Monica Ghurde, 39-year-old perfume specialist came into the media news after her body was found lying nude on her bed with her arms tied on to the bed posts. She was brutally murdered in her rented apartment at Sangolda-Goa. She lived alone there as she was estranged from her photographer husband, several years older to her. According to the sources, her neighbors alarmed at her not responding to calls entered the house with a spare key kept with them. They discovered her body on the bed. There are several facts unearthed about her after her death. Goa Prism has created a comprehensive report on her lifestyle and her stay in Goa. Read the complete report here.
According to the information provide by the sources in the Goa Police, the kitchen sink had two unwashed plates, suggesting the presence of another man. Ghurde, a nationally famed perfume specialist, had been living in a rented three bedroom flat in Sapna Raj Valley, Sangolda-Goa, since July this year. She had shifted there from adjoining Porvorim where shelived earlier in the Defense colony.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Vimal Anand Gupta said, the body was found with her hands tied to the back of the bed while her body was naked and her clothes were on the bed. “We are not ruling out the possibility of rape but the layout indicates that she was strangulated to death as rest of the things appear intact,” the DIG said.
Adding to that he said that the killer must have been known to Ghurde as robbery has been ruled out and the entry into the flat was not by force. He said police teams have been sent in different directions based on the leads which they have gathered in the day-long investigation.
Ghurde (39) is a native of Nagpur-Maharashtra and was married to Bharat Ram Amrutam (59) who is a native of Tamil Nadu. According to information they met in Mumbai and started living in Chennai where both were working for their own private firms. Amrutam is a well-known professional photographer and Ghurde initially worked with him as a photographer.
In 2011 they shifted to Goa and in the last one year the relationship had got estranged and Ghurde had begun to live independently. According to the neighbors, Monica was working on perfume research and experiments from her flat and she would visit a factory in Pilerne to use a lab when needed.
Meanwhile, a night club owner and a popular man on Goa’s page 3 party circuit Nandan Kudchadkar, met Monica by chance at Café Coffee Day at Porvorim, on the NH 17 highway on Wednesday afternoon between 12 and 1, less than an hour before she was seen coming back to her apartment by the security guard. According to the guard, she did not leave the apartment after that.
According to the sources, Kudchadkar said, “She walked in wearing a white top and black trousers and I greeted her and asked her about her husband. She informed that she had separated from him. She seemed to be in a hurry.”
Saligao Sarpanch Eknath Oraskar, who was with Kudchadkar at the same time, said that she walked in and also met a middle-aged man, slightly bald. He also added that she looked extremely tensed and could not focus on any conversation as she kept repeating that she was busy. She then left the place and so did the man.
Ghurde had graduated in graphic design and photography from JJ Institute of Applied Arts in Mumbai and practiced photography for over a decade before getting into perfumery. She later moved to Chennai and took up yoga and meditation before taking up perfume research and moving to Goa. Ghurde who accidentally discovered her nose for scents studied the art of perfumery in 2009 under an English perfumer at Picot Laboratories in the UK. Gourde who traveled in South East Asia and Europe became an independent perfumer in Goa. She conducted research programs, art projects, fragrance development projects and workshops to educate people about the sense of smell through her initiative.
Ghurde had also split with her husband Bharath Ramamrutham. In 2005, along with Ramamrutham, she co-founded Graf, a multi-disciplinary design and publishing company. After the split, she’d moved into her own place and was looking forward to a new phase in life.
Tasneem Mehta, director of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, where Ghurde had recently held a workshop, was shocked to learn about the incident. “I had met her at a dinner party where she told me about her perfume workshops and the idea of smell invoking creativity. I was impressed with her dedication towards getting people to understand what that process involved,” said Mehta.
The body of Monika has been sent to the GMC for the postmortem which is expected to be received by the police on Saturday. We will keep you updated as the process in the case takes place. The police have not yet detained anybody in this case and further investigations are in progress.