Varsha Bhosle, daughter of legendary singer Asha Bhosle, took her own life at her Peddar Road residence yesterday, by shooting herself in the head.
Cops said that preliminary investigations had not revealed any specific cause behind the suicide. They have, however, come to learn that Varsha had a history of depression and had even sought medical advice for the same. Her body has been sent for post mortem to JJ Hospital.
Varsha lived with her mother Asha in the Prabhu Kunj building on Peddar road, which is also home to her aunt Lata Mangeshkar.
Asha Bhosle was in Singapore for an event, but cut short her visit and landed in Mumbai at 10 pm yesterday.
Maid raised alarm
Last morning, Varsha’s maid Deepali Mane rang the bell to the first floor apartment where Varsha stayed, but nobody answered. Worried, Deepali then asked Asha’s driver for help. The driver said that Varsha could be sleeping till late as she often did. Deepali made a second attempt at 10.30 am, but still received no reply.
Deepali, the driver and some other servants then entered the flat through Lata Mangeshkar’s apartment, as the two are attached. They found Varsha lying in a pool of blood on the living room sofa.
The police revealed that Varsha fired a bullet into the left side of her head. Another three rounds of bullets were found in the chamber of the Belgium-made Browning .6mm pistol.
The driver, who was the last person to meet Varsha on Sunday, told the police that she had ordered Chinese food from a local restaurant for her afternoon meal that day. He even asked Varsha whether she had made any arrangements for dinner, to which she replied that she would have leftovers for dinner. Her cable was switched off at 12.17 am on Monday.
A singer and columnist in her mid-50s, Varsha had been married to freelance sports writer Hemant Kenkare, but the couple got divorced in 1998, an event that prompted Varsha to attempt suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. She was treated at Bombay Hospital, with family members insisting that it was not a case of attempted suicide but an overdose of medication. In 2008, Varsha made another attempt at taking her life, with a heavy dose of sleeping pills.
A resident of the building said, on condition of anonymity, “Varsha was a very difficult person. She hardly spoke to anyone in building.” Other sources revealed that she had been suffering from depression of late. She had harboured great dreams of starting an orphanage with well-known fashion photographer Gautam Rajadhakshya, who she was close to. When he passed away last year, Varsha was distraught, and had to take medication to treat the depression. Since then, she had suffered several panic attacks.
Varsha was the daughter of Ganpat Bhosle, Asha’s first husband, from whom the singer separated in 1960.
Cops are now waiting to take statements from Asha, her son Anand, and two doctors who were treating Varsha for depression and acute joint pain. “Once we talk to all these people we will be able to ascertain the cause of her death,” said an officer from Gamdevi police station.
“The pistol is registered under the name of the victim’s brother Anand. It was found lying in their Peddar Road house. Once he is back from Singapore we will question him about his licence,” said Pradeep Lolankar, senior police inspector of Gamdevi police station.
Asha’s son Anand takes care of the family’s hotels in Kuwait and Dubai, named after Asha. Asha and Anand shifted to a penthouse in Lower Parel recently, but she would often visit her Peddar Road residence.