Although expecting this news for years, Nehru Nagar chawl in Worli — where Aruna Shanbaug lived with her sister Shanta Nayak, when she came to Mumbai in 1968 — wore a sombre look, as the news of Shanbaug’s death broke.
On Monday afternoon, Nayak’s house, where her daughter Mangal lives, was locked. Nayak died in 2013. “We knew this day would come,” said Preeti Rathod, Nayak’s neighbour, whose maternal aunt, Ila, knew Shanbaug. She, like many others in the chawl, was glued to TV.
Ila, who was at KEM Hospital with Mangal to pay her respects, said, “I was in school when Aruna came here. She was beautiful. When the incident took place, everyone went to visit her at the hospital. We didn’t know what had happened.”
Many, who knew Shanbaug, have moved out of the locality. Nayak’s children, Vinayak and Mangal, are her only known relatives; they too rarely visited her. “I asked her [Mangal] about Aruna after hearing rumors of her death. She said she hadn’t heard anything,” said another neighbour.
Vaishali Shanbaug, a neighbour, said, “My aunt knew Aruna; she visited her in the hospital many years ago. They both are from Haldipur in Karnataka.”