Killed designer was planning to learn pottery, buy villa in Goa

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 16, 2018, 08.38 PM (IST)

Bahadur, the domestic help of fashion designer Mala Lakhani, who was killed along with her, would always tell her that "we will die together", Mala's elder sister Aarti said while waiting outside the mortuary at Safdarjung Hospital.

Family members said Mala, who ran a boutique called Tulsi Creations in Green Park, had been planning to retire from designing to learn pottery and buy a villa in Goa.

The words of Bahadur now almost seem prophetic, she said. 

The bodies of 50-year-old Bahadur and 53-year old Mala, whom he treated like his sister, were found in her home in south Delhi's upmarket Vasant Kunj Enclave locality.

They were brutally stabbed to death by her tailor and his two accomplices at her following a dispute over unpaid dues.

"Bahadur would always joke that he will die along with Mala since he has been with us since our childhood. It's unfortunate that they both were killed so brutally," Aarti said.

Remembering him, Aarti said he was like a brother to them. Bahadur, a Nepalese national, had been with them for the last 45 years. 

"He was an integral part of our family. He would be angry and instruct us like a brother," she said.

Aarti's husband Rahul Sharma recalled Bahadur as a very emotional person and remembered how he would call them by their first name.

"He would take care of the house and of everyone of us. We trusted him. He would hardly keep a tab on his salary which was usually deposited in his bank account," Sharma said.

Recalling Mala, Sharma said she wanted to get out of her monotonous life.

"She wanted to enjoy her life. She had made enough money and now wanted to travel the world. She had become healthier and took lot of care about her skin and looks," Sharma said.

The accused after killing Mala and Bahadur, ransacked the house but later surrendered to the police and confessed to the crime.

Aarti said Mala was the one who always ensured that the family stayed united.

"We were the best sisters. We would do anything for each other. In fact, Mala kept the entire family united. She would always take that effort to call us and make plans. Our family is finished," she said.

She was religious person and had recently started going to a gurudwara. She was also interested in singing, Aarti said.

Mala was planning to leave designing and wanted to retire and pursue other interest, she said.

"Mala was planning to learn pottery and for that she was planning to buy a villa in Goa. She and my elder daughter were planning to shift to Goa. My sister and daughter were like buddies. They were very close to each other", Aarti said.