news Monday, July 20, 2015 - 05:30
Image source: GIVE Aarushi Talwar Justice/Facebook   Eight years ago her best friend was found dead in her bedroom, with a split throat and a smashed head. The very next day the decomposed body of the domestic help in her friend's house was also found on the terrace. As the case picked up media coverage, it snowballed into frenzy and the killings were reduced to a gripping thriller. There were conspiracy theories galore- of adulterous relationships, honour killing and wife swapping to name some of the most popular ones. Little did she know that her best friend's name would be etched in the country's minds as the "Aarushi Talwar murder case". In a piece for The Quint, Fiza Jha writes about Aarushi, her "best friend", "classmate", "dance class partner", and someone she had known from the age of five, from the perspective of a "14-year-old at that time". Calling her a "bubbly" girl, Jha writes that both had met a day before her death. Aarushi's birthday was approaching, she was excited and they had planned a sleepover. They again spoke in the evening "before the fateful night". All seemed normal then, and the next day Aarushi was found murdered. Jha, a now 21-year design student in Bengaluru, also questions the role that the police and media played in solving the case ( or how some of their actions only seemed to have hampered the investigation. ) "There was never any compulsion for me to believe in the culpability of the Talwars or in their innocence," writes Jha. "They were not my relatives, not even family friends. Aarushi, though, was my best friend, my class mate, my dance class partner – I had known her from the age of five, she was the first friend I had made in school. But I believed in their innocence because I knew what I knew. But I also know that murders are not solved by one’s belief – you need hard evidence, you need proof, but that didn’t seem to be the case here." She remembers the day when Aarushi's body was found. She was present in the house. So were several others who walked around a crime scene as they wished to. Then of course started the sensational coverage. She writes, "The facts and evidence never mattered – to any cop who dealt with the case, to any CBI investigator, any reporter, any judge, any celebrity talker that was called to the 9 o’clock prime time debate; nor to any family that was discussing the Talwars like characters of some thriller crime novel in their living rooms." Jha also wonders how it would have turned out if it was she instead of Aarushi. Avirook Sen, whose recent book "Aarushi" details the double murder case, also spoke to Jha for his research. Stating that most did not understand Aarushi, her parents, their lifestyle and relationship with each other, Jha writes that Sen's book addresses just that. "When he interviewed me for the book a couple of years ago, I remember him asking me what it meant for us to have boyfriends at the time? Was a 14 year old girl having a boyfriend indicative of her sexual activity? No, I had said. For us, having a boyfriend then meant someone we spoke to on the phone, went to the movies with along with our friends, someone we had a crush on and our friends teased us about. We were innocent children, and her parents knowing that she had a boyfriend did not mean that they condoned ‘her looseness’, but it meant that they knew exactly what their daughter was up to. She was a growing healthy girl, who was in a co-ed school, she had lots of friends who were girls and she had friends who were boys," she writes. Read Fiza Jha's full piece for The Quint here.  
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