Created 26th August 2004
Appeared: 2003 - 2004
Married: was engaged to Dev Alahan
The corner shop owner has been desperately worried about his health since a routine check-up showed he might have developed bowel cancer.
Poor Dev only went for a check-up on the instructions of volatile fiancée Maya Sharma. She wanted to ensure they were both in peak fitness before their wedding this summer. So it's with great relief that Dev receives the news he hasn't got the deadly disease.
Elated, the happy couple make their way back to the Street for a celebration drink. But Dev's happiness is short-lived when as he goes to give the good news to pal Sunita Parekh, the pretty worker collapses in pain.
Sunita has feared she is pregnant for the last few days after feeling unwell following her one nightstand with roguish newcomer Danny Baldwin.
Is this the true cause of Sunita's ailment or does the Street singleton
have something else to worry about?
The unhinged local is convinced the ailing shopworker is making a play for her fiance Dev Alahan - and resolves to stop her.
Maya has always been wary of Sunita as she knows the history between her and Dev. However, in recent weeks, the old pals have regained the closeness as both confront health scares - leaving Maya out in the cold.
So when Dev insists on taking Sunita to the hospital, Maya is enraged and turns to new pal Frankie Baldwin for advice.
Actress Sasha Behar explains, "The doctor tells Sunita that the reason she collapsed is a bit of a mystery, so he wants to run more tests.
"Dev makes it clear that he will be there for her all the way. This infuriates Maya. She doesn't like it when she isn't the centre of attention and blames Sunita for stealing her thunder."
How will Maya's dirty tricks campaign manifest itself?
Sun, Mon, Weds and Fri - ITV1
THERE was a time when Maya was every bit the cool and confident lawyer. But that image has crumbled fast.
Being with Dev has left her unhappy, unemployed… and unhinged.
Maya is driven into a jealous rage as her husband-to-be devotes more or less all of his time to caring for his poorly ex, Sunita.
Her new best friend Frankie has wound her up a treat, and that prompts Maya to book a wedding in the Caribbean for her and Dev.
But she’s shattered when he calls it off, saying he’s not prepared to rush into anything while he’s so worried about Sunita.
Maya explodes, hurls tins at Dev and wrecks the whole shop.
"Maya is convinced there’s something going on between Dev and Sunita," says Sasha Behar, who plays the volatile ex-lawyer.
"Maya really loves Dev but she can’t stand not being in control of things."
Frankie urges Maya to fight dirty against her love rival and suspicious Maya decides to have a snoop around for evidence that the two of them are having an affair.
"Maya gets another set of keys cut for Sunita’s flat so she can investigate," says Sasha. "Maya can’t stand Sunita being the centre of attention and hates not knowing what’s going on."
To get in Dev’s good books, two-faced Maya pretends to be more understanding and friendly to Sunita.
Dev is pleased, but when Maya announces that she has booked their wedding on a Caribbean beach - in just two weeks’ time - he is stunned.
"He calls it off and she is devastated," says Sasha. "She thought that being nice to Sunita would mean that Dev wouldn’t have any more excuses to get out of marrying her.
"But Dev says it’s all moving too quickly and he wants her to slow down. Maya is incandescent and is sure it’s to do with Sunita.
"Dev denies it, but she knows she’s hit a raw nerve. And later that day, he confesses he can’t abandon Sunita now and admits he’s paying for her private medical care. Naturally, Maya boils over with anger."
Maya hurls things at shocked Dev in a blind fury. He scarpers, but things get even worse when Frankie comes in and tells Maya about Sunita’s pregnancy scare.
Paranoid Maya puts two and two together and makes five.
"Maya goes completely out of control and trashes the shop," says Sasha. "Later, when Dev returns, she’s calmed down and lies that the place got messed up when she had to throw out some troublesome teenagers."
No Way Out
The hunky shopkeeper is becoming confused about his wedding plans as he and old flame Sunita continue to regain their former intimacy.
When Dev was told by his doctor that he may have developed bowel cancer, it was Sunita - not Maya - who proved to be a tower of strength. And since Sunita has been confronted with her own health scare, Dev has vowed to offer her the same support.
But the friendship is giving Maya sleepless nights as she vows to keep hold of her man. And when she consults new pals Frankie Baldwin and Liz McDonald about her predicament, they advise her to step up her game. In in true "mad Maya" form, the sultry siren does just that.
However, will Dev take the news Maya has booked a surprise Caribbean wedding for them in two weeks time as well as she hopes?
Actress Sasha Behar - who plays the worried Maya - explains, "Dev may well have enjoyed her planning such a nice surprise if Sunita hadn't been ill. He might have gone for it, as he does find Maya's impulsiveness very attractive.
"It's a tactic for her to try and push things along but, unfortunately, it doesn't work."
The smoldering siren is furious with the amount of time her fiance Dev Alahan is devoting to dangerously ill friend Sunita Parekh.
Maya has been on the warpath since Dev failed to react favorably to her surprise wedding booking. Rather than concentrating on their impending nuptials, Dev is putting all his energy into supporting distraught Sunita - and Maya doesn't like it one bit.
So when Dev discloses he is footing the bill for Sunita to have private treatment, Maya reaches the end of her tether.
Actress Sasha Behar - who plays the loopy lovebird - explains, "It's just one thing on top of another for Maya at the moment, and she doesn't stop to think anything through, she is just terrified that she will lose Dev."
But Dev's decision to postpone their wedding while Sunita recovers prompts
a furious reaction from his thwarted fiancee. And soon Dev discovers
there is a price to pay for crossing the vengeful Maya - when she throws
the contents of his corner shop at him....
SUNITA'S DEV-ASTATED Jul 17 2004
The Sun 18th July 204
POOR Sunita hasn’t been very lucky in love. But romance is far from her mind when the tests confirm the worst - she’s got a brain tumour.
Sunita turns to her former lover Dev for support, but that leads to an angry confrontation with his psycho fiancée Maya.
"Being with Dev is Sunita’s romantic dream, but they’re not having an affair," says Shobna Gulati, who plays Sunita.
"The health scare brings them closer together. As Dev had his bowel cancer worries not long ago, there is a kind of unspoken understanding between them."
Maya hates Dev spending time with his ex and bitchy Frankie is still winding her up, making her believe that Dev is cheating with Sunita.
When Maya breaks into her rival’s flat using copied keys and finds a pregnancy test, she thinks that Dev and Sunita have slept together.
Later, her jealousy boils over and she heads back to Sunita’s to confront them. She lets herself in, finds Dev comforting Sunita and demands the truth.
When Sunita comes clean about the tumour, Maya breaks down in tears that are a mixture of guilt and relief.
Dev forgives Maya for her suspicions and admits he should have been more honest, but Sunita wanted it kept quiet.
"Sunita doesn’t want anyone to know," says Shobna. "She fears that she might die."
As for a fresh romance with Dev, Shobna isn’t sure. "I don’t know if Sunita will ever be able to tell him how she really feels," she says. "She thinks he is her destiny. We’ll see."
'I said it'd be bad,' Sunita wails as Dev clasps her hand. 'I'm gunna 'ave me brain cut open. I could die if I don't.'
In Corrie's classic tradition of complex love triangles - such as Karen, Steve and Twisted Tracy, and Shelley, Peter and Juicy Lucy - this is wonderfully entertaining.
Fraught, passionate and at times wickedly funny, a devastated Sunita is an unwitting victim caught in the crossfire between a caring and supportive Dev and the malicious jealousy of his fiancee, Maya.
Being a girl who mentally lives so close to the edge that she needs a mountaineer's rope and crampons to abseil out of her own front door, Mad Maya is convinced that Dev and Sunita have an ulterior motive for seeing a doctor. And there's a spectacular showdown.
'You'll be dead by the time I've finished with you,' Maya rants at them. 'You got the cheap little slut pregnant and then yesterday you took her to have an abortion!'
While she is finally convinced of the truth, the psychotic demon takes perverse pleasure in Sunita's plight. After all, her love rival could soon be out of the way. Forever...
There are also headaches for grease monkey Kevin Wobster when Silly Sally manages to lose him the servicing account for Street Cars. Ruthlessly ambitious, she obviously doesn't realise that to become upwardly mobile she'll need a vehicle to get there.
And at this rate there won't be a motor left in the garage. Oops.
The unhinged former solicitor is sick of playing second fiddle to her fiance’s sick pal - so decides to do something about it.
When Maya caught the former flames in a tender embrace, she was convinced she’d rumbled a secret affair.
But now she knows Sunita is seriously ill with a brain tumour, Maya realises she has to tread carefully.
So rather than working on Dev, Maya turns her attentions to Sunita, and has cosy little chat with the desperately worried woman.
Actress Sasha Behr, who plays Maya, explains, “Maya wants other people to know about Sunita’s illness so that she and Dev will stop their trysts.
“She thinks the more people supporting Sunita, the better, because then Maya will get more time with Dev.”
Will Maya persuade Sunita to confide in her other friends?
Friend In Need?...
The green-eyed bride-to-be is hellbent on removing the obstacle of former flame Sunita from fiance Dev Alahan's life - by any means necessary.
Having discovered Sunita is suffering from a potentially fatal illness, Maya has had to re-evaluate her plans on how to put distance between the ailing shopgirl and Dev.
And now she's making sure as many people as possible discover Sunita is facing death, so the responsibility of caring for her won't be just down to Dev.
So, after getting Sunita to confess her secret to best pal Shelley, Maya ensures the poor woman's ex-fiance Ciaran McCarthy is also made aware of the situation - by allowing him to eavesdrop on her conversation.
Horrified Ciaran plays right into Maya's hands by rushing to his former lover's side and promising to do whatever he can to help her.
But now Shelley and Ciaran are putting all their efforts into comforting
Sunita, where does that leave loyal Dev?
The confused corner shop boss has declared his love for employee Sunita Parekh - in front of fiancee Maya Sharma.
Having been thrown out of Sunita’s flat by the furious singleton, Dev is desperate to convince her his feelings are genuine. Meanwhile, he is also trying to cope with distraught Maya, who begs him for a second chance.
But Dev is sick of living a lie and, despite Sunita’s refusal to speak to him, knows he cannot string Maya along any more.
An emotional confrontation between the pair fails to reunite them and Maya is forced to accept her dreams of marriage are never going to happen.
Meanwhile, bewildered and emotional Sunita tries to make sense of her own feelings for Dev and wonders if now is the time to grab happiness with both hands.
Will Dev be able to convince Sunita they are meant to be together?
Conceited Dev discovers that in his heart there is room to love somebody as much as himself.
Fearing that Sunita is going to leave Weatherfield, he finally confesses that she’s the one that he wants. Unfortunately, his fiancee Mad Maya happens to be there, too. ‘I’ve been trying so hard not to do this you,’ he tells Maya gently. ‘I love Sunita. I’ve loved her for years and I have to be with her. I’d give anything not to hurt you like this…’
But when he breaks off his engagement and tells the bunny boiler to vacate his flat, she goes bonkers. Again. There’s nothing very Carol Smiley-Smillie about the makeover this home wrecker gives his posh pad. Vases are smashed, bookcases heaved over and glasses savagely shattered.
Both violent and poignant, there’s also a wicked twist when the corner shop entrepreneur pledges himself to a reluctant Sunita. ‘So don’t you love me anymore, is that it?’ he pleads outside her flat after she refuses to see him. ‘Come on, Sunita, I need to know where I stand.’
As she slams the door firmly in his face, he soon finds out.
On your own, mate…
The Sun 8th august 2004
Sun, Mon (2 eps), Weds and Fri - ITV1
THE love triangle finally comes to an end when Dev dumps his fiancée Maya and is reunited with Sunita.
And with her history of highly strung behaviour, Maya’s reaction when Dev decides to break off their engagement is no surprise - she goes berserk and trashes his flat.
"The nightmare Maya has always feared comes true," reveals Sasha Behar, who plays the former lawyer. "She just goes mad.
"She’d always imagined that this was the week she and Dev would be getting married in the Caribbean. Instead she’s being thrown aside for another woman."
The week starts quietly enough, with Maya and Dev returning from their break together.
When Sunita has a dizzy spell in the shop, Dev takes her up to the flat to recover - and she confides that she doesn’t know how she could live without him.
Her words are still ringing in his ears when Maya reminds him that today is the day she had planned to hold their wedding.
Dev is in a daze as Maya suggests they reschedule the ceremony.
Later, when he talks to Sunita, he admits he loves her and made a terrible mistake when he chose Maya.
Dev is confused when Sunita rejects him, mistaking his love for pity.
Distraught, Dev speaks harshly to Maya back at the shop.
"She is upset and asks him if he still loves her," reveals Sasha. "He insists he does, so she relaxes a little."
But while Dev is drowning his sorrows at the Rovers later on, he tells Shelley that it’s Sunita he loves.
Meanwhile, Sunita is planning to go away for a while to forget her troubles.
"Maya’s delighted she’s going," says Sasha. "But then Dev charges through the shop and rushes upstairs to Sunita.
"Maya follows and he finally tells her he loves Sunita, not her. Maya is shattered and runs off in despair."
Dev tries to apologise to Maya, but that makes things worse. She begs for another chance.
But he insists it’s over and wants her out of his flat when he gets back.
Maya can’t control her rage. She wreaks total havoc, tearing down shelves and hurling furniture round the flat.
By the time she’s finished, the place is completely wrecked.
"Maya just flips out," adds Sasha. "She smashes up the flat. It feels as if her life is over."
Later, Dev returns to Sunita. This time, she accepts that she feels
just as strongly as he does and the happy couple embrace.
The Sun 15th August 2004
Sun, Mon (2 eps), Weds and Fri - ITV1
SICKLY Sunita hasn’t had much to smile about recently.
She’s been sad for so long that she can’t remember what it feels like to be happy - until now.
By the end of the week, Sunita’s grinning from ear to ear and looking forward to a future as Mrs Alahan. However, in true Corrie form, things aren’t all plain sailing.
It’s Dev who proposes to her first, only for Sunita to turn him down.
However, when she gets some good news about her health, Sunita sees she has a future after all. So she turns the tables and pops the question right back!
"It’s too good to be true," says Shobna Gulati, who
plays the shopgirl.
"Sunita really loves Dev. It was pure torture for her to see him with another woman. Now, she’s terrified she’ll wake up and find it has all been a dream."
At the start of the week, it seems everyone - apart from Maya’s mate Frankie - is happy to see Dev and Sunita together.
The couple celebrate with a special meal at Sunita’s flat. Afterwards, as Dev prepares to leave, she asks him to stay and they sleep together for the first time.
They are blissfully happy, but next day Sunita has to go for more blood tests.
"Dev insists on coming with her," says Shobna. "While they are in the hospital waiting area, he suddenly says he loves her and gets down on one knee and proposes. But she gets very embarrassed and tells him that he has to wait for an answer."
When Sunita gets home, she’s dazed.
"Later that day, Dev comes round - he wants a decision," says Shobna.
"She says she can’t marry him until she knows about her health. They go back to the hospital the next day and discover the drugs are working. Sunita decides to take charge of their future herself."
When Dev arrives at her flat that evening, she asks him to marry her.
The Sun 29th August 2004 "He accepts and she’s in heaven," says Shobna. "It’s the happiest day of her life. She’s smiling all week."
Sun, Mon (2 eps), Weds and Fri - ITV1
THERE are few things scarier than Maya on the warpath.
So it’s a brave Dev that risks her fury and asks for his engagement ring back.
But Maya decides not to get mad, but to get even.
She lets him have it and then schemes to wreak revenge on Dev and his lover, Sunita.
"Maya is totally consumed with anger at the way she’s been treated," explains Sasha Behar, who plays the tempermental former lawyer. "So she plans to get her own back."
When Dev asks if he can have his grandmother’s precious ring back so he can give it to his new fiancée, Sunita - Maya demands £2,000.
Dev happily agrees to pay her the money.
But far from moving on, Maya coolly launches a fiendish scheme to sabotage Dev’s dream wedding.
Later, the groom-to-be proudly offers the engagement ring to Sunita, but she demands to know how he got it back from Maya.
When he admits he went to see her, she refuses to accept it.
The next day, an apologetic Dev buys Sunita a new ring.
But as the engaged pair kiss and make up in Sunita’s flat, Maya is spying on them from a car parked outside.
The happy couple then head to the Rovers for their engagement party - and Maya puts her evil plan into action.
"Once they’re out of the way, Maya uses her set of keys to get into Sunita’s flat," explains Sasha.
"Then she steals her birth certificate and takes it to the registry office to book a wedding in Sunita’s name in two weeks’ time. Maya is determined to wreck their big day. And what better way than by making sure Sunita is already married?
"Later, Maya sneaks back into Sunita’s flat to replace the birth certificate. She’s convinced she is going to have the last laugh on the couple who ruined her life."
Meanwhile, Sunita has been searching for the certificate in order to book the real wedding.
At the end of the week she finds it back in its correct place and, though slightly puzzled, thinks she must just have missed it before. She tells Dev that at last they can book their big day.
"Maya watches through the window again as Dev and Sunita embrace passionately," says Sasha. "She’s furious at seeing them so happy.
"Maya never was the most balanced individual in Weatherfield. This
could really push her over the edge."
Corrie’s answer to Bridget Jones has captured the heart of Dev Alahan, after years of false starts and a broken engagement.
However, actress Shobna Gulati doesn’t hold out hope that this latest attempt at a relationship will end happily for her lovelorn character. In fact, she predicts worse is to come for the Street’s star-crossed lovers.
At the heart of Shobna’s doubts is the Dev’s penchant for the ladies. And considering he’s cheated on his last two fiancee’s, it seems she’s got every reason to doubt him.
When asked whether Dev is worthy of Sunita, Shobna tells Inside Soap magazine, “I think he has a really good go at being good enough for her.
“He’s a born romantic, just like her. But the trouble is he’s always going to be a lothario.”
And Shobna isn’t letting Sunita off easily either. According to her, the character has had more men than hot dinners!
She laughs, “Both of them are leaping into bed at any given moment!
When you think about it, Tracy Barlow gets a bad name about being a slapper,
but Sunita’s had more men.”
Sympathy For The Devil
According to actress Sasha Behr, who plays Dev Alahan's jilted fiancee, says the Street's female fans are lending the character their support.
For months Maya has been viewed as a mad woman intent on thwarting soul mates Dev and Sunita Parekh from finding true happiness. But as Sasha points out, Maya has been cruelly dumped by her husband-to-be and has every right to be furious over the way she has been treated.
And now Corrie fans have admitted that they too have behaved badly when a serious relationship ended, and understand Maya's thirst for revenge.
Sasha tells the Daily Star, "Since I've been playing this storyline, more and more people have owned up to doing extraordinary things in the pain just after a break-up.
"I've been shocked at some of the things I have heard women have done when they have been scorned! I know somebody who cut up all her husband's clothes.
"Maya was undoubtedly devastated when she was dumped for Sunita. She'd always been worried about Dev and Sunita's relationship - it made her feel uncomfortable.
"What's happened now is what she's always feared and it has come to pass.
The way she sees things, it proves she was right all the time."
Having been infuriated by Leanne's claims and his fiancée Sunita's reluctance to believe he is telling the truth, Dev is determined justice will prevail.
And his resolve is further strengthened when Maya makes a grand entrance at the tribunal and attempts to stick the knife into her former fiancé.
Before the proceedings begin, Leanne is having serious doubts about going through with the case. Embarrassed things have gone so far, Leanne really wants to put the matter behind her - but Maya refuses to let it drop...
So when Dev tries to tell the chairman who Maya is and why she should not be allowed to take on the case, the sly solicitor promises to keep her personal feelings out of it.
However, as Leanne and Dev present their cases to the court, Maya cannot resist venting her spleen about Dev's dire treatment of her personally.
Will Maya make Dev pay for a mistake he never even made?
Monogamy vs Maya
With Sunita and Dev moving ahead with their wedding plans, Maya is determined to turn their big day upside down.
Having nicked Sunita's birth certificate, the scheming siren has married a man in her love rival's name - meaning if Sunita weds Dev, she'll be a bigamist!
However, Maya's secret scheme is in danger of being exposed this week when she slips up in front of friend Frankie Baldwin.
While the ladies are lunching together, Maya is constantly trying to extract information about Dev and Sunita's nuptials from her pal.
And the wedding talk takes an interesting turn when a fellow diner comes over to congratulate Maya on her own recent wedding!
Frankie is astounded by the comment, but Maya cleverly brushes off the man and tells her mixed-up mate that she was only a guest.
Will Frankie believe Maya's flimsy fibs?
Catch Me If You Can!
But Maya - who believes her vendetta against the newlywed couple is perfectly justified - has no intention of paying for her crimes against them.
While Dev continues to try and prove Sunita's innocence to the sceptical police, Maya is making more plans - about how to escape punishment!
Having already betrayed Maya once before, her friend Frankie Baldwin - who has been horrified by sinister Sharma's antics - shops her to Dev once again.
With Maya's plan to flee for a new life in Italy underway, Frankie feels obliged to confess the secret to a horrified Dev.
And when the authorities show no interest in bringing Maya to justice, Dev decides to take matters into his own hands.
Confronted by her furious former fiancé, Maya prepares for an emotional showdown.
But will she slip through the net once again, despite Dev's best efforts?
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