Mumbai-born Raina is from Srinagar.
Sanjay, then a resident of the posh Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar, did his schooling at the prestigious Burn Hall School, Sanawar, and later shifted to Delhi where he graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa.
An alumnus of the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, this former Oberoi and Hyatt Regency executive is now a professional singer, and runs an entertainment company, Teamcore4, out of India and Australia.
Teamcore4 also organises events in New Zealand and Fiji.
Pushkar had married Raina when she was still in college, studying at Government College for Women in Srinagar in the late 1980s, against the wishes of her parents, who had wanted her to complete her studies and launch herself into a professional career. She later did a hotel management course and briefly worked in a hotel in Srinagar. The marriage broke up within a year, in early 1990s. Raina, after divorce with Pushkar, has remarried.
Sanjay and Sunanda’s families migrated from Kashmir after the onset of militancy two decades ago.
After her divorce, Sunanda married a Kerala businessman, Sujeet Menon, who was a dealer in firefighting equipments and a Dubai-based event manager.
Menon was in India when he died in a road accident in Delhi. Sunanda has a son from Menon, who is now 15 years old.
Sanjay too remarried, and has a son, now in his teens. He and his family are now based in Delhi and his event management company organises entertainment shows in Australia.
Sanjay’s website, which describes him as the “raja of remixes”, states: “Sanjay Raina is one of India’s lead stage performer and pop singer. He is also a compère and heads an event management company. Sanjay released his first album Balle Balle Shera, the first Punjabi rap album, which was a hit.”
After their divorce, Sanjay’s family did not maintain any relation with Sunanda and they want to remain out of this controversy.
Meanwhile, her father, Lt Col (retired) Poshkar Nath Dass, who chased away reporters at his residence in Jammu, appealed to the media to respect Sunanda’s privacy. “Sunanda has gone through many ordeals and faced a troubled life. She should be left alone,” her father told a news agency.
“Please leave her alone. We have finally got her settled after great effort. We do not want any more trouble for her. Please understand the agony of a father. My daughter has suffered a lot in the past. I want her life to be a happy one devoid of troubles,” he said, adding, “The media should not forcibly chase us for statements.”
Sunanda's ex-hubby Sanjay Raina says he has 'moved on'Sunanda Pushkar's first husband is on a song, quite literally. And Sanjay Raina, the self- proclaimed 'Raja of Remixes' who has cut 10 albums, is in no mood to talk about the life he once shared with the woman who is now best known as Shashi Tharoor's 'good friend'. "I knew her over 20 years ago," said Raina, a Delhi-based hotelier-turned-pop singer, in his deep baritone over the phone from Melbourne, where he is away on work.
"The world has changed since then. I don't want to be associated with her in any way. I had even forgotten what she looks like, I am very pleased about the fact that we are not in touch anymore," he added.
Clearly uncomfortable with his name appearing in media biographies of Pushkar, Raina said, "Why am I being dragged into the controversy? Neither have I made Rs 70 crore, nor am I a politician. For the last 10 years, I am happy to be in the news for my own work. I don't need publicity because of Sunanda in any way."
Not surprisingly, Raina said, " Speaking about my past damages my present life. What's happened has been done and dealt with. It's of no interest to me." This is a man who has clearly moved on.
He said he could prove that contrary to reports and claims by Sunanda, it was he who had divorced her and not the other way round.
“I do not want to defame her. But if I feel the need, I may come out and speak to the media about a few things,” he said.
Raina made an appeal for privacy, saying: “Understandably, I have been inundated with media calls. But please do appreciate that after my divorce with Sunanda, I moved on and remarried. I want to protect my wife and child from the media lens.”
But he was keen to correct bits of information that have been published about him and his ex-wife. “For one, I am not the father of her 13-year-old child. We separated in the mid-’80s within a couple of years of our marriage. So, a simple (calculation) will prove that the child is not mine,” he said.
“The couple shifted to Dubai, where Sujit organised a Malayalam superstar’s show that turned out to be a financial disaster for him. Sujit returned home to Kerala alone and later met a tragic end in an accident in Delhi. Sunanda moved to Toronto for some time and later returned to the UAE where she now stays,” said a Mumbai-based fashion designer who knows Sunanda.