Viveka Babaji shot into prominence when she was picked up for the Kamasutra condom ad. She worked in the 2002 B Grade film Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat, which did not fare well at the box office.
Babaji, who featured in several advertisements and a couple of Bollywood films between 2000 and 2004, was suffering from depression.
Viveka had shifted base to Mauritius a couple of years ago and she was staying alone in Mumbai.
Neighbours got worried on Friday as Babajee did not answer the door bell despite repeated attempts, and a foul smell was emanating from the apartment. “Finally, the neighbours alerted the police who rushed to the spot and broke open the door. She was found hanging from the ceiling fan,” said Amitabh Gupta, additional commissioner of police, West region.
Miss Mauritius Vivica Babajee, was a very controversial figure due to her involvement in the 1994 Metro Manila Film Fest Scandal. She was a presenter for the Best Actress award together with actress Gretchen Barretto, an award which was very much disputed.
Viveka's death adds to an ever-growing list of recent model suicides, loaning credence to what Jezebel contributor and ex-model Jenna Sauers posited last month: "Suicidal models are fashion's worst trend."
Indeed, in the past two years, a hauntingly high number of models have taken their own lives. There was 20-year-old Korean superstar Daul Kim who stalked down runways for Alexander McQueen and Chanel before hanging herself in her Paris apartment last November.
French model Noemie Lenoir tried to kill herself in May; and last Friday, one day before the men's fashion shows kicked off, 22-year-old French model Tom Nicon plunged from his apartment in Milan, in what authorities suspect was a suicde.
Russian Vogue cover model Ruslana Korshunova, Colombian model-turned-TV presenter Lina Marulanda, Canadaian bombshell Hayley Kohle, Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow also died in similar circumstances.
In 2006, Viveka Babaji had planned to marry director Rohit Jugraj Chauhan. But the broke up a year ago. In an interview to DNA in May 2006, Viveka had then said that she would continue modelling. Excerpts from the interview:
What's so special about Rohit?
I love Rohit because he has been my strength throughout and made me realise what my strengths are.
Have you decided on a wedding date?
No, I haven't fixed a date yet. But most probably it will happen before the end of the year, back home in Mauritius.
What's the wedding going to be like?
I want it to be a toned down, low-key affair. My wedding is a very personal affair between me and Rohit and a few important people in our lives. I do not want any unnecessary hype surrounding it because I do not believe in publicising a private affair like this. There will be a traditional wedding ceremony followed by a small beach party with just a few close friends and family.
What are you wearing?
I'm not planning to wear heavy designer clothes or jewellery. For the wedding, I will probably wear the usual red saree because my mother will want me to. I am planning to wear a simple white cotton dress for the party. I might just walk around on the streets of Mumbai or Dubai and pick it up.
Have you planned a honeymoon?
We will stay in Mauritius for a week after the wedding. Later, we might go backpacking. I do not want any extravaganza. We just need to spend some quality time with each other without any kind of external interference.
After marriage, do you plan to take a break from modelling?
No. I will continue modelling because I like my job. Also Rohit and I have our own lives and I don't think that should change because of our marriage. Rohit is working on some new projects. We are both at a transition stage and we just need to handle it well.