New Delhi/Mumbai, June 26 (Calcutta Tube) Former supermodel Viveka Babajee, who committed suicide in Mumbai Friday, suffered from depression after an apparent split with her boyfriend, her friends in the fashion industry said Saturday.
A section of the fashion fraternity maintains her suicide had nothing to do with her modelling career, but the personal mess she was in. Others disagree.
Viveka, 37, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her Bandra flat Friday evening. Though no suicide note was found, several letters were found addressed to a Gautam.
Viveka was dating a man with whom she broke off two months back, said close friends, adding this could have prompted her to end her life.
‘She was really upset because of the break-up. Though she recently did a fashion show, where she was all chirpy, but deep inside it seems she was not at all happy,’ choreographer Damandeep told IANS from Mumbai.
Anil Mishra, a close friend of Viveka, said: ‘I have known her for two years. She was like a sister to me. I have been attending events organised by her. It is sad… I never expected her to take a step like this.’
One of her former boyfriends, who did not wish to be named, was shocked.
‘We had broken off mutually in December last year. I have known her as a strong-headed girl. I really don’t understand what made her so weak as to take a step like this?’ he said.
‘She was doing well, her company is doing well but I don’t know… I am shocked.’
This is not the first such incident in India’s fashion industry. Former Miss India Nafisa Joseph hanged herself in 2004 while model-turned-TV actress Kuljeet Randhawa committed suicide in 2006.
The other side of the fashion industry was portrayed well in Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion’ that showed back-stabbing, work pressure as well as competition taking its toll on a model’s life.
Is the fashion world so dark and murky in reality?
Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India, does not think so.
Sethi said: ‘First of all Viveka was not a model any more, she was heading an event management company. So it would be wrong to point a finger at the industry.’
Talking about Viveka, Sethi said: ‘I had always found her to be a happy person. I am surprised how she taken such a step like this. It is hard to believe. It’s sad news.’
Though there are those who feel that personal reasons forced Viveka to end her life, others point to the dark side of the glamour industry.
Fashion designer and choreographer Harmeet Bajaj, who knew Viveka, said: ‘The modelling world has its disadvantages. Girls become stars overnight, men chase them and woo them with gifts. They have a fabulous life. But as soon as they start ageing, the charm fades away, so does the illusionary world.
‘Those who succumb to the pressure take such steps while those who move on with the reality, live a good life,’ she added.
Designer Gunjan of Sirali label warned that the incident was like the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
‘People will say nothing is wrong with the industry but they all are lying. Deep inside, they are pseudo people, who don’t want to face the reality. Trust me, the scene is very bad,’ Gunjan told IANS.