When Sunita fled to England from Mumbai to avoid an arranged marriage, Dev Alahan gave her shelter until the wedding date had passed. As a result of her actions, Sunita was disowned by her parents so Dev offered her a full-time job at the Corner Shop. In 2003, she planned to marry Ciaran McCarthy, but called it off at the last minute when she realised Ciaran didn't really want her as his wife.
The following year, Sunita was diagnosed with a brain tumour and Dev stepped up in order to take care of her. They fell in love and Dev ended his relationship with Maya Sharma to be with her. Sunita was successfully treated and married Dev, but the couple were targeted by a vengeful Maya who held the Alahans hostage, planning to burn them alive in the Corner Shop. The pair were rescued by Ciaran and Charlie Stubbs in the nick of time.
In 2006, Sunita gave birth to twins Aadi and Asha. By this point, the Alahans' perfect family life had already been ruined when Sunita discovered that Dev had numerous other children which he had kept secret from her. The pair divorced with Sunita getting custody of the twins and their house in Bramhall. In 2010, she broke an engagement to Matt Davis to get back with Dev, and the family moved into 7 Coronation Street, but she refused to marry him again despite several proposals.
In 2012, she left the shop to work at the Rovers and began an affair with Karl Munro. Once this transitioned into a full-blown relationship, the appeal wore off and both parties attempted to return to their partners. Sunita witnessed Karl torching the Rovers in order to frame Jason Grimshaw for dodgy electrics, and as a result he left her to die in the burning building. She survived, but Karl dislodged her breathing tubes in hospital to finish the job.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Background information
- 5 First and last lines
- 6 Appendices
- 7 See also
Sunita was born in 1978 to parents Suresh and Mena Parekh. She had worked for Dev Alahan at one of his shops in Swinton, Greater Manchester. In March 2001 she had called upon Dev when her parents tried to get Sunita into an arranged marriage with a man called Deepak. Dev took her in and allowed her to stay at the Corner Shop until the flight to India had left. She explained to her parents that she didn't want to marry Deepak, but they put it off to pre-wedding nerves and warned her she should marry him, or never talk to the family again. Sunita still refused to marry him, and started a new life in Weatherfield when Dev gave her a job at his Corner Shop on Coronation Street.
In 2003, Sunita started dating Peter Barlow's navy mate Ciaran McCarthy but he was taken to prison for being absent from the navy without permission. He returned after a few months just as Dev was finally beginning to return Sunita's affections. Ciaran moved in on her and managed to win her back. At Peter's wedding to Shelley Unwin, Ciaran asked Sunita to marry him and they set a date for 29th December and planned to marry at the registry office. Ciaran really didn't want to get married but couldn't find a way to tell Sunita. At his stag do, he thumped rival Dev hoping to be put in jail but Dev didn't press charges. Tracy Barlow told Sunita anyway, and told her that Ciaran didn't want to get married. Ciaran said he did but at the registry office Sunita knew down deep he didn't want to and called off the wedding.
In 2004, Sunita went out with Danny Baldwin but she found out he was married to Frankie, so Sunita dumped him. In July, Dev found out that something was wrong with Sunita. When she collapsed on the shop floor, Dev took her to the doctors and he told her that she had an aneurysm and a brain tumour.
2003-2004: Mad Maya
Later Maya Sharma, Dev's girlfriend, began to suspect something was wrong, so she took Sunita's flat key to see what she could find in the bathroom. She found a pregnancy kit. Then when Dev and Sunita were in the flat, Maya let herself in and saw them hugging each other. Maya thought Sunita was pregnant, but Dev told Maya that Sunita had a brain tumour.
In August, Dev told Sunita that he still loved her and when he told Maya she left him then came to Dev's flat to get her things but before leaving she trashed his flat. Sunita had to go to hospital to have an operation to remove the tumour, but when Maya came back, she tried to get Dev done for sexual harassment by getting Leanne Battersby to try and bed him. Leanne took Dev to court and asked Maya to help her, but Leanne and Maya lost the case.
In October, Dev and Sunita were going to get married but Maya broke into the shop flat and got hold of Sunita's birth certificate and married seven illegal immigrants in Sunita's name to try and stop them from getting married. Sunita was arrested and sent to prison, but Dev managed to sort out the mess and Maya was arrested, however she was released on bail. Maya went around burning all of Dev's shops and took Sunita hostage in the Coronation Street shop flat and set fire to it with Dev and Sunita in the flat. They were both saved by Charlie Stubbs but Maya saw all and tried to run both of them down with her car. A truck crashed into the back of her car and Maya was sent to hospital.
2005-2006: Birth of the twins
Sunita recovered from her ordeal and she and Dev settled down to married life which went pretty smoothly for a while. Sunita discovered she was pregnant with twins and they were overjoyed. She had recently fallen out with best friend Shelley because Shelley's boyfriend Charlie Stubbs was controlling and isolating Shelley but shortly after Shelley dumped Charlie, she and Sunita made up. Shelley was looking forward to being a surrogate auntie to the babies.
Sunita's world came down around her when she discovered that Dev had several children by several different women whom he had housed and given jobs at his various shops. She was devastated and left Dev. However he was present when the twins, a boy, Aadi and a girl, Asha were born, but Sunita didn't know if she could ever trust him again.
2009-2012: Back with Dev
In December 2009, upon Dev seeing golfing associate Matt Davis with his children, Dev confronted Matt. Matt reluctantly told Dev that he and Sunita were engaged and that Sunita was hoping to tell Dev herself. Infuriated, and possibly jealous, Dev went to see Sunita. She was genuinely sorry that he had found out that way but assured Dev that Matt was not trying to replace him. Dev wasn't convinced and confronted Matt, accusing him of doing so. Sunita, very angry at him, ordered Dev to leave.
The following January, Dev held a party for the twins at his flat in Victoria Court. Sunita was pleased with the way he looked after the twins. Matt was jealous that Sunita was starting to feel something for Dev, which lead to him being suspicious of Sunita. Unable to bear Dev's presence in their lives, Matt and Sunita's relationship ended as Dev and Sunita became closer, resulting in them getting back together. Sunita was now regularly seen working and helping Dev in the Corner Shop. In May, unhappy with Victoria Court, Sunita managed to convince Dev that they should buy 7 Coronation Street from Maria Connor. Dev reluctantly agreed to Sunita's wishes, they sold the house in Bramhall and their offer on No.7 was accepted by Maria.
In August 2010, Sunita was horrified when she found Aadi unconscious on the couch. She immediately rushed him to hospital, where they learned that a head injury was evident. Sunita and Dev believed that Claire Peacock, who had been babysitting Aadi, was to blame. After some nasty confrontations with the Peacocks, they were shocked when young Simon Barlow confessed that he was responsible for Aadi's injury. Sunita felt extremely guilty that they accused Claire of child abuse, but her attempts at an apology were quickly dismissed by Claire and husband Ashley, who were disgusted that the residents turned against her.
On 6th December 2010, Sunita planned to attend Leanne Battersby's hen party at the Rovers. However, Dev was also invited to Peter Barlow's stag do at The Joinery but - due to Molly Dobbs's sudden resignation - one of them would be required to work that night. The pair decided that the only way to fairly choose who would attend their party would be by tossing a coin, to which Dev won after correctly choosing heads and Sunita stayed behind to work. That night a gas explosion at The Joinery caused a tram to derail and crash onto the street - destroying both the Corner Shop and The Kabin in the process. Sunita, along with Molly and her baby son Jack, was left fighting for her life after becoming trapped in the shop's ruins. Fortunately, Sunita was found by Becky McDonald - who had been searching for her nephew Max Turner at the time of the incident - and she was able to locate Dev to alert him about Sunita's predicament. Dev, with assistance from Ciaran, managed to free Sunita from the rubble and she was taken away in an ambulance - where in time she made a full recovery. While baby Jack was also rescued, Molly wasn't as lucky and perished in the disaster. Meanwhile, Becky returned to the shop - in order to steal from the cash register - after discovering that Max hadn't actually gone missing but had been taken by his wayward mother Kylie Turner who now requested £5,000 for his safe return.
Closer to Christmas Becky decided to turn the Rovers into a Winter Wonderland and invited the Alahan family to join the festivities. However, the mood was ruined later that day when Dev discovered that the shop had been robbed during the night of the tram crash. Unbeknown to Sunita, the shop wasn't insured and Dev had been secretly struggling to find the cash in order to pay Owen Armstrong for the repairs. By February 2011, Sunita started to realise that something was amiss when Dev began acting shifty around Owen and - thinking that he was simply working too hard to get the shop reopened - suggested a holiday only to be snapped at by Dev.
That same month the shop was reopened and Sunita bravely reentered for the first time since her ordeal, but behind the scenes Owen threatened Dev saying that he needed paying with a cheque by the end of the day. When Sunita found the bank statements, that Dev had been hiding from her, she was left horrified to discover that the shop had no insurance and that they could face losing their house in order to pay Owen off for the repairs. Despite Dev being full of apologises, Sunita was furious over his deception - especially when he admitted that his other businesses had been struggling.
After looking at the business accounts for all of Dev's shops, Sunita decreed that the only way they would be able to stay afloat would be to sell all of the businesses except for the Corner Shop and Prima Doner. While Dev agreed that Sunita was right, he was devastated at the prospect of losing his business empire and attempted to ask Steve McDonald for a loan of £5,000 instead. Steve, who was aware that his wife Becky had stolen from the shop, sympathised with Dev but confessed that he too was having financial problems and was unable to give him a loan. However, later that night Steve attended a casino with Becky, Lloyd Mullaney and Cheryl Gray where he won thousands playing blackjack.
In June 2011, Sunita's aunts Grishma and Upma returned to visit her. They were surprised and shocked at where the couple were now living, Dev's financial troubles, and found out that she and Dev were no longer married. They soon started an unsuccessful search to find their niece a husband. Having had enough, Dev proposed to Sunita in the Rovers, but she declined, insisting that she and Dev were fine as they were and that the proposal was just a way of proving a point to her aunts.
2012-2013: Affair with Karl Munro
In 2012, Sunita started an affair with Karl Munro, who was already in a relationship with Stella Price. Sunita was employed by Stella at the Rovers after she'd got bored with working in the Corner Shop and was looking for a new lease of life. The affair continued over the next few months. When Sunita looked after money that Karl won through gambling, the children found it giving Dev cause to become suspicious of Sunita. The couple split again and Sunita moved into the Rovers with Stella and Karl, although Karl was worried that she would reveal their affair. He told Sunita that he loved Stella and ended it. Sunita later returned to Dev and the pair announced their engagement, but in July 2012, Sunita got worried about the upcoming wedding. When alone with Karl in the Rovers, she deleted the text on his phone from Stella who was returning, and after shutting up the bar started flirting with Karl and they got undressed in the bar, just as Stella and her daughters Eva and Leanne entered. Karl and Sunita were thrown out, with Stella hitting Sunita. Dev allowed her to remain at No.7 with the children while he moved into the Corner Shop flat and Sunita moved Karl into the house to stay with her.
Over the next few months, Sunita got fed up with Karl's lazing around the household and realised that he wasn't the man she was hoping for. When he found out that she deleted the text from Stella and lost his temper, she threw him out and had the locks changed.
2013: The Rovers' fire and death
In 2013, Sunita realised that she missed having Dev and wanted him back. Sophie Webster set up a meeting for Sunita and Dev at Nick's Bistro to talk things over, and Sunita revealed that she would like another chance, but Dev turned her down as he didn't want to be humiliated again. However, he ultimately decided to give her another chance but Sunita revealed that she would like to move away from Weatherfield for a fresh start, as she felt that she couldn't move on from her affair with Karl due to the neighbours judging her. Dev agreed, and they decided to sell up and move away with the children. They celebrated in the Rovers and announced their plans, but Stella took Dev to one side and told him that he would be making a mistake taking Sunita back. Dev approached Sunita in the Corner Shop and questioned her about whether she still loved him. He then left, and Sunita was angry when she found out that Stella had been talking to Dev, storming into the Rovers to have it out with Stella, but then left after some exchanges.
Sunita began drinking at the Bistro during a Full Monty show night. After having too many drinks, she had it out with Stella accusing her of being nosy and always interfering in other people's lives, and she was removed from the Bistro. While in the back yard of No.7, she spotted Karl heading to the Rovers and followed him. She found him setting fire to the cellar, and after a struggle with Karl she fell down the stairs. Karl panicked and left her. She woke up in the blaze and tried to escape, but collapsed in the back room of the pub. Sunita was eventually saved by fire brigade and taken to hospital, however she was in a coma.
A couple of weeks after the fire, Sunita started showing signs of improvement. However, Karl sneaked into her hospital room and began blaming her for everything that had happened. She opened her eyes to see Karl looking down at her. He then dislodged her tube and disappeared before medical staff arrived to treat her. Despite their best efforts, Sunita died.
Sunita was initially suspected as the fire starter, that is until September that year when Karl was exposed as the arsonist, as well as being responsible for her death.
- Sunita was introduced as a new Asian character in 2001 and to be involved in an arranged marriage storyline. She was given a link to established character Dev Alahan as she had worked at one of his shops. The character caused criticism in the press for being a negative racial steryotype, however was defended by the Coronation Street production team and actress Shobna Gulati herself.
- Shobna Gulati made her first appearance on-screen as Sunita in Episode 5007 (23rd March 2001), however the character's voice was heard in the previous episode and was credited as her first appearance.
- In 2005, Sunita was axed along with several other characters by producer Tony Wood, and left the series in February 2006. In May 2009, it was reported that Sunita was reintroduced by producer Kim Crowther. The character made her return in December that year.
- In February 2013, Shobna Gulati, who plays Sunita, revealed she intended to finally quit the role of Sunita. Her exit tied with the Rovers Return fire, and Sunita passed away in April 2013, two weeks after the fire episodes.
First and last lines
"Is that you Dev? I'm in the shower. Oh, help yourself to some wine... I got it to say thanks for last night... you were amazing!" (First line)
"Help me someone please, someone!" (Final line)