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Once upon a time there was a society queen: Her name was Indrani, not Sunanda

Kaveree Bamzai
Kaveree BamzaiAug 26, 2015 | 13:53

Once upon a time there was a society queen: Her name was Indrani, not Sunanda

There was a time when a beautiful woman descended on a power capital and charmed everyone into believing she was the golden girl. She was one half of a power couple and everyone, from senior journalists to politicians, vied to be her friend. Then it all came crashing down. So are we talking of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor? Once of Srinagar, then of Dubai and finally, tragically, of Delhi? No. This time ít's Indrani Mukerjea, formerly media tycoon, founder of a star crossed media house, married to a former media behemoth who changed the face of Indian television with Kaun Banega Crorepati, before both disappeared into the sunset, dividing their time, as all well-off couples with handsome pay-offs seem to, between London and Mumbai. Expect the pop psychology pieces (such as this one).

The I used to know her in school pieces.

The I was sacked by her pieces.

The Peter is a nice guy but... pieces.

These will all be about Indrani.

Somewhere we'll forget about Sheena Bora, Indrani's daughter who was made to pass off as her sister, incredibly even to Indrani's husband - as was Sheena's brother, Mikhail. It says a lot about the level of integrity in their marriage, that Peter is now admitting that he didn't know Sheena was his wife's daughter, not sister.

Equally it says a lot about how little we know the people we lionise. Maybe that is as it should be. Being a sometime occupant of a Forbes power list doesn't give the world licence to know about your private life. Or who you were in Assam before you came to Delhi/Mumbai. It says a lot about us that we are now going to feast - or feed - on this story for days, picking at the scabs and wounds of what must have been a strange life. Sheena, the sister who was the daughter. Having a relationship with the son of her stepfather (by Peter's own admission) who did not know he was her stepfather because, incredibly, the two spoke to each other in Assamese. As we do so, spare a thought for the confused girl Sheena must have been. Forced to live a lie.

What nightmares can we breed in our children as we invent and reinvent ourselves?

And let us not even go into what this case will tell us about the ultimate taboo - the possibility that a mother could take her own child's life.

The fact that we are still reeling from the mystery of Aarushi's death and refuse to accept the guilt of her parents (helped in part by a shoddy investigation) is proof of that. No one could have said it better than the man in the middle of a strange family dynamic, Peter Mukerjea. "It is strange, but it is what it is."

Last updated: August 26, 2015 | 19:36
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