A former schoolmate traces the life story of Sunanda Pushkar from her early days in cantonment towns to her first two marriages, a largely unknown stint in Canada, her rise as a Dubai businesswoman, and finally her years with Shashi Tharoor until her controversial death shook the country.
On 17 January 2014, Pushkar was found dead in her hotel suite in New Delhi. Her death was as shocking as it was suspect, spawning many a controversy and complex legal battles.
In "The Extraordinary Life and Death of Sunanda Pushkar", her journalist friend Sunanda Mehta draws material from personal archives, interviews and investigation across continents to come up with the biography.
The author talks more of Pushkar's life than about her death.
"Sunanda Puskhar was born, surviving all odds," she writes, as she recalls how the former had not cried on birth and appeared to be stillborn.
Her parents Pushkar Nath Dass, who was an army officer, and Jaya Dass was about to give up hope when the doctors were successful in reviving her, Mehta says.
The author describes in detail Pushkar’s early life especially her school days, her rise as a businesswoman in Dubai, her stint in real estate, her marriages and her days with Tharoor.
Mehta and Pushkar were in the same school in Ambala and later their both fathers were posted together in Jhansi.
She says Pushkar was a woman who "lived energetically and loved passionately".
"This was a woman who went beyond her bounds and charted a life for herself that was different, daring and daunting, a woman who encountered unbelievable challenges throughout her life, but always bounced back with amazing tenacity," she writes in the book, published by Pan Macmillan.
"She was like a kaleidoscope - each person who knew her saw in her something no one else did," Mehta writes.