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Wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, Sunanda Pushkar was known for her entreprenue skills. Director of Rendezvous Sports World she was a woman with wide network of friends and well wishers. She gained wide experience while working abroad. Sunanda was found dead in her room on 17 January 2014 at Leela Palace hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
Sudden demise of Sunanda Pushkar on 17 January 2014 was like a shock to Shashi Tharoor, a former diplomat and Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. As an Indian businesswoman and the wife of Indian diplomat and politician Shashi Tharoor she was Director of Rendezvous Sports World which owned IPL cricket team Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Shashi got married to Sunanda very recently in 2010 felt hard to cope up with the personnel tragedy. On her first death anniversary he again reiterated his innocence and spoke about the void created in his life due to her absence.
Born on 27 June 1962 Sunanda was the only daughter of Lt Col Pushkar Nath Dass and Jaya Dass. She hailed from Kashmiri Pandit family of landlords and army officers from Bomai, 8 km from Sopore in the Kashmir Valley. Along with her two brothers she enjoyed her early life at fullest. After schooling she graduated from Government College for Women, Srinagar.
Sunanda married a hotel management graduate Sanjay Raina while studying against the wishes of the family. But after nearly a year of marriages they both parted away and got divorced in 1988. In order to carve niche for herself she moved to Dubai in 1989 and married Sujith Menon in 1991. The couple was blessed with a son in November 1992. Her life was once again upside down in 1997 when Sujith meet with an accident in Delhi. This left Sunanda and their only child Shiv Menon in financial crisis. However she again proved her critics wrong and emerged more determined and resolute. It was in the year 2009 when she met Shashi Tharoor in and an affair ensued between the two. Both married in 2010 in a typical Malayali wedding ceremony in Tharoor's ancestral home at Elavanchery in Kerala, India. This was the third marriage for both of them.
From her journey as a receptionist at the Centaur Lake View hotel in Srinagar, Sunanda emergence in corporate world was meteoric. She was Director of Rendezvous Sports World which owned IPL cricket team Kochi Tuskers Kerala. But certainly it did not happen all of a sudden and she has to undergo various bitter experiences before reaching the top. After moving to Dubai, she worked as event management organisers and became well known for her networking skills. Her company called Expressions was into show business and organised several model shows with leading Hollywood and Bollywood stars. Later, she joined Bozell Prime Advertising as an accounts executive. Sunanda soon suffered financial loses after organising a show which proved debacle for her personal and professional life too. Her husband Sujith after suffering losses in Dubai returned to India, and died in an accident in Delhi in March 1997. By the late ’90s had moved to Toronto with her son and a new banker companion amd became a partner in an IT firm called "Valley Resources" through sweat equity. In August 2004, she again moved to Dubai but this time with a Canadian citizenship and passport which removed various restrictions reserved for South Asian citizens. In 2005 Sunanda joined TECOM and made strides into swelling real estate sector.
The love between Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar did not remained uncensored from media scrutiny which blamed him for favoring Mrs Pushkar in getting sweat equity worth ₹ 700 million in Rendezvous Sports World which owned the IPL cricket team Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Questions were raised about his clout as a Union minister muddling with the affairs of IPL. After much hue and cry, Sunanda relinquished her stake in the company While Shashi he resigned from the post of Minister of State for External Affairs.
There can be certainly no denying about the controversy surrounding death of Sunanda Pushkar. Her death which many claims is a murder is subject to investigation by various agencies. On 17 January 2014, Sunanda was found dead in room number 345 of the Leela Palace hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Various theories made rounds across media circles including the twitter war with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar whom she accused to be an ISI agent following her husband. Her body was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium in South Delhi.
People like Sunanda are hard to find. Being a bold and passionate lady she made her name despite all odds. In the words of her former spouse may be the world did not understand you well, maybe you were in a hurry to understand the world, or perhaps, you were too good for this world.
"Phir hawaaaon mein uddh chali hai ek chanchal si chidiya...
Usse parwaaz karney doe, ek nayi manzil ki aur."
Spouse: Shashi Tharoor
Children: Shiv Menon
(FOLLOWER OF Mrs. SUNANDA PUSHKAR THAROOR)
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