Book Review: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Sunanda Pushkar by Sunanda Mehta

It has been rightly said, “Sunanda died just as she had lived. Dramatically. Her life bewitched, her death baffled. Just like there are no clear answers to her death, there is no easy way to define the way Sunanda lived, other than to say that she was uncontainable”, as Senior Journalists Sunanda Mehta rightly puts in the biography “The Extraordinary life and Death of Sunanda Puskar”, which she penned to bring to life the untold story of Sunanda Puskar, who was also her school mate in Ambala.  

But in between, life and death, there is also the story of Sunanda’s rise from a convent school in Ambala to the corridor of power in New Delhi was also not that easy. From the conservative army culture, as her father was with Army, she traveled and experienced the length and breath of the country and has become all the more mature, to handle her own decision and to live with them.

She was caring and was protective, which was evident from her relationship with her brothers, more for her younger brother Ashish, for whom she was a mother figure. She not only supported their education but also has stood by them in all thick and thins of their life. 

At the same time she has suffered in her personal life all because she always listened to her heart and took all her decision with her heart never involving her brain. Her failed relationships and the emotional turmoil that followed have broken her from within, but she took all hurdles of a single woman and turns them to strengthen herself for her son Shiv and stood on to become most popular business woman in Dubai. 

Life took a different turn, when she married Sashi Tharoor, Indian Politician and Author, which also brought her to both limelight and controversies most significant of all, the IPL Franchise of the Kochi Team, which she purportedly owned.

As she was outward, she never wanted to compromise in her life, as the book reveals, “Sunanda broke both these rules. Unapologetically. She was seen everywhere; she spoke more loudly than Tharoor and commanded absolute attention at every soiree, from exclusive dinners in Lutyens Delhi to book launches, movie premieres and fashion shows, where Tharoor and Sunanda became absolute regulars”.

The relationship between the couple started to sour within 3 years of their marriage, with the involvement of Pakistani Journalist of Mehr Tarar with Sashi Tharoor, ignited once again the fire in Sunanda and the sequence of further led to her end. As the book rightly says the sequence verifying and cross verifying the truth from all quarters, from police, medical and family interviews.

Lastly we can say, that those who want to go details about Sunanda Puskar and before saying something about her and her extraordinary life, one must read this book for clearing the one sided view of every critic and individuals about her.

As Sunanda Mehta rightly concludes, “there are undoubtedly many who will still remember and sorely miss her, but with time, the memories have been packed and stored away in the deep recesses of their minds. Except for one, who still lives and relives them every day. One soul that still yearns to recollect with her every single moment. One body that craves for her reassuring touch. One pair of eyes that searches for her incessantly. And then stares emptily at the emptiness”.

Book: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Sunanda Pushkar | Author: Sunanda Mehta| Publisher: Pan Macmillan| Pages: 315 | Price: INR 599/-