Created 12th August 2005
Appeared: 2003 - 24 November 2004, may return
Married: was engaged to Dev Alahan
The Following Profile was submitted by Patricia Dempsey and is ©2004 to Patricia Dempsey & emmerdale.org
Maya Sharma first appeared in October 2003 when Dev Alahan went to see her on a legal matter. He was quite attracted to her and did everything he could to impress the solicitor, right down to wearing glasses to make out he was intelligent. After a while they began to date but life with Maya started to prove difficult. For a start, she was already seeing someone who was married. As far as she was concerned, it didn't matter since he was seeing Sunita, even though Sunita was actually planning her wedding to Ciaran. She said she'd stop seeing her lover if he dumped Sunita and to prove how much she meant to him by sacking her rival. He eventually gave in but was forced to back down when the wise Sunita went to see Maya for legal advice over her unfair dismissal case. She also got into debt and ended up losing her job after it came out she had been seeing male clients on the quiet. Dev, desperate not to lose her, asked her to move in with him. Maya became keen to become Mrs Alahan but Dev was evasive and went to work rather than discuss it. Later, Maya discussed the situation with Ciaran who told her about Dev's previous engagement to Geena. After a confrontation, Dev confessed his past relationships with the exception of Deirdre and Maya appeared satisfied. He thought he had finally found happiness but began to worry when Maya showed she liked to live dangerously. Not content with stealing an expensive vase from a shop then passing it on to Todd and Sarah as an engagement present already, she then, on the pretext of powdering her nose, left a restaurant, phoned Dev from the car, talked him into getting in and drove like a bat out of hell to the countryside. She only agreed to slow down if he would marry her. Dev was furious by her actions, even to the extent of ordering her to leave, but she won him round, though wasn't too happy when he phoned the restaurant to pay the bill with his credit card, and so put her behaviour down to merely high spirits. She always saw Sunita Parekh as a threat to her happiness with Dev however, especially after Sunita jilted Ciaran at the registry office at the end of the previous year, though enjoyed flaunting her engagement ring in front of her at every opportunity. She decided to keep a close eye on Sunita by volunteering to work with her in the shop. She opened a bottle of champagne but soon got tired of the job and moaned about everything.
By April, the reckless Maya showed how two-faced she could be when Dev began to act secretly. Convinced he was up to no good with Sunita and was lying about what was in a bag, she opened it to discover it full of stolen watches. When she confronted Dev, he admitted he was looking after them for his cousin Naveen. Maya couldn't understand how he could be so stupid since it was a crime and he could be caught. When the police did turn up at the shop, she managed to get Dev off the hook by pretending she was going to the gym and even offered the bag to them to search, which they declined, before walking out. More of Maya's irrational behaviour came to the fore when Monica, Tyrone's beloved dog, went missing. Maya mad no secret of the fact she hated the thing and Tyrone had been told she had last been seen around Maya. She naturally denied anything to do with it but at her engagement party to Dev, Tyrone burst in demanding to know what she'd done with Monica and calling her a dog killer. The guests were stunned. Even more so when she made a rather tasteless joke about the food. Not for the first time, Dev despaired at his fianceé's actions and demanded to know what happened to the dog. She told him she threw her in the canal with a brick tied around her neck, but was clearly joking while still denying she did anything. Things came to a head when Dev discovered Monica's name tag under the the front seat of Maya's car. He said they will look for Monica every night until she's found. Maya didn't seem to mind since they often didn't look long before she used her charms on him. She did begin to get pangs of conscience, however, and bought a Great Dane puppy as a replacement, leaving it outside the Duckworth's door in a basket. She watched from the distance as Tyrone found it, but he thought it was from Jack and Vera. Monica then turned up safe and well so, much to Maya's annoyance after spending so much for the pedigree pup, he gave Schmeichel to young Chesney Brown.
In June, she arranged a private health check for herself and Dev since she wanted to be sure at his age, she was marrying a healthy man. He initally didn't want to go but gave in as usual. They both got the all-clear or, at least, he thought he had. When he received a call asking him to go back, he began to worry. He went alone and was devastated to learn he needed more tests and may have bowel cancer. He couldn't bring himself to talk to Maya so turned instead to Sunita. Sunita was shocked he hadn't told his own fianceé what was happening and when he did, Maya walked out after discovering not only he could die, but also that he'd told her rival first. She returned the next day full of apologies and explanations, but vowed to stand by him if the news was bad. She began to get desperate to marry him and wanted to do it as soon as possible so booked a wedding abroad. Dev felt steamrollered but wanted to keep Maya happy. But then things got worse when Sunita collapsed in the shop. Maya was convinced her rival was faking and wasn't happy Dev accompanied Sunita to the doctor. After a few tests, the doctor wanted to refer Sunita to an endocrinologist. On learning how long things could take, he decided Sunita should go private and he would pay, which also did nothing to lessen Maya's insecurities. She put two and two together and came up with twenty and was convinced Sunita was pregnant with Dev's baby and all this secrecy could only mean an abortion. Dev spent far too much time with Sunita for Maya's liking and, using a key she had previously taken for Sunita's bag and had copied, let herself into the flat and saw Dev with his arm around her rival. She saw red and let rip. When Sunita told her she was ill with a brain tumour and an aneurysm and could die, Maya cheered up and put on a caring and apologetic act, right down to helping look after her. She wasn't thrilled when Dev announced he wanted to postpone the wedding because Sunita needed him but gritted her teeth and hoped her rival would die soon. She talked like a friend to Sunita, even hinting she was putting too much pressure on Dev since no one apart from the three of them knew what was wrong with her. Sunita thought and decided Maya was right and she would tell Shelley. Still determined to get her man out of Sunita's clutches, she made sure Ciaran overheard her discussing Sunita in the Rovers with Shelley. Ciaran rushed straight round, much to Dev's annoyance and Maya's delight but her plan failed since Dev was still by Sunita's side. She managed to drag Dev away from playing doctor so they could go on the holiday that should have been their wedding. After they returned, Sunita collapsed again. Maya was getting seriously fed up and accused her of doing it for attention. Dev had had enough. He couldn't fight his feelings any more and confessed his love to Sunita. She was happy in one way but not in another since he was still living with Maya and had told her he loved her too. She decided to move away. Dev had been so cruel and harsh to Maya instead of letting her down gently, she was afraid he could do that to her. Maya was devasted by the news, though had always suspected something had been going on. Before leaving, she wrecked his flat completely.
By September Dev and Sunita were engaged at last. But he was determined the woman he truly loved should wear his grandmother's ring. The only problem was, Maya still had it. He went to see her but she wanted money before he got it back. He paid her and presented the ring to Sunita, who turned it down, since, although it meant a lot to him, she couldn't wear it as an engagement ring since he gave it to Maya but might wear it on another finger. Maya's jealousy increased and one day she used her key to break into Sunita's flat where she stole her birth certificate and a gas bill. When she returned to a waiting car, a man named Walid called her Sunita. She tried to return it but was thwarted by Dev and Sunita in the flat so quickly left. Her next phase of revenge kicked into action when Dev hired Leanne Battersby to work at the shop. Leanne made advances to Dev and he sacked her on the spot so she took him to an industrial tribunal for secual harrassment after being convinced by Maya she had a good case. Sunita gradually began to doubt Dev's side of the story, which is what Maya hoped for. He was shocked when Maya walked in but the case was thrown out due to their trading insults. Leanne wasn't happy Maya had used her like that. Dev turned up at the office of her new job demanding to know what she was playing at. But it was no use arguing with her so he left. Immediately after that, she was in a registry office marrying illegal immigrant Walid under the name Sunita Parekh.
Pleased her plans are going so well by October, despite the set-back of the tribunal, she met Frankie Baldwin for lunch and to be filled in on the latest gossip. She was rather taken aback when a taxi driver she had used as a witness asked her how married life was. She bluffed her way out of it and Frankie thought nothing of it. She then went off to another wedding, again pretending to Frankie she was a guest.
Things were going fine at Dev and Sunita's sangeet in the Rovers until they had an uninvited guest. Maya tried talking to Ciaran about their lost loves but was disappointed when he said Dev and Sunita were made for each other. She took her glassful of wine over to the happy couple and deliberately spilled it over Sunita's dress. Shelley threw her out but she wasn't beaten yet. She had one more trick up her sleeve to ruin the bride and groom's big day.
The wedding arrived and Maya lurked around the temple wearing black, a traditional colour of bad luck. She was spotted and tried to get away. Dev had to delay the final part of the ceremony while he went to find out what was going on. When he heard Maya was there, he went to find her and tell her to go. Jayesh, Sunita's brother, became suspicious when he found them alone in the temple gardens. Dev went back inside, the ceremony completed and then the police arrived, arresting Sunita for marrying six illegal immigrants and Dev for being an illegal immigrant. Maya couldn't contain her glee as she watched them being carted off. She tried to ingratiate herself with Sunita's mother Mena, claiming to be Sunita's friend, yet also telling her about how Sunita jilted Ciaran, pretending to be pregnant by a married man to get him to leave his wife and stealing Dev from her. She offered to be Sunita's solicitor and gave Mena her card. When asked why she is being so helpful, Maya replied she knew Sunita was innocent. When Mena told people about Maya, she was warned to stay away from her because she was mad and hates Sunita. After they released Dev but charged Sunita, he went to Maya's in a rage but she appeared not to be in. After he drove away, she looked out of the window and breathed a sigh of relief. Later, as she took the rubbish out, he grabbed her. She delighted in this as he held her wrists, telling him to make it tighter so she can show the police the bruises. He let her go, not wanting to give her any more ammunition. She told him her problem was with him, not Sunita and despite his insistance the police will find something to prove his wife's innocence, Maya said they wouldn't and Sunita had stacked her last shelf. As she walked away back to the safety of her home, Dev hit the bins in frustration. As Dev talked to Emily in the shop, a smug Maya walked in and started making barbed comments about there being no honeymoon. Emily told Maya Sunita is innocent, to which Maya began making comment about old people having nothing better to do with their lives. Emily went on the defensive, informing Maya it may be not be a great place to live there but they look after their own before leaving. Maya didn't care and began to wind Dev up until he forcibly removed her from the shop. Seeing Janice and Sonia, she acted the victim as she was rescued then went to the police, telling them Dev used her legal knowledge and wanted her legal skills to put the wedding scam together. She said Sunita couldn't pull something like that off because she was too stupid. Dev was the brains behind it all. She told them he threatened to kill her in the street in front of witnesses but was afraid to make a statement because he was capable of doing anything. While he was taken in for questioning instead of visiting his wife, Maya went to the prison to see Sunita. She admitted she did it but they wouldn't be able to prove a thing, then taunted the already fragile girl that Dev won't sit and wait years for her.
Meanwhile, Frankie arrived back from a trip to London at the beginning of November and protested her friend's innocence and nothing anyone can say about the sainted Sunita would change her views. She arranged to meet Maya for lunch to catch up. Maya got suspicious when Frankie started talking about what happened to Dev and Sunita and asked if she was questioning her innocence. Frankie assured her she didn't believe she was guilty for a second and never trusted Sunita. Maya informed her she was thinking about a holiday herself, maybe to Italy, perhaps for good. Frankie worried and asked if she was joking. Maya lied and said she was. But then she began to gloat too much about Dev and Sunita, hoping Sunita would be in prison for a very long time, which set alarm bells ringing in Frankie's head. Later in the Rovers, Frankie overheard Dev telling Shelley and Mike about Maya's visit to Sunita in prison which made Frankie take the bull by the horns and tell them everything she knew. With the help of Patrick at Street Cars, Dev managed to track down the taxi driver who drove Maya to one of her weddings at the restaurant Frankie originally saw him. He refused to help, despite Dev's pleas and drove off. Seemingly beaten, he was surprised when Mena Parekh walked into the shop. Together they hatched a plan and got in his taxi. She told him to drive and gave him directions until they pulled up outside the prison. Mena managed to persuade him where Dev failed, but the driver insisted on no police. Later Mena arranged to meet Maya in the Rovers. Maya sensed something as Mena behaved oddly but Mena tried to dismiss it. When the driver arrived, Mena made a sudden excuse to leave, saying she had a dinner to go to. Things seemed to be working out fine and the driver picked out Maya as the woman he drove to the wedding calling herself Sunita. But Maya had the last laugh when she announced the identification was useless legally. She admitted what she did but pointed out there was nothing anyone could do about it then left. Things appeared hopeless even after Frankie told Dev about Maya's plans to leave for Italy that day. He went to the police station but they refused to do anything. Then they got a lucky break when a couple of policemen walk in with Walid. As Maya finished her packing pleased with herself for getting away with it, she took her case out to the car only to find Dev stood beside it. When the police arrived, she again made out she was the innocent party but they didn't listen and bundled her into the car. But things weren't going quite to plan. They brought her out of the interview room and she acted like the cat who got the cream. However, at the same time, Walid was brought out of his interview room and immediately asked 'Sunita' what was going on, begging her to tell them they were legally married. She tried denying all knowledge of him but now the police and Dev were the smug ones. Her arrest led to Sunita being freed and taking up her rightful place as Mrs Alahan. While they came to terms with events and tried to get on with their lives, Maya was far from finished with her revenge on the happy couple.
Towards the end of November, she returned. Dev's shops inexcplicably blew up and while Dev was racing from shop to shop, Maya was lurking outside the flat. Dev realised who was behind it all and phoned his wife anxiously. As she answered, Maya attacked her and he helplessly heard his wife screming before Maya picked up the receiver and told him not to call the police. When he got there, the flat was empty but she'd left a clue in lipstick on the dining table, pointing him to the corner shop. He went there and as he tried to rescue Sunita who was chained to the cooker and gagged, Maya hit him from behind then tied him up. She made it very clear everything she had done already wasn't anywhere near enough and pretended to be
Sunita when the police called. But the officer wouldn't leave and told her he'd stay in the car, so she had to bide her time until he left in the morning. Unbeknownst to her, Dev had a knife hidden up his sleeve and when she left after turning on the gas and removing the knobs so it couldn't be turned off, he cut his leg bonds free and tried to save himself and Sunita. Meanwhile downstairs in the shop, she made a pile of boxes then set them on fire by burning Dev and Sunita's wedding photos before letting herself out. After a short while, she stopped her car in Rosamund Street to watch the action but was angry when she spotted Ciaran carrying Dev into the street. But she wasn't too disheartened since there was no sign of Sunita so she thought half her plan had worked until Charlie carried her into the street safe too. Her obsession with the Alahans got the better of her and she drove the car straight for them but they got out of the way, the car skidded and crashed into the viaduct. She sat up, reversed and kept her eyes firmly on them, not seeing in her rear view mirror a lorry heading straight for her, which crashed into the back of the car and sent the it into the viaduct again with great force. She was taken to intensive care with a police officer guarding her and no one knew if she would live or die.
Several weeks later it was revealed in a throwaway line Maya was now in prison awaiting trial.
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