Sheena Bora In ‘The Indrani Mukerjea Story,’: Is Indrani’s Daughter Dead Or Alive?


Netflix’s The Indrani Mukerjea Story is about one of those cases that, in today’s time, has become a conundrum, and even the court of law is having a hard time solving it. A botched-up investigation, the involvement of certain rich and powerful people, the lies, the deceit, and the weird relationship dynamics have made it impossible for the court to find the truth, and as we know, no decisive conclusion has been reached as of now. In cases like these, it is a battle of narrative, and the perception of general people is influenced by their own preconceived notions and stereotypical beliefs, as well as by what they are shown by the media. After watching the Netflix documentary, even though I couldn’t take an unbiased stand, in this article I would refrain from making any sort of judgment. What we can try to do here is speculate on the facts and testimonies at hand and weigh both sides. So let’s find out the kind of relationship that Sheena Bora shared with her mother and her fiancé, Rahul, and more than anything, try to speculate if she is dead or, as Indrani Mukerjea asserts, alive and hiding somewhere.

Did Sheena and Indrani share an amicable relationship? 

Indrani claims that she was sexually abused by her father when she was around 16 years of age and that Upendra Kumar Bora is the biological father of Sheena. Indrani moved to Shillong to pursue further studies, where she met her first husband, Siddharth Das, who adopted Sheena. Indrani left her first husband and then married Sanjeev Khanna in Kolkata and then later met Peter Mukerjea, her third husband, and settled in Mumbai. For about 15 years, Indrani didn’t contact or meet her kids, which was something that really hampered her public image when her case came under media scrutiny. Sheena and Mikhael lived with their grandparents, and the first question that would come to anybody’s mind is that if it was Indrani’s own father who had abused her, then why would she leave her children in his care? Sheena was a very smart and intelligent lady, and she was curious to know what her mother was like. She wanted to know why she had abandoned both the kids when they clearly didn’t deserve such behavior.

Finally, Indrani’s parents reached out to her when she was already married to Peter Mukerjea and asked her to help them financially. It was around 2005 when Indrani called both Mikhael and Sheena to meet her. The kids were very excited as they were finally going to meet their mother, but the way they were treated left them feeling that they shouldn’t have ever met her and instead, lived under the illusion that she was a great mother. Indrani asked both the kids to not address her as their mother but to tell them that she was their elder sister, in case nobody asked. Now, I do not believe every word spoken by Mikhael to be true, but it was evident that Indrani did hide the fact that she had two children from Peter, and that spoke tons about the kind of woman she was. Nobody is judging her; we don’t have the right to do so, but what is clear is that she was a social climber, and probably her attachment to her kids was superseded by many other aspects of her life. There was a diary that Sheena had in which she wrote about how she hated her mother. Obviously, any child would feel bad when their own mother is ashamed to call them her kids. Sheena did come to Bombay later, and she lived at Indrani’s house while she was pursuing her studies at St. Xaviers. Even then, when Sheena was staying with Indrani and Peter, she was not allowed to reveal the fact that she was not the younger sister of Indrani Mukerjea. Now, these things obviously would have made Sheena feel a certain way about her mother. Yes, she was being supported financially, but that was not enough. Indrani, throughout the documentary, sticks to the fact that she loved her kids and she never treated them poorly. 

What happened between Sheena and Rahul? 

Sheena and Rahul got very close to each other during the time the former was staying with Indrani in their Mumbai house. From the very onset, Indrani was against their alliance, and according to some people, it was because she knew that if Sheena got married, then she would have to tell the world that she was her daughter. But still, Sheena went ahead and got engaged to Rahul, and then on April 24, 2012, all of a sudden, she disappeared from Mumbai and was nowhere to be found. For 3 years after 2012, no formal inquiry or any sort of complaint was made, though Rahul continuously asked his father and Indrani about Sheena. They gave all sorts of strange answers, and if one just listened to the voice recordings of those calls, they would get to know that Indrani was lying or maybe intentionally hiding some fact. She clearly had more knowledge about the issue, and the discrepancies in between her answers and the reality made her motives clear to some extent. The prosecution claimed that Indrani impersonated Sheena until a year after her disappearance, as she didn’t want anybody to suspect her. Rahul received a message from Sheena’s phone saying that she wanted to break things off and that she was going away for some time. Even Vidhie, Indrani’s youngest daughter, received an email from a new ID that was allegedly made by Sheena. Vidhie went on record to say that it didn’t seem like it was Sheena who was writing it. Rahul proved to be the prosecution’s strongest witness, though Indrani’s lawyer tried to discredit his testimony in every way possible. After watching “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: The Buried Truth,” one can’t deny that it felt like Rahul was the only person who cared for Sheena, and after her disappearance, he was the only one who tried to find her. 

Is Sheena Bora dead or alive? 

Shyamvar Rai, Indrani’s driver, was caught with a gun in his possession, and he confessed to having conspired to kill Sheena Bora together with Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna. But obviously, Indrani’s lawyer, Ranjeet Sangle, refuted every argument, and the prosecution wasn’t able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what Rai was saying was the truth. The biggest breakthrough in the case was made when a dead body was found in the Raigad district. A DNA test was conducted, and as per the results, the skeletal remains did belong to Sheena Bora. Even Sheena’s passport was found which proved that she couldn’t have gotten out of India as Indrani and Peter claimed for the longest time.  At this juncture, one would feel that everything was plain and clear, but once again, Ranjeet Sangle questioned the credibility of the test, and he claimed that the results were not right. It is to be taken into consideration that the accused in this case is not a commoner, and it is a harsh truth that the system is rigged.

As of now, the skeletal remains are still lying in the court locker, and it has not been proved that they belong to the victim, who, in this case, is Sheena Bora. Indrani feels that Sheena is out there somewhere, but I personally feel it is a very preposterous claim, and she has no means to prove it. There is no solid, concrete evidence that can prove that Sheena is alive or dead, and apparently, she has become a ghost. Obviously, there is foul play involved, and no one, from Indrani to Peter, is as innocent as they are portraying them to be. Mikhael from the very onset believed that Sheena was killed by their mother, and there could be multiple reasons why they would have done so. He even went on record saying that there was a time when he felt that his life might also be in danger. Maybe it was a property matter, or maybe it had something to do with her marriage to Rahul but whatever it was, it is going to be very difficult for the court to come to a conclusion, though I personally hope that justice is served, and the truth comes to light. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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