Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Go Sue.....!

A friend in Dubai sent this delicious report, and I just had to share it with my blogdosts.

Got A Girl, Named Sue
And she knew just what to do. Sunanda’s eye-popping life-story.
By Vrinda Gopinath
Now, why does Sunanda Pushkar sound preposterous when she says it’s insulting to present her as just a proxy for good friend Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for external affairs, in the multi-million dollar IPL franchise sale? Because it’s a bit ambitious on her part to claim she’s a businesswoman in her own right when her present job profile says she is a mere sales manager at tecom Investments, a commercial real estate company in Dubai. But you’ve got to hand it to Pushkar, for her spunk and drive that took her from a gawkish girl from small-town Jammu two decades ago, to becoming swell Sue in Dubai and Toronto, to contriving her new image as swanky Sunanda, the brassy, bold entrepreneur of the eye-popping Emirates.
The belle from Bomai, a small apple-growing hamlet in Sopore, Kashmir, was convinced she was not cut out for the idyllic life of mofussil India, as she excitedly told her pals when she landed in Dubai in the early ’90s, and like the many hick-chicks before her, she took the marriage route to escape a dreary future. The teenaged Sunanda met and married fellow Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Raina, a hotel management graduate, while she was still studying in the Government College for Women, Srinagar, between 1986 and 1988.
But it wasn’t Raina who took her to Dubai; it was his best friend, Sujith Menon, whom she married within two years of her failed first marriage. The couple landed in Dubai in the early ’90s—Menon settled in a job with the insurance company, Eagle Star, while Sunanda worked as an accounts exec with the marketing and ad agency, Bozell Prime. Their lives would have soon settled into a mundane routine if it were not for Sunanda’s hyper hunger to rise above the plain folks. She begged her friends for invitations to glam events and then cashed in on the ’90s marketing trends of organising small-time fashion shows.
She soon catapulted into the world of event management, of the C-class variety—of starlets and bimbos—but stunned her colleagues with her insatiable ambition. She figured out the magic formula and began networking hard and fast—tying up with artists, getting sponsors, and making a small, tidy profit from the enterprise. Her skills in occasionally getting well-known sponsors made her rivals green with envy but the snide bitching barely fazed her. Says a former rival acidly, “Sunanda would claw her way to a sponsor and have him eating out of her hands, she was not a girl’s girl.”
Not surprisingly, Sunanda was leaving not just her friends behind but her husband too. Their last attempt to save the marriage in a collaborative business deal was disastrous both financially and emotionally. They staged a fashion event which turned out to be a dud, and Menon had to finally leave Dubai after falling out with his company. He, tragically, took his own life later in India.
Sunanda, though, continued to live in Dubai with her son, struggling as a small-time event manager. She moved in as a paying guest with a girlfriend in the more modest suburb of Satwa, in a pokey apartment above a supermarket, changed her name to Sue, in middle-class western-trendy, unusually adopted her father’s name Poshkar (and turned it to Pushkar), rather than the surname, Dass. Her business card read Sue P. Menon, and till today, Dubai knows her as Sue rather than the vernacular Sunanda.
By the late ’90s, Sunanda had joined the emigre rush to Canada, and moved to Toronto with her son and a new banker companion. But she hated her life in an Indian ghetto in a white town, and yearned to return to dazzling Dubai. She was back in Dubai within a few years, but this time with a Canadian citizenship and passport to boot. Her new status liberated her from the tough immigration rules and visa restrictions reserved for South Asian citizens, and she soon saw an opportunity in this new-found freedom.
By 2005, Sunanda had joined tecom, and was poised to ride the wave of the swelling real estate boom. A famous socialite in Delhi remembers meeting her a year later in the Capital when she was introduced as the companion of another successful Kashmiri businessman living between Dubai and London. “She was soon handing out business cards as a real estate promoter,” says the social queen, “and inviting people for investment opportunities in booming Dubai. She struck me as someone on the go, but I must confess I didn’t recognise her in the pictures today, she looks quite different.”
Sunanda-watchers in Dubai say it was around this time she adopted her new style statement—Dubai flash trash of peroxide hair streaks, heavy make-up, razzle-dazzle, seductive couture, false eyelashes, chrome nail paint, and Louis Vuitton victimhood. It was a sign of her arrival in the league of the neo-rich tycoons.

When Tharoor and wife Christa landed there in ’07, Sunanda was the P3P queen of Masala Dubai.

It was also the time (2007) when Tharoor and his Canadian wife Christa Giles (he had been earlier married to Tilottama Mukherjee) landed in Dubai to take up residency after he joined the investment firm, Afras Ventures. They were on opposite sides of the glistening turf—while Tharoor and wife were cocooned with the Big Boys from Kerala, Sunanda was the p3p Queen of Masala Dubai, chasing the glittering mirage with vampire-like thirst—hyper networking and coursing business deals. Then Dubai was Las Vegas on acid, the boardroom was the lounge bar, the deal room was the penthouse. It was party time.
And as Sunanda orbited faster into the inner circles of the mega rich—she was now the exotic Sunanda from Kashmir—she and Tharoor met in October 2009, at a soiree hosted by Sunny Varkey, the billionaire owner of the GEMS education empire, and the evening turned electric.
It was a whirlwind affair and to Tharoor’s credit, he outed Sunanda almost immediately, especially in Delhi, as the official consort of the MoS, external affairs. Their eagerness to be accepted in the power capital was evident with their presence at every social do and event. Sure, it’s hard to make friends when you are living between two cities, but as a hostess sniffs, “Sunanda invites people she meets on a plane for an intimate dinner with the minister. It may be first class but this is not Dubai, this is Delhi, where pedigree counts, not wannabe.”
So, will Tharoor give up the chair for his lady love? It’s a 21st-century tale of love in the time of opportunity.


goodluck said...

It is true blue page 3 stuff. Congrats. I have met some Sunandas and all of them have turned out to be manipulative and go getters. Something is in that name, maybe. Of course there are Sunandas who are as innocent as newborn babes.
This go getter type we see in all page 3 parties and also page 1 parties. Without them, the party circle is incomplete. Have not we met in our colleges and workplaces, girls who somehow become more popular and who are in every event? Who are adored by boys and hated by girls?
Yes,they also work very hard with their snooty noses to get into that snooty circles irrespective of all the backbiting. Trash them, envy them. But they are here to stay and make an occasional splash.

uthamanarayanan said...

Wow, deserves to be a thrilling paper back novel.Hollywood would be your place as a writer if presented for screen play.Good writing indeed and facts presented to us although no longer relevant for a common man like me in India and fellow Indians.

Anonymous said...

Shobhaa 007?

Sameera said...

How many more posts do you wish to dedicate her? Why not focus on the men for a change too?

Crazy Blogger said...

I read that in too

and I agree with the Eidothia

ZB said...

WOW, loved this....i have been googling for more of Sunanda and this has been more than satiating....but i would take things with a pinch of salt though, cheers. :)

Anshul Kumar Pandey said...

C'mon......we need something else to extinguish the fire in our minds! Move from the tharoor issue!

Sparkling said...


You've more news of Dubai than I could ever having living here!

Harish said...

hahhahah! this was sucha fun read..

vrindaa tu hai kahaan!!!!

avidblogger said...

Way to go Shobhaa !!! Thanks for bringing us all this gossip. Really look forward to your posts everyday.

Anon said...

Couldn't care less about the story....but the way you write is rivetting! Thought I wouldn't bother reading it but guess what couldn't stop reading. Shobhaa write write write pleeease!!!! You have a rare gift for making even the mundane interesting please use it more.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Hahahaha she sounds like the perfect party guest! Sunanda and Karan Johar are welcome to my dinner parties anyday. I will never have to pay for entertainment then!

Her story is like a delightful mishmash of 70's pulp fiction. If Sidney sheldon and Jacquelline Susanne got it on and had a love child, I think Sunanda's life story (per this writer anyway) will be the baby. Love it!Wonderfully salacious and makes me giggle.

I have met a few Sunandas in my life. Some of them made themselves over with a ferocity that is only to be admired. Others ... not so much. But they all were fun in a amusing sort of way. No wonder Shashi got his lungi into a twist after meeting Sunanda. After all he has lived an exemplary life too long :)

Princess Pragya said...

Don't get into the details of the personal life of the woman... maybe, she was just searching for the elusive "true love"?

But I guess the C grade soap watchers of the nation will find the skeletons in the cupboard quite fascinating even though they are irrelevant

To imagine all this fuss is about IPL! Such a national waste of time! :)

a hindu seeker said...

if sunanda says she has her own identity, why did she unite with tharoor(a national figure) and agreed to have those ipl shares?

why didnt she invent her own ipl and then choose to call herself a businesswoman.

this is the problem with some of today's career women. for them career is the first thing, anything else is secondary and when marriage fails, they blame it on men's ego. it's a bunch of surgically implanted and power hungary femiNAZI figures, who are attention seeking, page-3 addicted and conceited.

goodluck said...

While you are at it, why dont you do a research on Minal as well and Lalit's colorful days in US and its juicy details? You cannot just talk about only Sunanda in 4 blogs. Be objective about other vamps and sati savitris, other villains as well. I bet you will never say anything about Mallya's colorful life, his muslim sounding step daughter etc.

Unknown said...

This article is in a very bad taste. A complete assasination of character. Too much of intrusion into one's personal life. It may be true, but we just dont have the RIGHT to discuss anything and everything on the public forum.

Unknown said...

Sounds are bng a true media paranoid!

Sick of this Su- shi affair. She will be remembered for the downfall of two men Shashi & Lalit (La-Sh)
Nice plot for Chetan Bhagat to write a masaala novel titled "The 3 Some...or 3 Idiots (Part 2)"

live cricket scores
IPL 3 points

Manu said...

if people were to write a similar article about your own life, i bet it would have been much more murkier......and it seems to me that half the things written in this article are either fabricated or completely blown out of proportion. The so called "truth" that you have posted is an assassination of character and you really should be sued for defamation. You are so obsessed with this Sunanda-Tharoor issue that you just dont want to let go, as is evident from your articles repeatedly mentioning the above names. Please don't appear for news room programmes as a guest when you dont know what you are talking about. You are a complete idiot when it comes to these kind of things and you always seem to choose the wrong side of an issue when it emerges as a controversy. "aathyam swayam nannaavu, ennitu mattullavare nannaaku!" (roughly translated into malayalam, it means "Correct yourself first, then try to correct others..")
I hope you get the message..

Unknown said...

"I wish I had written it"

That sums up everything. You are worried that you couldn't take the witch hunt to Vrinda's level.

I pity you on making money by writing like this. Journalists like you are a shame. Get a life and do something useful.

Sidhusaaheb said...

It's quite obvious that Ms. Pushkar acted merely as a front for Mr. Tharoor, when she accepted the equity in the IPL franchise, but both of them can continue to make the kind of statements that they have been making as there probably is no material evidence to nail their lie.

Nalini Hebbar said...

we hear the rags to riches stories of men and we go Wah Wah...but every time a woman climes up the social ladder, we assassinate her character...attack her sexuality...not fair at all.

salu said...

Not like Anshul Pandy opined
C'mon......we need something else to extinguish the fire in our minds! i think we need something always to kindle the fire ...... a rumour a day keeps the depression away ( pg wodehouse) so do the news.... it's obvious we are not scarce in news...and India is developing....
thanks for the friend of SD revealing the intricacies n intrigues...

Unknown said...

Never heard of or cared about Vrinda Gopinath until I read this article. Hey! Wait. Don't think I am going to care going forward. She made sure that nobody needs care about her writing. By the way, Vrinda's rejoinder to the criticism by Vidya Subramaninam in The Hindu was not published by the paper, instead it was put up in another website Why Vrinda's rejoinded was not published in the Outlook which published the original trash is a moot question.

EYE said...

It is said that one woman's greatest enemy is another woman. This true in this case.