Aarushi Talwar was a ‘blue blazer’ holder at school — an honour given only to those who scored 85% and above for three consecutive years; the lead dancer of ‘Awesome Foursome’, a dance group she formed with friends; and an ambitious teen who wanted to become a doctor one day.
Just like any teen, she was very active on social networking website — her Orkut status last read “loving life”. And that’s exactly how friends and family described Aarushi, who was found murdered in her house barely nine days before her 14th birthday in May 2008.
The family had planned a big party with her friends at a newly opened outlet in Noida’s Sector 18 market. To surprise Aarushi, her father Rajesh had bought a digital camera she wanted.
Five years down the line, the celebrations, baking cake with her grandmother and ordering pizzas have all ended. Now only her pictures on each wall of the Talwar household are the reminders of the happy times.
Her parents — Rajesh and Nupur — don’t stay in the Noida house anymore. They have moved to an apartment in south Delhi where they used to stay when Aarushi was born.
Teachers at the Noida’s DPS school recall Aarushi as someone who was “very good in debate and had won many declamation and debate competitions”.
A close friend of the teen, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I’ve never been to her house but she seemed to have a normal relationship with her parents, just like other kids. There were no major restrictions on her. She was very friendly with her mother and used to tell her everything.”
Her classmates used to call her a ‘rockstar’. “She was always ready to help her friends. Be it studies, project or group activity, she was always ready to lend her help. And she was everyone’s favourite in our class. Her mother used to call us home and treat us with Aarushi’s favourite preparation,” said another friend.