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'Nafisa was classy, but with bad relationships'


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Stunned by the news, friends of former Miss India Nafisa Joseph spoke of her as a "calm and classy" person Friday, a day after she allegedly committed suicide in Mumbai.

Originally from Bangalore, 25-year-old Joseph, a model, MTV video jockey, event hostess and animal rights activist, was found dead in her suburban Versova home late Thursday.

Joseph, who was reportedly planning to marry businessman Gautam Khanduja later this year, is said to have had many broken relationships.

Reports suggest there may have been rifts between Joseph and Khanduja.

"I've heard that she had a spate of bad relationships," said designer Rina Dhaka. "That many times, the relationships came near marriage and then fell through. That could have made her unhappy."

"I'm completely shocked that someone so young could have decided to end her life," Dhaka told IANS.

Dhaka said she had worked with Joseph several times and the former beauty queen was always the model of professionalism.

"Some models try to do a little extra for you to get more work in future, some are extra bubbly. None of that with her. She was always very confident, quiet and very calm.

"I loved working with her, she had a fantastic figure. Really slim and lean. Great body, very well toned."

Fun loving Nafisa was artistically inclined, but known to be very moody. Sometimes she would sit down to sketch at the unearthly hour of 3 a.m. Her favourite song was "Dream a little dream" from the movie "French Kiss."'

She won the Miss India crown in 1997.

"Nafisa was a really cool girl," said model Indrani Dasgupta. "I was her junior in the modelling scene and she would always come up with these wonderful titbits of helpful information."

She said the modelling and designer fraternity were in a bit of shock by the death of Joseph, who many in the community knew quite closely.

Dasgupta said Joseph was trying her hand in movies and was discussing some Bollywood scripts, a Bengali film and even an international movie project.

"I think she was planning a Bengali film for which she would keep practicing her Bengali with me, it was great fun."

Colleagues say the great thing about her was that she never threw any tantrums.

Added Dasgupta: "Her professional life was going great guns. And she never ever appeared edgy. She was always very cool. There was nothing angst-ridden about her.

"But, of course, she was never a very open person."


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