Asha was born on 13th January 2006, the younger of the twins. In February of that year, Sunita still hadn't got back together with Dev and decided to leave the Street with the twins. In late 2009, the twins returned when Sunita resumed her relationship with Dev.
In April 2013, the twins lost their mother when Sunita died from her injuries following a fire in the Rovers Return Inn - the fire being started by her ex-boyfriend Karl Munro, who also turned off her life support machine in Weatherfield General.
As she grew into a teenager, Asha began to struggle with her own body image and after a visit to India in 2019 began using dangerous skin lightening cream. When Dev discovered the truth, Asha began attending counselling to deal with her issues.
Asha currently works part-time at Prima Doner while continuing her education at Weatherfield High. Following a video of Asha undressing for her crush, Corey Brent, being spread around the pupils by Kelly Neelan, Dev was dissatisfied by headteacher Mr Griffin's response, and enrolled Asha and Aadi into Oakhill School.
2006-2009: Early years
Asha is one of the twins born to Dev and Sunita Alahan in January 2006 along with her brother Aadi. Before the birth, Sunita had learnt that Dev had fathered children by several different women. Devastated, she left Dev after deciding she could no longer trust him and had even considered having a termination rather than be a single mother.
Dev had hoped for a reunion once the twins were born but after initially allowing him in the delivery room, Sunita barred him from all contact and only accepted help from him when he was too exhausted to refuse. Seeing how well Dev coped, Sunita briefly flirted with the idea of a reunion but was furious when she discovered Dev had registered the births behind her back and realising she still couldn't trust him, took the twins and moved back in with her family.
Sunita subsequently divorced Dev, but they kept in regular contact. By December 2009 she was engaged to Matt Davis and living with him in a nice house in Bramhall. Matt had taken on the responsibility of the twins and they quickly became comfortable with him as a father figure.
2010-2018: Growing up and losing a mother
After Dev discovered Sunita's engagement, he began making visits to her house and trying to spend more time with the twins, not wanting them to forget their father. In January 2010, Asha fell ill and Sunita feared that she had meningitis after discovering she had spots and high temperature. Dev rushed to her side and although a Doctor from the Medical Centre confirmed it was just a virus, the incident brought them closer together. Shortly afterwards, Sunita ended her engagement to Matt and resumed her relationship with Dev and by March they were living together with the twins at Dev's Victoria Court flat. Another move soon followed to 7 Coronation Street where the Alahans made their family home.
The family unit was disrupted in July 2012 after Sunita's affair with Karl Munro was exposed, leading Dev to move out and Karl to move in with her and the children at No.7. The twins did not like Karl very much and Sunita soon got fed up of his laziness and regretted throwing away her marriage for him. By March 2013, Dev and Sunita were on the brink of another reunion and leaving for a fresh start away from Weatherfield when Sunita was critically injured in a fire at the Rovers Return. After a couple of weeks, Sunita died in hospital and it later transpired that Karl was responsible for the fire and removing her breathing tubes.
Dev struggled to cope with the twins alone but Mary Taylor offered him a helping hand and soon became a 'nanny' to the children. Several girlfriends came and went over the next few years- including Julie Carp, Erica Holroyd and Gina Seddon but Mary remained a constant in Asha and Aadi's lives.
2019-: Body image struggles
In 2019, Asha began to rebel against Dev, such as sneaking out to a party he had forbidden her from going to. Dev assumed this was down to teenage hormones and believed an extended visit to India to stay with family would be beneficial. When they returned, Asha was more withdrawn and began spending a lot of time in her bedroom and when she did go outside, she remained covered in long clothing. When Asha returned to school in September, best friend Amy became increasingly concerned about her, especially after discovering a bloodstain on her sleeve. When Amy confronted Asha, believing she was self-harming, Asha revealed that she had actually been using a skin bleaching product in the hope of making her skin lighter. Amy was horrified by Asha's burnt skin and Asha assured her she would stop to prevent her telling Dev but secretly continued applying the cream.
Running out of the product, Asha was desperate for money to get some more, even accepting Dev's ultimatum that she would have to work for extra money at the kebab shop, but when he refused her an advance on her wages she resorted to stealing his credit card to buy some more lightening cream but Dev soon discovered the fraud. When confronted, Asha lied that she had used the money to buy makeup and Dev furiously grounded her but his suspicions were aroused when a package arrived for her and opened it, discovering the skin lightening cream and ripped posters of light-skinned Bollywood actresses off Asha's wall in anger. Realising that Asha was full of self-loathing, Dev took her to Dr Gaddas who recommended counselling sessions. At the same time Asha began a relationship with schoolmate Corey Brent.
Corey later ended the relationship but Asha still liked him and in an attempt to impress him, undressed during an online video chat, which he recorded. Fellow schoolmate Kelly Neelan later became aware of the video's existence and after a disagreement at a party held by Amy, in which Asha refused to stick up for Kelly, she spitefully shared it on social media. Asha was dealt a further blow when she learnt the video had been uploaded to a porn site. Asha even became desperate to leave Weatherfield High because of the incident but was persuaded not to be Dev.
Asha and Aadi were both quiet and well-mannered children and loyal to their father, although less so to his revolving door of girlfriends. In her teen years, Asha grew more outspoken and rebellious although this was masking a great deal of self-consciousness and discomfort about her body, which was further provoked by bullying at school. Asha is a resourceful girl and can often convince the more placid Aadi to cover for her when she wants to hide something from Dev.
Asha and Aadi were conceived as part of Sunita Alahan's exit story in 2006 after actress Shobna Gulati was axed from the programme. Both Asha and Aadi were played by triplets Hannah, Harris & Ria Ahmed in 2006. Since the character's return in 2009, Asha has been played by Tanisha Gorey. Gorey was born in 2002 in Oldham and Asha was her first professional acting role. As child characters, the Alahan twins didn't take on many of their own storylines and appeared less frequently than contemporary child characters like Amy and Simon Barlow.
Asha's first major storyline came in 2019 when it was announced that Coronation Street would be tackling the subject of self-esteem issues and the use of skin lightening products among Asian girls and women through Asha. Speaking to Digital Spy about the storyline, Gorey said: "knew nothing about these skin lightening creams really, I’d heard it happened but I had no idea it was as common as it actually is. I want to make sure I do it justice because if you’re going to cover such a serious issue, which is not shown a lot, then you need to do it in the right way. I’m really looking forward to taking it on and hopefully help educate other young girls about it. It’s all about self-esteem."
Extending the focus on body image and self-esteem, Asha's next storyline revolved around the aftermath of sexting and revenge porn. On the development of the story, Tanisha Gorey said: "I first found out what would happen in a conversation with the show's story editor. At that point, they weren't sure of the exact details – whether it'd be a picture or a video – but it was always going to be focused on sexting and then the online trolling that Asha suffers in the aftermath." Producer Iain MacLeod added: "It certainly has a way to go. It's part of a long-term direction for Asha as a struggle with her self-esteem."
Aadi and Asha appear to have been aged up a year at some point since their 2009 return. This is evidenced by their 10th birthday taking place in January 2015 and their first year at Weatherfield High starting in September 2016.
First and last lines
"We're not asleep." (First line, to father Dev)
List of addresses
|15a Coronation Street||16th January 2006 to 1st February 2006|
|7 Meadow View, Bramhall||Unknown to 26th March 2010|
|9 Victoria Court||26th March 2010 to 31st May 2010|
|7 Coronation Street||31st May 2010 to present|
|Assistant||Prima Doner||30th September 2019 to present|