04 September 2008

Miss India Nafisa Joseph Commits Suicide

I remember watching the Miss Universe pageant in 1997in Miami, Florida when India almost didn't make it to the semi-finals. That year, Miss India Nafisa Joseph barely missed the cut by a small margin over Miss Philippines Abbegale Williamson Arenas (Abbegale went on to win the Miss Photogenic award) by a fracture .01. Nafisa was the 10th placer in the preliminary with an 8.96 average score while Abbegail was the 11th placer with an 8.95 average score. That was indeed a nerve-wracking moment in the history of Miss Universe.

Nafisa was so beautiful that night. She was like an angel and had a very captivating set of eyes that actually impressed the host, George Hamilton. That was 11 years ago and Nafisa Joseph had long ago joined our creator.

Yes, Nafisa apparently committed suicide leaving no suicide note.

Nafisa Joseph was born on 28 March 1978 in Bangalore, India. She won Femina Miss India in 1997. She had series of physical problems including of an epilepsy but her failed relationships made her decide to commit suicide. Nafiza Joseph was a talented and socially committed person, she must have suffered a momentary emotional trauma that made her take her own life. Considering the life of service that lay ahead of her, her death is a loss that cannot be rationalised.

She killed herself over a dispute with her boyfriend in 29 July 2004. She wasnt successful in relationships. I guess she gave up trying to make it work.

Nafisa Joseph hanged herself in her Versova, Mumbai home. Exactly why she did this is of course not clear but speculation involves the status of her impending marriage. Allegedly, her potential mother-in-law asked her "Do you know they (Gautam - his boyfriend- and his "ex" wife) are not yet divorced?" They were to be married on 7 August 2004 but it had to be called off.

Prior to this, Nafisa had two earlier relationships whom she experienced the same trauma. She was supposed to marry the guys, wedding were set off, but it had to be called off because of infidelity. The first is Sameer Malhotra of Bangalore and the second is Sameer Soni, an actor in Mumbai. Gautam Khanduga is the last man who brought Nafisa to breakdown.

Joseph had worked as a model and had been involved in activities related to animal rights. She was a true lover of animals. She had campaigned for many animal welfare society. Welfare of Stray Dogs and PETA were among such societies. She also had a deep interest in writing. She wrote a column 'Nafisa for Animals' for Times of India. Every girl has a dream of getting married to a person she like. Nafisa too had this dream. She was in relationship with a business with whom she was about to get married. But all of a sudden Nafisa got to know that the businessmen is already married. This incident shaked Nafisa from inside. She fell into a great depression tha lead her to kill herself.

She was 25 years old.

She locked her mother and a friend into an adjacent room in her Bombay flat. She then sent her maid outside the apartment. The maid got worried so she had to call the help of the watchman of the building. Since the watchman can't opened the door Nafisa locked, he made his way through the ceiling of the hallway where he got inside to open the main door. They then opened the room where her mother and friend was held "hostage". When they opened the room of the beauty queen, she was found hung from a ceiling fan gasping for air.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital but apparently she died while they were on way. She was pronounced dead on arrival at 10 pm on the 29th of July 2004.

"Our preliminary investigations show that she committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her apartment," a senior police official told Reuters news agency.

Here are pictures of Nafisa Joseph before she was cremated.