Varsha Bhosle, daughter of the legendary singer Asha Bhosle, committed suicide by shooting herself in the head at their Peddar Road home on Monday, Indian police said.
According to IANS, the police arrived on the spot and are investigating the death, but so far no suicide note has been discovered. According to the police, 56-year-old Varsha pumped two rounds of bullets into herself.
Varsha was divorced and had also tried to commit suicide in 2008 and 2010 by consuming a heavy dose of sleeping pills, giving way to speculation that she suffered from depression. At those instances, she was immediately taken to the hospital and saved. A member of the journalistic community described the deceased writer as an introvert; somebody who was never in the limelight, whom no one knew much about.
Varsha, who worked as a freelance journalist, was Asha’s daughter from her first marriage to Ganpatrao Bhosle. Asha was in an abusive marriage with Ganpatrao and decided to divorce him, taking along Varsha and two other children to go live in her mother’s home. Later on, Asha married the legendary music director, R D Burman.
Varsha was by her mother’s side all her life. She sang a few songs in Hindi and Marathi, and also appeared in some concerts with Asha. With a passion for writing, Varsha freelanced for a number of publications including The Sunday Observer, Gentleman magazine, The Protector Police magazine and the Times of India.
When Asha was traveling, Varsha used to spend time with her brother. According to the Hindustan Times, she had been married to freelance sports writer Hemant Kenkre, whom she later divorced. She was said to be undergoing professional psychiatric treatment in Mumbai for most of her adult life.
In 2008, Varsha consumed a high dose of sleeping pills and was admitted to Jaslok Hospital. It was said that Asha arranged a birthday party for herself and did not invite her daughter. Later that night, Varsha was found unconscious.
In her article titled “Saturday’s Child” for Rediff, Varsha wrote, “I have erased my father from my memory, and with him, some of my own childhood: a defense mechanism, people call it. From the sordid tales I hear from our old cook, I must have desperately needed to do it.” In 2010, she attempted to kill herself again, but was saved in time.
As the news of her suicide spread through cyber space, condolences poured in on Twitter. Fans of her columns paid tribute to the late Varsha.
Sunanda Vashisht tweeted: “I was and continue to be huge fan of Varsha Bhosle’s writing. I remember when I came across her writing first, I was stunned.”
The police are still investigating the tragic suicide of Varsha. The area where her death occurred has been cordoned off. Some reports suggest that Varsha was alone at the time she shot herself, and that she has used a licensed gun. Her mother Asha is currently in Singapore, attending a concert for the MIFTA Awards.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2012.