Sunita Alahan (née Parekh), was an employee at Dev Alahan's Swinton branch. She fled when she found she was being forced into an arranged marriage in Mumbai, India with Deepak, the son of family friends. Sunita sought help from Dev, who sheltered her in the Corner Shop flat until the date of her flight had passed. When her parents found out they were furious and her domineering mother Mena made it a choice - an arranged marriage with her family's blessing or defy her family and never see them again. Sunita chose to determine her own future.
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 takes her in and allows her to stay at the Corner Shop until the flight to India has left. She explains to her parents she doesn't want to marry Deepak, but they put it off to pre-wedding nerves and warns her she should marry him, or never talk to the family again. Sunita still refuses to marry him, and starts a new life in Weatherfield when Dev gives 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 aneurism and a brain tumour.
2003-2004: Mad MayaEdit
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 an aneurism and 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 aneurism and the brain 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.
2004-2009: Married and birth of the twinsEdit
In October, Dev and Sunita were going to get married but Maya broke in to 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 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. 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 DevEdit
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 Clair and husband Ashley, who were disgusted that the residents turned against her.
On 6th December 2010, a gas explosion at The Joinery bar caused a tram to derail and crash into the Corner Shop and The Kabin. Sunita, along with Molly Dobbs and her baby son Jack were left buried under the rubble fighting for their lives. Sunita was then rescued from the carnage after Becky McDonald found her alive but with serious injuries. She made a full recovery and returned home to her family.
In February 2011, Sunita was shocked when Dev revealed that he has been using their savings to pay for the shop refit, as it wasn't insured. They faced financial ruin as the shop was looted on the night of the tram crash by Becky McDonald and they had no more money left, since Dev's other businesses had also been struggling. Becky's husband Steve felt guilty about the Alahans' predicament and secretly posted a letter full of money with the word "sorry" written on the front. They found the money the next morning with Dev wanting to inform the police but Sunita refused and told him that they wouldn't be able to give it to Owen Armstrong to finish rebuilding the shop. Sunita then convinced Dev to give the money to Owen and the shop was completed. Later that day, Steve confessed that it was he who stole the money from the shop and Dev kicked him out of the house.
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 MunroEdit
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 deathEdit
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 on 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 being in a coma, 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 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 linesEdit
"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)