There have been reams of print and television footage devoted to the sensational Aarushi Talwar murder case of 2008. The murder of the teenager and domestic help Hemraj has been a topic of discussion across homes, television studios, reports and editorials with each person analysing an aspect of the case to reach a conclusion that seems either convenient or obvious to them.
In a long compelling report in the Canadian publication, The Star Shree Paradkar describes the situation in the Talwar household since the traumatic incident in 2008. But unlike other reporters, Paradkar is a cousin of Aarushi's mother, Nupur, which helps provide insight into how how much the extended family has been affected by the gruesome incident and its equally dramatic fallout.
A grandmother, who doted on her granddaughter by cooking her dishes of her choice, but now can't bear to cook any more. A grandfather who is a former war veteran and wishes that he wasn't born in this country. A friend, who can't wait to leave the country, and another who has joined the media to correct what she sees as a faulty covering of the case.
When we’re going through photos for this story, my aunt gazes at forgotten images, transported to happier times.
“Look at this one,” she says in Marathi — our mother tongue — pointing to a photo of toddler Aarushi sitting in a vegetable basket. “Such an imp, my baby.”
And then, softly: “She was still little, you know. She wouldn’t even have comprehended these people were killing her.” Tears. “It must have happened so quickly, she wouldn’t have felt any pain. Right?”
The article analyses the entire incident from the perspective of the Talwar family, highlighting the now well known flip flops in the case that resulted in both parents being arrested and subsequently released on bail, the arrest of three others but them being let off due to lack of evidence and the toll it has exacted on an unit that earlier seemed to be the ideal Indian family.
No matter how much you may have read and no matter what your opinion on the case, the article with the accompanying video offers a fresh perspective on what a long-drawn out trial and a trial by media can take on a family.