s character is prominent. A headstrong woman who decides for herself and stands her ground is a rarity in those times. The splurge of feminism was not very prevalent then. Hence, her being opinionated, and free is something that might not be digestible for many.
But noone really tried to think and learn why she did so.
The circumstances around her early marriage with Sanjay and the divorce is anecdote without any prejudice and it is depicted in such a fashion that the readers would be able to relate to why she ended up divorcing him. Her marriage with Sujith, whom she claims to be the only man she truly loved and with whom she had her only son Shiv also turned sour but before things got out of hand, Sujith died in an accident in Mumbai while Sunanda was in Dubai. Further, she relocated to Canada where her phase 2 started. The woman who started off as a front office executive in a hotel in Srinagar later grows into a business tycoon. She comes to the limelight when she married Shashi Tharoor. The book is as much a character portrayal of Taroor as that of Sunanda. The author describes Tharoor as a soft-spoken, gracious, composed, and patient husband.
The book , despite being written by Sunanda’s friend is not biased towards her.
Sunanda’s relationship with her Son Shiv and younger brother Ashish is the most authentic one as they were th closest to her and their own version, as well as the third person’s version of their relationship, could be seen in the book. However, the real reason behind the estrangement between Ashish and Sunanda could not be seen.
The book, despite being written by Sunanda’s friend is not biased toward her. In every point, the author points out the flaws in her character. While writing the book, the author interviewed Sunanda’s family and a group of friends and still, she hasn’t minced her words while laying bare the reality of Sunanda. At several points, the book will leave you wondering if it’s indeed her friends whom the author talked to because Sunanda’s drawbacks are unveiled without any inhibition wherein my opinion no close friends would do that to a dead friend. The author herself was Sunanda’s friend but the book doesn’t have any chapter where the author’s interaction with Sunanda could be seen.
This definitive biography is the account of her phenomenal life and its turbulent end.
The author has carefully maneuvered the death of the most talked about woman in the country without inviting any controversies. Will she conclude the reason behind her death is something that has to be seen in the book?
The narrative of the author is the highlight of the book. The author’s portrayal is so flamboyant that the thin line between reality and fiction could not be seen. As it is Sunanda’s life was stranger than fiction.
If you are someone who is intrigued about who the real Sunanda Pushkar was, this book would give you the answer.
About the Author
Sunanda Mehta is a journalist with over twenty-five years of experience. She began her career at Femina and soon moved on to Magna Publishing, where she became the founding editor of the Pune magazine Citadel at the age of twenty-five. After this, she worked for the Indian Express for two decades, breaking many stories throughout her tenure. From 2010 to 2017, she was Resident Editor of the newspaper’s Pune edition, which made her the first woman editor of a national English daily in the city. A graduate of Lady Shri Ram College for Women where she studied History, Sunanda also has degrees in Education and Journalism. A former Chevening fellow, she has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Pune. Sunanda divides her time between Pune and Mumbai.