Two years after his break- up with super-model Viveka Babajee, writer-director Rohit Jugraj (assistant to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ram Gopal Varma and director of the well-received feature film Superstar) seemed shell-shocked on Friday when the news of his ex-girl"s suicide came to him. Rohit rushed to the deceased girl"s sister and brother-in-law"s place where he remained until Saturday morning, when the police did the questioning and the body was taken away.
“It"s too shocking. I"ve been up almost all night," a groggy and grieving, Rohit spoke up on Saturday morning. “Why would she do something like this? She wasn"t the kind to take her own life. She was too spirited to do something like this. At least that isn"t the Viveka that I remember. Maybe that"s the way I want to remember her. She came from Mauritius to pursue her dreams. It takes courage to leave a small country and come to a big city like Mumbai. And she achieved what she did on her own."
Rohit met Viveka while he was directing his first film James. “I met her through her male cousin who was a very dear friend of mine. We were in a very serious relationship for two years . We broke up in 2007. But we weren"t engaged. There were too many differences between us. We were two different people. The breakup was not traumatic. We parted by mutual consent. It took me a while to get over her. But we moved on ultimately"
Speaking on their relationship Rohit said, “We broke up without bitterness. It was just not working out. She was in other relationships after that. We didn"t really keep in touch. We both needed space to move on. But I"ve been in constant touch with her mother in Mauritius."
Surprisingly, Viveka never asked for Rohit"s help to get into the glam world. “She was a very strong girl. She made a career for herself in Mumbai and bought property in Mauritius. She bought a very nice home for her mother in Mauritius. She was not visible as a model in her last three years because she had changed her main line of work from modeling to choreography because modeling was very time-bound. She then shifted to events management."
“I remember all the good times that we shared together. I can"t think of a single unpleasant incident. I expected us to get married. But it didn"t work out. I always wished her well. I"d like to believe we had remained friends. She had a very supportive circle of family and friends. So I wonder why she did something so drastic."
Says Rohit, “Viveka"s sudden death is an eye-opener to me. You never know which way life will take you. I"ve just begun to discover myself." At the time of writing Viveka"s mother had not arrived from Mauritius. It was still to be decided whether the body would be flown to Mauritius after autopsy. Viveka"s sister is visiting Mumbai with her husband who"s a Mumbai-based Gujarati.
Says Rohit, “I have"t had the courage to speak to Viveka"s mom yet. What will I tell her?" Rohit doesn"t know Viveka"s last boyfriend, “I heard about Gautam Vohra only yesterday after Viveka"s death. I heard she met him in Goa, that"s all I know. On Friday he was untraceable. His phone was unreachable." Commenting on models like Nafisa Joseph and Viveka ending their lives Rohit says, “It"s like that film Fedora. All of us in show business live hollow insecure lonely lives. We"ve to watch our backs."